tasty tidbits

Did you know our summer is already coming to an end?  We get so violent around here when everyone talks about summer with dreamy eyes and wild anticipation.  I officially call summer a wrap when it starts to maintain 100 degrees or hotter 24 hours a day.  Summer then becomes a 4 letter word and it's not pretty.  So while I'm still enjoying sitting on my porch swing in the evening without an ice pack, I thought I'd share some of the food I made this weekend in honor of our beautiful summer, that will end in two weeks, tops.

Since completing the 28 Day Plant Based Challenge, I'm trying to transition into something that I think will work for me and my family's lifestyle. So when I discovered that Brooke of {The Cheeky Kitchen} has put herself and her family on a vegan and mostly plant based diet for the year, I was encouraged.  Brooke is too funny and she is also an excellent photographer.  I've tried several of her recipes so far, and had great luck with them.

This weekend I had all the ingredients for her {Strawberry Avocado Quinoa Salad}.  It was so good.  Fresh and light for summer.  The dressing has lime and cilantro, two of my favorites.  I absolutely loved it, and I think you might too.

Brooke can sell anything with the pictures she takes of her creations.  You want to jump right through the computer screen and devour everything she makes.  So check out her blog.  Maybe you will want to be vegan too?

Almost every Sunday evening, we head over to some of our closest friends (and once next door neighbors) house for dinner and conversation.  There is always a lively crowd, and everyone brings a dish or two to share.  It's one of the highlights of my week, and when we have to miss it for some reason, I'm sad.

When we walked in on Sunday and I saw a certain someone there, I was super hopeful she had brought the same dish she had the last time.  And I was in luck!  Of course, you have to be an avocado lover to enjoy this, but I honestly don't need meat the rest of my life when this is in front of me.

I'm calling this recipe Chelene's Avocado Masterpiece, and if you make it, you'll know why!  Absolutely divine I tell you.  I'd almost rather have this than a cupcake, and that's sayin' something.

Arrange avocado wedges on a plate or platter.  In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 medium lime, 2 cloves of fresh, minced garlic, a big pinch of salt, and a little pinch of pepper.  Pour over avocado wedges and watch them disappear.  The lime juice keeps them from browning, but I've never seen them last longer than 5 minutes.  The perfect summertime snack.

We were also lucky enough to visit some other friends on Saturday night.  We go to church with the Packards, and they are such a dear couple and family.  They have become wonderful friends, and I aspire to be as well spoken and intelligent as Chris when I grow up.  She had hosted a beautiful bridal shower earlier that day, and invited us over to help clean up the food that was left.  It didn't take much convincing, and we sat down to a feast around 10:30 p.m.  Everything was delicious, and she gave me a print out of all the recipes.
I whipped her breadsticks up for dinner, and it was all I could do to salvage these for a picture. They were so puffy and light with a crispy, buttery bottom.   So easy.  So good.  So summer.  You'll never pull into Little Caesars for Crazy Bread again when you can make enough to feed your whole family for approximately $1.00 in less than an hour. 

Quick Breadsticks
3 1/2 c. flour
1 T. instant yeast
3 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 cube butter, melted

Mix first four ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the warm water and mix to form a soft dough.  Cover and let rise in the bowl for 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 and melt butter in preheated baking sheet with raised edges.  Take pan out once butter has melted and let it cool a bit.  Knead dough a few times on a floured surface.  Roll it out flat and cut into strips about 3/4" wide using a pizza cutter.  Fold strips in half and twist together.  Lay twisted strips on cookie sheet and roll them in the butter until they are completely covered.  Sprinkle with seasonings as desired.....parmesan cheese, kosher salt, dill, italian seasoning, sesame seeds, garlic powder, season salt, etc.  Let rise 20 minutes in the sheet pan, then bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden.

Sunday afternoon was a lazy one.  I took a much needed nap, then decided to whip up some popsicles that G had told me about.  They are super simple and I think the best thing about them is that they take so long to eat.  It forces you to really enjoy them, and keeps the kids occupied for a good 15 minutes.  They taste like strawberry cheesecake, but you could use any kind of berries. 

16 oz. vanilla greek yogurt
Vanilla wafers
5 oz. Dixie cups
Popsicle sticks

Crush some vanilla wafers.  You probably want about a cup of crumbs.  Mix with the greek yogurt, and add a little honey for good measure.  Wash and chop strawberries.  I wish I had pureed about half the strawberries and added it to the yogurt mixture to turn it a touch pink.  If your strawberries aren't nice and sweet, might I suggest you sugar them a little?

Now get your best helper to spoon the yogurt mixture into the bottom of the Dixie cup, followed by a layer of chopped strawberries, and some more yogurt on top.  Finish them off with a stick and head for the freezer.  If you have popsicle molds, you're fancy.  And lucky.  I'm crossing my fingers my mom is going to leave her coveted, Tupperware popsicle molds to me in her will.  I hope my five siblings are reading this.  I called them first!

Erica, I'll split them with you. I guess.

When you are ready to eat them, simply peel the cup away.  If you have molds, they will be really pretty.

Lastly, this week I'm working on a project that includes a makeover on this cute french chair.  And guess what?  She has a twin sister!  Tune in next Tuesday.


  1. Thank you for the great recipies. I love avocados. I just peel, slice, add seasoning salt and lemon juice and enjoy. I'm going to try your recipie with the next avocado I get! Thanks for sharing. God bless. Linda D.

  2. I went down for a nap (I have five kids, so I had to crash out a little early this evening) and woke up to find fresh breadsticks awaiting. My husband thrust one in my face. "Try this!" And I was pretty sure he made a pizza run while I was sleeping.

    Turns out he had happened upon your blog (I had a bunch of recipe blogs opened to add to my recipe list earlier today), saw the breadstick picture, and had to put it to the test! So.. thanks for my post nap, evening snack! :)

    1. Oh WOW!! You lucky, lucky girl! That man is a keeper for sure! Glad you enjoyed the breadsticks. They are a great recipe to feed 5 hungry kids. I'm definitely going to be making a lot of them this summer. Thanks for reading our blog!

  3. Wow, Jill!! Your breadsticks look a whole lot better than mine. And what a great story from Mandy! Warms my heart!! I love your blog! I love YOU! Thanks for being the wonderful Jill you are!

  4. Those breadsticks may put me into Overeater's Anonymous, but they are worth it! I SO wish we could grow avocados here in Arizona, and knowing how much you love the avocado slices drizzled with all that goodness puts them on my ASAP list for sure! Thank you for sharing your recipes... I love eating at your house because I have never left the table without wanting more!

  5. Hi, how much butter is one cube? I'm not familiar with that term.

    1. Hi Wendy:
      Sorry about that! 1 cube of butter is equal to 1/2 cup. Also equal to 8 Tablespoons.

  6. Great delivery. Solid reasons. Maintain the amazing spirit. http://www.exoticcarrental305.com


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