Celebratory Salsa

While you sit poolside celebrating 4th of July with friends and family, be sure to snack on something festive like this Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa.  Not only is this 4th of July recipe pretty, but it’s also full of unique flavor combinations and is super easy to make.  The sweetness of the blueberries and strawberries contrasts perfectly with the bite and spice of cilantro and jalapeno, and the crunch of the jicama adds nice texture.  Pair with whole wheat crackers or cinnamon sugar pita chips for the perfect celebratory [... more]

Oats of Flavor

Creating tasty desserts in the summertime calls for a little innovation. The dense and heavy treats of that accompany winter get replaced with lighter, fresher options. One delicious example of a perfect summertime post-dinner dessert is the Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bar. The indescribably good taste of the crumbly cookie-like crust comes from a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and other spices. Rolled oats get thrown in the mix for a bit of added texture. The delicious tangy swirl is made from sliced rhubarb and fresh strawberries [... more]

Two-Bite Macaroni

The boxed macaroni and cheese we all loved as children gets a serious upgrade with these Macaroni and Cheese Baked Cheese Balls. These delicious fried pockets ooze cheesy flavor with each bite you take. A perfect, portable alternative to the classic but messy comfort food, these balls are perfect to take to work or as an on-the-go snack. They also make a great addition to the dinner table as a side dish or appetizer that is sure to please. Covered in tasty, crispy breadcrumbs, this dish will [... more]

Un-Fried Green Beans

An egg-free, vegan-breaded green bean recipe doesn’t exactly get the taste buds somersaulting. But trust us, it tastes so much better than it sounds. In fact, these Breaded Green Bean Fries even give the fried alternatives a run for their money—and they’re better for you. In addition to the obvious baking vs. frying benefit, these fries call for unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk and extra light virgin oil instead of vegetable oil. And for the vegan breading, a seasoning blend of onion powder, garlic powder, [... more]

French Onion Minus the Soup

French onion soup takes on a new, but just as mouthwatering, form with this recipe. The brainchild of blogger Ree Drummond, French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms just might become your new favorite appetizer. In this recipe, the onions, which have been cooked in butter, wine, and broth and then flavored with a little Worcestershire sauce, serve as the stuffing for the mushroom caps. A sprinkling of gruyere cheese melts perfectly to seal in the onions. Serve these one-bite wonders as hors d’oeuvres at your next party or [... more]

Simply Irresistible

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Toffee Fudge Cookie Bars kicks traditional chocolate chip cookies up a few notches. It all starts with a graham cracker crust that adds a delicious base to these chewy treats. Next, layers of homemade fudge and toffee chips provide a boost of rich chocolate and sweet brittle flavors. Top all of that with chocolate chip cookie dough and an extra sprinkling of toffee bits. The result is an ooey-gooey, rich and fudgy cookie bar. Once you’ve mastered this version, experiment with other [... more]

A Twisted Toast Treat

Bacon is America’s favorite breakfast meat, and for good reason. These versatile little slices of cured pork complement the flavors of so many foods and add a savory, salty crunch to any dish. For this recipe, crumbled bacon tops a delicious avocado spread that’s been slathered on sliced baguettes. The French bread is served as-is without any additional baking, creating a soft base for the toppings. Providing a tasty surprise, a drizzle of honey acts as a sweet foil to the bacon’s saltiness. Each savory bite of [... more]

Reinventing a Classic

The classic Caprese salad features layers of mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil or a balsamic glaze. However, these Caprese Quinoa Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze are a riff on the antipasto staple and create a crowd-pleasing appetizer worthy of a special occasion. Quinoa, mozzarella, tomatoes, and chopped basil infuse grilled mushrooms with Italian flavor. All of this deliciousness is topped off with a glaze made from balsamic vinegar and brown sugar for an extra kick. Serve these bite-size beauties to guests at [... more]

Simple 5-Minute Snack

Throw together a healthy on-the-go snack that is both fast and delicious. The piquant flavors of ranch dressing and Parmesan cheese create a unique snack mix featuring nuts, pretzels, and popcorn. To make Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix, simply whisk together a package of ranch dip seasoning mix and olive oil, and add the nuts, pretzels, and popcorn; then toss the mixture with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. No baking required! In less than five minutes, you’ll have a satisfying—and highly addictive—snack mix. Photo Credit: Averie Cooks

Dark and Handsome

Which do you like better: milk chocolate or dark chocolate? With these Rich & Dense Triple Chocoletta Muffins you don’t have to decide because you get both! The decadent combination creates a literal heaven-in-your-mouth experience. These treats require only a few simple steps and bake in less than 25 minutes. In fact, the amount of labor required to create these delicious masterpieces is far less than the level of satisfaction you get when you take that first bite. As moist as they are rich, these muffins make [... more]

The Fried List

Northerners like to say that Southerners will fry anything. Well, we don’t know about that, but after seeing this recipe, we just added avocados to the list. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, Avocado Fries With Cilantro Lemon Dipping Sauce makes a hearty appetizer or side dish and offers a healthy alternative to the popular potato version. This recipe calls for two avocados sliced into wedges and then coated in breadcrumbs before frying to achieve that delicious crispy texture. The breaded exterior is a [... more]

Carrot Cake Creativity

A creative variation of the favorite spring dessert, these Carrot Cake Cookies will become your new baking obsession. Light and fluffy with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting in between, they dare you to eat just one. The chewy bites of carrot mixed and crunchy walnuts or pecans perfectly complement the yummy cake-like batter. Super moist and full of flavor, these carrot cake cookies make the perfect after-dinner treat or midday snack. We recommend doubling the recipe because 12 cookies won’t last long!

Get Your Grill On

Some of summer’s best recipes call for grilling, and this recipe for Grilled Cherry Tomato Skewers on Toast takes advantage of the season’s fresh bounty. Roasting the tomatoes enhances their natural flavor. Let them soak in an olive oil-based marinade before grilling, and season to taste afterward. Be sure to soak the wooden skewers for about 30 minutes beforehand to prevent them from burning. These tomatoes taste great alone or atop a slice of crusty bread smeared with creamy ricotta cheese.

A Greener Grilled Cheese

While a classic grilled cheese sandwich slathered in butter is hard to beat, this grown-up version might get you thinking otherwise. The Portabella, Gouda, and Kale Pesto Grilled Cheese requires little time to make and can seriously satisfy on a rainy spring afternoon. Feel free to pile on the pesto—it ties the sandwich together and gives it a little kick. Season the portabella mushrooms with salt, and drizzle with olive oil before cooking on each side until tender. Layer the pesto, mushrooms, and Gouda. Top with a [... more]

A Crazy-Good Combo

Some food combinations are no-brainers: peanut butter and jelly; bacon, lettuce, and tomato; shrimp and grits. But others take a little more creative thought. This recipe unites an unlikely pair—tangy pimento cheese and savory thyme—but the combo works perfectly. While the homemade pimento cheese bursts with creamy richness, the thyme contributes a slight sweetness to the appetizer. Baked until fluffy and golden, these Pimento Cheese & Thyme Gougères will have you asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  

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