August Recipes

August 30, 2016 10:46 am

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Konfidance.

We are now at the tail end of summer produce and about ready to switch over to fall flavors. Enjoy the last of this season with sweet cherries, fresh greens, crisp zucchini, and juicy peaches and nectarines.

Cherries

Cherries are like natures Sweetart candies, but if you don’t have a cherry pitter, handling these ruby gems can be quite difficult. For these recipes, try this no pitter needed method involving an empty wine bottle and a straw.

Now that your cherries are pit-free, make these Cherry Yogurt Parfaits with Crunchy Granola. Eating one of these first thing practically ensures that your morning will start off on the right foot.

Roasted Cherry Goat Cheese Crostini are a quick and easy appetizer that showcases this summer fruit. It might be a little untraditional to enjoy cherries in a savory application, but their sweet notes pair well with the salty and tangy goat cheese.

For another savory spin, make this Cherry Orange Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts. Tender chicken, sweet cherries, and crunchy walnuts get tucked between two slices of soft sandwich bread for one dreamy summer sandwich.

Greens

When greens are at their peak, it is high time for a good salad. This Herby Nectarine and Avocado Little Gem Salad, is not your typical bowl of limp lettuce. It is filled with flavor thanks to the fresh nectarines and lively herbs. Croutons and cucumber lend crunch, while avocado and feta give that super satisfying bite.

Greens can do more than just make a good salad. Take these Baked Falafel for example. Falafel are a Mediterranean fritter made from garbanzo beans and herbs, which are often served up in a soft pita. With crispy exteriors, soft centers, and loads of flavor, it is no wonder why they are a fan favorite.

Another Mediterranean dish that is filled with fresh herbs is tabbouleh. Try this Quinoa Tabbouleh as a fresh summer side dish. It is full of parsley, fresh tomatoes, and bright lemon juice. Plus this salad can be whipped up in about 25 minutes, making it ideal for those last few lazy summer evenings.

These Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a great way to sneak some greens into a picky eater’s diet. They won’t even realize they are eating leafy greens when they are wrapped around this sticky sweet orange chicken filling.

Zucchini

If you’ve never thought about starting off your day with zucchini, you’re not alone, but these Zucchini Bread Pancakes are about to change everything you thought you knew about breakfast. All the flavor of a slice of zucchini bread, in pillowy pancake form. Pass the maple syrup, please.

This Summer Corn Chowder is the best of the season tucked into one bowl. Sweet corn, light zucchini, new potatoes, and crisp carrots meld together with smoky bacon and luscious cream to create one covetable bowl.

If you find yourself with extra zucchini, make these Baked Zucchini Fries. If you don’t find yourself with extra zucchini, run, don’t walk, to the store and get some! These fries are coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and then baked to golden perfection.

This Zucchini Pizza just screams summer. This lighter recipe features both creamy mozzarella and tang goat cheese to create that signature cheese pull. Atop that are shiny sliced zucchini rounds, lemon slices, and freshly snipped chives. An easy and fresh, yet gourmet, summer supper that can be made in 30 minutes.

Peaches & Nectarines

Peach tarts just might be the dessert of summer. This Streusel Topped Peach Tart takes this quintessential dessert to the next level by adding a rich crumble topping. Tarts are the quick version of pies, and this no-fuss tart crust requires just a press into the pie pan. No rolling out the dough is necessary.

Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are all the rage. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any wilder, try this Nectarine, Goat Cheese, and Basil Grilled Cheese. Its list of ingredients might be crazy, but the flavor is nothing but is crazy good.

What is summer without a big glass of Peach Iced Tea? This version is made with fresh peaches which lend tremendous amounts or pure peach flavor. Kick back and relax with a tall glass of this on a hot day.

This Nectarine and Corn Salad with Chipotle Shrimp hits all the flavor notes. It is sweet, spicy, savory, and fresh. This quick dish is a great weeknight meal. It can go from marinade to dinner plate in just about 30 minutes.

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Back to School Recipes

August 23, 2016 7:50 am

Photo courtesy of Laura Fuentes.

Before we know it, it will be all permission slips, homework, and chasing down the bus in the morning. The school year is almost upon us. As the days get shorter with the fall season, it always seems like it takes an extra hour along with it. Lunches are packed in a rush, those leisurely summer suppers turn into a rush to get dinner on the table, and shared family breakfasts are a thing of the past. Here are 12 time saving recipes to ease you back into the school schedule. From breakfast to dinner, you will be armed with swift and tasty recipes.

Breakfast

When struggling to herd the kiddos out the door on time, having a quick breakfast can be a lifesaver! These Perfect Breakfast Burritos which are made once and then stored in the freezer, come in clutch. Just a quick minute in the microwave stands between you and a nourishing breakfast.

Skip the tardy slip with these Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars. These grab and go bars are filled with antioxidant rich blueberries, protein packed quinoa, and contain no refined sugar. Their portable bar shape makes it easy for kids to munch on while in the car on the way to school.

For an impressive, but easy breakfast, break out these Granola Cups for Hectic Mornings. Whip up these cute cups over the weekend and then just fill with yogurt and top with fruit. Voila, an instant breakfast that is sure to be a big hit.

Lunch

Keep the kids interested at lunchtime with these easy peasy Baked Ravioli. Not only are these bites a welcome change from the traditional sandwich, they are easy to boot. With just 30 minutes, you can have a batch cooked that will last all week.

Sandwiches are a lunchbox staple for a reason, but when the kids get tired of the same old, switch it up for Sandwich Sushi. Though this recipe uses the same basic ingredients as a regular sandwich, the new presentation is enough to fake out the kids and make them think it is a whole new meal.

If you have time on the weekends and love to cook, consider making these Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets. This recipe uses store bought pizza dough to save time, and the kids can customize the pockets with their favorite flavors. Store them in the freezer, and reheat as you would store bought Hot Pockets.

Snack

These Nut-Free Snack Balls are the solution to the afternoon snack dilemma. They are a great snack for nut-free schools. Plus, they are no-cook, no-bake, and can be whipped up in 10 minutes flat with only 6 ingredients, many of which are probably sitting in your pantry right now.

Now, these Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites do take more time and aren’t for the faint of heart, but can you just imagine your kids’ faces as they get to munch on soft pretzel bites for their afternoon snack? You get the satisfaction of knowing that these crowd pleasing bites are a nutritious option that will keep them satisfied until dinner.

If you ever have a surplus of bagels, not a lot of time, and the need for a homemade lunchbox snack, try making these Garlic Bagel Chips. They can be made ahead of time, ready and waiting, for when a snack attack hits.

Dinner

After the end of a long day, nothing tastes better than dinner. Correction: Nothing tastes better than a quick dinner. It is almost too hard to believe that these gourmet Loaded Greek Goodness Pita Chip Nachos are a quick and easy dinner, but they are warm and ready in just 30 minutes.

If I was challenged to make a from-scratch weeknight lasagna in 45 minutes, I would tell you it was impossible. Then I met this Easy Skillet Lasagna recipe. The whole thing gets cooked in one pan right on the stovetop. This recipe isn’t only fast, but having only one pan to clean after dinner, priceless.

These Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps prove that a small amount of time (25 minutes!) doesn’t have to equal a small amount of flavor. Store bought rotisserie chicken gets tossed with veggies and herbs for flavor and crunch and then slathered in a smooth and creamy peanut butter sauce. It is like bringing a restaurant meal right to your dinner table.

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Back to School Shopping

August 16, 2016 10:50 am

In just a few short weeks, the kids will be back in the classroom. Which means one thing… back to school shopping. There will be hunts to find the cutest notebook, quests for the perfect pencils, and searches for a superb lunch box. As the cart piles high with supplies, so can the dollar signs. Here are some deals and discount resources to stay on budget this back to school season.

PriceGrabber.com is a great resource for snagging supplies at the best possible price. On their website, you can search for items and the site will let you know which store has the best deal. They also have a mobile app to make on-the-go deal hunting a breeze.

The popular budgeting blog, Pocket Your Dollars, publishes a weekly article titled Back to School Supply Deals. It includes an up to date price comparison chart so that you can scope out the best deals on individual items. This list is updated weekly, so check back often for new deals.

There are also a number of military discounts that will come in clutch this season. Cross off items on your shopping list at Michael’s or CVS. Michael’s offers a 15% discount, and CVS, 20%. Both retailers offer this discount to active duty service members, dependents, retirees, veterans, and reservists.

If you need to purchase some electronics, Dell and Radio Shack offer 10% off to active duty service members.

Lastly, don’t forget about the Exchange price match policy. Both the Navy Exchange and the Marine Corps Exchange will match the regular shelf price or advertised price of a local competitor. So if you see something on sale, but would rather pick it up at the exchange, bring in the ad and cash in on that deal.

Know of any other discounts? Leave a comment to let us know!

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