Beef and Blue Cheese Monte Cristo with Cherries

Sunday is National Monte Cristo Day (9/17), proving once again that we Americans love to celebrate all things food. The yummy dish reminds me of a collision between French toast and a lunch box ham sandwich – the traditional version, a favorite during my childhood, is made with ham and cheese book-ended between white bread, dipped in an egg mixture and then pan fried or even deep fried (gasp) with raspberry preserves and powdered sugar to garnish! Crazy yum!

Beef Blue Cheese Cherry Monte Cristo

Of course, I’m anything but traditional so today I’m sharing my even more brazen version of this classic sammie – a Beef Blue Cheese Monte Cristo with Cherries! Read on to get all the juicy details and recipe. Continue reading

Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Bananas

 

Busy morning school routines combined with dwindling daylight hours can make waking up in September a challenge. My boys have become snooze button beasts, but not anymore! They are up and at ‘em earlier with much more enthusiasm now that I’ve added some yummy breakfast eating options to the morning menu.

Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Pepperidge Farms Swirl Oatmeal Bread

We all are totally loving the new Pepperidge Farm Swirl Oatmeal breads, the thick and hearty whole grain slices make a yummy foundation for slathers for spreads, sandwich fillings, and such. Today, I’m sharing ways to use this delicious breakfast bread, including my Pumpkin Maple Peanut Butter Panini with Banana! Continue reading

Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette

This post is sponsored by Now Foods. However, all content, opinions and enthusiasm are my own.

It’s easy to excited about September and the promise of all things autumn – the crisper weather, the golden cast the sun makes, the rah-rah of sports teams, and, of course, comforting food in all the fall flavors . . . especially apple!   Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette

My Apple Freekah Salad with Ancho Honey Vinaigrette makes a hearty yet still healthy choice for lunch or dinner, packed with filling whole grains, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins and spinach. It’s also a great choice for football tailgating, as it can be served warm or cold. Read on to get the full recipe and learn more about the benefits of apples, freekeh and pumpkin seeds.

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Date & Protein Chocolate Cookies – For Workouts, For the Win!

This post sponsored my Bard Valley Natural Delight Dates. However, all content, opinions and enthusiasm are my own!

Growing up, Dad had a joke in our house that cookies eaten outside of normal dessert consumption hours were called “Breakfast Circles,” or “Energy Rounds.”  This soon became my line of defense when Mom caught me with my hand in the cookie jar. Thank goodness, my Date & Protein Chocolate Cookies need no explaining away! Date Chocolate Protein Cookies

These little rounds of goodness are loaded with quality and sustaining energy my family needs to smash through the day’s goals – both physically and mentally. My youngest teenager and I are the athletes of the family and my older two boys are the “math-letes” – bodies and brains BOTH need healthy carbs (backed by a bit of protein) to optimize performance. My cookies, made with absolutely no refined sugar (only Medjool dates and a few other smart ingredients), make the perfect snack to fuel running, workouts, sports practice, and racing to the head of the class! Read on to get the recipe and all the delicious, body-boosting benefits: Continue reading

Cherry Wheat Berry Super Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Over this busy summer weekend, everyone was delighted to have a big batch of my Cherry Wheat Berry Super Salad on hand for a picnic lunch down at the lake and leftovers to pair next day with our grilled steaks. Cherry season makes me want to do a happy dance and this year was no exception, especially because I scored both Bing and Rainer cherries on sale for a pittance!

Cherry Wheat Berry Super Salad

In addition to sweet cherries, this satisfying, savory-sweet salad features iron-rich spinach, satiating nuts and seeds, and whole-grain wheat berries.  Not to mention feta and balsamic vinaigrette for even more flavor. The ingredients all marry beautifully together – you won’t be cherry-picking the fruit out, you’ll be licking the bowl clean! Continue reading

Smoky Peach Chipolte Vinaigrette, Dressing & Marinade

The back roads of Central Texas have been alive with the sights and smells of local farm stands selling their most anticipated summer-season specialty – Hill Country Peaches. They are so sweet and delicious straight from the bushel, sometimes it’s hard not to greedily gobble them all up before arriving home.  Grilled Peach Chipolte Vinaigrette Dressing & Marinade

This year I used restraint (by putting them in the car trunk), and we arrived home from Stonewall, Texas with plenty of this popular stone fruit to make peach cobbler, slow-cooker peach sauce, and ice cream – the July rite of passage. I even had a few extra to make an awesome salad featuring this grill fruit and the recipe I’m sharing today – Smoky Peach Chipolte Vinaigrette & Marinade. Read on the get more juicy details and the instructions. Continue reading

Watermelon, Tomato & Jicama Salad with Tajin Honey Dressing

Between my birthday on July 3rd, followed immediately by Independence Day and a family reunion at the lake beginning, July 6th, I’m happy to report that I’ll be enjoying more than a week of non-stop, fun-in-the-sun festivities. No complaints about the 100-degree weather from me, this is my absolute favorite time of the year! Watermelon Jicama Tomato Salad with Tajin Honey Dressing

On the agenda: morning runs, paddle-boarding, wake boarding, jet-skiing, fishing, helping with some landscape work and then lounging around on the dock. All this is sure to make a person thirsty and hungry. I’ll be at once hydrating and enjoying a wholesome snack thanks to watermelon and my latest recipe, Watermelon, Tomato and Jicama Salad with Tajin Honey Dressing. Read on to get the all the deets, the full recipe and how you can incorporate watermelon into your casual summer entertaining. Continue reading

Thai-Style Shrimp & Watermelon Rind Ceviche #LeaveNoRindBehind

This post is sponsored by The National Watermelon Board (Watermelon.org), however all comments, opinions, enthusiasm and content is my own.

I can’t even count how many watermelons have met their final fate at my house, at least dozens of dozens (meaning hundreds) if not more! Watermelon, after all, is my favorite fruit and I eat it every which way including whacked into a wedge and as a featured ingredient in smoothies and on salads, skewers, sandwiches and such.

thai style watermelon rind shrimp ceviche

I’ve used the typically discarded watermelon rind in recipes too – my latest creation is Thai-style Watermelon Rind Shrimp Ceviche!  Check out the recipe and join me to #LeaveNoRindBehind ! Continue reading