Kara’s Summer Faves

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Well, I have to admit I have been swept up in enjoying summer and I have not been doing much new recipe development! We are off on our summer vacation soon to Cape Cod (can’t wait!) and I will be sure to do a post upon my return highlighting my Cape Cod favourites. In the meantime I thought I would do a post about my summer faves – this is what we have been eating and drinking lately! We always go back to the blog for our family faves, it is like our own little online cookbook which is so fun.

Here are our summer go-to’s . . .

Andrew’s Raspberry Mojito – Heaven in a glass! My favourite summer cocktail.

Sparkling Sex on the Beach – Another beautiful cocktail recipe by my husband – my #2 fave cocktail : )

Harvest Fruit Green Smoothie – My lunch – love my green smoothie!

Summer Spaghetti – I make this a ridiculous number of times all summer long.

Best. Quinoa. Salad. Ever – I know this recipe pops up a lot, but it is a regular summer side dish!

Beef Tacos – Easy, fast, and awesome topped with guacamole!

Oh She Glows Noodle Bowl - Obsessed with this recipe, SO good.

Andrew’s BBQ Pork Chops – The hubby’s specialty on the grill

Key Lime Pie – Fresh, cold, tart and delicious.

Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream – Insanely delicious!

Berry-licious Arugula Salad

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I love arugula. Love it in a salad in various forms like this insanely yummy Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with Gorgonzola and Pancetta and one of my hubby’s favourites - Steak Salad. Love it tossed with pasta in Lemon Spaghetti with Arugula and Steak with Penne & Arugula, and even love it layered in a panini like my Peach Panini with Mozzarella, Prosciutto and Arugula . I actually should maybe just start a new category!

Anyway my most recent creation is this Berry-licious Arugula Salad loaded with strawberries, blueberries, toasted pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and tossed in an easy balsamic dressing. Delicious, fresh and easy and perfect along side anything grilled!

Ingredients:

  • For the salad: 
  • 4 cups of baby arugula
  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp of toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1.  Toss arugula and berries together in a large salad bowl.
  2. Prepare dressing by whisking together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper vigorously until incorporated.
  3. Immediately before serving dress salad with vinaigrette and top with pecans and seeds.

Canada Day Recipes

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Getting ready to celebrate with a Canada Day BBQ this weekend? Why not try some of my summer favourites . . .

Appetizers:

Crostini with fig jam and gorgonzola

Kara’s Nacho Dip

Lemon Basil Ginger Garlic Grilled Shrimp

Salads/Sides:

Canada Day Strawberry and Feta Salad

Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Walnuts & Feta

Extra Crunchy Broccoli Salad

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Cheesy BBQ Potatoes with Onion and Bacon

Mains:

Sticky BBQ Ribs

Andrew’s BBQ Pork Chops

Steak with balsamic mushrooms and onions

Dessert:

Kara’s Key Lime Pie

Angel Food Cake

Sarah’s Homemade Granola

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My dear friend Sarah is one of my biggest supporters in keeping up my wee blog : ) We both have a love of baking and cooking and we often share recipes and drop off bits of this and that for each other to try. For my Birthday Sarah dropped off a delicious batch of her favourite homemade granola, and I asked her if I could share the recipe. She adapted it especially for me knowing there are a few nuts I can’t eat. This is a fantastic recipe and I am so happy to share one of Sarah’s favourites! Thanks Sarah xo

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups large flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats
  • 1 heaping cup of chopped almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (add desired amounts of each to equal 1 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup good honey
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries and chopped dried apricots (or other favourite dried chopped fruit)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350º and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Whisk the oil, honey, and apple juice in a large measuring cup.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir with a spatula until all of the oats, nuts and seeds are coated.  Spread onto the pan.  Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, around 30-40 minutes, depending on the oven.
  4. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool completely on the sheet stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl with lid and stir in the dried fruit.
  6. Store cooled granola in an airtight container or package for gifts in individual containers. Sarah delivered the granola in a mason jar which is adorable!

Sarah’s recipe was inspired by:

http://kissmyspatula.com/2009/04/28/best-homemade-granola/

Chocolate Toffee Pretzels

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Father’s Day is next weekend, and this is a delicious home made treat that is a great gift idea for Dad! My hubby loves this salty and sweet combo!

Visit my post over at Momstown Recipes to find out how to make these treats for Dad!

http://momstown.ca/recipe/dads-favourite-chocolate-covered-pretzels

Kara’s Favourite’s Top Pinned Recipes

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I pin all of my posts over onto my Pinterest Board, and for fun I wanted to tally what the most pinned recipes are. So here we go . . . Check them all out!

Grilled Salmon Kabobs - The most pinned recipe! Yummy for grilling season.

Tilapia Fish Cakes - Excellent and delicious (and freezable too!)

Turkey Breast Roast - My favourite way to prepare turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner

Smashed Potatoes - Best way to serve potatoes!

Our Favourite Meatloaf Recipe - Save this one for the Fall!

Farfalle Primavera - Excellent meatless monday recipe

Cheesy BBQ Potatoes - Oh so good – throw these on the grill this weekend

Canada Day Strawberry and Feta Salad - Oh Canada – one of my favourite salads!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares - One of my top recipes

Curried Couscous Salad - Perfect side salad for bbq season and potlucks

Andrew’s BBQ Pork Chops - One of my hubby’s specialties

Ina Garten’s Dinner Spanikopita - LOVE spanikopita and this recipe is a great way to try your own

BBQ Turkey Breast - Let’s hope it’s warm enough this Thanksgiving again : ) Best turkey dinner ever!

 

Harvest Fruit Green Smoothie

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I have been drinking this green smoothie lately and it is delicious! Super easy and yummy using a great frozen fruit mix, banana and spinach. Excellent smooth and creamy texture. My kids and husband prefer this recipe to my other green smoothie as it definitely has more of a fruity flavour and you can hardly taste the spinach. Try it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp NutraSea zesty lemon fish oil
  • 1 cup Dole Harvest Mix Frozen Fruit (includes pineapple, peach, apricot, strawberry and mango)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of baby spinach

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in blender in order listed above. Note that sometimes I cut large pieces of the frozen fruit in half to help my blender, but if you have a Blendtec or Vitamix whiz away!
  2. Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Serve and enjoy!