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Why I Love Cooking Kits + Blue Apron Review

Blue Apron Review

As you can see from previous posts, I am loving cooking kit delivery services right now!  It lets me focus on the relaxing, enjoyable parts of cooking without the hassle.  They also give me new ideas for recipes.  I’ve started doing some freelance recipe development, so I’m always looking for inspiration!

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 A few weeks ago, I had the chance to try 3 Blue Apron dinners.  I love that the name was inspired by the blue aprons that chefs-in-training wear.  Blue Apron subscriptions contain 3 meals per week for 2, 4, or 6 people.  All meals are between 500 and 700 calories each and will take no longer than 40 minutes to prepare.  If you’re interested in trying it, Blue Apron is offering 30% off to the first 50 Diet Deep Dish readers – just click here!

Blue Apron Review Our favorite meal of the 3 was definitely the Heirloom Potato and Kale Hash with farm eggs and cheddar cheese.  This was the perfect hearty vegetarian dish – you will not miss the meat.  We also had the chance to try the Chilled Sesame Soba Noodle Salad with spiced cashews and the Baby Squash with Toasted Quinoa with opal basil and marinated feta.  I like that these meals made me try new things.  For example, I never realized how quick and easy it is to toast seasoned cashews, and they totally made the dish!  I also love that Blue Apron provides all of their past recipes on their website, so you could try one on your own to test it out.   

Blue Apron review

To learn more about cooking kits, here’s an article that breaks down some of the more popular ones.  Hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!  Happy Cooking!

Blue Apron review


Insanely Easy and Healthy Crunch Bars

Healthy Crunch Bars These crunch bars are made from 100% real, natural ingredients and could not be easier to whip up.  They look like the original, but are fresh, bursting with peanut buttery flavor and only contain 3 ingredients!

 Healthy Crunch Bars

About 2 weeks ago, Peanut Butter & Co sent me a package of 4 jars of the most incredible peanut butter to review.  I am not exaggerating when I say incredible.  It’s actually kind of amazing that we had enough left to use in a recipe.  At the end of this recipe, you’ll find my review and pairing ideas…

 Healthy Crunch Bars

This month, our theme for the Recipe Redux was Bars and Bites…

Bars & Bites for Brown Bags

Whether you pack your lunch in a bento box, a brown bag or a retro cartoon character lunch box, don’t forget the bars and bites. Small squares or round bites can pack nutrition into a sweet or savory taste. Show us your favorite way to jazz up any type of lunch box.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity to use the (little remaining) peanut butter in a sweet recipe.  As I searched the cabinets for ideas, I came across the giant bag of puffed millet that had seemed like a no-brainer at Whole Foods, but I had no clue what to do with.   I think puffed millet has a slightly bitter taste, but the dark chocolate peanut butter totally overpowered it.  Just add a little coconut oil to keep them firm and voila!  Easy, healthy, tasty candy bars! 

 Healthy Crunch Bars

Healthy Crunch Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups puffed millet
  2. 1/2 cup dark chocolate peanut butter (or peanut butter of choice)
  3. 1/4 cup coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Over low heat, melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together.
  2. Pour the puffed millet in a greased 8x8 in. pan and pour the melted peanut butter mixture over it. Stir well and place in the refrigerator to harden. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. This recipe can easily be adapted for unflavored peanut butter as well. When melting the peanut butter and coconut oil together, stir in 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips.
  2. These bars can become pretty soft at room temperature, so be sure to store in the refrigerator.
Adapted from My Purple Spoon
Adapted from My Purple Spoon
Diet Deep Dish http://dietdeepdish.com/
Healthy Crunch Bars 

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Peanut Butter & Co was generous enough to send me the following peanut butter flavors…

Cinnamon Raisin – By far my favorite!  My go-to breakfast these past couple weeks have been half of a whole wheat pita filled with cinnamon raisin peanut butter and sliced banana. 

White Chocolate Wonderful – Delicious, but a little too sweet for breakfast.  This one is great for dipping – graham crackers, dark chocolate, strawberries.

Dark Chocolate Dreams – A perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate!  Mix one tablespoon with 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt for a sweet and satisfying snack.

The Bee’s Knees (Honey-flavored) – Very good, but just not as exciting as the others.  I use this one as I would any other peanut butter, and having the hint of honey is great mixed into a bowl of oatmeal.

 

 



Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies4

Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies

 

Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies7

There are so many things I love about summers in Milwaukee… the festivals, free outdoor music almost every night, and seeing everyone outside soaking up as much sunshine as possible.  However, all these wonderful things can be a little distracting when you’re, say, trying to keep up a growing food blog…  I have to admit, I was starting to feel a little burnt out trying to keep up with the constant posting, tweeting, instagraming, FBing, etc.  Any time I was out doing something fun, I’d find myself thinking, “I should Instagram this” instead of just enjoying it!  So I took a much needed few weeks off and am now back and feeling refreshed! 

I’m excited to share this recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies!  They are the quintessential summer dessert and are a cinch to throw together.  Fresh strawberries and whole grain oats combine with light lemon frosting to create a sweet and satisfying summer snack!

Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies2 This month the Recipe Redux hosted an “Oats & Dairy: A Powerful Combination” contest with The National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center For Excellence.  I immediately started thinking about how I could create a dessert with these, and sandwich cookies seemed like the perfect fit.  I often use oats and nonfat dairy in my recipes, so these cookies were easy to come up with and add a little fiber and protein to your summer barbecue dessert.

Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies9

Unfortunately, after taking a closer look at the contest’s fine print, I realized that this recipe didn’t meet the required amount of dairy per serving to qualify for the contest, so it’s not an official entry.  But let’s be honest… with these delicious and light little sandwich cookies, we’ll all feel like winners :)  Happy Summer!

Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies
Yields 15
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 cup flour
  8. 1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 cup diced strawberries
  13. 1 cup old fashioned oats
For the Filling
  1. 2 Tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
  2. 4oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
  3. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 tsp. lemon zest
  6. 2-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine butter, applesauce, and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, then beat to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in two batches, mixing well between each batch. Add diced strawberries and mix to combine, then add oatmeal and mix to combine. Cover bowl then place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until dough holds it’s shape when scooped.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets then bake for 10 minutes, or until set on top. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the filling
  1. While the cookies are cooling, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scoop into a ziploc bag, cut a small hole at the corner, then pipe onto half the cooled cookies and top with the other half. Enjoy!
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Diet Deep Dish http://dietdeepdish.com/
For more recipe redux contests, check out these recipes below…

Mushroom Meatball Hoagies with Eggplant Fries

Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Strawberry Lemonade Sandwich Cookies8


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Pairdd Review

Pairdd Review

If you’re anything like me, you love to cook, but could do without all the prep work… grocery shopping, measuring, chopping, peeling garlic (yuck).  There’s something so relaxing and satisfying about spending a sunny Sunday afternoon preparing food that I know will nourish me and my family.  I’ve been curious about trying a cooking kit delivery service, because it seems like the best of both worlds – you’re still cooking a great meal, but only focusing on the fun part.  I reached out to Pairdd, a gluten-free cooking kit delivery service here in Wisconsin, and was thrilled when they sent me one of their latest dinners to try.

Pairdd Review Pairdd takes all the fresh, measured ingredients needed to cook a gluten free meal for 2-4 people and delivers them straight to your door!   The ingredients arrive in a special insulated bag with ice packs (and I love that they have a recycling program for the containers) and take 30-40 minutes to prepare.

Pairdd Review Our Pairdd meal could not have come on a better day.  I was exhausted from a long day at work, stressed (and feeling guilty) about picking Charlotte up late from daycare, and was way behind on a writing project.  Tim was also working late, so once we put Charlotte to bed (I plan to keep her 7pm bedtime until she’s 16 – it is so glorious), I poured myself a glass of wine and opened our Pairdd meal.  We were given Flank Steak with Chimichurri .  All the ingredients were cold and fresh when the package arrived.

Pairdd Review   Pairdd Review 

I loved that the recipe card included the detailed instructions with pictures.  From start to finish, I think it took me about 40 minutes to prepare, which kind of sounds like a lot for a weeknight, but it was so worth it!  This was seriously a restaurant-worthy meal, so to be able to make it at home was amazing.  Tim and I were both blown away by the quality, and I hope to continue to work with Pairdd and will be submitting a recipe for them to test! 

Pairdd is available throughout Wisconsin and is currently offering your first week (2 meals) free – just pay $5 shipping!  Click here to learn more!

Pairdd Review 


Chocolate Chip Whiskey Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Whiskey (Banana) Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Whiskey Ice Cream

Oh hi, I thought that might get your attention!  This dessert is deliciously sweet and creamy with just a little kick from the whiskey.   It takes just seconds to prepare and is an easy single serving dessert or snack.  And don’t worry – you’re not drinking alone… you’re enjoying healthy banana ice cream!

I’ve been wanting to experiment with making banana “ice cream” for months now, but figured since I’ve seen it on so many blogs already, I needed to step it up.   To create the base, simply peel and slice the bananas, then freeze for at least 1-2 hours.  When you blend up the frozen banana pieces, they will come together to form a perfect creamy ice cream.  In Milwaukee we have an amazing local ice cream shop, Purple Door, that sells whiskey ice cream.  It is absolutely incredible!  This past Valentine’s Day Tim arrived home from work with Purple Door Whiskey ice cream in one hand and 2 turtle brownies in the other… *swoon

Chocolate Chip Whiskey Ice Cream

This month the Recipe Redux challenged its members to lighten-up a recipe that contains liquor (vodka sauce, bourbon chicken, etc.)  Clearly I enjoy adding a splash of booze to my recipes as evidenced here and here.  I was amazed at how easily this dish came together, and you will love how the whiskey really masks the banana flavor, so it tastes like real ice cream!  I added some dark chocolate chips, but feel free to get creative.  Other ideas include: white chocolate chips, a drizzle of caramel or fresh strawberries.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Whiskey Ice Cream  For more Recipe Redux recipes, check these out!  And see below for the winner of the Coffee Giveaway!

Mushroom Meatball Hoagies with Eggplant Fries

Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Applesauce Cake with Almond Buttercream Frosting

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict

Chocolate Chip Whiskey (Banana) Ice Cream
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large, ripe bananas
  2. 2 tbsp. almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
  3. 1 tbsp. whiskey
  4. ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  5. ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice the bananas, then freeze until solid, at least 1-2 hours.
  2. Remove the bananas from the freezer and allow to soften for about 10 minutes. This makes them much easier to blend.
  3. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a good quality blender or food processor.
  4. Blend on low until ice cream forms, allowing the blender to "rest" every few seconds.
  5. Once you have a creamy texture, add the chocolate chips and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Scoop into 2 cups and garnish with a few extra chocolate chips. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Blending frozen bananas can be a lot for a blender. Make sure to cut the banana in small pieces, allow the frozen pieces to soften before blending and take breaks when blending.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Diet Deep Dish http://dietdeepdish.com/
Chocolate Chip Whiskey Ice Cream Thank you to everyone for entering the Bad Ass Coffee Giveaway!  The randomly-selected winner is Laura!  Laura, please email me at dietdeepdish@gmail.com with your address and watch for some delish coffee in the mail :)



Breakfast Tacos with Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

 

 Breakfast Tacos

If you’ve been looking for an easy, healthy, satisfying vegetarian meal, then pull up a chair, pour yourself some breakfast sangria, and prepare yourself for breakfast tacos with sweet potato black bean salad!  This meal is hearty enough for dinner, but could easily be served for a laidback weekend brunch as well.

Breakfast Tacos

 After returning home from a week-long vacation, I was craving something light and healthy (I devoured an obscene amount of peanut butter m&ms last week), but also quick and satisfying.  I started with 2 corn tortillas (I’ve tried making a taco with just one, but it usually ends up in my lap) and then added scrambled eggs, a simple 5-ingredient salsa and fresh avocado.  The tacos are full of fresh summer flavors, but it’s really the sweet potato salad that makes this dish!   

Breakfast Tacos

The roasted sweet potatoes and black beans are tossed in a cilantro lime dressing and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.  I ended up taking the leftover salad for lunch all week, and it definitely took the edge off going back to work.   The cilantro gives the sweet potatoes just a little kick – a perfect way to shake up my favorite side dish!

Breakfast Tacos   Breakfast Tacos

And speaking of vacation, don’t forget to enter the Badass Coffee Giveaway!!  The winner will be announced Monday, 7/21/14.  Good luck!

Breakfast Tacos with Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad
Serves 4
Fresh breakfast tacos topped with a simple salsa and served with savory sweet potato black bean salad!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-in. pieces
  2. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  3. Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  4. Half of a red onion chopped, about 1 cup
  5. 2 minced cloves of garlic, divided
  6. 1 lime
  7. 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro, divided
  8. 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  9. 1 tsp. cumin
  10. 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  11. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  12. 3 eggs + 3 egg whites
  13. 1 ripe avocado, cut into strips
  14. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  15. 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  16. Corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Spread the sweet potatoes over a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with hands and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. While the sweet potatoes bake, make the salsa. Combine the tomatoes, onion, 1 minced garlic clove and 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro. Squeeze half of the lime juice over the mixture, stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare the salad by whisking together the remaining lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, cumin and chili powder. Pour in the black beans and cooked sweet potato and toss to coat. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites together and heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour the eggs into the skillet and heat until cooked through, stirring constantly.
  5. To assemble the tacos layer 2 corn tortillas on a plate and top with eggs, salsa, avocado and any other desired toppings. We used shredded cheddar cheese and plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream).
  6. Serve with the sweet potato black bean salad and enjoy!
Diet Deep Dish http://dietdeepdish.com/
Breakfast Tacos


Naples, FL guide

Where to Eat in Naples, Florida + GIVEAWAY!

 

 Where to Eat in Naples, Florida

 Naples, Florida just may be the perfect vacation city.  With easy access to both downtown and the beach, you rarely need a car.  The people are friendly and welcoming, and if you can stand the 90% humidity, there are plenty of outdoor cafés and local shops to explore.  We came home yesterday after a glorious week there, and I’m still on that vacation high.  We stayed in a gorgeous rental house near the pier with my parents and sisters, and we’re really missing them already. 

Naples, FL guide

And now on to the most important part of any vacation… the food!  There are so many amazing options, and we only tried a fraction of them.  We mostly stuck to toddler-friendly dining, but there is a wide array of choices.  Here are some of my favorites!

Places to Eat in Naples, Florida

I will start with my favorite – Bad Ass Coffee is a gourmet coffee company based out of Hawaii. Their iced coffee is delicious, but it was their signature drinks that kept us coming back almost every morning!  My favorite was the Snickerlicious frozen coffee, which had sugar-free chocolate, caramel and hazelnut syrups.   I’m already in withdrawal.

Where to Eat in Naples, FL   Where to Eat in Naples, FL

 

Before this trip, I never knew that Tommy Bahama’s had restaurants.  We celebrated our first night here, and it did not disappoint.  Looking at the menu, you’d think this place would be pretty formal, but the mood is relaxed and casual.  There is beautiful outdoor seating with fans, but we opted for air conditioning.  I ordered an appetizer and a side (pulled pork goat cheese quesadillas and roasted asparagus) and Tim ordered 2 appetizers (scallop sliders and the crab cakes).  Everyone loved their food, and the drinks are also fabulous but STRONG!  I had the grapefruit basil martini and could barely drink half. 

Where to Eat in Naples, FL   Where to Eat in Naples, FL

 

For our last night we walked to Naples Pub and sat on the patio.  Their outdoor seating area is completely covered and decorated with tiny white lights on all the trees.  Our food came incredibly fast, which we appreciated because we were already pushing Charlotte past her bedtime.  I split the Crispy Chicken Salad (substituted grilled chicken) and Honey Bacon Chicken sandwich with my mom, and we had more than enough food.  There is also a huge selection of seafood, and Tim loved his Crispy Fish Wrap. 

Where to Eat in Naples, FL

 

We would never have found Taqueria San Julian if it weren’t for Yelp.  Tim and I found one afternoon to sneak away for a lunch date, so he looked at the highest-rated Naples restaurants on Yelp.  All of the reviews raved about authentic tacos with fresh ingredients, and they could not have been more right.  The guacamole was out-of-this-world!  It was just bursting with flavor!  As if that wasn’t good enough, our entire meal with an appetizer and margarita was $19.  From the outside, it looks like this little house, but don’t pass it!!  This is a must-see in Naples.

Where to Eat in Naples, FL   Where to Eat in Naples, FL

 

And now onto dessert…

Kilwin’s is centrally-located on 5th Avenue and offers house-made chocolates and ice cream.  They also have lots of cute gift bags, perfect for souvenirs.  Walking down 5th Avenue, you will pass at least 10 ice cream shops, but I would definitely recommend stopping in this one.  I had a scoop of Naples Mud, and Tim went for Butter Pecan.  They have a huge selection of handmade candy, and the chocolate-covered s’mores looked amazing.

Where to Eat in Naples, FL  Where to Eat in Naples, FL

 

Adelheidi’s Organic Sweets in also located on 5th Avenue, and also offers a large selection of candy and ice cream, except everything is organic.  Their gelato is creamy and rich, and I loved that they had so many vegan options.  In the picture below, Charlotte had the cookies and cream gelato (I love those little fingers) and I had 2 scoops of the vegan sorbet (berry and green power).  This was perfect, because I was craving something cold during our walk, but wanted something light.  Their candy is a little pricey, but very good.  We brought home a bag of gummy bears, and they quickly disappeared.

Where to Eat in Naples, FL

 

And now, GIVEAWAY time!  I was not kidding when I said that I LOVED Bad Ass Coffee.  I think everyone should experience it, so I’m giving away an 8 oz. bag of their American Roast coffee.  To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your favorite vacation spot.  I will randomly choose the winner next Monday, 7/21.  Good luck! 

And if you’re planning your trip to Naples, please let me know!  We can’t wait to go back :)

 Naples, FL guide 

This is not a sponsored post.  I purchased the giveaway coffee, because I loved it.  Good luck!


Almond Butter and Cherry2

Almond Butter and Cherry Granola

  

Almond Butter and Cherry Granola “Did I turn off the coffee?”

“No… I did.”

“Did you lock up?”

“Yeah.”

“Did we set the timers on the lights?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you close the garage?”

“That’s it. I forgot to close the garage. That’s it.”

“No, that’s not it.”

“Well what else could we be forgetting?”

“KEVIN!”

Almond Butter and Cherry Granola4 I have to say, I now know just how Kate McCallister felt at that moment.  I was sitting in the car talking with Tim about all the fun things we were going to do once we arrived in Door County when it hit me.  In my hurry to get out of the house on time, I had forgotten one of my most prized possessions.  No, not my 8 year-old son – my delicious homemade granola.  I was actually talking about how easy Saturday breakfast was going to be.  I had prepped the cinnamon rolls, cut the fruit, and made the granola… wait did I pack the granola… “GRANOLA!” 

Almond Butter and Cherry Granola3 The bummer about forgetting this granola for our family vacation is that it is SO good!  The almond butter and dried cherries give it a sweet and salty flavor with just the right amount of crunch.  The upside to forgetting it is that we now have about 5 cups of this little treat all to ourselves.  Enjoy! 

Almond Butter and Cherry Granola6  Almond Butter and Cherry Granola7

 

Almond Butter and Cherry Granola
Yields 5
A sweet and salty snack perfect for topping vanilla yogurt or a fresh smoothie bowl!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups rolled oats
  2. 2/3 cups crunchy almond butter, softened
  3. 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  4. 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup sliced almonds
  6. 1 (heaping) cup dried cherries
  7. 2 tbsp. honey
  8. 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  9. 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp. Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Microwave the almond butter and coconut oil for about 20 seconds to soften them.
  2. Spray 2 glass baking dishes with olive oil spray and spread the granola evenly over them.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Allow to cool completely before enjoying!
Adapted from Carrots 'N' Cake
Adapted from Carrots 'N' Cake
Diet Deep Dish http://dietdeepdish.com/
Almond Butter and Cherry Granola5 


Door County

Weekend Trip to Door County

Summer is finally here!  We were lucky enough to spend the first gorgeous weekend on vacation in Door County.  Each year we go up with Tim’s family, and basically spent the weekend lounging at the pool with cocktails… well, more chasing Charlotte around the kids’ pool while drinking Skinnygirl margarita out of a Styrofoam coffee cup hoping no one would look too closely, but it was relaxing nonetheless!  I wanted to share some of my favorite places to eat and stay, because I would definitely recommend checking it out.

On Friday afternoon we arrived at the Bridgeport Waterfront Resort and LOVED it!  The rooms are spacious, and we had a patio overlooking the water.   There are 2 beautiful pools – 1 outdoors, 1 in.  There is a great kids’ area next to the indoor pool with a wading pool and small water slide – perfect for toddlers. 

photo courtesy of the Bridgeport Waterfront Resort

photo courtesy of the Bridgeport Waterfront Resort

photo courtesy of the Bridgeport Waterfront Resort   photo courtesy of the Bridgeport Waterfront Resort   Door County

photos courtesy of the Bridgeport Waterfront Resort

And the location can’t be beat – Just a quick run over the bridge, and you’re in downtown Sturgeon Bay!

Door County     Door County

Saturday morning Charlotte hopped in the jogging stroller and we ran (slowly walked/jogged) to our fave coffee spot, Kick Coffee.   They offer delicious Colectivo coffee, as well as fresh breakfast and lunch options.  We split a gluten-free blueberry muffin on our walk home.

aa4ee5_62b3859ff08e4ce394dd810ce1eeb649.jpg_srz_399_266_75_22_0.50_1.20_0   Door County

After our morning run, we met up with the rest of the family to make some raspberry cinnamon rolls, which were inspired by the incredible breakfast pastries at Inn at Cedar Crossing.  Their morning buns make the perfect driving-home treat!

Door County

After breakfast we walked back downtown for the Sturgeon Bay farmer’s market.  Every Saturday there is a farmer’s market from 8am-noon.  We made a beeline to our favorite Door County find… Cherry brats!  We discovered these last year, and had them on pretzel rolls with sweet potato fries - amazing.

Door County    Diet Deep Dish 017

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing with family.  I think the best part for me was getting to see Tim show Charlotte around this place where he grew up. 

Door County

Anything I missed??  What are some of your favorite Door County spots?  Happy Summer!


Easy Summer Appetizers

Easy Summer Appetizers

Summer in the Midwest is fleeting – I mean, it’s almost July, and as I type this it’s 55 degrees out!  Back in February when we were in the middle of the polar vortex, I promised myself that as soon as the temps hit 40 and we no longer had snow, I would NOT complain… so I’m choosing to focus on the heat wave that will be coming.  And when it does, you won’t want to waste a moment!  I’m hoping to host a lot of get-togethers this summer, and I don’t want to spend that time in the kitchen making complicated dishes.  That is why I’m bringing you a list of my favorite easy summer appetizers, perfect for your next barbecue!  All of these dishes require minimal cooking and not only look tasty, but beautiful as well.  Happy Summer!

Links for above:

Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad from The Law Student’s Wife & Katie’s Cucina

Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojitos from Iowa Girl Eats

Ricotta Crostini Party from Honestly Yum

Strawberry Coconut Fruit Dip from Fit Foodie Finds

 

Another great, easy summer recipe is aioli.  Aioli is typically a garlic mayonnaise used for dips and sandwich spreads.  I love sitting on the patio at Café Hollander with a cone of frites and one of their many housemade aiolis, so I was excited when Red Gold Tomatoes contacted me about their new line of Aioli Recipes.  Basically, any of their cans of diced tomatoes (drained) can be combined with 1/2 cup of mayo to create an easy aioli.   

Red Gold

I made the basic aioli using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo, and it was great with eggplant fries

Easy Summer Appetizers1 This post was not sponsored, but Red Gold provided me with an aioli starter kit.  Thanks for reading!

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