Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

One of my most favorite foods to eat during summer is potato and pasta salads. I’ve told you guys before though that I am incredibly picky when it comes to potato salad though. If it’s drowning in mayo? Nope. If the potatoes are diced really small and mushy? Also nope! I feel like a lot of of the store-bought potato salads break my rules so I usually prefer to just make it myself. And today’s version might just be my new favorite potato salad yet: Bacon Ranch Potato salad!

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

What’s not to love? Bacon? Goooood. Ranch? SO Gooood. I mean, who DOESN’T like bacon and ranch? They are meant to be! First, cook up some bacon. I like to cook mine on the stove so it gets nice and crispy, but the microwave works fine too if that is easier. Then you will boil your potatoes until they are just fork tender (no mushy potatoes here). For the dressing, I mixed up a little bit of mayo, sour cream, and ranch dressing seasoning. So super simple! I also mixed in a good amount of sliced green onion and fresh corn that I shaved right off the cobb. If you want to boil or grill your corn first, go ahead, but I love the texture of fresh corn! This potato salad is made for summer and for parties!

Bacon Ranch Potato Salad

Pineapple Mango Salsa

Pineapple Mango Salsa

Salsa might just be one of my most favorite things ever. Seriously, I could make a meal out of salsa and chips and I love it even more as a topping for ALL of the things! It’s the perfect topping or filling for tacos, quesadillas, burritos, or on top of grilled chicken or fish (which is obviously much healthier!). And during the summer, I can never get enough salsa of all kinds.

This tropical version is my new favorite. Truth be told, when it comes to pineapple, I wouldn’t normally put it at the top of my list of favorite fruits. I don’t dislike pineapple, but on its own, I usually think it’s a bit too sweet. I’d rather eat a handful of berries over a bowl of pineapple. However, when you mix it in with other things or in a cocktail (I’m looking at you, pina coladas!), I’m totally on board!

Pineapple Mango Salsa

This salsa is loaded with fresh mango, pineapple, and avocado. I totally dig the sweet pineapple and mango paired against the creamy avocado, onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. You get that sweet flavor, but it’s much more balanced. I ate some of this with a handful of chips, but then ate the rest with these Chili Lime Chicken Kebabs and some rice!

Pineapple Mango Salsa

No-Churn Blackberry Ice Cream

No-Churn Blackberry Ice Cream

It’s Monday. We need ice cream to get through the week and this is the easiest ice cream ever!

You’ve probably seen no-churn ice cream recipes all over the web recently. The base recipe is pretty standard: heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. From there, the possibilities are endless! I see a lot of people say this really isn’t ice cream and all that, and technically, they are right I suppose. However, this is an excellent alternative for those who don’t have an ice cream maker or if you are short on time! Truthfully though, no-churn ice cream can be just as creamy and delicious as traditional ice cream and it will certainly satisfy your ice cream cravings!

No-Churn Blackberry Ice Cream

Today’s version is all about blackberry! This ice cream is so creamy and perfect and the blackberry flavor really comes through. And best of all, it seriously only takes about 10 minutes to mix up! I left some seeds in mine, but honestly, I’m just not a fan of the larger seeds that blackberries have so next time I am going to try to keep them all out. If you don’t mind them though, feel free to skip that step! Although the flavor is obviously the most important part here, I can’t get over this gorgeous purple color! I sprinkled chopped dark chocolate on top. I would have rather just mixed the chocolate in in the first place, but my husband has a texture thing and wanted it plain, but I highly recommend adding dark chocolate too!

No-Churn Blackberry Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Pavlova

Vanilla Bean Pavlova

The Pavlova. It’s been on my baking to-do list for years and decided it was finally time to give it a go. If you aren’t familiar with pavlovas, they are a meringue-based dessert. The pavlova gets its name from Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. They bake up with a nice crispy meringue shell, but on the inside, the pavlova is soft and marshmallow-like. It’s just dreamy!

This was actually my first pavlova ever, my first for eating and making it. Although I don’t have a gold standard pavlova to compare it to, I was SO pleased with the way this pavlova turned out. From my very first bite, I was in love and now I want ALL of the pavlovas! I adore the texture of the crispy outside and the marshmallow-y inside.

Vanilla Bean Pavlova

This pavlova is studded with vanilla beans and then topped with homemade vanilla whipped cream and then a fresh berry compote on top! I am loving this pavlova as a summer dessert over a heavy cake because it’s nice and light. I also found it quite easy to make, but it looks really impressive and like it would have taken a lot of effort to make so make it for your next dinner party! The other thing I really love about a pavlova is that you don’t have to have any artistic baking skills. In fact, the thing will crack and break and it doesn’t matter because you are going to top it with whipped cream and berry compote!

One important thing to note with this recipe is that I recommend making it the day before you plan to serve it. It takes some time to cook and then you really need to let it cool overnight. I made the meringue/pavlova itself and the whipped cream (stored separately) the day before and then just whipped up the berry compote about 30 minutes before serving and then spread the whipped cream and compote on top. When you first read through the recipe, it may seem like a lot of steps and work, but I promise you it is not difficult!

Vanilla Bean Pavlova

Summer Vegetable Pasta

Summer Vegetable Pasta

Bringing a toddler to the grocery store can be quite an adventure. In our case, our weekly grocery trip usually takes about 2 hours. First, we have to be sure to grab one of the shopping carts that looks like a car. Oh, and she prefers the pink or red cart. She’ll settle for the black or yellow taxi cart, but she isn’t happy about it! Then, as soon as we get into the store, Maddie wants a pink cake pop from the in-store Starbucks. And if the store is out of them, her daddy will walk over to the regular store in the same shopping center to get her said pink cake pop (Yeah, she’s got him wrapped around her little princess fingers!)! My poor husband, a slave to his wife and daughters!

Once she has her pink cart and pink cake pop, we can finally start shopping…well, kind of. If a good song comes on the speakers, she’s gotta get out and dance in the aisles like a crazy person. Or, in the freezer and dairy sections she says, “Carry you, Mommy. A little cold!” (this is great fun with a 3-month old in tow as well who also wants to be held constantly!)! Between all the whining and picking up, putting down, chasing down the aisles, we usually leave the store to head back home looking like we just came from a great battle!

Summer Vegetable Pasta

On the other hand though, we’ve been having a lot of fun in the produce section talking about different fruits and vegetables. Even though Maddie won’t actually eat vegetables besides salad, I still think it’s good to talk about veggies and show her what everything is and let her at least try them. Last week at the store, we walked about the squash and zucchini and Maddie said, “Buy it, Mommy!” and so we did! I also picked up some fresh corn and Maddie had a lot of fun pulling the husks and silks off once we got home. Oi, what a mess that was for me to clean up! We decided to make a simple summer veggie pasta dish with our veggie stash.

This pasta recipe is light and flavorful and good for weeknight meals and uses zucchini, squash, and fresh corn shaved right off the husk! You can do your chopping the night before if desired. For the sauce, I made a lemony creamy sauce, except there is no actual cream in the recipe. With just a little butter, milk and Parmesan, you can get a nice alfredo-like sauce without all the fat and heaviness! The lemon adds a nice finishing touch as well. As always, you can easily change up the veggies or add others if you want. I like this dish meat-free, but if you want something more substantial, grilled chicken or even shrimp would be great to add as well!

Summer Vegetable Pasta

Frozen Strawberry Bellinis

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Riondo Prosecco. All opinions are 100% mine.

Frozen Strawberry Bellinis

It’s really starting to get hot here. And by hot, I mean like 80 degrees. I love it. I love being so close to the beach! Especially when I see highs of 119 back in Phoenix. I mean it’s only been a year since we lived there, but I don’t know how we lived there and survived the summers.

I want ALL of the frozen drinks this time of year! The Bellini has always been one of my favorite cocktails and a frozen Bellini is the perfect, simple summer cocktail. Though the Bellini is traditionally made with peaches, I’m crazy for this strawberry version too! And since it’s summer, this is a frozen Bellini which makes it even more refreshing! The timing was great too because my friends at Riondo Prosecco sent me a bottle of their light and refreshing Prosecco.

Riondo is an authentic Italian import, is affordable, and has a screw top! I’m all about screw top bottles these days.  While I love Prosecco just on its own, I really like to add fruit. Fruit and Prosecco go so perfectly together whether it’s a warm night or over a summer brunch! Bellinis are so easy to make. All you need is Riondo Prosecco, frozen berries, ice, and a touch of sugar! These Bellinis are great for entertaining this summer as you can make bigger batches. They are refreshing, simple, and so pretty!
 

Frozen Strawberry Bellinis

Frozen Strawberry Bellinis