Eat. Drink. Love.

Peanut Butter Banana Trail Mix

Peanut Butter Banana Trail Mix

Welcome to Road Trip Week! Or actually, it might even be Road Trip Week(s). Hubs and I are off on another cross-country road trip to Florida to spend time with my family. We may end up driving to more places to see more family, so we decided to drive to avoid crazy airline ticket prices. And also, we are masochists and love to torture ourselves with endless driving.

Summer is a big time for vacations and road trips! Whether you’re just driving for a few hours, or a few days, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite recipes for road snacks along with some tips to keep things healthy while you’re on the road so I am going to do a little road trip series over the next couple of weeks!

Road trips are often synonymous with eating a lot of junk food. When you have done as many cross-country trips as my husband and I have done, junk food every time and all of the time just doesn’t fly. I spent yesterday in the kitchen prepping lots of homemade snacks for us to take in the car. It’s worth the extra time to prep some of our road food myself.

Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip

I’m eating so much fruit lately and can never seem to get enough, especially watermelon. I think it’s because I’m so dang thirsty. I have been spending a ridiculous amount of money on fruit over the past few weeks and have been loving just making a huge container of assorted fruits to snack on during the week.

Fruit dip is one of those things I rarely have, but sometimes I just get a hankering for it. And how perfect would fruit dip be for your summer parties? Totally perfect. Fruit dips can be made in a lot of ways. I’ve seen them with marshmallow fluff or pudding. I opted for light cream cheese and a container of vanilla yogurt. It helps keep the sugar and calories down, but you’ll still feel like you are treating yourself to something special. So you’ve got cream cheese and yogurt. I know, so difficult, but summer eats shouldn’t be difficult! I added in some lemon juice and lemon zest for extra flavor. I didn’t add any sweeteners to mine because I felt the yogurt made it sweet enough, but you can easily sweeten it if you prefer. You can also have fun experimenting with different flavors of yogurts. You know I love versatility!

Fruit Dip

This dip is so fluffy and is the perfect accompaniment to a big bowl of fresh fruit. How could you NOT dip fruit in this?! And I think at this point, I have tried pretty much every fruit you can imagine and they all pair perfectly so go crazy!

Pesto Tortellini Salad

Pesto Tortellini Salad

Next week is Memorial Day which means summer is here! It’s time for all of the BBQ’s. You guys already know that my least favorite thing about summer is really disgusting hot weather. My favorite thing about summer? BBQ’s. No doubt. I love sitting around with family and friends eating burgers and all kind of sides.

Today I have a ridiculously easy pasta salad recipe for you. It just requires cooking the pasta, chopping up a few veggies, and then just mixing everything together! Pasta salads don’t have to be super complicated. I prefer them nice and simple with a good amount of fresh veggies for added crunch and texture. I used tortellini instead of plain pasta. It makes the pasta salad a little more special I think. I then added in diced green bell pepper, peas, and cherry tomatoes for the veggies. To top it all off, I then mixed in some pesto. See? Not complicated here.

You can make the pesto from scratch if you prefer, but you can also buy the premade stuff from the refrigerated section of your grocery store and make your life easier. I love this pasta salad because it’s super easy to throw together and it’s perfect if you need a last minute dish to bring to a summer party! Since tortellini is a stuffed pasta, it’s more filling so it can feed more people. It’s also pretty versatile with the veggies because you can really add whatever the heck you want to add! Hello summer!

Fruit Infused Water

Fruit Infused Water

It’s officially triple digit temperatures here in Phoenix which means I hate life from now until about September! Hooray!

One thing you learn really quickly when living in the desert is that you have to stay really well-hydrated. As soon as the hotter temperatures hit, you start seeing people walking around with huge gallon-sized jugs of water. We know we can’t leave the house without a big bottle of water.

Sometimes I end up drinking so much water, that I actually start to get a little tired of it. We love sparkling flavored waters in this house so I started experimenting with my own fruit infused waters. I love these because they don’t contain any weird ingredients, food dyes, or any added sugar which makes it a much better alternative to sports drinks or sodas.

Fruit Infused Water

The Big Traveling Potluck

The Big Traveling Potluck House view 1

I want to start this post off by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. I was not asked to write this and I was not paid to write it.

A lot of non-bloggers don’t realize how much work and dedication must go into a blog. I spend a lot of time on this blog. I do it because I love it, but it is a lot of work. My evenings are always filled with editing photos or writing posts My weekends are always packed with cooking and photographing. Owning a blog is very much a business and it requires a lot of dedication in order to be successful. I mostly blog for myself. I love cooking and creating new recipes. My skills in the kitchen have really grown over the past 3 years and I have grown to love food photography, something I never thought I would say! I would be totally lying though if I said that I only blogged for my own enjoyment. I also blog because of you, my readers. Your support means so much and I love to create new recipes for you!

The problem with blogging for others and as a business is that it comes with added pressures and stress. There are days where I just have a hard time thinking of good recipes or when a recipe doesn’t turn out. There are days that I have no idea what to write. I have days where I feel totally overwhelmed by the “business” side of blogging such as keeping up with social media. And then I have days where I am just too exhausted to do any of it. Period. Blogging has a lot of ups and downs and feeling burned out can be really frustrating. I have kind of been feeling that way recently and was really looking forward to a weekend away with some amazing and talented food bloggers to get me feeling inspired again.

Thai Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Thai Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps have totally been my jam for the last few months. I’ll make a batch on a Sunday and portion them out to bring to work for lunch during the week and it’s the best lunch ever. Though I could eat them for dinner just fine, my sweet husband wouldn’t love that because of you know, the lettuce, so I bring them for lunch instead.

When I bring a really good lunch to work with me, I not tempted to say things like, “oh, my lunch is not very exciting, I’ll just go out and get something.”

Thai Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

So, you’ve got ground chicken breast cooked with onions, red and yellow bell peppers, and green onions. All good things.

Oh, and did I mention peanut sauce? No? Well, there is peanut sauce and it’s so good, I could just eat it with a spoon. It adds such rich flavor to these wraps. AND THEN, I topped them with chopped peanuts for added crunch and texture and fresh cilantro. So much yum happening here.

If you are serving these as a light lunch or appetizer, I would say the recipe has about 4 servings. If you’ve got hungry peeps to feed, I would say this feeds more like 3 so consider doubling it for a bigger and hungrier crowd. Kind of like Pringles, once you start eating them, it’s hard to stop!