Friday, July 11, 2014

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad {The Perfect Picnic Salad}

Are you looking for an easy and good summer pasta salad? Well look no further! Pasta salads are my favorite, and perfect for summertime picnics and barbecues! Over the 4th of July weekend I planned on making a traditional macaroni salad, but decided to change it up a bit instead. This year I put a spin on an old favorite and added, bacon, additional veggies and ranch dressing turning it into a Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.   

Pasta is my favorite as well as my weakness! I love how you can mix just about anything with pasta and it transforms into a meal, side or salad in matter of minutes. I think pasta salads should be easy and not all fancy schmancy.

This weekend I was short on time, so easy was just what I needed. I remembered that I had a couple bottles of  Marzetti's® Simply Dressed Ranch Dressing  in the refrigerator, so I decided to use that instead of a homemade dressing or packet mix. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Easy Grilled Peaches W/Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It's summer time! And my absolute favorite time of year to enjoy in season fruits. Blackberries, cherries, strawberries and peaches are always on the top of my list for must have summer fruits. Peaches are my favorite! And I enjoy eating them alone, in a cobbler, in a pie, cake or homemade preserves.  

Texas is hot to say the least, so summer time is also grilling time at our house. Last month during my visit to Walmart in Bentonville, I attended a grilling presentation where I picked up a few grilling tip and tricks from Chef Ernst Servantes, Western and Kingsford. 

I learned all about the different Kingsford charcoals, smoking using cedar planks on a grill, cooking the perfect steak, grilling vegetables and how to makes these delicious Easy Grilled Peaches. The best part about the presentation is that we got to enjoy all the yummy foods we learned to grill.

My favorite dishes were the Grilled Mixed Vegetable Salad, Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad, Grilled Tomato Crostini, and the beautiful grilled peaches pictured above. I found myself hunting down Chef Ernst just to find out how to make these yummy peaches to share with y'all.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Country Music's Greatest Eats Cookbook Review & Giveaway Recipe: Missouri Dirt Cake

Today I have another tasty cookbook review and giveaway! A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of Southern Living Country Music’s Greatest Eats. As a lover of country music and country cooking the title immediately grabbed my attention. Country Musics Greatest Eats gives you a close up and personal look into over 30 of today's top country music stars and their favorite foods.   

This 263 page cookbook is your exclusive backstage pass to supper with some of your favorite country music performers. I enjoyed not only seeing all of their favorite home cooked dishes, but reading about their, memories, life lessons, and personal tales about, family, food and fame!

The photography in this cookbook is simply awesome! Some of the stars even shared a few photos with their families. Time and time again throughout this cookbook I noticed just because each of these stars are famous country music performers, they never forgot where they came from. Everyone that is from the south knows how important HOME is and all the special memories that go along with it. This cookbook gives you a sneak-peak into some of the most famous country music performers home kitchens, and over 75 of their beloved favorite family recipes.

My recipe of choice was Sara Evans - Missouri Dirt Cake. Sara was one of 7 children in the Evans household, so Sara's mom relied on good, simple recipes that could feed a crowd. Over the weekend our temperature was pretty toasty, so I tried Sara's No Bake Dirt Cake. Sara mentions that this easy peasy dessert comes together rather quickly once the cream cheese is softened and the whipped topping is thawed.

From start to finish this dessert took just 15 minutes to assemble. One tip I suggest is.... I found it much easier to freeze the dirt cake versus chilling it in the refrigerator. If you know Texas it is hot hot hot, so anything to slow down the melting process is a welcome relief. Just remove the dirt cake about 30 minutes before serving and enjoy!!! Sara's Dirt Cake reminded me a little bit like a Oreo Cheesecake without all the fuss. I will be making this one again for sure.