Friday, August 30, 2013

Cucumber Salsa

This Cucumber Salsa is ridiculous! It's light, fresh, and packs a ton of flavor with a little bit of heat. I have so many cucumbers growing in my garden, I don't know what to do with them all. I do know one thing - I'm going to be making this salsa a lot; it's that good.
Cucumber Salsa is truly garden fresh as almost all of the ingredients came from our garden (cucumber, tomato, jalapeƱo, and parsley). It's also healthy, as the original poster claims there is only 16 calories per 1/4 cup!
What's your favorite way to enjoy cucumbers?
Click here for recipe - The only change I made was substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peach Caprese Salad

Hi, my name is Lauren and I am a caprese addict. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, this is no surprise. Ever since I was a child, my favorite cheese has been mozzarella. Despite all of the "sophisticated" cheese varieties I've tried as an adult, mozzarella remains my favorite.

This Peach Caprese Salad is a fresh, sweet, and flavorful twist on Caprese. The sweet and juicy peaches add sweetness to this dish. It's a light meal that satisfies even my sweet tooth. The produce was super fresh as the tomato and basil came from my garden and the peaches from a local store.

I even converted my self-proclaimed Caprese hating husband to liking Caprese with this salad. If you're looking for a savory Caprese salad twist, substitute the peaches for olives. I had a Caprese salad with olives at a local nursery/restaurant a month or so ago and it was amazing - fresh and savory.

What are your favorite non-traditional ways to enjoy Caprese?

Click here for recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Udi's Gluten-Free "On-the-Go" Sampler

I'm in love with Udi's; they made my day once again when my husband texted me this picture letting me know another box of Udi's goodies arrived at our house! I was having a hectic day at work that day, and this picture instantly brightened my day. It's the little things in life that always do.

The theme of the Udi's sampler pack is "Gluten-Free and On-the-Go." I travel a lot, for business and pleasure. I'm a prepared travel, bringing gluten-free snacks from home and researching restaurants nearby before I leave. When I'm not traveling, I'm often on-the-go in my day-to-day life. I make time for seated meals, but I always snack in between meals to keep me going throughout the day. My snacks are typically when I'm on-the-go, usually in-between meetings at work or plans with friends and family on nights and weekends, so this sampler pack from Udi's fit my busy lifestyle perfectly!

Below is a recap with my honest opinions of all of the "on-the-go" gluten-free goodies Udi's sent me. I just got the package a week and a half ago, so I haven't had a chance to try everything yet. I'll post more over the next few months as I get a chance to try everything.

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread - White Sandwich and Cinnamon Raisin.
I've posted a lot of recipes and reviews of Udi's bread before. I absolutely love it - it tastes As Good As Gluten and I love all of the varieties. This summer I've been enjoying sandwiches as quick lunches or snacks on busy days. I have cucumbers out the wazoo in my garden, so I've been enjoying Cucumber and Herbed Cream Cheese sandwiches or Cucumber and Red Pepper Hummus sandwiches on Udi's White Sandwich bread. The Cinnamon Raisin bread is perfect for a quick snack or breakfast when toasted and buttered.

Gluten Free Muffins - Double Vanilla and Harvest Crunch
I first tried Udi's Double Vanilla Muffins when they sent them to me earlier this summer. They're sweet and I love incorporating them into dessert in place of pound cake. This is the first time I tried the Harvest Crunch Muffins. I grabbed one with a glass of milk for a fast, tasty, and nutritious breakfast after my morning workout before leaving for work. I prefer sweet muffins, so I wasn't sure if I was going to like these muffins. To my delight, the orange zest in the Harvest Crunch Muffins perfectly complements the cranberries, sweet potato, quinoa, and pepitas to give these savory muffins a touch of sweetness. I absolutely love these muffins!

Gluten Free Cookies & Brownies - Dark Chocolate Brownies, Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies
I have a major sweet tooth, so I was so excited when I saw these cookies and brownies! I learned about the Brownies when Udi's sent them to me earlier this summer, but I didn't get around to trying them until now. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic sweet-tooth, I had high expectations for the Brownie Bites. Unfortunately, they fell flat. The brownies had good texture, but were dry and bitter. Maybe they are supposed to be bitter because they are dark chocolate? Don't get me wrong, they were still good and I had no problem finishing them crushed up in a bowl of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! In fact, the Brownies were perfect in a bowl of ice cream.
I had no idea Udi's had shelf-stable cookies in such decadent flavors until they arrived in my sampler pack. I haven't gotten around to trying them yet, but I'm sure I will soon as my husband asks about them daily (and he's usually not too anxious to try gluten free goodies).


Gluten Free Granola - Vanilla Granola and Blueberry Cashew Clusters
This is the first time I tried Udi's granola products. The Vanilla Granola consists of crunchy almonds and oats flavored with sweet vanilla and wildflower honey. I love the Vanilla Granola with skim milk or almond milk for a quick breakfast. The Vanilla Granola is also an easy and tasty on-the-go snack by itself. The Blueberry Cashew Clusters are crunchy and sweet from honey and blueberries. They will definitely be packed in my carry-on later this week when I travel for work.

Gluten Free Granola Bars - Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Almond
I saw these granola bars online last month and couldn't wait to try them. I haven't had a chance to buy them yet, so I was super excited they showed up in my sampler pack. I've posted before that granola bars are my daily breakfast with a glass of milk as I commute during the workweek. I was hoping Udi's granola bars would be making their way into my breakfast rotation, but unfortunately only one variety will be. The Chocolate Chip Bar lacked sweetness and flavor, only had about 10 mini chocolate chips in it, and the texture was confusing - hard and crunchy in some bites but soft and chewy in others. The Cranberry Almond Bar was actually my favorite of the two. The texture was soft and chewy and the flavor was sweet with the cranberries. It will be a regular in my breakfast rotation.


Gluten Free Ancient Grain Crisps - Simply Sea Salt and Aged Cheddar
I tried the Aged Cheddar Crisps earlier this summer at my parents' house. The bag quickly disappeared because they are delicious. Definitely my new favorite 'chip.' They're crispy, crunchy, and loaded with cheddar cheese flavor. The Sea Salt Crisps are just as good as the Cheddar - crisp with a hint of sea salt flavor. While everything I tried is easy for on-the-go, these crisps are best for on-the-go snacking - easy, tasty, and not messy.

And if all this wasn't enough, Udi's threw in a cute reusable grocery bag and coupons for free products. Thank you Udi's for making the best gluten-free products out there (including plenty to fit a busy lifestyle) and allowing me to share them with my readers!

Disclaimer: Udi’s provided the product for me to review. However, my review and opinions written above are my own.

Friday, August 23, 2013

S’mores Dip with Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham Crackers


S’mores Dip is a quick way to enjoy the flavors of S’mores inside, without having to heat up the grill or make a fire. Beware – this dip is very addicting, so I only made it in small batches (the recipe below will serve 2). S’mores Dip is also very rich – which is rare for me to admit to as I have a major sweet tooth.

I enjoyed S’mores Dip with Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham Crackers. I bought a box of earlier this summer and have been taking a few here and there to cookouts and bonfires to enjoy S’mores. The flavor of Kinnikinnick’s gluten free graham crackers tastes similar to a regular graham cracker. However, they are thicker, harder, and drier than a regular graham cracker. I wouldn’t buy them on a regular basis, but they do come in handy when I’m in the mood for S’mores.

S’mores Dip
Slightly modified from Bakeaholic Mama

·cup mini marshmallows
·¼ milk or dark chocolate chips
·Splash of milk
·4 gluten free graham crackers for dipping

Place marshmallows, chocolate chips, and milk in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium heat for 45 seconds, stirring halfway through. Stir until smooth and serve immediately with graham crackers.

Serves 2.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Zucchini and Sausage Summer Grill Packet

My husband and I love preparing dinner on the grill and eating on our back porch during the warm weather season. It’s so relaxing and a great way to catch-up over the day’s events. This Zucchini and Sausage Summer Grill Packet is a simple grilling dinner to prepare. It’s an entire meal in one foil packet and it tastes phenomenal. Somehow the simple flavors of smoked sausage, zucchini, peppers, and onions and potatoes from our garden came together with oil and salt and pepper to make a smoky and savory meal we both devoured.
Zucchini and Sausage Summer Grill Packet
Recipe inspired by Pinterest
·1 smoked sausage link, sliced into rounds
·1 zucchini, washed and sliced into rounds
·1 small onion, diced
·1 large bell pepper, chopped
·2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
·Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
·Salt and pepper
Place sausage, zucchini, peppers, onion, and potatoes on top of a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil sides and seal tightly to make a foil packet. Cook on the grill over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until heated through and potatoes are fork tender.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hummus Pizza

Hummus Pizza is my new favorite summer pizza. If these Mediterranean pizza toppings sound whacky, you can rest assured that it’s a tasty change from traditional Italian pizza toppings as my traditional-food-loving-husband said as I was preparing Hummus Pizza, “I was going to say ‘eww,’ but the last thing you made with hummus was pretty good.”  He was hesitant to try the pizza, but after a bite from one of my slices he asked for another bite and another before I stopped sharing and he got his own. Hummus Pizza tastes fresh, savory from the hummus and chicken, and a touch sweet from the fresh onions and basil from our garden.

Hummus Pizza
·1 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust
·¾ cup red pepper hummus
·½ cup cooked grilled chicken, chopped
·½ small onion, chopped
·½ green pepper, chopped
·½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
·Handful of fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°. Spread hummus on top of pizza crust. Top with chicken, onion, pepper, and cheese. Sprinkle fresh basil on top. Cook for 10 minutes on a pizza stone, or until crust and cheese begins to brown.

Disclaimer: Udi’s provided the product for me to review. However, my review and opinions written above are my own.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I’ve written about  my love of Caprese a few times in the past (Caprese Skewers, Caprese Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Sausage, Caprese Pasta, and Caprese Pizza). My favorite cheese since childhood has been mozzarella; I think there’s no better way to enjoy it than with the fresh flavors of tomato and basil. It’s fresh and perfect for warm summer days. My new way to enjoy Caprese is as a grilled cheese sandwich. – it’s a great way to quickly enjoy some of the basil and tomatoes I have growing in the garden this summer.

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Inspired by Closet Cooking

·2 slices of Udi’s gluten free white sandwich bread
·1 TBS basil pesto
·2 slices fresh tomato
·1 slice of mozzarella cheese, or a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese

Assemble the sandwich by spreading the basil pesto on one piece of bread, top with tomato, cheese, and the second slice of bread. Butter both sides of the sandwiches and place in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip the sandwiches and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.

Disclaimer: Udi’s provided the product for me to review. However, my review and opinions written above are my own.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Udi’s Gluten Free Everything Bagels

By now, you know that I absolutely love Udi’s products. They make gluten free eating so much easier and tastier. A few months ago, I was talking with my family about how much I miss everything bagels. I’ve tried Udi's GF Plain Bagels; while they’re good, they just didn’t replace my favorite bagel – the everything bagel. To my surprise, my parents informed me that Udi’s does offer gluten free everything bagels. I was ecstatic and rushed to the store. To my disappointment, the store was out of stock – even though they just stocked the shelves a few hours earlier. Apparently, these bagels had to be amazing if they were flying off the shelves. After a few more trips to the store over a week’s time span, we finally found Udi’s Gluten Free Everything Bagels and bought a few packs.

Now, I’ve been eating them for breakfast almost every day since. I’m obsessed. They taste exactly like an everything bagel should taste. These bagels are chewy yet crispy when toasted to perfection. They have the savory flavors of onion, garlic, and poppy seeds. I enjoy mine topped with chive cream cheese. Udi’s Gluten Free Everything Bagels starts my delicious breakfast off right every morning with a side of fruit and glass of milk.
I even have my husband hooked on everything bagels now. He had never heard of everything bagels before this experience, so I let him try a bite of mine one morning. He loved it, so I quickly took my bagel back and bought him his own gluten everything bagels to enjoy. Udi’s are too good and too expensive to share. J

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cheeseburger Stuffed Zucchini Boats

The cheeseburger filling that is stuffed into the zucchini boat is delicious! It tastes like a cheesy, deconstructed cheeseburger without all of the grease. Once it’s poured into the zucchini boat and roasted, the outcome is amazing! I love this new way to enjoy zucchini, which is abundant in summertime.

If you have extra filling, as we did – which I highly recommend you find a way to have extra filling, scoop it up with tortilla chips while the zucchini boats cook. It’s a great appetizer as you’re waiting for lunch/dinner.

The only changes I made to this recipe were to omit the pickle (we didn’t have any in the fridge) and substituted a combination of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses for Gouda (again, we didn’t’ have any in the fridge).

Click here for recipe from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Grilled Peaches with Honey and Vanilla Ice Cream

Grilled Peaches with Honey and French Vanilla Ice Cream are the perfect dessert following lunch or dinner prepared on the grill. They are a light, flavorful, and refreshing dessert perfect for summertime heat.

And, they’re super easy to prepare. Slice peaches in half, remove the pit, and place flesh side down on a warm grill over low heat. Grill for 5-10 minutes, or until juicy and warm. Drizzle with honey and then top with a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately and enjoy!