Sparkling Strawberry Sangria

This sparkling sangria is sure to be a spring hit.  Full of pizzazz and vibrant color this cocktail sparkles like no other.  The strawberries and peach brandy mingle elegantly in your glass.

strawberry sangria

I served this at dinner one evening when my mom came up to visit.  She’s not much of a wine drinker-so she said!  Three glasses of this light and fruity sangria later and she was loving every last drop of this wine.   Surprisingly (not), this sparkling sangria stole the show.  While the lasagna was good , it was the sangria that was talked about days later.

strawberry sangria

Sparkling strawberry sangria is a must make for your next spring soiree.  Gorgeous and delightfully good, perfect for warm spring evenings.  Your crowd will love this sparkling sangria.

strawberry sangria

Sparkling Strawberry Sangria
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This refreshing spring cocktail that will add pizzazz to any get together. One sip and you will fall in love with this sparkling strawberry sangria.
Recipe type: drink
Serves: 4
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine
  • ¼ C peach brandy
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 C strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  1. In a small container combine strawberries and sugar.
  2. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In a pitcher combine all ingredients – give a good stir.
  4. Place in fridge for three hours.
  5. Serve chilled.


Raspberry Pecan Swirl Bread

With Easter just around the corner I wanted to make something that would be perfect on our family’s Easter brunch table.  This raspberry pecan bread turned out extraordinarily good.  I can’t wait to impress my family with it!

raspberry pecan swirl bread  petitfoodie

The bread is tender, not dense.  The raspberry jam swirled through out adds a wonderful sweetness and gorgeous color.  I love how when baking the pecans they get soft and tender.  This is a truly melt in your mouth bread.

raspberry swirl bread Collage

I adore simple recipes with few ingredients.  When creating a simple recipe I cannot stress enough how important it is to use high quality ingredients.  When you make this bread be sure to use the best jam, flour, yeast and pecans you can afford.  It makes all the difference in the world.

rasp pecan bread

With the help of Red Star Yeast this raspberry pecan bread turned out beautifully.  I was amazed when the dough had risen perfectly.  I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to the effort of making homemade bread only for my loaf to come out looking very pitiful.  It’s embarrassing and maddening.  Every time I made cinnamon rolls or sandwich bread I always thought, “Is this really going to come out as planned or will I be left with a dense gross mess?”  Red Star Yeast has helped me take the question bread making.  My loaves of bread come out gorgeous!

raspberry pecan swirl bread

If you are new to bread baking I highly suggest checking out these Tips and Tricks.  They are really helpful for beginners.

raspberry pecan bread petitfoodie

I hope your family loves this Raspberry Pecan Bread this Easter holiday.

raspberry swirl bread

Raspberry Pecan Swirl Bread
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This sweet raspberry pecan bread is sure to add an elegant touch to your Easter table, this year. So tender, it literally melts in your mouth!
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 1 C warm water, about 115*
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast, I used Red Star Yeast Platinum
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 ¼ C All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C high quality raspberry jam
  • ¾ C pecans, chopped
  1. In a medium bowl whisk yeast, warm water and sugar.
  2. Set aside until foamy.
  3. Once yeast has proofed, add 1 cup flour and salt.
  4. Stir in remaining flour ½ cup at a time. At this time you will probably need to use your hands.
  5. Knead dough until ingredients come together to form a tight ball.
  6. Place dough into a lightly greased medium mixing bowl.
  7. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm area for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  8. Once doubled in size punch down and place on a lightly floured surface.
  9. Roll dough out to about 10x 20 inch rectangle.
  10. Carefully, spread jam on dough leaving about ½ inch around the edges.
  11. Top jam with pecans.
  12. Roll dough tightly, starting at the 10 inch side.
  13. Seal the edges down as you go.
  14. Using a sharp knife cut down the middle of your roll.
  15. Carefully, braid the two pieces of dough – this will be a little messy.
  16. Tightly seal the ends together.
  17. Gently place braided dough in a lightly greased loaf pan.
  18. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
  19. Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
  20. Bake bread for 55 minutes.

For more Red Star Yeast information follow them on: Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram (@redstaryeast) | Facebook

I have partnered with Red Star Yeast to bring you this wonderful raspberry pecan bread.  Thank you so much for supporting Petit Foodie and Red Star Yeast.  Opinions, recipes and photos are my own.  

Southwestern Chicken Polenta

This is weeknight dinner is quite possibly a new favorite in our house.  I made this on a whim one evening when I was craving something warm and comforting.  I’ve never worked with polenta much but, holy cow, is it super easy to make and it taste wonderful.

southwestern chicken polenta  

The texture of polenta is smooth and cream.  This versatile ingredient is most definitely a pantry staple to have.  You can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest it.

southwestern polenta

Loaded with chicken, black beans, corn and cheese this dish makes for the ultimate weeknight dinner.  All of these ingredients are wrapped up in a beautiful tomato-enchilada sauce and rest beautifully on top of the cooked polenta.  Topped with a cozy blanket of cheese.  This polenta dish is one you will make week after week.  I know you will love it.

southwestern polenta

With close to 80* temperatures headed my way, I’m off to prepare for some outdoor time!  I hope you all have a great weekend!


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This southwestern dinner is sure to spice up your week! Creamy, saucy and full of good ingredients! Add some pizzazz to your dinner table with this Southwestern chicken polenta dish.
Recipe type: entree
Serves: 4
  • 1 C polenta
  • ¾ C milk
  • 2 C broth
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • ½ C sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 2 C chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 C black beans
  • ½ C yellow sweet corn
  • ½ C enchilada sauce
  • ½ C crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T taco seasoning
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 C Colby Jack cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 9X13 casserole dish and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan bring milk, broth, sugar, and salt to a simmer.
  3. Slowly whisk in polenta until combine.
  4. Switching to a spoon, whip polenta until smooth and creamy.
  5. Remove from heat and fold in green chilies and cheddar cheese.
  6. Spread polenta into the bottom of the casserole dish.
  7. In a medium sauté pan heat olive oil.
  8. Sauté onion and green peppers until tender.
  9. Add in corn, black beans, enchilada sauce, crushed tomatoes and taco seasoning.
  10. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.
  11. Spread shredded chicken over the polenta.
  12. Pour black bean sauce mixture over chicken.
  13. Sprinkle with Colby Jack cheese.
  14. Back for 25 minutes or until bubble and cheese has browned (towards end – I got impatient and broiled on low to get my cheese browned.)

Top 15 Spring Recipes

Today, I’m sharing with you a list of my very favorite Spring recipes.  These are light, refreshing and absolutely delicious.  These spring recipes get me excited for the much warmer days of summer.  Grab a fork and let’s celebrate spring!  

spring recipes

Strawberry Crumb Bars

Sexy and Simple Chicken

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Spicy Almond Crusted Chicken Tender Salad

Crispy Potato Cakes

Blueberry lemon Bellini

Creamy Spring Pasta Salad

Balsamic Asparagus

GF Lemon Short Bread Cookies

Lemon Garlic Orzo Soup

Frozen Greek Strawberry Yogurt

Strawberry Lemonade

Mini Blueberry Muffins

Grilled Wedge Salad

Roasted Red Potatoes


Skinny Roasted Cauliflower Soup

On a rainy spring day this roasted cauliflower soup is the ultimate in comfort.  After a long winter of heavy foods I always crave lighter fare come spring.  Here in VA we have some cool wet spring days that leave me craving something warm but not heavy.

cauliflower soup

By replacing cream with potatoes, this soup transforms into a light yet satisfying bowl of goodness.  The roasted cauliflower and garlic adds a wonderful robust flavor that is quite unforgettable.  If you are making this for dinner guests I might suggest making it the night before, that way you have time to air out the house.  My family hates the smell of roasted cauliflower.  I adore roasted cauliflower so much I don’t mind it.

cauli soup

This skinny roasted cauliflower soup is one delicious warm recipe you will want to make before the hot days of summer get here.

cauliflower soup petit foodie


Roasted Cauliflower Soup
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A creamy soup without all the calories! This flavorful soup is full of fragrant garlic and cauliflower. The creamy potatoes make this soup so luxurious you won’t miss the cream.
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 head cauliflower, cleaned + cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 2 russet potatoes, cleaned + diced
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • ¼ tsp pepper, more to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Place cauliflower and garlic on baking sheet. Massage with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pot bring broth and potatoes to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are tender.
  6. Add in cauliflower and garlic to pot.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. You may need to add more broth or water.
  9. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.
  10. Adjust seasoning, if needed.
  11. Garnish with croutons and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired

The Best Pasta Salad

The season of BBQ’s, picnics, family reunions, camping trips and neighborhood get-together’s, is almost here.  I have the perfect pasta salad for you, today!  This, I can assure you, will be the hit of all your summer events.

best pasta salad

Full of colorful everyday ingredients this pasta salad is healthy and over the top good.  The vibrant red grape tomatoes add not only lush color but a wonderful sweetness.  Have you tried cornichons?  They add lots of crunch and a bit of bite that I adore in this salad.  To add a bit of fun texture I choose to throw in some garlic white cheddar cheese.  This made for a great combination with other flavors.  Olives are always a good idea!

best pasta petitfoodie

I wanted to create a sense of creaminess without over doing it, so I added a few tablespoons of Dijonnaise.  This is just a great condiment.  It has the wonderful flavor of Dijon and velvety texture of mayonnaise.  I would highly recommend not omitting it from this recipe.  It’s amazing.

best pasta salad

With a big Tupperware full of this pasta salad, consider yourself prepared for all your summer festivities.

The Best Pasta Salad
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A pasta salad full of texture and flavor that is the perfect potluck dish. Healthy, fresh and absolutely delicious.
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 4
  • ½ lb pasta, cooked
  • ⅓ C olives, sliced
  • 3 T cornichons, sliced, I used Maille
  • ½ C grape tomatoes, sliced
  • ⅓ C cheese, cubed, I used a garlic white cheddar
  • ½ C high-quality Italian dressing
  • 2 T Dijonnaise, I used Maille
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  1. Combine pasta, olives, cornichons, tomatoes and cheese in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Italian dressing, dijonnaise, salt and pepper.
  3. Fold dressing into pasta mixture.
  4. Adjust seasoning, as needed.
  5. Chill for 2-4 hours.
  6. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Spring Must Haves 2014

I’m hoping this post gives Spring a nudge!  We currently have 30* and the ground is covered in snow.  Here are a few of my must have for this spring.

spring must haves 2014

Sugar Blossom Soy Candle  << smells heavenly

Cocoa butter lip balm  << sick of winter lips? This lip balm is miracle worker.

Physicians-Formula-Super-CC-Cream << I’m loving this CC cream.  Adds moisture and helps eliminate red spots.

Tea for Two Floral Dress<< I’m head over heels in love with this dress.

Philosophy-loveswept-Fragrance << Such a spring fragrance! LOVE LOVE LOVE

Butter Nail Polish<< long lasting and such a fun color!

Sandals  << I feel that if I wore these my mom would tell me how cute they are!  So 70’s and so cute!

Spring Lip Gloss << adore this shade.  It goes on smoothly too- not too glossy/sticky.

Tropical Parfaits with Coconut Lime Granola

These tropical parfaits with coconut lime granola are just what I needed to cure the winter blues.  Today, I’m posting over at Katies Cucina!

tropical yogurt parfaits  petitfoodie

I’m super excited to be sharing these parfaits with her readers.  Hop on over there to get this amazing tropical parfait.

The coconut lime granola is to die for.  It is fantastic straight out of the oven, but wait a day and the lime flavor deepens.  It is sooooo good.

tropical parfaits

I hope you love ‘em.

Blueberry Lemon Bellini

I’ve been on a real blueberry and lemon kick lately.  It’s just a refreshing spring combo.  Spring seriously can not get her soon enough.  I’m ready for lighter dinners, refreshing drinks and most of all warmer weather.

blueberry lemon bellini

We recently discovered the wonderfulness of sparkling wine.  I adore it so much that whenever I see recipes creating these fancy cocktails with it, I shun them.  Honestly, why mess with a good thing?  I used to think how could you possibly make sparkling wine any better?

That was until I had half a bottle of sparkling wine left over from a dinner party.  I decided to play around and try a few different combinations and not surprisingly I loved the blueberry lemon flavor.

blueberry bellini

Not only does the blueberry lemon syrup add a gorgeous color to the sparkling wine, it adds a wonderful refreshing yet deep flavor.  Simmering the syrup really brings out the true flavor of the blueberries.  This festive cocktail is perfect for a spring get together.

blueberry bellini

I can’t wait to serve these at my next brunch or dinner party!

Blueberry Lemon Bellini
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A refreshing cocktail perfect for any spring occasion.
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 2
  • ½ C blueberries
  • 1 T sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 C sparkling wine, chilled
  1. In a small pot over med-low heat blueberries, sugar and lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  3. Let simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Once blueberry mixture is cooled strain.
  6. Place 2 T of blueberry lemon juice in each glass.
  7. Top the glasses with sparkling wine.
  8. Garnish with lemon slice.


Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta

This pasta dish is spicy and loaded with all kinds of goodness.   Full of everyday ingredients this pasta dish takes just a few minutes to pull together.  I used left over chicken breast which also helped cut down on cooking time.

creamy chicken and bacon pasta

I’m always looking for new weeknight meals.  My family gets so bored with the same old dishes.  This spicy creamy chicken pasta definitely was the highlight of our meal plan.

Since this dish is a little rich, I served it with a big side salad.  While this creamy bowl of goodness is not something we would have every week it was nice to change up our usual routine.

creamy chicken and bacon pasta

Adding a splash of cream really makes this dish.  It brings all the flavors of the bacon, pepper jack and chicken together.

creamy bacon and chicken pasta

If you are looking to spice up your menu plan this week, you really must try this creamy chicken and bacon pasta.

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
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Amazing dinner in a flash = this spicy and creamy chicken bacon pasta dish. The addition of pepper jack cheese not only kicks it up a notch but adds a swoon-worthy creaminess.
Recipe type: entree
Serves: 3
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into cubes
  • 2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 8 oz pasta, cooked
  • ½ C pepper jack cheese, grated*
  • ¼ C sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • ¼ C cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  1. In large skillet sauté bacon over med-high heat until brown.
  2. Reduced heat to low.
  3. Pour in chicken broth, chicken, pasta, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano
  4. Stir together.
  5. Add in pepper jack cheese and cream.
  6. Let simmer 10 minutes, until cheese is completely melted and sauce has thickened.
  7. Top pasta with cheddar and cover for 5 minutes.
  8. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
  9. *If serving this dish to children I would suggest using all cheddar or mozzarella cheese in place of the pepper jack.


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