Today, Ava turns nine-years-old!!! My goodness, I will be the woman in the corner with a tissue box crying her eyes out! Nine years has gone by much too fast.
This year we celebrated Ava’s birthday with spa party! We had pedicures, pizza bites and, of course, cup cakes. It was relaxing and super fun for the girls!
A fresh summer salad is truly hard to beat. This berry salad with peach balsamic vinaigrette literally burst with flavor in your mouth. You will crave this salad long after it’s gone, trust me!
I love the gorgeous colors in this salad. The pop of the bright red strawberries and the contrast of the deep rich purple black berries make this salad an eye-pleasure. I added some slivered blanched almond for a fun crunch. Afterward, I decided pecans, pine nuts or sunflower seeds would be a great fit, as well.
Let me gush about this Peach Balsamic vinaigrette for a moment. You see my mom brought me this peach white balsamic vinegar several months ago and since I have been dreaming every day of a fresh summer salad with perfectly ripened berries. I could think of nothing sweeter in all the lands. I patiently waited and didn’t even open it until last weekend to make this salad. Needless to say, I doubt the vinegar will be around long. It is quite amazing. While I want to dream of other uses for it I think most of it will be made into this vinaigrette.
This sweet berry salad with peach balsamic vinaigrette is a must for hot summer days ahead!
Berry Salad with Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 3 C mixed greens salad
- ½ C strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- ¼ C black berries, cleaned
- 2 T slivered almonds
- 1 small Roma tomato, diced
- 1 small carrot, shredded
- Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2.5 T peach white balsamic vinegar
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 t sugar
- Small pinch of salt and pepper
- Divide greens into two bowls
- Top the greens with berries, almonds, tomato and carrot.
- In a small glass jar with a fitted lid (I used a ball canning jar), combine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Give jar a good shake until all the vinaigrette is well emulsified.
- Pour 2 T of vinaigrette over each salad. You will a little bit of vinaigrette left over for later use.
This easy blueberry crisp come together in just a few minutes and make weeknight dessert totally do able. I made these wonderful individual crisps for Ava one night. She had a long day of end of year testing and needed a special treat to perk her up. These did the trick!
A warm, sweet and bursting with color this crisp is an eye-catcher. If you are in need of a quick no-fuss dessert recipe throw this blueberry crisp together and impress your family or guests. To make this crisp even easier I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free honey granola. It was made life so much easier and was the perfect combination with these plump blueberries.
Always top with a healthy dollop of whipped cream. The contrast of the warm bubbly crisp and cool fluffy whipped cream is amazing. It doesn’t get much sweeter than digging into this crisp on a warm summer evening as the sun is going down.
Easy Blueberry Crisp
- 2 C blueberries
- 1 T brown sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 3 T gluten free granola
- 1 T butter
- Whipped cream
- ½ C whipping cream
- 3 tsp powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Combine blueberries, brown sugar, corn starch.
- Pour blueberry mixture into 3 small oven-safe jars
- Top with gluten free granola and butter.
- Bake 30 minutes until blueberries are bubbling.
- While cooking using a mixer whip whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Once crisps are done remove from oven and let slightly cool.
- Top each with a dollop of whip cream.
A delicious melt in your mouth donut has never tasted so good or been so easy to make! Transport yourself to Italy with these Nutella glazed Italian donuts.
Fried donuts are a true treat in my house. It is not often we sink our teeth into warm crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside golden rings of goodness. These Italian donuts are super easy to make and literally melt in your mouth.
This is my go to Italian dough. I always use Red Star Yeast active dry yeast for this recipe. The dough never fails to rise perfectly, after sitting in a warm place for an hour. I make the full recipe and set half of the dough aside for a pizza or more donuts later.
I topped these Italian donuts with a decadent Nutella glaze. One bite and you are sure to deem these swoon-worthy. Nutella glazed Italian donuts are the perfect weekend treat for your family.
Nutella Glazed Italian Donuts
Recipe type: donut
- (Donut Recipe)
- 3 C AP flour
- 1 C warm water
- 1 T Red Star Yeast active dry yeast
- 1 T oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- Oil for frying
- (Nutella Glaze Recipe)
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 3 T Nutella
- 4 T whipping cream
- Pinch of salt
- (Donut Directions)
- In a small bowl, whisk warm water, yeast and sugar.
- Set aside until yeast is proofed. Mixture will be foamy and fragrant.
- Whisk in oil and salt.
- Slowly add in 2.5 cups flour to the yeast mixture.
- Knead dough by hand for about 5 minutes until small smooth ball forms. Adding the remaining ½ cup of flour as needed.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
- Divide dough in half. Reserving half the dough for later use.
- Pour oil into a heavy bottomed pot, about 2 inches up the pan and heat to 350*F.
- Roll remaining dough out to 1 inch thickness.
- Using a donut cutter cut out donuts.
- Place donuts into hot oil and cook about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon or tongs remove donuts and place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
- (Nutella Glaze Directions)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together Nutella, milk, powdered sugar and pinch of salt until smooth.
- Once donuts are cooled-gently dip top of donuts into the Nutella glaze.
- Shake off excess glaze and place donut on cookie cooling rack.
- Serve as is or add sprinkles, nuts, coconut.
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I have partnered with Red Star Yeast to bring you this recipe. Thank you so much for supporting Petit Foodie and Red Star Yeast. Opinions, recipes and photos are my own.
The other day Ava and I were shopping in Whole Foods she received a sample cucumber sandwich with some vegan mayo on it. She went crazy for the mayo. Ava insisted that we just had to buy it because it was so good. So we bought a jar and she proceeded to tell everyone how amazing this ‘mano’ was. I didn’t have the heart to correct her.
Summer BBQ’s and picnics are never complete without a classic American macaroni salad. Pasta, garden fresh tomato and cucumber all wrapped up in creamy mayo make me a bit nostalgic for childhood. Never did a summer get together go by without it. I really missed having it around summer after summer.
I’m so excited to bring this classic dish back for my family. I just made it a bit healthier with the help of vegan mayo. Ava, not surprisingly, loved this pasta salad.
Don’t forget this classic macaroni salad at your next summer festivities. Your guest will adore it!
Vegan Macaroni Salad
Recipe type: side
- ¾ lb macaroni, cooked to package directions
- 1 C vegan mayo
- ½ small sweet onion, finely diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ cucumber diced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Making sure all ingredients are coated with the mayo.
- Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- *Using vegan mayo make just 1 hour before serving. The creamy consistence does not hold up after several hours.
- *You could substitute vegan mayo with regular.
Farmer’s market fettuccine is a pasta lover’s dream. Full of thick pasta, fresh summer veggies laced in a velvety cream sauce. This is one dish you won’t want to miss this summer.
This traditional fettuccine dish is really summerified (totally a word!) with the addition of fresh zucchini, sweet corn and tomatoes. I love the addition of sweet corn. It totally makes the dish! You could also add in some onions, yellow squash or red peppers. Feel free to let the market be your guide. Whatever, your local market is selling grab a little of this and that to throw in.
The cream sauce…ohhh the cream sauce! It’s amazing!! I’ve tried to reduce some of the calories by cutting half of the cream in regular alfredo sauce and replacing it with chicken broth. It add flavor, reduces calories and you still get the luxurious creaminess of a little cream.
Next time you’re at the farmers market pick up a few extra veggies to create this easy fresh summer pasta dish.
Farmers Market Fettuccine
Recipe type: Entree
- ¾ lb fettuccine pasta
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 T butter
- ¼ C flour
- ½ C milk, 2% or Whole
- ¾ C chicken broth
- ½ C Parmesan
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 small ear sweet corn, cut off cob
- 1 zucchini, diced
- ½ tomato, diced
- In large pot boil salted water. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil.
- Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add in zucchini and sweet corn.
- Sauté until just tender. Remove and set aside.
- In same pan add in butter and melt over low heat.
- Whisk in flour.
- Once a roux is formed slowly pour in milk and chicken broth.
- Keep whisking until sauce thickens.
- Add in Parmesan.
- Once cheese melts fold in veggies.
- Drain pasta when finished cooking and add to cream sauce.
- Serve with fresh diced tomato and additional Parmesan.
I’ve really been trying to clean up my eating lately. When I started craving chocolate and peanut butter in a bad way, I came up with this delicious chia pudding.
The perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter- slightly sweetened. If you’ve never had chia pudding before the texture might throw you, but I promise once you get used to it this pudding will become your new favorite. Ava wasn’t so sure at first, but I kept making it and she now loves it.
I always serve this chocolate peanut butter version with sliced bananas. This makes the perfect healthy treat when you are trying to be good and want nothing but chocolate.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
- 1 C almond milk
- ¼ C chia seeds
- 2 T cocoa powder
- 1 T honey
- 2 T peanut butter
- In small bowl heat honey and peanut butter in microwave for a few seconds, until smooth and slightly runny.
- Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile whisk almond milk, chia seeds and cocoa powder together.
- Whisk in honey mixture.
- Cover and let set in fridge for several hours or overnight.
- Give a good stir after 30minutes. This helps keep seeds from settling on the bottom.
- Serve with sliced bananas.
This past weekend and I did a three day juice cleanse. It was an interesting experience. I started cleaning up my diet three days before the cleanse. I eliminated caffeine, sugar, dairy, meat and reduced my grain intake. These three days were the hardest, in my opinion. No coffee all week long was very hard for me. It kind of scared me how much I relied on it. I experienced headaches, skin breakouts and crankiness.
Once Friday came around, I was actually relieved and excited to start my cleanse. Being my first cleanse I was a bit nervous not knowing what to expect. I choose to do the Love Grace cleanse because they use organic produce, it was more convenient than making my own, and I heard they tasted great.
Overall I felt pretty good during the cleanse. Mornings were great! The Love Grace Purity and Ginger Bomb juices gave me so much energy. I hope to continue to have those every once in a while because they really did make me feel good. The hard part was the afternoon. The juices got greener and I felt hungrier during this time. There were several times I wanted to quit. Knowing this was what my body needed at this time I stuck with it.
The first day went surprisingly well. I managed to get through and felt good. My mind was clearer and I felt less anxious. I was less bloated and no headaches!! The second day was a tough. I think because I was at home with family and they were eating really good foods. While I didn’t crave anything I felt a tinge of hunger around lunch. I did end up having some watermelon and blueberries that second day. It was really the only thing I wanted. The third day I decided to incorporate light foods with the juice. I had the juice for breakfast, rice and vegetables for lunch, juice in the afternoon and a light dinner. This week I have continued to juice in the morning. All week, I have been eating much lighter than usual.
Coming off the cleanse I feel really great. My body overall feels good. There was never a point where I got sick, and I’m thankful for that. My stomach is feeling so much better than it did just last week.
During this cleansing process I also started dry brushing again. My skin feels so good right. It’s definitely ready for summer! I hope to continue to make dry brushing a priority.
Here are a few tips and prepping recipes to help you get started! I hope these help make juicing less intimidating. Remember to always listen to your body! Everyone is different.
Tips for Juice Cleansing:
• Prepare!! Clean up your diet several days before starting. Get rid of meat, dairy, processed foods and caffeine.
• Drink lots of water when on the cleanse
• Dry brush. This will help in getting rid of toxins.
• Take it easy with your exercise regimen. Don’t overdo it.
• Start and end your day with warm lemon water (I suggest doing this every day )
• Listen to your body. If you are painfully hungry after drinking juice eat something (organic broth, steamed veggies, raw veggies/fruit)
Clean Recipes to help you prepare for your juice cleanse:
Detox Stuffed Peppers
Spicy Orange Rice Noodle Salad
Farmers Market Quinoa
Cranberry Kale Salad
Pineapple Cilantro Smoothie
My Favorite Green Smoothie
Strawberry Coconut Smoothie
Love Grace sent me a three-day juice cleanse to review. Opinions, tips and recipes are my own.
These Asian inspired stuffed green peppers were the perfect light summer meal. When you’re trying to cut back on heavy processed foods but want something warm and comforting these taste great.
I love how these peppers are full of quinoa and veggies. This meal fills you up without making you feel weighted down. The tamari, red pepper flakes and almonds bring out an Asian flare. These stuffed peppers are so versatile you can add whatever veggies you have on hand and whatever grain you prefer. I choose quinoa just because I love the texture and taste. You could easily substitute rice, barley, farro.
I made these when preparing for a juice cleanse. Tired of salad, I yearned for something warm and comforting. These made definitely filled my void for a warming dinner.
Detox Stuffed Green Peppers
- 1.5 green pepper
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 T olive oil
- ½ carrot, shredded
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp tamari
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 T raw blanched almonds
- Cut one green pepper in half lengthwise, remove membrane and seeds.
- Cut the remaining green pepper and set aside.
- Steam for 10 minutes or until tender.
- In a sauté pan heat olive oil.
- Add garlic, carrot and cut green pepper.
- Sauté until tender.
- Add in cooked quinoa, tamari, red pepper flakes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Once green peppers are steamed place filling mixture in them.
- Top with raw blanched almonds
Bursting with color and flavor these blueberry muffins are a sweet addition to the weekend. These sour cream blueberry muffins are loaded with plump blueberries.
A classic muffin with a sweet crumb topping pair perfectly with the tender and moist middle. I personally find blueberry muffins to be the ultimate pastry. There is just something so elegant and classy about them. The gorgeous pops of blue and golden muffin tops make them quite irresistible.
Serve these at your next brunch or for a lazy Saturday morning treat.
Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins
Recipe type: pastry
- 1 ¾ C flour
- 1 T baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ C sugar
- ⅓ C oil
- ⅓ C sour cream
- ½ C milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1⅓ C blueberries
- ⅓ C flour
- ¼ C sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 T butter
- Preheat oven to 400*. Grease muffin tin.
- In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl combine sugar, oil, sour cream, milk and egg. Beat until well combined.
- Add in vanilla.
- Working in batches mix in flour mixture.
- Once incorporated fold in blueberries.
- Pour into pre-grease muffin tin.
- For topping, combine flour, sugar and salt. Using fork cut in the butter. Combine until small crumbles form.
- Top muffin batter with crumb topping.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.