Favorite 4th Of July Recipes

July 4th is always one of my favorite holidays.  The warm weather, the bbq’s and kids running around so carefree.  Of course the fireworks are my favorite!  Seriously I live for fireworks.  They are just so stickin’ festive.  It’s the best time of the year.  What better way to celebrate than with these delicious eats and a few fun cocktails.  These recipes are great whether celebrating with a big or intimate gathering.

4th of july recipes


It’s the best time of the year.  What better way to celebrate than with these delicious eats and a few fun cocktails.  These recipes are great whether celebrating with a big or intimate gathering.

Watermelon Margarita

Grilled Avocado Chicken Salad

Summer Quinoa Salad and Fig Onion Dressing

Grilled Bread Summer Tomato Salad

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Sliders

Garden Pasta Salad

Hibiscus Tea and Gin Cocktail

Berry Salad with Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette

Lemon Raspberry Bread

A refreshing sweet dessert bread that is showy in all the right places.  The fluffy cream cheese lemon frosting takes this gorgeous bread to a whole new level.

lemon raspberry bread www.petitfoodie.com

One of my favorite parts of this bread is the pops of raspberry.  They add not only a bite of tartness but also a burst of red that you can’t help but fall in love with.  The contrast of yellow and red is one of the prettiest.

lemon raspberry bread  petitfoodie

This stunning quick bread is the perfect way to use up those summer raspberries.  You could even switch out the raspberries for blueberries or black berries.  I wouldn’t suggest omitting the berries unless you really have an aversion to berries.  They just add so much character to this bread and really fancy it up.

lemon rasp bread www.petitfoodie.com

Whether looking for a weekend snack or brunch show stopper this lemon raspberry bread fits the bill.

Lemon Raspberry Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 1 5.3 ounce plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ C sugar
  • ½ C oil
  • 1 lemon, juice zest
  • 1 ¾ C flour, divided
  • 1 ½ t baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 C frozen raspberries
  • Frosting:
  • ¼ C butter
  • ¼ C cream cheese
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • ½ lemon juice and zest
  1. Preheat oven 350*
  2. Prepare loaf pan.
  3. Beat together yogurt, eggs, oil and sugar until smooth.
  4. Add in lemon juice and zest.
  5. Slowly beat in 1 ½ C flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. In a small bowl gently toss raspberries and remaining ¼ C flour.
  7. Fold in raspberries to batter.
  8. Place batter in parchment paper lined loaf pan.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  10. Remove and let cool
  11. Meanwhile, beat together frosting ingredients.
  12. Top cooled loaf with frosting.


Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes to make.  It is full of flavor and the possibilities for variety are endless.  You can literally throw in any veggies, meat you have on hand or are craving.

Pad Thai  www.petitfoodie.com

Although the ingredients list seems long this recipe really comes together in 20-30 minutes or less.  I could seriously eat this dish every night of the week.

pad thai  petitfoodie

This is not an authentic version.  A lot of recipes for Pad Thai call for chopped peanuts for garnish but I much prefer the sliced almonds.  Almonds add a great crunch and are not over powering.  Although, this sauce is not true to the authentic version I love it because I always have the ingredients on hand.  Nothing fancy or out of the ordinary.  Just simple ingredients that add a ton of flavor.

Once you try this you will be craving it for dinner every night of the week.

Pad Thai
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ pkg flat rice noodles
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • ½ C button mushrooms
  • ½ whole green pepper, diced
  • ⅓ C carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 egg
  • Sauce
  • ¼ C soy sauce
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 tsp chili sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 T cilantro (garnish)
  • 2 T sliced almonds (garnish)
  1. Soak rice noodles in warm water for 20-30 min.
  2. Whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a nonstick pan, scramble 1 egg. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside when cooked through.
  4. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute garlic until fragrant.
  5. Add in zucchini, mushrooms, green pepper and carrots.
  6. Saute until veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Carefully add in drained rice noodles.
  8. Add in scrambled egg.
  9. Slowly pour in sauce and stir until noodles are coated.
  10. Serve with cilantro and almonds


Healthy Traveling: Va Beach

We recently took a weekend getaway to Va Beach.  I had not been in years and heard they had made some really great updates.

va beach 2015

We stayed at the Hilton.  It was a gorgeous hotel.  The beds, as always, were super comfortable.  It was a convenient hotel located right on the beach and the center of all the festivities.  Neptune Park is located right next to it, where we got to enjoy a fun jazz band after dinner.

I must say one of the best parts of staying at this Hilton was the infinity pool.  The view was amazing from the 21st floor.  Ava was able to enjoy both pools they have, one indoor and the outdoor infinity pool.  It was a great way to relax and spend quality time with her.

ava hilton rooftop pool

The hotel offers great complimentary appetizers and breakfast in the lounge on the 20th floor that we unfortunately missed, due to miscommunication from the front desk.  Other than that the staff was very helpful and friendly.

catch 31 VA Beach

After exploring the pools we had dinner at Catch31, the hotels ocean front seafood restaurant.  This place definitely exceeded my expectations.  The seafood was fresh and the atmosphere was so fun.  You can dine in or right out on the patio overlooking the ocean.   They have beautiful fire pits that add a great ambiance.  Our server had great recommendations for the menu – which I always love when a server will give suggestions it’s helpful and a great guide to go by.  Next time you’re travelling ask your server to tell you what is popular and what they like best on the menu.   It not only helps you get out of your comfort zone of ordering the same thing but you usually get the best dish on the menu.

Catch31 collage

At the suggestion of our server we ordered the fried calamari to start.  Ava and I had never had it before.  It was perfectly dipped and fried in batter, not greasy and just the right amount of batter.  I really liked it – Ava, not so much.  She said she would not order that again and about died when the table next to us got the chicken pot stickers – her favorite.

I ordered the Strawberry Mojito to start.  It had a true strawberry flavor and was not overly sweet like many mojitos.

For dinner I ordered the bronzed salmon.  It was cooked perfectly and subtly sweetened with brown sugar.  It was seriously amazing.  The salmon was served on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and lightly sautéed veggies.  It was a memorable entrée and I can’t wait to try the butter and brown sugar combination at home.

Catch31 bronzed salmon

Ava ordered the grilled tuna seasoned with butter and lemon.  Honestly, it was gone before I could get a bite or photo.  She devoured every bite and is still talking about it.

Jonathan ordered the Alaskan crab legs which were excellent.  Ava tried some for the first time and loved it.  I think she ate half his plate as well.

catch 31 VAB

It was a great meal and we can’t wait to go back.  We also ate at this restaurant for breakfast.  They had a great buffet full of variety.  So if you have picky-eaters definitely consider Catch31.

After we were fueled we rented some bikes and rode up and down the board walk a few times.  We got a bike buggy so all three of us could ride together.  It was a great workout and fun way to spend time together.

Ava silhouette va beach 2015

There was so much to do on the beach.  I was really impressed.  Ava spent hours on the beach playing.  They have several beach volleyball nets set up.  We saw a ton of people paddle boarding – even kids!  We also brought a soccer ball with us to kick around on the beach.  I loved how easy it was to switch from relaxing to doing activities with the kids here.

Va Beach also has many great restaurants that are within walking distance of most of the hotels.  This was great to not worry about loading up in the car every time you wanted to eat.

va beach 2015 sunset

We are planning a trip back later this summer to check out the Aquarium and Adventure Park.  We have heard many great things about this.

If you are looking for a place where you can relax while stilling having fun activities for the kids I suggest looking into VA Beach.

Catch31 hosted my family for dinner.  Opinions and photos are my own.    Thank you for supporting Catch31 and Petit Foodie.

Grilled Bread Avocado Bruschetta

Grilled Bread Avocado  Bruschetta!  Need an appetizer to blow the socks off your summer guests?  You need this recipe.  This amazing avocado bruschetta is vibrant and so fresh.  Using California Avocados this recipe came to life.  The vibrant green adds color and a creamy texture that really gives a new twist on the classic bruschetta.

avocado bruschetta petitfoodie

Don’t get me start on how much I love grilled bread.  I could go on for days quite literally.  It is one of the most wonderful you could ever prepare.  When covered in this avocado bruschetta its mind blowing.  Seriously – so insanely good.  The grilled bread becomes slightly soft when it absorbs the juices of the tomato and olive oil.  It is best served with a wonderful crisp white wine.

grilled bread avocado bruschetta www.petitfoodie.com

This appetizer, lunch or light dinner is super easy to throw together and can be made ahead of time.

Grilled bread appetizer petitfoodie.com


Make this a your go-to summer appetizer.

ca avocados www.petitfoodie.com

Grilled Bread Avocado Bruschetta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-6
  • 4 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • ½ whole CA Avocado, diced
  • ¼ C onion, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 T cilantro
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 sliced crusty bread
  • Italian seasoning
  • 6 T olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl gently combine tomatoes, avocado, onion, 1 T olive oil, garlic, jalapeno.
  2. Fold in cilantro.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat panini press or grill.
  6. Drizzle olive oil on each side of bread and season with Italian seasoning.
  7. Put on panini press or grill until gold grill marks appear. About 5 min.
  8. Place bread on serving plate and cover with avocado bruschetta. Serve immediately.


Watermelon Margarita

If you’re like me you’re always searching for a classic, easy cocktail that you can whip up in a hurry.  This summer make these watermelon margarita’s your go-to cocktail.  They are super easy to make and are super refreshing.

watermelon Margaritas  www.petitfoodie.com

I love this recipe because the true flavor of the watermelon shines through and is not over powered by any other ingredient.  This cocktail is perfect for entertaining because it is easy and the ingredients are pretty common.  Nothing fancy is needed to make.  Cocktail recipes often intimidate me because there are just so many different liquors in them that I usually don’t have on hand.  This recipe is definitely not that.

watermelon margarita petitfoodie

Celebrate your summer with these delicious watermelon margarita.

watermelon margs  www.petitfoodie.com

Watermelon Margarita
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 drinks
  • 4 ounces simple syrup
  • 4 ounces lime juice
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounce triple sec
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • Limes slices (garnish, optional)
  • Watermelon chunks (garnish, optional)
  1. To make simple syrup:
  2. In small pot simmer equal parts sugar and water together. (I used ¼ C sugar and ¼ C water)
  3. Once sugar is dissolved remove from heat and let cool.
  4. To make Watermelon juice:
  5. Put watermelon chunks through your juicer. If you do not have a juicer place chunks in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour watermelon through a fine mesh sieve to get the juice out.
  6. To make Margarita:
  7. Pour ingredients into a shaker (or large ball jar ) add 4-8 ice cubes and give a good shake.
  8. Rim 2 glasses with salt.
  9. Pour margarita into glasses and serve with lime wedge and watermelon chunk.


Blackberry Smoothie with Coconut Whipped Cream

Summer is coming and this blackberry smoothie with coconut whipped cream needs to be at the top of your must make list.  Refreshing and luxurious.

blkbry smoothie  www.petitfoodie.com

I have been skeptical about the whole coconut whipped cream fad.  I’m not sure what took me so long to try it!  It works and it’s absolutely delicious.  After much research I did read that the brand was important and full fat is essential.  I used Thai Kitchen.  Some people don’t sweeten the whipped cream but I think to get the true taste of whipped cream it is necessary.

blackbery smoothie www.petitfoodie.com

This vibrant smoothie is sweet and the gorgeous purple color is sure to put you in a good mood.  I usually freeze my bananas when I buy them and they are still yellow.  I find the longer they sit on the counter the sweeter they get.  So if you are using brown frozen bananas watch the amount of sweetener you add.

black berry smoothie with coconut whipped cream petitfoodie

Of course you could use any milk of your choice for the smoothie.

Blackberry Smoothie with Coconut Whipped Cream
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 smoothies
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 C blackberries, frozen
  • ½ C almond milk
  • ½ C coconut water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ C ice cubes
  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, placed in fridge overnight
  • 3 T powdered sugar
  1. Remove coconut milk from fridge and turn upside down. Open.
  2. Pour out coconut water and reserve for smoothie.
  3. In a medium bowl beat cold coconut milk until soft peaks form.
  4. Fold in powdered sugar
  5. Set in fridge until ready to use.
  6. Place first 6 ingredients in blender and blend until thick and smooth
  7. Top smoothie with dollop of coconut whipped cream


Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every Mother deserves homemade cookies on Mothers’ Day.  Don’t settle for the same old flowers and a card or store-bought treats this year.  Whip up a batch of these fool-proof cookies.  These chocolate white chocolate chip cookies are the perfect treat to give your mom this Mothers’ Day.

chocolate cookies petitfoodie.com

Just the right amount of cocoa powder to add richness.  The white chocolate chips add sweetness that that make these cookies perfect and add a vibrant burst of contrast against the dark cookie.

chocolate white choc chip cookies www.petitfoodie.com

Delight mom this Sunday with these chewy rich chocolate white chocolate chip cookies.

chocolate cookies  www.petitfoodie.com

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 cookies
  • ½ C butter, room temp
  • ½ C granulated sugar
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C flour
  • ½ C cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 C white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. In a mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until creamy. About 2 min.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Working in batch slowly add dry ingredients to wet.
  6. Mix until just combine.
  7. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon 1 T dough on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Remove and let cool 1-2 minutes on baking sheet.


Favorite Week Night Meals

I’ve been in a serious dinner-rut lately.  Everything just seems dull and un-inspiring.  I’ve been searching the web and cookbooks all weekend trying to find new and fun ideas that my family would enjoy.  I thought you might could use some ideas to liven up your weekly meal plan.

favorite week night meals


Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta

Creamy Garlic Spinach and Shrimp Pasta

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Sliders

Spicy Almond Crusted Chicken Tender Salad

Steak Fajitas

Steak Stir Fry

Teriyaki chicken

Spicy BBQ Chicken Quinoa

Ricotta Quinoa Cakes

Mexican Pork and Rice Soup

Skinny Chicken Salad

Greek Salmon Quesadillas

These Greek salmon quesadillas pack some serious goodness.  Full of all things good and flavor I could not help but fall in love with them.

greek salmon quesadilla www.petitfodie.com

For weeks I had been craving simple grilled salmon.  Nothing fancy and nothing drenched in oil or butter.  So we bought a crazy amount of salmon one night and grilled it up.  Simple no fuss – dash of olive oil, salt and pepper and a hefty squeeze of lemon.  It was perfection.  Luckily, I had quite a bit left over, which is a rare thing in my house.   I was inspired to use the left overs to make these perfect quesadillas.

greek salmon quesadilla petitfoodie

They have such a wholesome healthy taste to them.  Seriously, the clean fresh taste of the salmon and the salty feta and olives combined with the refreshing tomato and sweet onion make for lush experience for your palate.

greek salmon quesadilla www.petitfoodie.com

This was the perfect way to use up left-over salmon.

Greek Salmon Quesadillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 quesadillas
  • 4 oz grilled salmon
  • ¼ C olives, chopped
  • 2 T feta, crumbled
  • ½ small Roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 T red onion, chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 flour tortillas
  1. Heat a grill pan or panini press.
  2. Chop grilled salmon into big chunks,
  3. Place 2 oz of salmon in the middle of each flour tortilla.
  4. Top with ⅛ C olives, 1 T feta, a handful of chopped tomato, 1 T red onion
  5. Repeat with remaining tortilla.
  6. Fold each tortilla in half and brush each one with ½ T olive oil on each side.
  7. Place in grill pan or panini press and cook for 3-5 min on each side. If using the panini press this would be total time no need to flip.


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