June 30, 2011


I don't think I've ever spent as much time in the kitchen as I have these past three weeks.

I never knew how much I could miss having my very own kitchen to cook and bake in. But then the whirlwind of our lives this past year happened, and I got to go without having my own kitchen for nearly twelve months solid.

So yes, I've been spending a very large portion of my day in our kitchen. I've been really inspired to try so many new recipes and it's been a delight to discover some amazingly good dishes that I'm sure will become a staple in our family for years to come.

And of course with it being summer, I love filling our menu with fresh fruits and vegetables. I have logged plenty of time slicing, dicing, peeling, and chopping all this goodness.

I don't dare profess to be an accomplished cook, but I hope to be one day. Slowly but surely I've stretched my legs in the kitchen, and one day I hope to be brave enough to take on some larger, trickier tasks, like making a delicious, golden turkey for Thanksgiving with homemade stuffing, or chocolate souffl├ęs.

I have no intention of turning my blog into a cooking/baking blog, but from here on out, I'd like to share some of my successes with you {every so often} in hopes of inspiring you to try and enjoy them for yourselves!

To begin with, a perfectly summery Strawberry Salad, recipe courtesy of my lovely Mom.

It's a simple as can be: mixed greens, sliced strawberries, feta cheese crumbles, a little raspberry vinaigrette dressing {I used Kraft's}, and a sprinkle of candied pecans. {you can use plain pecans, but candied are sooo yummy. To make, just heat 2 Tbsp of water and 2 Tbsp of sugar in a saucepan, then add around 1/4 cup of any nut. Simmer and stir constantly for about 5 minutes, then spread nuts onto parchment paper to dry.}

For dessert--super easy and super delicious Jello Peanut Butter Parfaits, courtesy of Kraft Food magazine.

Simply whip up a box of instant chocolate pudding mix and layer it with the peanut butter filling. For the filling: 1 cup of Cool Whip, 3 Tbsp of peanut butter, and 3 Tbsp of milk. Beat the milk and peanut butter together first, then add the Cool Whip, and voila! Light, fluffy, peanut-buttery goodness.

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