Summertime Sangria

This is the last of my girl weekend posts. Sigh. These girl weekend posts started with a cocktail (a Strawberry Slushi Cocktail to be exact), so why not end the girl weekend posts with another cocktail?

S'mores Chocolate Chippies

If you know anything about me, you know that I'm OBSESSED with s'mores. Classic s'mores, s'mores cookies, s'mores brownies, s'mores ice cream, s'mores flavored anything. This relatively new obsession started when I was reintroduced to marshmallow fluff and all of the wonderful things you can make with it. I actually get excited whenever I see a s'more recipe (I may or may not have an entire pinterest board dedicated to s'mores). Yes it might be a problem, and no I'm not worried about it.

Root Beer Float Cocktail

Root beer is a great mixer for vodka cocktails. When I was in college, my standard pregame drink was vodka and root beer. Root beer has a distinct and strong flavor that masks the unpleasant alcoholic bite of cheap vodka (which, let's be serious, was a staple for me and my college budget).

Fluffernutter Cookies

Fluffernutter sandwiches are God's gift to humans. I grew up eating fluffernutter sandwiches daily. When I saw this cookie recipe on Picky Palate, I knew I had to try these. With only three ingredients and a total prep and bake time of less than 30 minutes, these cookies sound perfect.  

3 Ingredient Healthy Pasta Sauce

SkinnyTaste is one of my favorite blogs, hands down. She has so many wonderful recipes that are delicious and good for you. I got the idea for this 3 Ingredient Healthy Pasta Sauce from SkinnyTaste's Easy Garden Tomato Sauce. I made her recipe even healthier by eliminating the olive oil and using low sodium vegetable broth to saute and steam the tomatoes. The outcome of my sauce was even better than I expected. After letting the tomatoes simmer for 30 minutes, the juice from the tomatoes is reduced and the tomato flavor is intensified. The result is a rich, flavorful, fresh tomato sauce that is way better tasting than anything you'll find in a jar, and better for you too. I can't wait to try this sauce with my Healthy Eggplant Rollatini and other Italian recipes.

Rocky Road Fluff

When I was little, I loved the Oreo dirt dessert with gummy worms. When I came across the Oreo Fluff recipe on Chef in Training, I really wanted to try this grown-up version of the classic dirt dessert.

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

These bars are out. of. this. world. Thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything, I now have a new favorite dessert. I call these pieces of heaven "bars" because I'm not sure what I should classify them as: a blondie, cookie bar, or maybe even a cake bar with a chocolate frosting filling? One thing I do know is that these bars are in their own dessert category and that category is amazing-ness.

Strawberry Slushi Cocktail

I love girl weekends. And lucky for me I get to have two in a row! This past weekend my Mom came up to D.C. to visit me. She just left :( but we had a great time together. My friends from college are coming up next weekend, which I couldn't be more excited for! With so many people coming to visit, I have an excuse to try lots of fun, new recipes. So, the next week or so of posts will be documenting all of the recipes I've made for these girl weekends.

Mediterranean Salad

This is a different twist on my Quinoa, Chickpea, and Avocado Salad. With the addition of crumble feta cheese, this recipe has more of a Mediterranean vibe to it. This salad also eliminates the avocado topping and just uses sliced avocado placed on top. This cuts the prep time and makes the salad even easier to prepare. This recipe is great served as a light lunch, or would pair well with a grilled turkey burger or grilled chicken for dinner.

Healthy Eggplant Rollatini

This is one of my new favorite creations, hands down. I originally got the idea to substitute eggplant for lasagna noodles from my trusty source, Pinterest. While I was browsing Pinterest (which happens entirely too often), I stumbled across this Eggplant Rollatini Kraft recipe. It looked good enough and received high reviews, so I added it to my pin board.

Blueberry Muffin Oats

Here is a fun twist on regular oatmeal. With the addition of a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand and some fresh blueberries, you can transform plain oatmeal into a delicious breakfast. This recipe is very easy to make and is ready in under 5 minutes-perfect for you snooze button lovers who find yourselves crunched for time in the mornings. These oats are very satisfying and keep you full for hours, all while tasting like a warm blueberry muffin. Give these oats a try while fresh blueberries are still in season!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

These cupcakes are to dieeee forrrrr. I don't remember how I came across this Pillsbury recipe, but I always figure a dessert with chocolate and peanut butter must be good. Well that's an understatement for these delicious cupcakes. They are rich, decadent, and full of flavor, fulfilling your chocolate, peanut butter, and cake cravings all in one. These are so good, in fact, that you don't even notice that they are a slightly healthier version of the original recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layered Cupcakes from Pillsbury

Basic Stir Fry

This is one of my standard week night recipes. I usually don't get home until 6:30 and am starving, so the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen; the first thing I want is a very quick and satisfying dinner. This Asian stir fry is just that.

3 Layer Mexican Dip

Warm Layered Mexican Dip by My Retro Kitchen
This simple Mexican layer dip is a quick appetizer you can throw together when you have people over.  This dip is great by itself but is also a good base for adding different layers, such as refried beans, black beans, corn, onions, or queso cheese. Because this recipe calls for reduced fat cream cheese and shredded cheese, you can snack on this yummy dip without feeling too guilty. (You could even try using fat free cream cheese or reducing the amount of shredded cheese to cut the calories and fat even more.) With football season and tailgating right around the corner, this recipe will surely come in handy.

Best Ever Waffles

I love family traditions, especially ones involving food. This particular waffle recipe was given to my Dad from a former teacher of his, who also happens to be my god mother. I don't know how she got the recipe, but it has been a favorite of my family's for years. We used to make this breakfast every Sunday morning before church. Now that we are all watching our waistlines a little more, this recipe isn't made quite as often. But this is certainly a go-to recipe of my family's, and if you try it I'm sure it'll be a new go-to for your family as well.

Skinny Cupcakes

I've been following Hungry Girl for a while, and this is one of her best creations I've tried so far. Not only are these cupcakes really easy to make because they only have two ingredients, but they take less than 30 minutes to mix and bake AND are healthier than normal cupcakes.

The main downfall to these is that the texture is different from normal cake; these Skinny Cupcakes remind me more of a dense muffin. But when you are craving sweets and are watching your diet, this recipe will definitely come in handy.

For the recipe, visit my updated post here!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

Yes, another oatmeal recipe. Are you starting to get a sense of my oatmeal obsession? I found this recipe on Gingerbread Bagels blog. This particular recipe peaked my interest because it has oatmeal AND peanut butter. Such a dynamic duo.

Oatmeal Squares from Gingerbread Bagels

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Is it just me or do these insanely hot days make you crave autumn? Cooler days, football, tailgating, hockey, fall foliage, state fairs, pumpkin carving, Halloween, Thanksgiving...the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, I love summer and everything associated with this season. But sometimes I wouldn't mind a brisk fall day to break up these 100 degree days with 100% humidity.

No Noodle Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my all time favorite Italian dishes. I love how the layers are delicious by themselves, but bake together to make a harmonious one-dish meal. Traditional lasagna, however, can be rather caloric depending on the ingredients that are used. One way to lighten up this dish is to substitute fresh zucchini or eggplant for the noodles. 


Guacamole Hummus

Do you love hummus? Do you love guacamole? Well look no further, because this Guacamole Hummus is one of the best dips you will ever make. Adapted from an Avocado Hummus recipe found on C+C Marriage Factory, this super easy and flavorful recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prep and assemble and will no doubt be a huge crowd pleaser. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week for the perfect afternoon snack.

Avocado Hummus from C+C Marriage Factory

Red, White, and Blue Trifle (Fourth of July Dessert, Part 2)

Looking for a way to use the leftover cake and frosting from the Surprise Flag Cake? How about a trifle! This festive layer dessert is easy to assemble and you already have half of the ingredients prepared if you made the Surprise Flag Cake. Just run to the store to grab some fruit and the ingredients for the pudding layer and you are all set.

Surprise Flag Cake (Fourth of July Dessert, Part 1)

This looks just like a regular cake with cream cheese frosting,

but when you cut into it...

an American flag is revealed!

Happy Fourth of July!

  I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!!!!

Check back later this week to see what festive desserts I put together!

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

I've always had a love/hate relationship with meatloaf. Ever since I can remember, I've loved my Dad's homemade meatloaf but hated every other meatloaf I tried. I'm not sure if it was all in my head or if there are certain ingredients that are commonly used in meatloaf recipes that I don't find appetizing, but I've made it a point to avoid meatloaf.

Mini Turkey Meatloaf from Literal Cooking

Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail

Blueberry Lemonade from Guest of a Guest
Looking for a quick and delicious cocktail to serve at your fourth of July cookout? Or just looking for a refreshing drink with a little kick? Look no further. My Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail is perfect for bbqs and cookouts, or relaxing after a long day. Low in calories and high in flavor, this will be your new go-to summertime cocktail.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Oats

I get late night sugar cravings. A lot. In attempts to keep my waistline slim and bikini ready, I'm always experimenting with healthy ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. Earlier this week I was craving warm, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. While this type of cookie is not usually that unhealthy, I didn't like the thought of turning on my oven during our insane heat wave (it was still 90 degrees at 9pm). So why not get my oatmeal raisin fix by sprucing up regular oats with spices, flavorings, and raisins?

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