Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ambrosia Salad

Bryan's company is having its summer barbecue today and I'm pretty excited. I love, love being a stay at home wife and not having a job but sometimes I really like to have events to go to. During the day the only people I see are strangers at the store. Thank goodness for my cat so that I have another living soul around to interact with. Translation: excited.

I'm supposed to bring a side. I was torn between a chip dip I'd found on Pinterest and this recipe that I grew up with-- my mom would take it to church barbecues as well. I was concerned that maybe it was too dessert-ish since other people are to bring desserts. Am I possibly a little obsessive-compulsive? Then my friend Ashley said, "Everyone loves a sweet salad!" So, it won. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.

See below for full recipe. Here's what you'll need:
I didn't make a neat little grid of pictures showing adding everything together like I did with Taco Salad because I just didn't have the time so you can see all the pictures below. Suffice it to say all you do is mix everything together and then refrigerate it until you're ready to serve it.

I don't even like pineapple and I love this salad!

My mom didn't have exact measurements when I talked to her so I'll just provide what I did but they are very give-or-take kind of ingredients.


1/2 a bag of mini marshmallows
1 large can of pineapple chunks, drained
2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 10 oz. jar of maraschino cherries, drained
7 oz. shredded coconut (I just used half a 14 oz bag)
1 lb. sour cream

  1. Mix together all ingredients.
  2. Store in refrigerator until ready to be served.
Wasn't that easy?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

REVIEW: Zucchini Bread

Okay, so this is a quasi-review in that I think zucchini bread is a pretty basic recipe but this is my go-to zucchini bread recipe and I have always loved it.

Bryan and I planted a small garden this summer and, though my husband is not a huge fan of squash, I begged him to let us plant some zucchini. He gave in when I promised zucchini bread. Duh! That's probably why I wanted to plant it in the first place... I do like zucchini sliced and fried, though. Anyway, our zucchinis are finally coming to a stage where some of them can be plucked. I trust this recipe to always be good but I do change it up a little. Here is the base recipe:

Sometimes I add the nuts it calls for, if I have them. I seem to almost always have coconut on hand so I throw that in along with about 1/2 C. of chocolate chips. Once I have poured the batter into the bread pans and before cooking I top it with a mixture of 2 Tbsp white sugar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon, an idea I got from Our Best Bites. It's to die for!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Taco Salad

This is a very cool and refreshing dinner in the summer time. Everyone probably already has their own variation on this. This is simply what I grew up having my mom make and I loved it. I think this is the reason I love Fritos so much. Anyway, this is a very basic and simple meal. See below for full recipe. Here's what you'll need:

Here is everything but the green onions, which I forgot to get at the store and the ground beef that I was already browning on the stove when this picture was taken. Oops.

Here's a tip I learned about slicing avocados. Cut it in half and slice it it while still in the shell and then just pop the slices out. Also, if you have a bigger knife you can whack the seed with it to pry it out. I'm realizing that both of those tips need to be followed by: Caution! Don't slice your hand open while doing so.
I decided I didn't need to post every picture. First, brown your meat and then basically, just put all the ingredients in the bowl, making sure to tear the lettuce. I use maybe 2 cups of cheese but you really can put however much of any of these things as you want.

Toss the mixture and then pour Italian Dressing over it until wet. Maybe like 1/3 cup? Depends how much you like the Italian Dressing flavor. I made the mistake of using the whole bottle once in my early days of cooking...
Serve with Fritos! (This is the best part of the meal, in my opinion :))


1 lb. ground beef
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can sliced olives
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1-2 avocados, sliced
About 2 cups Mexican Mix (or other) Cheese
1 head lettuce, torn (I use romaine because it's better for you than iceberg but crispier than spinach)
About 1/3-1 cup Italian dressing (however much you want)

  1. Brown meat and rinse off fat.
  2. Place browned meat, kidney beans, olives, tomatoes, green onions, avocados, cheese and lettuce in the bowl.
  3. Toss mixture and then coat in Italian dressing until wet.
  4. Serve over Fritos.