Grilled Peaches With Honey and Yogurt

Grilled Peaches With Honey and Yogurt – an easy summer dessert for under 100 calories!

If you're looking for a quick an easy summer dessert under 100 calories, look no further!

Nothing says summer like biting into a juicy peach. Grilling them is a simple way to enjoy them as a dessert, a perfect ending to a backyard BBQ without heating up your kitchen. Delicious topped with yogurt and honey, but also great topped with low fat ice cream. 

Grilled Peaches With Honey and Yogurt – an easy summer dessert for under 100 calories!

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…


Asparagus Recipes

Asparagus Recipes

The local asparagus season is in full swing which is great because it's one of my favourite foods! Asparagus is one of the first vegetables to show up after a long cold winter so I always enjoy its arrival and eating plenty of it! It is a very versatile vegetable that can be used in many different ways from soups to salads, sandwiches, sides, casseroles, etc and I like to experiment with new ways of using it during the brief period before the rest of summers bounty starts to appear. Here are a few of my favourite asparagus recipes and expect a few new ones soon since I just picked up a ton of it at the farmers market!

Read the recipe »

picnic pink lemonade

pink lemonade

For reasons I cannot adequately put my finger on, if you show up to a potluck or picnic this weekend with carafes of freshly-squeezed lemonade, you will be welcomed and adored, but if you show up with the same carafes of freshly-made pink lemonade, people will actually freak out. Why is pink lemonade so much more exciting than the pale yellow that accurately depicts the lemons from which it is derived? It’s a mystery to me as well but I — a person who does not own a single pink garment and likes to consider myself immune to pastel-tinted charms — will always reach for it first.

auditioning many types of pink

a model of lemon-juicing efficiency

Also fun is to ask a roomful of a people what makes pink lemonade pink, well aside from the Red Dye #40 in most bottled versions, and to realize that none of use really know. We’ve discussed it here a couple summers ago and while many of the suggestions are sound and probably delicious — grenadine! hibiscus! pink lemons! — I tend to gravitate instead to the fresh berries that hit the markets during the peak lemonade season ahead. Or, uh, distant-origin strawberry, blackberries and raspberries that were on sale this past weekend. Er, it’s not like we were growing lemons in our New York City fire escapes anyhow, as much fun as it would be.

water and sugar, ready for later

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. |
permalink to picnic pink lemonade | one comment to date | see more: Blackberries, Drinks, Lemon, Photo, Picnics, Raspberries, Strawberries, Summer

The Middles

middlesI don’t always post about the next day’s new Food Network episode, but today I’m going to do just that because the show that’s airing tomorrow has a special place in my middle child heart. It’s called, appropriately, “The Middles,” and focuses on a week awhile back when Todd and Alex were both gone for a week with and Bryce and Paige were stuck on the ranch together. These two are in the same boat in life: They’re neither the youngest nor the oldest, they’re neither the first nor the last. Classic middle child scenario.

Now, there are certain words I would never use to describe my two pookie-headed middle children.

Shy, for one.

Timid, for another.

“Pushovers?” Never. Nada. No way, baby!

They are strong, willful, and oftentimes, they take no prisoners. They can wow me with their creativity and confidence one minute, then leave me dazed and confused and wondering how they outsmarted me the next. They brawl with each other while their older and younger siblings are walking around chasing rainbows and daydreaming, and the flip side of this is, they love like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s interesting, actually, that I feel such a middle child kinship with these two very strong personalities. My own Middle Child Syndrome manifested itself in different ways, from shoving gum wrappers up my nose and forgetting about them until they infected my sinuses, to sitting around memorizing Gilligan’s Island episodes until I could recite them word for word for my class, which never really understood the point, by the way.

middles2But oh, the connection I have with these two. It’s a biggun. I love all my children equally, but I love these two in a very unique and indescribable way. They make life exciting, and they bring passion, excitement, enthusiasm, and humor to our house.

When I look at them, my heart skips a beat.

I love my middle children. I hope you enjoy tomorrow’s show!


Gum Wrapper Girl

Roast Asparagus and Mushroom Chicken Spinach Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Goat Cheese

Roast Asparagus and Mushroom Chicken Spinach Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Goat Cheese

With the warm and summery weather here it's time for more salads and today I have a salad for you that is a mouthful in more than one way, a roast asparagus and mushroom chicken spinach salad with bacon, avocado and goat cheese! This chicken spinach salad starts out with fresh summer asparagus that is roasted along with some mushrooms, since asparagus and mushrooms are such a great combo, and then moves on to adding the goodies including the avocado, bacon and goat cheese! A nice light optionally homemade balsamic vinaigrette goes perfectly with the flavours in this salad and throwing in some fresh basil and lemon zest adds an amazing summery freshness!

This salad is great with all of the cooked ingredients still warm but it's also really nice at room temperature or even straight from the fridge so feel free to cook the chicken and bacon the day before and optionally warm it up again. (I prefer the texture of the roasted asparagus straight from the oven so I generally do not cook t ahead of time.)

Read the recipe »

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta

Juicy tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, red onion, garlic and balsamic can turn plain grilled chicken into a delicious weeknight meal in minutes! Make the Bruschetta the night before or early in the morning and let all the flavors marinate, then when you are ready to eat grill some chicken and you have yourself a quick weeknight meal.
Grilled Chicken Bruschetta – a delicious, light summer dish!

This recipe is from the archives but a regular in my house this time of year. Although this tomato mixture is usually served over toasted bread, I love serving it over grilled chicken to make it a light, low-carb meal. The tomatoes are the star of the show, to quote my husband, "You could serve this over cardboard and it would be good!" Serve this with some crusty bread to soak up the juice if you wish, or just make a great big salad on the side.

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta – a delicious, light summer dish!

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…

pasta salad with roasted tomatoes

pasta salad with roasted tomatoes

For someone who is patently terrified of all the offerings in the deli case pasta salad universe — the tri-colore, mayo-slicked, sugar-sweetened, canned tuna-flecked, curry powder-ed, and dotted with green peppers, raisins or ohgodboth — I sure spend a spectacular amount of each summer trying to come up with cold pasta preparations I’d find agreeable. I know that there’s one out there I could love and could love me back, but although a few attempts have gotten me closer, and even temporarily sated, my perfect picnic pasta salad eluded me.

getting ready to slow roast

from the oven, half-dried

Late last summer, I began forming an idea of how to make this, a pasta salad that would be loud, punchy and full of texture where others are mellow and limp. My notes are adamant about a well-toasted crunch, such as pine nuts, a good salty crumbled cheese, like ricotta salata or feta, chopped black olives, such as those oil-cured ones I was slowly developing an affection for, and pasta taken off the stove when it’s an aggressive al dente, even two minutes before tender “doneness” instead of one, so that no matter how long it soaks in dressing, it does not collapse. But I got stuck on the last ingredient, because what I really wanted in there was not those “sun-dried” tomatoes you find in dry-packs and jars, but these wondrously slow-baked oven tomatoes, all chewy, tart and intense.

what you'll need

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© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. |
permalink to pasta salad with roasted tomatoes | 2 comments to date | see more: Pasta, Photo, Picnics, Salad, Summer, Tomatoes, Vegetarian

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Skewers

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Skewers – lemon, garlic, parmesan and parsley are the perfect combination for these delicous skewers!

If you're looking for something new to make on the grill, you're going to love this!  All the lemony, garlicky flavors I love in a scampi, but lighter because there's no butter and just a touch of olive oil. After I grill them, I squeeze more lemon over them and top them with a little fresh grated parmesan – SO good!

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Skewers – lemon, garlic, parmesan and parsley are the perfect combination for these delicous skewers!

I put lemon slices in between the shrimp for presentation but it's totally optional. If you plan on doing this, it's best to double up on the skewers so the lemon and shrimp doesn't rotate around the stick when you're grilling. I actually forgot to do this and added the second stick after so it's not as spaced as I would have liked the sticks to be. Hope you enjoy!

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…


I had to look through my Instagram photos over the past year because I was in search of a few specific ones…but I got sidetracked and started reminiscing.

Here are some highlights.

IMG_1365Ahhh, my sunflower garden from last year. I’m not sure if this is going to be a reality this year or not since I haven’t had a chance to plant much because of the rain.

On the other hand, our ponds are full.

Life is interesting!

IMG_1560Charlie and me at the pet parade. This was exactly one year ago, I think, and was a mere three weeks after I got my bottom in gear and started walking.

Man, am I glad I did.

IMG_2223This is a tree I see on my walks everyday. It’s eerie and beautiful and weird.

IMG_2602I have more sunrise/sunset photos on Instagram than I care to admit.

IMG_3256But I can’t help it.

IMG_3528The sky inspires me.

IMG_2081This is Charlie’s paw.

I’m obsessed with his paws.

IMG_3264The girls working with their dad.

They’re good help.

IMG_2154Tomatoes from my garden last year.

Now, I did get tomatoes in the ground before all this wacky weather arrived. So I have hope.

IMG_1679Aw, this was our family trip to Colorado this summer.

IMG_1747Me and Bryce, at the beginning of our hike up the mountain.

IMG_1817This was me somewhere along our hike. As you can see, the lack of oxygen had gone to my brain.

IMG_1925This was a day or two later, when Marlboro Man and I hiked down the mountain.

It was a lot more pleasant than hiking up.

(Rancher leg alert!)

IMG_3536I have no idea why I have a photo of the pasta in my pantry, but I do.

IMG_3142I love this photo because it captures the crazy beauty of Osage County.

I don’t think I could live anywhere else.

IMG_3761I have a few pics of my beloved and me on Instagram.

IMG_3845This was the Christmas party from last year.

IMG_3904This was when we got our office done last summer.

IMG_3726Aw…hi, Walter! I love you, ya big lug.

IMG_3952Pretty Paigie.

IMG_3934Sweet Sisters.

IMG_3490Hilarious Hounds.

IMG_3964Bountiful Butter.

IMG_4453Forever Friends.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!


(Note: In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to repost this from one year ago. The photos help remind us all to stop and reflect today.)

Many of you may remember that a few years ago, I held a photo “Coming Home” contest on Pioneer Woman Photography and received a huge amount of submissions. The photos were beautiful and emotional (and heartbreaking), and I wanted to share some of them again today as I have a few times since then. The photos mostly depict soldiers returning home from deployment, but are a reminder to all of us to remember those who lost their lives and were never able to return.

I’ve listed a small handful of organizations below for those of you who are able help this Memorial Day. The ones I listed have high ratings (meaning, the vast majority of donations goes directly to helping the recipients rather than on administrative costs).

Please feel free to list any good veteran organizations you may be aware of.

But first, here are the photos.

Thank you again to those who shared your beautiful photos back then. You have touched so many over the past few years, and I continue to be grateful that you submitted them.

And finally: thank you to the veterans who’ve served our country, and the families who have sacrificed so much. You are loved.


By Katie_Mihalak.


By Skyerphooey.

grand homecoming

By Joiedevivrephotography.

Home from Iraq first time meeting daughter!

By Erin Dietrich1.

Home from Iraq

By Tiffanynewmanphotography.


By carots23.

115 (2)

By MissFranciePants.


By Thia Photographie.


By Brandy Edwards.


By Stephanie Howell.


By RangerPrincess.

Homecoming 2007

By Gwenshep.

Welcome Home Son

By Katie_Mihalak.

KristeeandJason 002

By Lil-Bee.

United States Army Military Funeral


christiBy BJG.

Military Organizations

Here are some good organizations for you to check out. Some are larger, some smaller. All share a common purpose: To help veterans and their families.

Operation Homefront

Supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind.

Homes for Our Troops

Building specially adapted homes for our severely injured veterans.

The Navy Seal Foundation

Honoring our warriors. Supporting their families.

Again: Feel free to share military organizations you may know about.

And please join me in praying for both injured vets and the families of those who have fallen.

Lots of love,