Friday, July 6, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!

How much fun was the linky party last week!?!  I sure hope you shared one of your recipes!  If not, scroll down and link up today!  The top three recipes last week were the following:

Taking the top rank are these amazing Peanut Butter Cup Cookies from Lois at Walking on Sunshine!

In second place are these fantastic Key Lime Filled Lemon Cupcakes from Dawn at Dawn's Divine Delights!

Tied for third are this amazing Dutch Potato Salad from Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings,

and these adorable Mini S'more Cookies from Angie at A 'Lil Country Sugar.

Congratulations to all of you and thank you for sharing your fantastic recipes! 

Let's get this started!  Remember, when you upload your link here you are going to be featured on all the blogs listed below:

Make sure that anything you link up is:
  • Made by you
  • Not part of a sponsership/sales/giveaway
  • Linked to a specific page of your recipe, not your homepage
Other nice things you can do:
  • Show some love and link back to my blog and Foodie Friends Friday ( )
  • Grab our button and put it on your page and share Foodie Friends Friday!
  • Take some time and check out other submitted links and the blogs of all of our gracious hosts
***Please note that by linking up you are giving permission to use photos/links to post on Foodie Friends Friday Hosts Blogs and/or Foodie Friends Friday.  If phots are used, proper linkbacks will be posted with them.  We just want to share your amazing recipes and spread some foodie <3 !

  • Have Fun and Thank You for Visiting!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Roasted Carrots

Carrots are a great snack.  They are even sweet enough for most children to enjoy eating raw.  Kids can crunch on plain carrot sticks or snack on them with a myriad of dips.  For a change of pace, try roasting them.  It is so easy!  Like the kale chips, there are very few ingredients and kids will love to help.  These are one of my daughter's favorite snacks.  I love how simple and versatile they are.

These carrots are great hot out of the oven, but equally delicious cold out of the fridge for days!  Once cooked, they are an easy addition to a variety of foods from quesadillas to salads.  These have become one of the staples I almost always have in my fridge and I hope they will become that for you too!  

carrots, cut into strips
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, drizzle enough olive oil over carrots to thinly coat.  Toss to ensure they are evenly coated.  Season with salt and pepper (easy on the pepper if intended for children).
  3. Bake for approximately 20 minutes stirring once, or until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Beyond the Kids' Menu - California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen is a Californian institution.  They were the among the first major players in the gourmet pizza restaurant niche.  They have some fun meals and are a great place to dine out.  However, like most restaurants, their kids' menu is sorely lacking.  They have the usual offenders like mac n' cheese and buttered pasta (I'm sorry, that just sounds gross!).  They seem to have tried a healthier option with a salad, but upon closer inspection, it consists of only lettuce, dressing, and goldfish crackers (Really?  Why?)  So naturally, I looked to see what other options they had that would offer my daughter more veggies, and here is what she tried.

She decided on a cup (7 oz) of their smashed pea and barley soup along with the white corn guacamole and chips from their small cravings menu.  She loved it!  It certainly helps that her favorite color is green, so having so much green in her meal was fun.  The soup is a perfect size for a small child.  We had them bring it out a little early so it had time to cool (with the help of a few ice cubes) before the rest of the meal was served.  She raved about the soup and insisted that I learn how to make it at home. 

The guacamole was also a real winner.  It is made with avocado, corn, black beans, jicama, bell pepper,  scallions, cilantro, and serrano peppers.  It was not spicy at all and served cold so it was easy for her to eat.  Chips are a treat for her so she was very excited about it.  Don't believe that a three year old would eat these?  Just look at how she cleared her dishes all on her own.  She didn't even share!  :)

Another great item form their small craving menu is their Mediterranean Plate with pita, hummus, and a cucumber greek salad.  Unfortunately, this location was no longer serving it, but if the CPK near you has it, it is a great option for kids!  The kids' menu offerings run about $5-$6, and this meal cost us $7.75.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade "Olive Garden" Salad

I grew up going to Olive Garden and that restaurant still holds a dear place in my heart.  I will always love their fettuccine alfredo, breadsticks, and most of all, their salad!  It is one of my favorite restaurant salads of all time and I was so excited to find a way to make a very similar version at home.  The real secret to this salad is the dressing.  The veggies in the salad themselves aren't very unique (which makes it easy to make!), but the flavor it great!  I only make this salad with farm fresh romaine lettuce.  I feel that makes a huge difference in all my salads.  My husband doesn't really like the olives or peppers in the restaurant version, so we leave them out.  But feel free to add whatever veggies you want!  

Dressing Ingredients
 - makes enough for 2 salads-

1/2 C mayonnaise
1/3 C white vinegar
1 tsp canola oil
1-2 Tbsp agave nectar
2-3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 Tbsp freshly grated Romano cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Salad Ingredients
- for 1 salad that serves 4 as a side-

1 very large head of romaine (usually 2 when store bought)
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced into wedges
your favorite croutons

Shared on Orgjunkie!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekly Menu

Happy Fourth of July week everybody!  We picked up a wonderful variety of produce from our local organic farms this week.  We selected basil, romaine, carrots, mini orange and white cauliflower, sweet Maui onion, corn on the cob, peaches, plums, strawberries, and granny smith apples (brought in from further away).
  • Crispy Gnocchi with Pesto and my version of The Olive Garden Salad
    • using the basil and romaine

  • Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup and Roasted Carrots
    • using the carrots

  • Asian Marinated Tofu Steaks with Shoyu, Garlic, and Green Onion Roasted Cauliflower
    • using the cauliflower

  • Fourth of July Menu
    • Hamburgers and Hotdogs - using the romaine and onion
    • Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Mayo Dip
    • The Ultimate Potato Salad
    • Fruit Bowl
    • Basil Butter Corn on the Cob - using the corn
    • Blueberry Cabernet Cheesecake Popsicle
    • Homemade Apple Pie and Ice Cream - using the apples
We will be enjoying the peaches, plums, and strawberries for dessert throughout the week.

Linking up at OrgJunkie