In the Kitchen

Summer just has to be one of the happiest seasons ever.
Bright colors. Carefree days. Cold drinks.
Flip flops. Plenty of time at the lake or the pool.
Fresh produce: tomatoes, green beans, corn.
Long daylight hours. Children catching fireflies.
And the list doesn’t stop there!
My, how I love summer!


I have been re-inspired to create in the kitchen ~ finally!

After what seemed like a very long month of complete and utter lethargy
and gross feelings about doing anything in this room of the house
{or any other room for that matter}. . .
I think I’m back to my excited and inspired self when it comes to food creations. :)
Hmmm. First trimester must be nearing its end.
Oh, and a week of a 100% break from thinking about or cooking food
at the family camp last week couldn’t have hurt me either.

Just a few things to delight the eyes and the palette this week have been . . .

img_0405Sandwiches & Wraps of many varieties:
This one was tuna salad, garden lettuce, sinfully sweet tomatoes, and banana pepper rings
folded into a delicious Joseph Pita (only 4-6 carbs for the pita).
For those of you who dislike canned tuna, I apologize, but I and my family love it! :)


img_0409Heirloom Tomato Salad:
{from the lovely magazine Life:BeautifulIf you don’t subscribe, you should!}
2 large heirloom tomatoes, quartered or sliced
1 cup medium heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
8 ounces cherry or pearl-sized fresh mozzarella
High quality balsamic vinegar
I added a drizzle of olive oil and a little course celtic salt as well
6 leaves fresh basil


img_0412Chicken Salad:
oven roasted chicken breast with favorite seasonings such as rosemary,
onion powder, salt & pepper. chop fine. add green onions, fresh dill,
mayo, a little herbamare or salt to taste.

A friend of mine on Instagram said adding craisens was a favorite . . .
I went looking for them in my pantry, but alas, had used them all in something else.
But I may try this in the future if I’m wanting a little added sweetness in my chicken salad.


img_0414Triple Berry Spinach Salad:
{This one was from Life:Beautiful as well.}
4 cups baby spinach, washed & dried
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 green onion, sliced
2 ounces soft goat cheese, broken into small pieces

On a platter, mound spinach. Top with berries and onion.
Sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve with a raspberry vinaigrette or make your own . . .

Raspberry Vinaigrette:
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1.5 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

img_0429Another Muti-colored Salad . . .
because the possibilities are endless.
I like to see my children interested in salads,
and one like this certainly catches their eye!
This one had:
a bit of spinach,
tender garden lettuce from my mil’s garden
grape tomatoes,
red/purple cabbage
banana pepper rings
green onions
a sprinkling of parsley
fresh mozzerlla cheese
homemade ranch dressing on the side.


This morning I’m baking a loaf of crusty bread (part rye),

and, with the help of my family, already made and devoured most of this delicious quiche
from the beautiful blog, Hopeful Things (this lovely photo is hers . . .
and I really want a pretty pie plate like that!!)
Sausage Potato Quiche2I had to sample the real deal because I just love hash browns~oh yum,
but I did make a little dish of everything but the potatoes
for myself since I’m trying to keep my distance from too many starchy carbs,
and it turned out beautifully and just as tasty.


And earlier this week I again made this shortcake recipe from my friend Clarita
for what seems to be our final round of fresh local strawberries,
although, I’m sure I will still be buying at the grocery store for the next while!
We just don’t seem to tire of these sweet red berries!
And now that the blueberries are in season as well,
it’s fun to mix the two for colorful and patriotic desserts.

How about trying some of these beauties in the next week or two?
Don’t they look fun!?
All these photos are from
and these recipes and more can be found at THIS LINK.

ss_RU203323{I like the simplicity of this one. And kids would love it!}
A red, white, & blue feast for the eyes. :)

Here’s to inspiration and great cooking in the days ahead!
If you’ve tried something new in the kitchen lately and would like to share,
I’d love to be inspired by you. After all, we’ve still got approximately 540 meals
to prepare for our families this year. Ok, so maybe that wasn’t helpful to know. . . :)
But it’s no wonder we sometimes get burned out in the kitchen.
And it’s good to help each other out once in a while. Amen?


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6 Responses to In the Kitchen

  1. clarita June 29, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    I wrote a big long comment last night and my computer bleeped right as I was submitting it… :(

    I love this kitchen series you’ve been doing! It’s such great inspiration, *especially* when we’ll have over 500 meals left to make this year! Whew! And when you add up how many meals we’ve made in our 7-8 years of marriage, well, there’s a reason we sometimes hit a brick wall.

    The quiche recommendation was made for dinner last night, along with a salad! Great idea! And I can’t wait to make some of the other recipes. Only, it’s kind of like a bad joke because I had to buy my produce at Walmart, and a fresh tomato salad just isn’t the same from Walmart. I do rather miss the Garden of Eden style food in your area. :)

    And, I LOVE all the food ideas for the 4th! So so pretty, and I will definitely be back to look some more and choose which to make.

    Happy Saturday, dear friend!

  2. Alyssa July 3, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I will have to try adding rosemary in my chicken salad. Sounds good. Your other new recipes look tasty, but wondering if my picky, picky little family would think the same?? So often i stay away from anything too different, because i don’t like to cook, then have family all dislike it. Lately, though, i’m starting to realize that it sure isn’t helping their pickiness any!!! It’s just making it worse! :/
    I love those July fourth fruit kabobs! And those desserts…. don’t get me started on desserts.. :)

  3. Alyssa July 3, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    And i will add.. not that your food is different.. some members in my famly just get a little finicky about too many different veggies or fruits added to salads.. etc. :)

    • Shelly July 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      I get what you mean. :) My children don’t always eat all of my salads either, but that doesn’t stop me from making them for myself and husband . . . or for lady friends who are usually more appreciative of berries in salads. :)

  4. Amanda Frank July 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    All of your recipes look delicious! To me, there’s no greater joy than cooking for my family, and when we get to cook together as a family, my happiness can hardly be contained! That berry salad looks unbelievable, maybe I’ll try that for dinner tonight! Thanks for the recipes! Also, I’m reading a book you might like, it focuses on family and cooking, called “Mofongo” by Cecilia Samartin, It’s a great summer read!

    • Shelly July 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Amanda, and for the book recommendation!! It sounds great and I can’t wait to look into it!

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