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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter S'Mores Bars



I have been slightly obsessed with anything and everything s'mores lately. Maybe it's the fact that its the quintessential summer dessert, who knows, but I can't get enough. I made these bars a couple weeks ago for a family party and I think it's safe to say they were a hit!
Ingredients 

  • 2 (16 oz) packages of pre-made cookie dough
  • 16 oz Milk Chocolate Candy Bars (I used a little more than 3 XL Hershey Bars)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 4 full crackers)
  • 7 oz jar of Marshmallow fluff (1 1/2 cups)
Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Line a 9x9 pan with foil and spray generously with cooking spray
  • Press 1 1/4 of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared pan
  • Top the cookie dough completely with the Hershey Bars
  • Spread the peanut butter on top of the chocolate using an off-set spatula or knife
  • Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top of peanut butter
  • Spread the Fluff on top of the graham cracker layer. The Fluff is hard to spread, so do your best when spreading over the graham crumbs (I microwaved it for a 30 seconds to loosen it up)
  • Finally roll the remaining cookie dough out on a flour-dusted counter top
  • Place rolled dough on top of Fluff
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until top is golden.
  • Allow to cool for 2 hours on a wire rack. Then transfer to refrigerator to cool for at least another 2 hours. If bars aren't completely cooled they will be far too oozy to eat.
  • Cut into squares while chilled.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Finds


1. A quick and easy bun for these hot summer days
2. I've been dying to make homemade popsicles, these Peach Pops might be the winner
3. A simple summer look from Happily Grey

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe we are in the last weekend of July already, where has summer gone?? I'm traveling up to Minnesota this weekend for a family party (10 hours in a van…super stoked). What are your plans for the weekend? Let's squeeze every last ounce out of summer that we can!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Keepin' Cool









Old Navy Dress, Gap Belt (old), Target Sandals (old)
The weather turned hot, hot here over the last couple of days. My trick to staying cool are easy, breezy, simple dresses. I picked this one up at Old Navy a few weeks ago and it's done the trick!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus




I made this simple pasta salad for a party over the weekend. It was quick and easy to make and a hit at the party! 
Ingredients

  • 1 lb Pasta
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 big bunch of asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup of Pesto
  • 1-2 tablespoons reserved pasta water
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
Recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Prepare a baking sheet with tin foil or cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, toss grape tomatoes (whole) with brown sugar, salt, black pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil, coat well.
  • Roast tomatoes at 375 for 20 minutes or until very soft and tomatoes start to deflate
  • Coat asparagus with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Grill asparagus for 8-10 minutes, until they soften up slightly and begin to char
  • Cook pasta in unsalted water according to package directions
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of pasta water and strain the rest in a colander
  • Return the cooked pasta to the pot and stir in pesto, adding some of the pasta water if it needs to be thinned out. 
  • Gently toss in the roasted tomatoes and asparagus, adjust seasonings
  • Serve hot or chill and serve cold


Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Finds : Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to the public today! Here are a few of my favorite pieces, what are you going to pick up? Happy shopping everyone!

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Perfect Picnic










After the winter we had here in the midwest, I've been trying to spend as much time outdoors this summer as possible. So last week I packed a picnic dinner for my boyfriend and I to celebrate our anniversary. The weather was beautiful and the food was fabulous, it made for the perfect picnic.

Croissant Sammies
Ingredients
  • Croissants
  • Sliced Turkey
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Mascarpone Cheese
  • Pesto

Recipe
  • Mix equal parts Mascarpone and pesto together in a small bowl
  • Slice croissants in half, but not all the way through
  • Spread pesto mixture over the croissants and add toppings 


Chickpea Salad
Ingredients
  • 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic glove, pressed
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
Recipe
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix
  • Cover and refrigerate until used


Strawberry Shortcake Jars
Ingredients
  • Pound Cake
  • Strawberries
  • Whipped Cream*
Recipe
  • Cut pound cake into small squares and add to your jar
  • Layer whipped cream and sliced strawberries on top
  • Repeat with as many layers as you like!

*Go the extra mile and make fresh whip cream, it's delicious and is super simple. 

Whipped Cream
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe
  • Whip heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract
  • Add powdered sugar and whip until you active the consistency you like



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Resort Retro








J.Crew Factory Oxford Popover // J.Crew Factory Short (in store only, solid) // Vintage Bracelet, Madewell Heels (old)

So these shorts have an elastic waist, need I say more? I adore them so much I bought them in white too. An easy pair of shorts are a summer must have for me and this print was just too adorable to pass up! This look has a little retro resort wear feel to it that I kinda love.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Avocado Quinoa with Grilled Shrimp






I made this shrimp and quinoa salad recipe for me and my boyfriend a few weeks ago. I followed this recipe (omitting the feta cheese) and came out with a little bit different result, but it was still excellent! 

Ingredients 

  • ⅛ cup fresh lime juice, divided
  • 5 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin, divided
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • ⅛ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped and divided
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. honey
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado, diced
Recipe

  • Preheat grill to high heat.
  • Combine 1 tbsp of lime juice, ½ tbsp olive oil, chili powder, ¼ tsp cumin, black pepper, hot sauce, paprika, and 1 garlic clove in a medium bowl. 
  • Add shrimp and toss well. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse and drain quinoa. 
  • Heat 1 tsp. of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  • Add onion to the pan and sauté for three minutes.
  • Add remaining garlic clove and quinoa. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, to toast the quinoa. 
  • Add ¾ cup water, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 13 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Cool.
  • Combine remaining lime juice, olive oil, ¼ tsp cumin, ½ tsp. salt, and honey in a large bowl. Stir with whisk. 
  • Add quinoa, tomatoes, chickpeas, and avocado to the large bowl and toss gently.
  • Remove shrimp from the fridge and discard the marinade. 
  • Sprinkle with ½ tsp of salt then thread shrimp on metal skewers (or if you're using wooden skewers, be sure to soak skewers in water prior to putting them on the grill) and place skewers on grill rack.
  • Grill 2 minutes on each side or until done.
  • Divide quinoa mixture evenly among 4 plates. 
  • Top each serving with shrimp.






Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th of July everyone! I am spending Independence Day up at the lake, BBQin', making s'mores and enjoying beautiful fireworks. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Red, White and Blue








Alternative Apparel Tank, Sanctuary Shorts, Soludos Espadrilles, Lily and Laura Bracelets, Vintage Charm Necklace

I did not always have such an intense love for the Fourth of July. It wasn't until I met my amazing friend Carol over six years ago that this love blossomed. The Fourth of July has always been her holiday. She has so much excitement and enthusiasm for it that it's hard for it not to rub off on the people around her. It only felt right to have her help me pick out my Fourth of July outfit this year. 
So I headed over to Vintage Charm, where she is the fabulous store manager, and found enough red, white and blue apparel to put together three amazing looks. This is just one of the fabulous outfits, all from Vintage Charm! To see the other two looks, check out Vintage Charm's Blog and then head into the store to find your own perfect Fourth of July outfit.