I love the simplicity most about this flatbread. It has some special touches but is wayyy easier than it seems! The cherries were frozen- with the pits already removed! They can pretty much thaw on the counter while everything else is prepping! What a great way to get another color of the food rainbow in!
Cherry, Arugula & Parmesan Flatbread
4 naan (I used wheat)
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
3 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup dark cherries, frozen
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or a toaster oven to toast the naan for 5-8 minutes, until crisping on the edges but still soft.
Toss the arugula in olive oil with salt & pepper.
Spread cream cheese on each piece of naan and sprinkle arugula, parmesan, and cherries on top.
Slice & enjoy!
This takes 10 minutes and I can picture munching it on a patio at a restaurant who’d ask $18 for it. I love the cherries contrasting the arugula and parm. The cherries are a great smoothie addition for leftovers or are fantastic on yogurt.
I use naan for the fastest weeknight pizzas ever. This week is nutty at work with an event this weekend so I planned some quick pizzas on naan for a weeknight meal and my Thursday night self thanks that Sunday planning self! Naan pizzas freeze well too if prepping in advance – not an arugula flatbread, but go for it with traditional toppings! I also found tiny naans that are a great kid size for lunches too!
Winner winner, chicken
dinner lunch! This was SO good and perfect if you’re packing lunches! Our pre-schooler loves honey mustard so he was my inspiration! I made a batch for a few servings – one decadently in a croissant, and some another time as a lettuce wrap.
If you’re thinking you don’t do chicken salad, I urge you to try this one. The honey mustard and lettuce make it seem like a salad and it is such a great use of leftover chicken or to liven up lunch! It is a great use for dark meat if that’s not your fav- at our house, we seek leftover options for white meat since that’s often dried out & has less flavor.
Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
Ingredients: (for 3-4 servings)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup yellow mustard
3 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/2 roasted chicken, torn or forked apart (~2 cups of chicken)
Whisk together the honey, mustard, mayo, and garlic- or shake together in a jar.
(If using as a salad dressing – add a splash of olive oil whisked in. It’ll be too thick otherwise!)
Add the chicken into the bowl and gently mix.
Sprinkle in salt & pepper and mix.
Refrigerate until serving, or enjoy immediately on a sandwich, salad, open-faced on toast, or in a lettuce wrap!
This is so easy, can be made in advance, and eat it all different ways. I packed some separately and spooned it onto romaine lettuce as a lettuce wrap at work. That worked out really well.
And by peach, I always mean nectarine, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it. I don’t do peach fuzz but eat lots ‘o nectarines. This is a foolproof dessert…that comes from a non-baker. It was fantastic to make a tiny one or make a full size one for a crowd! I loved it and will whip it up again soon- I’m thinking blueberries before it is apple season! The little dude thinks chocolate, but it won’t work the same.
There are lots of “dump cakes” around the internet. I just had to share because who doesn’t need a foolproof dessert option in your back pocket?! Also, it’d be easy to make 2 varsities at the same time if you don’t want half a box of cake mix hanging around until your next one!
Easiest Fruit Cobbler
Ingredients: (serves ~4)
2 teaspoons of white sugar
1/2 box cake mix
1/2 stick of butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the peaches and lay into a small baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray (a pie plate or 9×9 would work).
Sprinkle the peaches with sugar then sprinkle half the cake mix onto the peaches.
Slice the butter and lay slices across the top.
Bake for ~20 minutes. Check that the whole top is getting nicely brown. Bake another 5 if needed for a light brown crust.
Enjoy! Serve warm or room temperature.
The little guy had this twice and I had it about 3 times. We added whipped cream on top and loved it. He liiiiives for dessert and it was fun to have something special/different and fitting for the season without making a ton. Mr. J would head towards ice cream or an Oreo before this- unless served at a dinner party or holiday etc.
Frozen fruit (peaches, mixed berries, cherries, blueberries) would be great too and make it super convenient to whip up quickly. I tucked the other half of the cake mix away for another day but need to keep this these ratios in mind!
The end of August brings some teases of fall weather and I’m 100% here for it. The only good thing about August is the height of tomato season – or our baby’s birthday. She’s 1! We made the most of summer days with swims at the grandparents pool, and popsicles, and quick dinners so we could play outside. A trip to see my college roomies and their families filled me up AND my bestie got engaged. I’m feeling so thankful for my friends, near and far.
I have a super exciting burger competition coming up in September! My Parisian Burger will go against 3 others and then one of those will advance to a final round in Napa! Fingers crossed (and some legit practice for my timing)! I was all over the place confirming I’d attend. I was feeling stressed with the timeline and requirements, and annoyed I left it to the last minute. I then thought, why would I add something into my life that induces stress? Should I just forget it and move on? I was afraid I was too late but figured I’d just go for it. I don’t push myself outside my comfort zone frequently. Here’s hoping!
This month, I made crescent dogs – 3 ways which require zero brain power but capitalizes on hot dog season. They’re not grilled so make ‘em whenever. My fav were the bagel dogs!
On vacay I made not-your-average spinach salad with strawberries which deserves repeating while the strawberries are still good!
I made the easiest app: Pesto Puff Pastry Twists I’d totally made these to be lunch, or have them alongside fall soup, or serve with tomato sauce to dip for a fun dinner!
September will bring some changes- new school for T and new work hours for me- which might help with the dinner rush! I have some ideas for lunches and highlights of this fantastic season of produce.
The Baby Girl:
She’s super strong and curious. When we tell her no, she shakes her head. I can’t wait to hear words! She loves carrying toys around and taking everything out of whatever contains it. It is fun to see her interest in things big brother likes and she now wears shoes since she wants to walk everywhere. Finally more teeth are coming in and just now had her 1 year check up. She had a fun birthday and loved the cake. Thanks Grandma! We’re slowwwwly reducing the pacifier she loves so much. We had one on the carseat and in bed for sleeping times…emphasis on had. I’m attaching other toys and she’s less than impressed. She can do it! She’ll sit through about 1/2 of a board book- progress!
The Little Boy:
He loves his sister so much that he needs reminders to chill, enough hugs, let her be. Little dude can’t hang on days he doesn’t have a good nap. He is falling asleep at the table- by 6:15 without one. I cherish nap time and am thankful for 4 1/2+ with regular naps. He loved seeing his new school and we’re excited for him to start next week. I’m so proud when he gets comfortable and settles in, like seeing the new school and when we visited friends in NY and he got right into playing with everyone. Poor guy has wicked motion sickness and Dramamine didn’t cut it on a 4 hour ride from NY. We had a fun trip through Costco and he sampled everything: granola bar; dumpling; almond milk; kielbasa; open faced tomato & mayo sandwich; Norweigan flat bread; and cheese. I love the adventurous side despite always hoping dinner will be pasta.
Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: Together we attacked a closet and donated a bunch of stuff. We quickly got a few things on the buy-nothing group for the town and unloaded stuff pretty quickly!
Feeding Littles: I didn’t share a ton- just a reminder that nobody has picture-perfect meals all the time.
Work on advanced food prepping: I’d like to do more of this- without it being Sundays. Maybe I can work harder to create a habit that fits.
What I’m reading: I read Southern Lady Code (skip it, unless is realllly speaks to you) and Becoming (we should all be a little more like Michelle) and Educated. Educated was for bookclub (a must read and a repeat for me but I loved it just the same for round 2).
What I’m watching: I’m ready for substance (This is Us! A Million Little Things!), but have kept up with AGT & Bachelor in Paradise.
Summer isn’t quite over! There’s still time for these dogs! Though, these are pretty season-less since the dogs are wrapped in crescents and baked. I whipped these up for a weeknight dinner since I could prep them most of the way and just heat and serve.
These got delayed- life got in the way. It was a busy few weeks with the baby’s 1st birthday, our refrigerator struggled and we lived out of a drink fridge until it got fixed, an overnight away, and everything else. I made a few flavors giving some fun choice at dinner!
Crescent Dogs, 3 ways
Bagel Dogs: dogs, wrapped in crescents, brushed with egg wash, sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning
Cowboy Dogs: crescents, brushed with barbecue sauce, with caramelized onions, with the dog rolled in the crescent.
Taco Dogs: crescents, sprinkled with cheddar cheese, sprinkled with taco seasoning (I used Chili Lime Seasoning), with the dog rolled in the crescent.
Try ‘em with any of your fav hot dog toppings. Chili and cheese would be fun! Bacon and cheddar would be fun! Bruschetta & balsamic would be fun!
We go through a lot of pesto pasta here at our table. The pre-schooler and baby both love it and I appreciate it for variety. I smeared some on some puff pastry with cheese for this instant appetizer knowing it would be a hit!
Pesto Puff Pastry Twists
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator for ~8 hours or overnight
3 tablespoons pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella & asiago
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Roll out the puff pastry sheet.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or as the puff pastry package suggests).
Spread the pesto across the whole sheet, all the way to the edges.
Sprinkle the cheese on top, all the way to the edges.
Slice with a pizza cutter into 1 1/2 inch strips. Hold from the ends and twist around. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. (Add the cheese that falls out back into a crack.)
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce to dip. Enjoy!
These were a fun appetizer and could even be a meal of their own! Serve them as an app, alongside soup or pasta or with salad. These are a great use for a smaller amount of leftover pesto. These take so little hands-on time!
Fruit in salad instantly elevates the salad. I wanted to uplevel the traditional spinach/strawberry/poppy seed salad by adding some cute tiny bowtie pasta and avocado. I used this balsamic fig dressing from Trader Joe’s but think shaking up some fig jam with some balsamic vinegar together in a jar would do the same thing!
Not Your Average Spinach Strawberry Salad
Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 1/2 cups mini bow tie pasta
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons fig balsamic dressing (or 1 tbs fig jam and 1 tbs balsamic whisked together)
Boil the pasta, cook, drain, and let cool.
Mix together the spinach, pasta, strawberries, avocado, pasta, and poppy seeds. Mix gently.
Add in the dressing and mix again.
This was a fun one! We thought red onion would have been tasty in here too. I allllmost swapped the poppy seeds for everything bagel seasoning but didn’t in the end. Some shredded chicken would add some protein to turn this into a substantial meal. Spinach is pretty delicate so keep the dressing separate until serving.
July is the best so while it is sad that it is over, the only good thing is baby C’s birthday is coming right up! We got lots of pool days, a week at the beach, and a lot of outside time. Mr. J and I got a date to a new restaurant in our town square that was nice but maybe not our fav for other options nearby. I love El Centro and would choose Mexican over where we went.
I made a lemonade slaw to go onto crispy fish tacos with lemonade mix and used frozen breaded fish pieces with the slaw and avocado. I heard from a few who made them which was so fun!
Truffle and Herb Deviled Eggs were for no particular occasion but were fun along side dinner.
I made a smoothie with frozen dragon fruit puree packs+ coconut almond milk + mango and the change for me was that it wasn’t a breakfast replacement.
Next month I have a salad and an appetizer already lined up. We’ll see what else I get to. I have a few ideas, of course!
The Baby Girl:
She’s 100% walking now. A month ago (at 10 months) she was walking a bit and then it picked up, big time. She ate a ton on vacation so maybe there’s a growth spurt ahead! She is so happy all the time. She loved the beach sand and the ocean water and watching her toddle around on the beach was fun. She likes riding around in shopping carts or in the real stroller to look all around, instead of being in her carseat. I’m excited for her birthday! My little babe will be 1!?!?!?!
The Little Boy:
He’s going to a new school in our town for preschool before kindergarten next year. We’ve been mentally preparing him. I love him for his thoughtfulness and I try to arm him with info because his go-to is to want to stay home until he can picture where he’s going and what it will be like. He has been zooming on his balance bike and loving ice pops. I grabbed pedialyte ones for how active and sweaty he gets. He got to go bowling and loved it.
Year of ___ decluttering/minimizing/organizing: I joined a giveaway group on facebook and got rid of a few things immediately! A wire rack and a baby activity seat went like hotcakes!
Feeding Littles: We had Italian subs in salad form so I shared the little one’s version, deconstructed, minus lettuce.
Work on advanced food prepping: Using what we had was the name of the game before vacay and then we were gone, so that was half the month!
What I’m reading: I read Palisades Park and Rich People Problems.
What I’m watching: We caught a part of a CNN series about Movies.
This might be the easiest smoothie I’ve ever made yet it feels the most exotic! It only has 3 ingredients! Unlike many of my other smoothies, this one isn’t a meal, but is a great cool fruit serving as a snack or with something else for breakfast.
I buy these frozen dragon fruit puree packs at the grocery store and I went full on tropical for the flavors here: dragon fruit, mango, and coconut!
Dragon Fruit Smoothie
1 dragon fruit puree pack
~1 cup frozen mango
1 cup coconut almond milk
1/2 cup water, as needed
Add the dragon fruit. mango, and coconut almond milk into the blender.
Blend and add water as needed for your desired consistency. (I used ~1/2 cup)
How pretty is THAT??? Dragon fruit = pitaya. I often see both words on the package. Those frozen packs are beautifully pink and a bit of a splurge but this nicely highlights the sweet flavor. The color is even more radiant without any dairy in there- not that I should call almond milk dairy. I really only use it for the flavor. There’s nowhere near the calcium or protein of regular milk but I don’t loooove milk so I can appreciate almond this with a more watery and coconut flavor.
I should have poured some into my popsicle containers! This would be a good one!
This twist on deviled eggs is packed with flavor. There’s truffle oil, dijon, parmesan, and herbs in the filling and brown butter panko topping for a crunch. I made just a few to have with dinner. These would be fun for a party! I tell you, deviled eggs fly off a party table since they’re typically gluten free and dairy free. Mine aren’t this time, but I love the fun flavors into a deviled egg and just add a label for what is in them.
Truffle and Herb Deviled Eggs
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1 teaspoon truffle oil
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped chiffonade
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
Hard boil the eggs and let them cool in an ice bath.
Slice them in half and pop the yolks into a mixing bowl and add mayo, mustard, garlic, parmesan, truffle oil, and most of the fresh herbs – reserving a little for the topping.
Mix well and spoon into a bottom corner of a ziplock bag. (tip: open the bag into a drinking glass to more easily fill without tipping over!)
Snip the corner off the bag and pipe into the egg halves.
In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and watch it to bubble, foam, and brown.
Stir in the panko and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, mix well, and remove from the heat. Add in the last of the herbs.
Sprinkle over the eggs just before serving.
I love these. A little truffle oil goes a long way so add some taste and add more if necessary. Any fresh herbs would be good – use rosemary, thyme, or oregano. The brown butter breadcrumbs are ahhh-mazing. I had leftovers I put on everything I ate the next day- eggs at breakfast and then on a hot dog with parmesan peppercorn dressing!
We’re off to the beach soon! I hope I can blog a few things while on vacay! Stay tuned! I live for this week all year for the huge and empty beach, nightly ice cream, walking everywhere, and mini golf!