Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The power of suggestion can be a beast, can’t it?

On the way to the grocery store, I was listening to Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next? podcast. And in an ad, she mentioned a recipe for arugula salad with peaches, goat cheese, and almonds. Once I got into Publix, I couldn’t stop thinking about an arugula salad with peaches. I love both of those ingredients a lot, and it sounded so good.

I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, though, but feta – I could eat feta on everything. And adding a crunchy bagel chip (I got for dirt cheap with a sale plus coupon) for a “crouton” and an amazing vinaigrette due to some locally made white balsamic vinegar? Mr. V and I ate all of ours plus any the kids didn’t eat.

(Which, if you know my kids, was most of theirs. Surprisingly, David and Libbie did actually try arugula and at least ate peaches and the bagel chips.)

As with most salads, I recommend throwing in whatever quantity of ingredients looks good to you. This recipe is an approximation of what I used, but make it to your tastes. And then enjoy the applause of those around you, because SO YUMMY.

(Want to have peaches for dessert, too? Try Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream or Fresh Peach Cake!)

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: one entree-sized portion or four side salads

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Peppery arugula, tangy feta, sweet peaches, crunchy almonds, and a balanced vinaigrette come together for a delicious summer salad.


  • half of a 5-ounce clamshell of arugula
  • one peach, thinly sliced
  • 2 T crumbled feta cheese
  • a handful of whole almonds, roughly chopped, or sliced almonds
  • 3 to 4 bagel chips, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar, preferably peach-flavored
  • 3 T salad oil of choice (I used a cold-pressed combination oil from ALDI but olive oil would work, too)
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl or plate, layer arugula, peaches, feta cheese, almonds, and bagel chip crumbles.

Whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette together until uniform.

Drizzle vinaigrette over salad right before serving.

What is your favorite summer salad? We’re trying to introduce our kids to having a salad or cold vegetable course before our dinner, and I’d love your suggestions!

Hey Y’all, It’s #CookoutWeek!

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So, it’s summer. And you know what that means: picnic, barbecues, camping, parties, and of course, cookouts.

{In full disclosure, I don’t do a lot of grilling myself. And most of it’s inside on a grill pan. We live in an apartment, our grill is up some stairs, down some stairs, etc. Plus it’s not working this summer anyway. But I love to eat what other people grill!}

Cookouts aren’t just about grilling, though, are they? I mean, I’m basically there for deviled eggs. Do you have any cookout obsessions?


This week I’m taking part in a fun round-up called #CookoutWeek, thanks to some great sponsors and the ladies at The Pintertest Kitchen. I had a good time back during #Choctoberfest, so I thought it was well-worth the recipe-creating investment to participate!

So along with about 50 of my blogging buddies, I’m talking about #CookoutWeek, and we even have a sponsored giveaway you can enter.

It’s super easy to enter, and one lucky winner will get:

It’s pretty much everything you need to host an awesome cookout this summer. It’s a prize pack worth over $300! Thank you so much to all of the wonderful sponsors listed above, who have made #CookoutWeek possible.

Enter now:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check back throughout the week with all of the bloggers participating to get some yummy #CookoutWeek recipes. Here’s the full list of participating bloggers:

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Day in the Life on the Farmaddicted 2 recipesAimee Broussard & Co.Amy’s Cooking AdventuresAngels Home Sweet HomesteadBakin’ and EggcerptsBalancing MotherhoodBody RebootedCheese Curd In ParadiseCindy’s Recipes and WritingsCook With 5 KidsCook. Craft. Love.Cookaholic WifeCricket’s ConfectionsCrumb: A Food BlogEat, Drink, Be Healthy!Everyday EileenFairyburgerFood ParsedGet the Good Stuff!Goodie GodmotherHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHome in the Finger LakesJennifer CooksJessie WeaverKate’s Recipe BoxLife on FoodLittle House Big AlaskaLittle Scratch KitchenMaking MiraclesMoore or Less CookingRhubarb and HoneySavvy In The KitchenSeduction in the KitchenSimple Food 365Style IslandThanks for Cookin’!The Food Hunter’s Guide To CuisineThe Hungary Buddha Eats the WorldThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetThis is How I CookTramplingroseVintage KittyWest Via Midwest

I’m looking forward to sharing with you about True Made Foods and the delicious recipe I made with their Veracha sauce later this week. Stay tuned!

Recipes to Bring Sunshine to Your Winter

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When winter comes, I get kind of sad about food. There just isn’t the abundance of bright vegetables and fresh berries available that are there in the summer and into the fall.

What is available, though, is fresh citrus. Oranges are less expensive; you can get three lemons for a dollar. I am a little citrus-crazy, because it just makes everything taste so good. And like sunshine! So here are some of my favorite citrus-y recipes (with a mango one thrown in, because it feels sunshine-y to me, too) to help bring some light into your winter. Enjoy!

Lemon Cake Donuts

Gluten-Free Lemon Cake Baked Donuts

Mango Upside-Down Cupakes

Mango Upside-Down Cupcakes

Lemon Cake and Crumbs

French Lemon Yogurt Cake

orange-coconut sweet rolls

Orange-Coconut Sweet Rolls

Coconut Lime Cake

Coconut Lime Cake

Tilapia with Honey-Tangerine Sauce

Tilapia with Honey-Tangerine Sauce

lemon and white chocolate mini-muffins

Lemon and White Chocolate Mini-Muffins

A few other favorites:

Do you have any favorite “sunshine-y” recipes?

Some More Lunches for Picky Eaters

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See more ideas: A Week of Lunches for a Picky Eater and More Lunches for Your Picky Eater.

I usually share these inspiration photos on my Facebook page, but if you don’t see them (because FB stinks about that) or you aren’t on FB, I wanted to share them here, too! I have a fairly picky kindergartner, so these are my experiments in trying to get her to eat a variety of healthy-ish foods.


Homemade pizza pockets, Cutie clementine, Craisins, cheese stick, and one mini Oreo.


Wrap with ham and cheese on a whole-wheat tortilla, apple slices, Chobani “drink yogurt,” and Beet Cookie and Honey-Cinnamon Popcorn from the Weelicious cookbook. (I made the Beet Cookies in heart shapes and letters for David’s preschool snack – everyone had one R for the letter of that week and the first letter of their first name. It was a big hit!)


Turkey (I either buy Aldi’s nitrate-free or the Hormel Natural Choice lunchmeats), cheese stick, Honey Cinnamon Popcorn, strawberries, Pizza Poppers.


Bake-fried chicken thigh (leftover from dinner), strawberry smoothie with hidden spinach frozen in the silicone mold, pretzel twists, fruit snack, mandarin oranges, and a Yum Earth hard candy.


Inspired by 100 Days of Real Food, these are homemade pizza lunchables. I made pizza crust and cut it into rectangles, froze homemade pizza sauce in a silicone mini-muffin pan (then popped them into a big freezer bag), and added mozzarella and mini pepperonis in silicone muffin liners. Recipes for the pizza crust and sauce are in Weelicious Lunches, although I think you can find similar ones on the Weelicious site. (There’s also a Cutie along with the pizza.)

I realize these are certainly not jam-packed with vegetables or maybe even your idea of a balanced lunch. Or maybe you think I’m an insane mom. Whatever. We all do what works for us, right? I am totally in favor of staying sane. Packing lunch is one area where I like to be creative. Cleaning and organizing? TOTALLY not my thing, but I am glad if it’s yours!

I hope this helps you with some ideas for your picky eater’s lunchbox.

Cooking for the Weekend

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Check out Weekend Winner Dinners

by Jessie Weaver at

When I cook on weeknights, with three small children running around my feet and insisting on EATING RIGHT THIS SECOND, my goal is generally to get food on the table quickly. We eat a lot of pretty simple meals. Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, I don’t spend a ton of time in the kitchen in the afternoons between school pick-ups, homework time, activities, and just trying to squeeze in some quality time.

But the weekends? That is when I love to get in the kitchen. I’ll make something fun for breakfast (or if you’re my children, second breakfast, because they couldn’t possibly wait an hour to eat in the mornings). And I love make something special on a Saturday afternoon, to share with friends. It’s fun to have an at-home date night after the kids go to bed, too, although Mr. V and I have not done that in a while. (WHY NOT?!)

I’ve collected some delicious-looking dinners here that may take a little more preparation than I can do for a regular weeknight meal. Special sauces, seafood, stuffings, phyllo dough, mushrooms, fancy cheese – all are featured in this wonderful collection!

Do you have a favorite special meal to make for guests or for a date night?

This post is sponsored by in conjunction with Mode. All opinions are my own. Enjoy and thank you for supporting these charities through sponsored posts. 

Cooking Disasters

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Kitchen Trouble
source: Kenny Louie

Whether you’re a novice cook, a mediocre one, or even a well-trained chef, you’re going to have cooking disasters.

Since our little family is going to stay home for Christmas this year for the first time, I’ve been thinking ahead and trying to plan not-too-crazy but special meals. And I can’t help but think of all the kitchen catastrophes we’ve had.

  • We got married in July 2004, and that Christmas we spent in Nashville because I didn’t have vacation time to travel. It was just me and Mr. V on Christmas Eve. I made this Paula Deen Asian Pork Tenderloin that looked amazing … only I didn’t know the difference between a LOIN and a TENDERLOIN. I ended up cooking it for another two or three hours after we got home from church service, and just sawing any cooked parts off the end for us to eat. Happy first married Christmas, darling!
  • Maybe the second time we had people over after we were married, we tried to make a pan-fried fish recipe. We had one pot with water to boil and one pan with oil for the frying. One of us had accidentally turned the burner with the oil onto high. Mr. V came by and said, “Hey should that be -” and immediately it burst into flames. We had an apartment full of smoke, a brand-new pan that was destroyed, and a pretty funny story to tell forever.
  • That same year (obviously I was learning as a cook!), I curdled milk in a chowder. Yum, yum …
  • Much more recently, I put ground cloves in some enchiladas instead of chili powder. I knew it smelled funny but I didn’t realize what I had done until way too far into the cooking process. Mr. V put on a brave face and tried to eat them anyway … for about two bites. Bye bye, beautiful enchiladas. Ground cloves are meant to be used only by pinches!
  • Just last weekend, I made a cake to take to church. Unfortunately, the icing was made of butterscotch pudding and Cool Whip, and it hadn’t set enough. By the time we got to church, the cake layers had slid apart and one layer was broken in half. Anytime I have a messy cake … it becomes trifle. And it was delicious anyway.
  • One time my best friend was visiting with her boyfriend, whom we had never met. We tried to make a new recipe, and it ended up making enough food for approximately one person. Whoops. The boyfriend valiantly ate the failed recipe (which really wasn’t good, either), and I think the rest of us ordered pizza.

So even accomplished cooks make big mistakes. I hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving, and if you have a disaster … make lemonade from lemons. I promise it’ll be funny in a few weeks or months. And you’ll always be able to say, “Remember the time when …”

Happy Thanksgiving!