Easy Caesar Dressing

This Caesar dressing really hits the spot. You know I love vinaigrettes, but sometimes only a creamy dressing will do. I’ve been feeling sentimental lately and decided…

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Caesar dressing recipe

This Caesar dressing really hits the spot. You know I love vinaigrettes, but sometimes only a creamy dressing will do. I’ve been feeling sentimental lately and decided to satisfy my craving for the classic Caesar salad.

This Caesar salad dressing requires just a few pantry ingredients. Stir them together while you bake up some croutons, and you’re ready to enjoy top-notch restaurant-quality Caesar salads at home.

Caesar dressing ingredients

Compared to other Caesar dressing recipes, this dressing is remarkably simple to make. We’ll start with a base of mayonnaise, which is easier than emulsifying oil and egg, not to mention foolproof.

This Caesar dressing is anchovy-free, which makes it suitable for vegetarians like me and anyone with a shellfish allergy. (Technically, anchovies are fish, but they are likely to cause reactions in this with shellfish allergies.) It will also appeal to anyone who is sensitive to anchovy flavor. This dressing offers bold, classic Caesar flavor, without the anchovies!

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Homemade Croutons

Who doesn’t love homemade croutons? They’re wonderfully golden and crisp, and infinitely superior to dry, store-bought croutons. The best part about homemade croutons is that you can…

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croutons on Aaesar salad

Who doesn’t love homemade croutons? They’re wonderfully golden and crisp, and infinitely superior to dry, store-bought croutons.

The best part about homemade croutons is that you can use your favorite bread, even if it’s gone stale, and your croutons are ready in under 15 minutes.

sliced bread for croutons

Most salads benefit from a crisp, crunchy element, which could be anything from toasted nuts, tortilla strips, ice water-soaked red onion, or of course, the classic crouton.

I’ve been perfecting my homemade Caesar salad recipe lately, so I thought we’d start with the croutons. Off we go!

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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob,…

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esquites recipe

Are you familiar with esquites? Also known as elote en vaso, esquites are an experience you’ll remember. Esquites are Mexican street corn (elote) cut off the cob, served in salad form.

Esquites are creamy, tangy, spicy, sweet and savory all at once. In other words, they’re completely irresistible. This elote recipe was the best recipe to come off our grill last summer, and I’m excited to share this stovetop variation with you.

how to make esquites

Esquites share the same ingredients with elote: fresh corn, mayonnaise, cilantro, chili powder, lime and crumbled Cotija cheese. The combination is sublime, and this variation is much easier to eat. I’ve enjoyed both options in Mexico City and love making them at home. I’m going to cook this simple salad all summer and through the rest of the year.

Esquites have one strong cooking advantage over elote—you can start with frozen corn kernels, which really cuts down on preparation time! We’ll just cook the frozen corn in a hot skillet until it’s seared and delicious. If you’re using frozen corn, you can prepare this dish in about twenty minutes, from start to finish.

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Buckwheat Pancakes

Ever tried buckwheat pancakes? Sure, they aren’t the prettiest pancakes around, but they make up for their humble appearance with wonderful flavor and texture. Buckwheat, a gluten-free…

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buckwheat pancakes recipe

Ever tried buckwheat pancakes? Sure, they aren’t the prettiest pancakes around, but they make up for their humble appearance with wonderful flavor and texture. Buckwheat, a gluten-free relative of rhubarb, has a delicate, almost nutty flavor all its own.

Thanks to the buckwheat flour, these pancakes are naturally gluten free! These pancakes possess a light and airy consistency that quietly surrenders to the pressure of a fork and soaks up maple syrup like a sponge. I just love them.

buckwheat pancake ingredients

This recipe was originally adapted from a fun cookbook called Pancakes, by fellow food blogger Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen. I visit Adrianna’s blog any time I need some creative recipe inspiration or a laugh, which is often.

It’s been eight years, so I’m revisiting this recipe to update the photos. I also tweaked the recipe a bit to work even better with 100 percent buckwheat flour. I added another egg and a smidge more flour. Hope you’ll give them a try soon!

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29 Fresh Picnic Recipes

I propose a picnic this weekend! Weather permitting, we’ll enjoy some time at the park this weekend. There’s really nothing better than a spring picnic in good…

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29 picnic recipes

I propose a picnic this weekend! Weather permitting, we’ll enjoy some time at the park this weekend. There’s really nothing better than a spring picnic in good company, is there?

I like to keep picnics simple, perhaps with a couple types of cheese, crackers, and a deliciously hearty salad. You’ll find picnic-perfect appetizers, sandwiches, and many salad options below.

To finish the meal with a sweet treat, try these Peanut Butter Oat Cookies. Have a great weekend!

green goddess hummus recipe

Picnic Appetizers & Dips

These portable appetizers are sure to delight. If preparing a cheese board, plan to assemble upon arrival.

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Caprese Sandwich

Picnic season is here! There’s never been a better time to picnic. We’ve enjoyed a lovely extended spring here in Kansas City. Our homegrown tomatoes won’t be…

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vegetarian baguette sandwich recipe

Picnic season is here! There’s never been a better time to picnic. We’ve enjoyed a lovely extended spring here in Kansas City. Our homegrown tomatoes won’t be ready for a while, but I wanted to share my favorite picnic sandwich with you since I’m able to find great tomatoes at the store now.

This Caprese sandwich recipe is inspired by the classic Caprese salad. It features ripe red tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella with the most irresistible creamy basil sauce. For extra flavor, I also added a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a small handful of arugula.

Caprese sandwich ingredients

Sandwich all of that inside a crusty loaf of French baguette, and you will have a perfectly portable sandwich for picnics or road trips. Or, enjoy it at home for a quick meal from now through the end of tomato season this fall.

Just remember—the better the bread and the tomatoes, the better the sandwich!

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Simple Strawberry Smoothie

You’re going to love this strawberry smoothie. This recipe is cold, creamy and satisfying, and the nutty strawberry flavor is truly crave-worthy. In their most basic form,…

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simple strawberry smoothie recipe

You’re going to love this strawberry smoothie. This recipe is cold, creamy and satisfying, and the nutty strawberry flavor is truly crave-worthy.

In their most basic form, these strawberry smoothies require just four ingredients—frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, almond milk and almond butter.

This smoothie recipe tastes like a strawberry milkshake, and you can make it for breakfast! I’ll be sipping on these pink drinks all summer, and I hope the recipe becomes a staple in your home as well.

strawberry smoothie ingredients

If you ask me, smoothies should be super simple. I don’t want to pull a bunch of ingredients out of my fridge and pantry every morning just for a smoothie. I am not a morning person! Plus, these smoothies are easy to whip up in the afternoon or after dinner if you get a craving for a sweet treat.

You can change up the recipe by adding flax or oats for a nutrition boost, or a light drizzle of maple syrup to make them taste even more dessert-like. I’m plenty satisfied with the four-ingredient formula, though, and I think you will be, too!

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Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Green Olives

Broccoli, pesto, and green olives—believe it! This pasta recipe tastes so fresh. It’s perfectly suited for springtime dinners, though I think you’ll want to keep it in…

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broccoli pesto pasta recipe

Broccoli, pesto, and green olives—believe it! This pasta recipe tastes so fresh. It’s perfectly suited for springtime dinners, though I think you’ll want to keep it in your repertoire for the rest of the year.

I wouldn’t have come up with this pasta combination myself, so I’m glad I found the recipe in my friend Kelly Senyei’s new cookbook, The Secret Ingredient Cookbook. You might know Kelly from her blog, Just a Taste. Kelly is a delightful person, a professionally trained chef and a hard-working mom to three boys, all under the age of five.

broccoli pesto pasta ingredients

Kelly’s new cookbook offers 125 family-friendly recipes with fun secret ingredient twists. I don’t want to spoil all the surprises, but I’m looking forward to trying the Caesar pasta salad (with avocado), Greek chopped salad (with halloumi cheese), 30-minute mac and cheese (with pumpkin) and mushroom ravioli with brown butter sauce (with goat cheese, and made entirely from scratch). And good gracious, wait until you see the desserts.

This broccoli pesto pasta recipe includes green olives as the secret ingredient. They offer a delicious briny olive flavor and cover up the flavor of the broccoli. She says her boys absolutely love this dish, so this dish is designed for the whole family. I found some ricotta in my fridge and really enjoyed a few dollops over my bowl. Serve it as you please!

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Foolproof French Toast

Let’s hear it for French toast! The best French toast is seared golden on the outside, tender in the middle, lightly sweet and deliciously custard-y. This French…

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best French toast recipe

Let’s hear it for French toast! The best French toast is seared golden on the outside, tender in the middle, lightly sweet and deliciously custard-y. This French toast recipe meets all of those qualifications with flying colors.

This recipe bypasses all of the common French toast downfalls. Perhaps your previous attempts have yielded soggy, falling apart, eggy toast—never again! I’ve studied French toast techniques and this recipe will not let you down.

French toast ingredients

French toast, known as pain perdu in France, is one of many brilliant uses for stale bread. It’s true that French toast turns out best when made with stale bread. However, you can absolutely make French toast if your bread is still fresh. The trick is to quickly dehydrate sliced bread in the oven so your French bread doesn’t turn out too soggy—I’ll walk you through this step below.

This French toast is perfect for a special brunch at home. Make some for Mom tomorrow? (Here are more Mother’s Day recipes.) The recipe is simple enough to make on a regular weekend as well. Let’s make some!

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The Best Queso

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and…

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best queso recipe

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and utterly irresistible.

This recipe uses a simple secret ingredient—cream cheese—to achieve its gloriously creamy texture and light tang. No flour and no fussy roux required here (as a bonus, this queso is gluten free).

This stovetop queso possesses all of Velveeta’s positive attributes, but it tastes a million times nicer. It even cools down with grace, developing just a slight skin on top that really doesn’t detract from its appeal.

queso ingredients

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need an excuse to eat queso while sipping a margarita. I grew up around a lot of Tex-Mex food and like to consider myself a queso connoisseur. If queso is on the menu, I’ve likely sampled it.

My husband, on the other hand, exercises an impressive amount of restraint when it comes to queso. He tells me he doesn’t like it. (He’s generally a rational man, though I question him in cheese-related matters.) This queso is an exception to his rule. He loves it.

We both agree that this is the best queso we’ve ever had. Try it, and I hope you’ll say the same!

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