With five beautiful and amazing daughters, I really appreciate those rare occasions when the menfolk have all gone camping for the weekend and just us girls can get together for a relaxing and giggling lunch. And one of our favorites is this fresh and delicious Spring Berry & Spinach Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing.
Right now the strawberries are sweet and ripe, and the blueberries are plump and juicy - just perfect to toss with baby spinach leaves, gorgonzola cheese cranberries, maple bacon, dried cranberries and a handful of caramelized pecans!
The fresh ripe fruits of summer are just starting to come to market now...and I'm so anxious to cook and bake with all of them! It's hard to pick a favorite one, they are all so wonderful.
I remember picking fresh raspberries with my Great Grandmother when I was just a little girl. We were lucky enough to share a birthday, and I was her first great-grandchild, and I'm told that as she got older and her memory started to go, that she always remembered me and my name. She lived in her little house in Decorah, Iowa until she was into her 80's, and her small white house was SURROUNDED with gardens of fruit, vegetables, and flowers. The flowers towered over me when I was little, and I have wonderful memories of butterflies and sunshine every time I was with her.
She also had a huge glass jar by her front door that was filled to the brim with seashells - where in the world she gathered them from in the northeastern part of Iowa, I have no idea, but she would always invite us to take one shell from the jar when we would come to visit her.
We would also pick wild blueberries deep in the woods surrounding the farmhouse, big metal buckets full of them. And magically, pint jars of wonderful apricot jam, raspberry jam, and blueberry preserves would start to appear by the end of the day.
Homemade jam and preserves are so easy to make, and every time you pull a new jar off the shelf it just feels good, don't you think? Cooking the fruit, sugar and a small amount of juice creates a wonderful fruit puree of flavor.
I love Apricot Jam! I love it on warm, buttery English Muffins, in fresh pastries, or mixed with barbeque sauce and topping chicken breasts. Apricots become quite tangy once cooked, so you will need to taste this as you go to determine if additional sugar is necessary to bring it to your favorite taste.
You can also throw in a splash of kirsch into Apricot Jam for some added kick and flavor. You certainly can save time and money by buying jam at the grocery store, but it sure won't taste like summer or smell like sunshine!
It's party time and it's time to get your salsa on! Everyone needs the perfect salsa recipe to munch on or smother their favorite Mexican food with, and this Fire-Roasted Restaurant Style Salsa is seriously the best you will ever have!
It tastes so much better than what you experience at your favorite Mexican restaurant - and it's ready in less than five minutes! Five minutes and a blender, what could be easier?
I think my kiddos would eat tacos pretty much every day, if I let them! And it certainly couldn't be a fiesta, or a Taco Tuesday, without these Traditional Beef Tacos and Burritos! This recipe is timeless, and just the best ever! I use my homemade Taco Seasoning Mix as a base, and then you can get as creative as you like! Beef tacos, beef burritos, taco salad, loaded chips & salsa - the possibilities are endless.
Perfectly seasoned and with the best sauce you ever had - it's always a crowd favorite when I make it!
CHIPOTLE CILANTRO LIME RICE
My kiddos LOVE the cilantro-lime rice from Chipotle, and this copycat recipe is on point! With Cinco de Mayo being celebrated today, I thought it was time to share our family-favorite recipe. A simple method guarantees light and fluffy rice every single time. Don't you just love that about a recipe?
For perfect results, always use basmati rice for best results. And to keep it light and fluffy, never sticky, we're going to rinse and drain the rice thoroughly TWICE - once before cooking, and again immediately AFTER cooking. Fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of both fresh lemon and fresh lime juice, and this Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice just POPS with fresh flavor!
I'm Mama V and I am so happy you stopped by to visit! This is the place to find family favorite and kitchen-tested quality recipes, along with photographs and tips to give you the confidence to cook and bake from scratch.
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