Fruit Bars

fruitbars - 12txtIt’s hard to believe that it is already the end of August and summer is almost over. We’ve been making these fruit bars all summer, and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you! It’s been a hot summer. We’re lucky enough to have air conditioning in our home, but we spent much of our summer soaking up the sun in the backyard.  Even in the shade, the heat and humidity can be overwhelming. Oh the joys of Minnesota summers!

Fruit Bars

These fruit bars are so refreshing! Nothing beats an ice-cold popsicle on a warm summer’s day. Fruit bars are the perfect healthy summer treat- refreshing and cool, and sweet and satisfying. We always keep a batch of fruit bars in the freezer for warm summer evenings.

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Greek Tacos

greektacos - 20sqtxtEveryone loves gyros, but they are so time-consuming to make! Preparing the meat is a long and complicated process, and there’s no way I have time to roast lamb on a spit for a weeknight meal. My family was out enjoying gyros at a local restaurant when someone remarked that gyros are kind of like Greek tacos. Meat, vegetables, sauce served in a folded piece of bread. The observation gave my mom a brilliant idea- instead of trying to make gyros, why not make Greek tacos instead?

The results were delicious. Instead of trying to imitate the slow roasted meat traditionally served on gyros, my mom prepared ground beef with gyro-appropriate spices. The meat looks like something you’d find in a taco, but tastes like gyros! It’s a very simple trick, but very effective. You could also use ground lamb for an even more authentic flavor. The other components are simple to prepare. Mom’s tzatziki sauce is delicious and oh-so-easy to prepare. Pick up your favorite pita bread from the grocery store and slice tomato, onion and cucumber for toppings and you’re done!

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Tropical Sangria

Tropical SangriaThe 2016 Olympic Games are underway, and I am obsessed! My family and I love sports, and the Olympics are no exception. Every two years, my family is practically glued to the TV watching the summer or winter games. There’s nothing more inspiring than watching the world’s greatest athletes compete. Gymnastics is my favorite sport to watch (both men’s and women’s!), but according to my husband, every sport is my favorite. I love swimming and diving and whitewater kayaking and soccer and volleyball and track… or whatever is on at the moment. Clearly I’m an Olympics junkie! The host city, Rio de Janeiro, was the inspiration for this sangria. Bright, colorful, bubbly, fruity and sweet, tropical sangria is perfect for sipping on warm summer nights, or while cheering on your favorite athletes. This tropical sangria is like summer in glass.

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Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

Tex-Mex Stuffed PeppersConfession: I like quinoa. Really, really like quinoa. My quinoa obsession began innocently enough with a sale at the grocery store. Quinoa is very popular right now and purported to be some sort of ancient grain super-food from South America. I was curious, and decided to give it a try. As soon as I tried it, I was hooked, and trying every quinoa recipe I could get my hands on or dream up. These Tex-Mex stuffed peppers were one of the first dishes we tried, and have quickly become a household favorite.

To be honest, the first time I made these stuffed peppers, Luke was very skeptical. His past experiences with stuffed peppers were disappointing and bland. These peppers are anything but! Bright, colorful and bursting with flavor, Tex-Mex stuffed peppers exceeded all his expectations. Quinoa adds a delicate nutty flavor and delicate texture that takes stuffed peppers to a whole new level. Quinoa also has tons of protein compared to other grains- I’m not jumping on the “super food” bandwagon quite yet, but if you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you’re missing out. I’ve tried both red and white quinoa in these peppers. Red quinoa has more of a nutty flavor, while the flavor of white quinoa is more delicate. Personally, I like the look of the white quinoa in these stuffed peppers. In the photo below, the yellow pepper is stuffed with red quinoa while the red pepper is stuffed with white quinoa. They both look delicious.

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers

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