Sometimes it’s  hard to say goodbye. Unless you have something bright and shiny and new to say hello to. And if it makes delicious food, then in my book, my welcome mat is always

We recently welcomed a new addition to the family and gave a fond farewell to one of our trusty summertime soldiers. And so we begin today’s post with a wave goodbye and well wishes to our 15 year+ outdoor gas grill who will surely find a great new home as soon as we set him to the curb. He served us well, but after several grill surgeries and a starter that forgot it’s duty and brought too many near misses of singed eyelashes and a voluminous WHOOMP when he finally caught fire, his time had come.

With July deemed as National Grilling Month, our bright and shiny new grilling addition is going to get a workout because I’m taking note and will be sharing a new grilling recipe each week. We’ll be going beyond the standard grilling fare of burgers and dogs to dive into simple, but juicy-packed-with-flavor dishes that will have you racing to break out the barbie.

This week’s grilling subject is meat. My first recipe out of the gate is this Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches. A long title for a relatively no fuss recipe that is totally divine thanks to a soak in a salty brine to assist in making an amazingly juicy chop.

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Friday Faves Firecracker Style

by heidi on July 4, 2014

Friday Faves

Snap, Crackle, POP! and a Happy 4th of July!

This weekend I’m heading to the hills for our annual quest to see just how much recipe creating we can do in between kayaking lake time, cabin nap time and deck drinking time. It’s a tradition that’s much needed since I’ve realized that in 2 more weeks, summer for me will be half over. Major sad face.

The next few weeks are going to fly by with as I hit my old stomping grounds and some brand new frontier. You’ll be seeing my adventures on Instagram, so follow along and let’s see where we go.

But enough about what’s down the road, let’s look at what’s right in front of us and set the weekend on fire with a few Friday Faves.

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In our house, when it comes to cucumbers the mantra is “the more, the better.”

Dill Cucumber Salad on

I hear the chanting of “CUKES! CUKES! CUKES” almost as loudly as “USA! USA! USA!” combined with a bunch of screaming at the TV during the final game of the World Cup. What an amazing ride that was!

From cucumber martinis to homemade bread and butter pickles and my crunch-a-licious Greek salad with avocado—and cucumbers, of course—these elongated melons are always around.

When it heats up outdoors, we keep it cool inside thanks to the constant opening of the refrigerator door to dip into our favorite—and insanely easy—cucumber salad. Please don’t report our non-eco-friendly behavior to the energy police. It’s simply a casualty of summer snacking and sometimes that short blast of cold air is exactly what the day calls for.

My husband is a fiend for cucumbers and while he’s known to eat a cucumbers sprinkled with salt in the same fashion others eat bananas, this Dill Cucumber Salad has made its way into his heart. And his cuke-obsessed belly.

We’ve tried to grow cucumbers ourselves, but for one reason or another they are never a success. So I leave the cucumber growing to the professionals and put my cucumber talents where they do best: eating them.

Dill Cucumber Salad on

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Just about all of us have experienced frustrations with weight gain. We’ve seen the numbers on the scale creep up, instead of going down. We’ve started and stopped every fad diet imaginable and declared ourselves vegan, carb-free, protein only and we’ve even tested the limits of our wallets (and our patience) on the latest juice cleanse.

5 Food Bloggers' Weight Loss Success Stories on

I once tried giving up sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy for an entire week, just to see if I could do it and if I’d lose any weight. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. I was not a happy person without my morning cup of joe—let alone without all of the other things that make me happy. And neither was anyone around me. I almost made it a week…almost.

That’s why our hats are totally off to these five empowering women, each of which has an incredible weight-loss triumph and unique story to share and inspire on their individual food blogs. Their dedication and successful accomplishments are proof that weight can be lost, goals can be achieved, and you can in fact create food for others, plus have your cake and eat it too.

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Quick and Easy Raspberry Fool

by heidi on June 30, 2014

Her: “A fool? What’s a fool? Mom, why are you calling this a fool? I don’t even know what that is. I’ve never heard of it. It has whip cream but why is it a fool? Or are you calling me a fool? I don’t want to be a fool. Mooooooommm.”

Quick and Easy Raspberry Fool on

And then one big spoonful of raspberry swirled whipped cream into her mouth.

And in 3-2-1…

Her: “Oh mom, this is really, really good.” Smiles and licks and more creamy swirled spoonfuls into her rosebud shaped mouth.

Me: “Give me a bite.”

With the look of shock and awe and a wickedly fast turn of her entire torso, she guards her glass jar of Raspberry Fool like she’s just rebounded the game winning shot in the finals of the WNBA championships.

And replies curtly, “No!”

Me: “Seriously? Not even a bite?”

Her: “Uggggh. Okaaaaaaay,” as she wipes the raspberry swirled cream from the sides of her mouth and hands me the jar.

Just another example of the generosity that’s shared when I deliver leftovers of the day’s recipe creations to my sweet—and can I say it again—more than generous 10 year old.

Sheesh. Who’s the fool now?

Quick and Easy Raspberry Fool on

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