Retro Cold Pasta Salad with Ranch, Bacon and More!

Copycat Suddenly Salad

It’s time once again for Secret Recipe Club and I cannot believe a whole month has already flown by. How in the world did we get to August already? I feel like the summer has simply flown by.

Secret Recipe Club

This year we are homeschooling, so the “back to school” date doesn’t affect us, but I was surprised to learn our district goes back WEDNESDAY. Yes, August 6. I mean what? Geez. They just got out.


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5 Summer Ice Cream Recipes to Beat the Heat!

5 Summer Ice Cream Recipes

I don’t know where you are, but where I am (St. Louis) we’ve had some weird weather the past month. One week it’s so hot and humid you can barely breathe and the next week you start wondering if Fall is around the corner.  It’s definitely been a strange summer, but I am not complaining because I enjoy the fact that we haven’t hit temps like we did last year. But even with the “cooler than usual” temps, it’s still hot and we are still finding ways to beat the heat.


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#ad Spatchcocking Chicken for the Grill with a Garlic Soy Sauce Marinade #grill4flavor

#ad Spatchcocking Chicken for the Grill with a Garlic Soy Sauce Marinade #grill4flavor #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This #Grill4Flavor shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

It’s grilling season and I’m ready. At our house, we grill year round, but the majority is done Spring, Summer and Winter. From chicken to seafood, steaks to fish, anything goes when we are deciding what to grill.

When we were looking for something fun and different to make recently, we came across Cornish Hens, found at Walmart in the freezer bunkers. They come in a two pack and were inexpensive. My daughter and I were excited to get them home and get to work.

#ad Spatchcocking Chicken for the Grill with a Garlic Soy Sauce Marinade #grill4flavor #shop

We fired up the grill as soon as we got home. We were ready!


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Watermelon Kool-Aid Fruit Drinks Malted Milkshakes #KoolOff #CollectiveBias #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #KoolOff #CollectiveBias

Watermelon Kool-Aid Fruit Drinks Malted Milkshakes #KoolOff  #CollectiveBias #shop

 Watermelon Kool-Aid Fruit Drinks Malted Milkshakes

Nothing screams summer like Watermelon. Or Malted Milk Shakes. Yes? Yes! Kool-Aid’s new ready-to-serve, 96 ounce fruit drinks bottles made it easy for me to incorporate our favorite flavor in one of our favorite summertime treats. Watermelon Kool-Aid Fruit Drinks Malted Milkshakes! With the new bottles, this malted milkshake is ready in under 5 minutes from start to finish. With a house full of hot teenagers this summer, I’m positive that we will be making this recipe time and time again, to keep them cooled off!

My daughter is currently learning to drive, so after some practice in our already hot weather, we were ready for a break and we knew just the treat we wanted. We stopped by Walmart to pick up the ingredients needed to make this easy perfect-for-summer beverage. It took us no time at all to find the large display of Kool-Aid juice drinks. They were right there in the middle of a huge aisle!  We made sure to pick up a few other Kool-Aid items because we have some more fun Kool-Aid recipes coming your way!


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KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Grilled Shrimp Kabobs #KCMasterpiece

KC Masterpiece Barbecue Grilled Shrimp

It’s hard to believe that summer is already around the corner, but I am so ready. Summer means trips to the pool, working in my garden, frozen treats and most importantly grilling weather. We’ve already broken out the grill a couple of times, and one of those times we made these delicious KC Masterpiece® Barbecue Grilled Shrimp Kabobs.

I was able to incorporate all of my favorite things into this recipe. Shrimp is a must on the BBQ grill, but then add some delicious Garden fresh Bell Peppers, brush with some KC Masterpiece® Kansas City Classic barbecue sauce, sprinkle with some seasonings and grill until perfect. We served ours over a delicious bed of garlic and herb rice pilaf.


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Pineapple Ice – Two Ingredients

Pineapple Ice

In the spirit of my A to Z Blogging Challenge, here is a wonderful TWO ingredient recipe for Pineapple Ice. I definitely bombed the A to Z Challenge this month but I have all the recipes complete so over the next couple of weeks I will put up the remaining recipes. While I have tried to stick to two and three ingredients for the most part, the main theme of this challenge for me this month was easy and simple recipes that anyone can make. I’m sure there will be a few that have more than three, but no matter what, they will be very easy.


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Lemon Thyme Pork Chops with Quinoa, Asparagus & Red Peppers | Farberware #NewTraditions #giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All recipes, photos and opinions are my own.

Lemon Thyme Pork Chops with Quinoa, Asparagus & Red Peppers

Our family has a few favorite recipes that we tend to turn to again and again. Who doesn’t love a classic pork chop, paired with some veggies, or a salad. With Spring having arrived here in St. Louis, my asparagus and herbs are already growing like crazy in my garden and I already see signs of baby peppers. I wanted to update our normal pork chop recipe with a fun twist for Spring. Enter in these delicious, Lemon Thyme Pork Chops with Quinoa, Asparagus & Red Peppers. It’s an entire meal in itself and is a quick and easy recipe to boot. Can’t beat that, since easy and quick are the name of the game in this house.

As usual, the real test is, can I get five hungry teenagers and a picky toddler to eat it? Success! They devoured them and several wanted more. The light lemon and thyme flavor was just what the pork chops needed. Serving them over a bed of quinoa tossed with fresh asparagus and red peppers was the perfect addition to fill everyone up.

I got a chance to use my  new Farberware New Traditions Cookware in Aqua to make this meal, and I just loved how great it was. You can find out more about that below AND you can enter to win your own Farberware New Traditions Cookware set.

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Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor #shop

Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavorBlueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor

When my children were very little, I used to create fun, fast desserts that only took a few minutes to make. Why? Because their patience levels were almost non-existent. Well that, and they went to bed a lot earlier back then so they didn’t have time to wait for some long dessert to finish cooking. That’s why we make these little Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits. They are absolutely easy enough to throw together in just a few minutes. Each bite is like a flavor explosion on your tongue and Philadelphia Cream Cheese has now made it even easier for me to make them with their new flavored cream cheese spreads.

With the new flavored cream cheese spreads, it makes throwing together a meal or a dessert, faster than ever. We love to use the savory flavors to make Creamy Chicken or sauces. Spreading it on crackers, toast, even vegetables. Absolutely outstanding. Then there’s the sweet flavors, and they go well with nearly any dessert or as a dip for fruit or cookies.

Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits

But let’s get back to these little Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits. It’s been a long time since I made them. My daughter and I went to Walmart to get the ingredients to make them again, and we stumbled on the area with all the new Flavored Philadelphia Cream Cheese speads.

Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor

We have 5 Walmarts within a few mile radius all around us, and this one is one of my favorites. I love it because it’s big and open and you can find things easily, not to mention they always get the new stuff first. The cream cheese area actually sits smack dab in the center of the store in a chill case. No aisle, just the ease of walking by or walking up to it and grabbing one, which is exactly what my daughter did.

Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor

When she spotted the Flavored Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Blueberry, she got pretty excited. Brie is a food blogger as well, and she knew that having the mixture already made for us, would make life much simpler (did I mention it already has REAL blueberries in it?). Brie knew that this product would increase the likelihood that we would make these parfaits more often! Suddenly our shopping list shrunk in half and we picked up a few tubs of the different flavors instead.

Once we got home, our parfaits came together in only minutes. They devoured them, and all agreed that using the flavored spread was much better than using the regular and mixing the mixture up ourselves. The fact that we were able to eat them immediately, rather than letting the flavors meld together, is only one of the many reasons I love these new flavored spreads!

If you haven’t made these before, the recipe is simple, has limited ingredients and is so full of blueberry flavor.

Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor

5.0 from 2 reviews
Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor #shop
Prep time
Total time
These Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits come together super fast with the help of flavored Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spreads.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 2 Graham Crackers, crushed (4 squares or 2 rectangles)
  • 1 8oz. tub of Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread
  • ¼ c. of fresh blueberries (plus more to top with if you'd like)
  • ½ c. of Blueberry Pie Filling or Blueberry Compote
  • Homemade Whipped Cream (you can use store bought if you'd prefer)
  1. In a blender, puree the blueberries for about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and blend well.
  2. You will need 4 mini shot glasses or something similar to serve them in.
  3. Layer the graham crackers in first in the bottom of the glasses, distribute them evenly between the four glasses.
  4. Top that with 2-3 Tablespoons of the Blueberry Cream Cheese mixture in each glass.
  5. Add 2 Tablespoons of the blueberry pie filling or compote as the next layer.
  6. Again, top that with 2-3 Tablespoons of the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mixture.
  7. Top the whole thing off with whipped cream, more crushed graham crackers or fresh blueberries.
  8. Serve. These can also be refrigerated for an hour before eating if you'd like.

Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor

 Blueberry Philadelphia Cream Cheese Parfaits #SpreadTheFlavor

 Are you ready to #SpreadTheFlavor with #CollectiveBias? There are lots of great recipes floating through the blogosphere today using these wonderful spreads. You have got to try these delicious Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spreads for yourself. They are available in: Blueberry, Chive Onion, Garden Vegetable, Jalapeno, or Strawberry all with more fruit and vegetables. They compliment any recipe calling for cream cheese so beautifully. Making the flavor so much more intense, which of course translates to a perfect full flavor recipe!


Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #EatMoreBites #shop

Cbias Sponsored PostMilky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #EatMoreBites #shop

Being a food blogger keeps me on my toes with all the latest and greatest food trends. I’m always looking for something new to make and new ingredients to play with. These Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes are born from my new love affair with Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites. Well, that and the fact that my teenage daughter and I were craving chocolate badly that day.

Milky Way Simply Caramel Bites are delicious all on their own, but melted into the center of these little chocolate gems, puts them up there in the top of my favorite candy. And this recipe is super easy, which makes the whole thing a win-win.

The day we planned to make these little morsels, my daughter and I headed to Walmart to buy some ingredients. We took a little walk down the candy aisle and spotted the Milky Way Simply Caramel bites almost immediately. We knew they must go in the centers!

Milky Way Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

As a teenager, my mini-me has a love affair with all things chocolate and she was super excited to get her hands on these yummy little treats. And as you can see she had no problem posing with them, in all her teenage glory. You know, the hat was a must, I tried to get her to take it off, but she insisted. We couldn’t stop laughing and this was one of the few shots I got where she looks almost serious but then as soon as the camera went off, she burst into fits of giggles again. People must’ve thought we were crazy, but we didn’t care, we were having fun and that’s what mattered. And we got chocolate, and that actually matters darn close to as much.


So, we continued shopping looking for a cute way to turn these into an Easter treat,  when we stumbled upon yet another display of these unwrapped bites in the store, and these were right in the main center aisle. Even better! Not that we needed more. We may or may not have grabbed one or two other bags of other flavors. Okay, Okay, we did.


When we finally headed home with our candy, cake ingredients and decorations we were both pretty certain that we were going to be enjoying and devouring these Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes within the hour.

And we did!

But first we had to make them.

Brie mixed up the cake batter so we could get this party started. We used this Basic Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe, because it’s our favorite and is often the base of many of our chocolate cake recipes. However, you don’t have to use it, you can instead use another cake recipe, or a regular cake mix from the store and do it that way instead. It’s all up to you.

You just need to prepare the batter as directed on the box or in the recipe you are using.

Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #EatMoreBites #shop

After that, spray your pans with cooking spray.  Fill each well with your prepared cake batter about 3/4 full.

You may not need to go as crazy as the teen did with the cooking spray but we were determined that they came out easily. haha

Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #EatMoreBites #shop

Next is the fun part. Gently push one Milky Way Simply Caramel Unwrapped Bite into the center of each well filled with batter. It really doesn’t matter which way you stick them in there, right side up, upside down… it’s all the same.

Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #EatMoreBites #shop

Pop them in the oven and bake as directed in the recipe you are using, or as the box of cake mix suggests.

For these, we baked them at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes. If you choose to use the toothpick method to test for doneness, try to keep the toothpick away from the caramel center and do an outer edge instead.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan after removing from oven and then turn them out on a cooling rack.


You can see the melted caramel right in the center. This excited us to no end. Our mouths were watering immediately.


Now it’s up to you what you choose to do with them. We drizzled the tops of these little bundts with this Chocolate Ganache Recipe.

With Easter right around the corner, we decided to top them with these adorable chicks in eggs and then sprinkle a little coconut on each one for a little additional color. Didn’t they turn out SO cute? You could totally top these with jelly beans, mini chocolate bunnies or even little marshmallow chicks.

These will definitely be on our table this Easter. Well, not this batch since they won’t last that long as everyone is gobbling them up, which brings me to some advice. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They are best warm, so remove one, place on a microwave safe plate, cover with a paper towel, and heat for 20-25 seconds. If you need more time, do it in increments of 10 seconds until desired temperature.

Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #shop

Mars Bites Coupon #shop

Are you dying to try these delicious little cakes or even trying one of the other recipes shared today by one of my #CollectiveBias friends?

Maybe you just want to grab your own bag and devour the chocolaty caramel goodness while watching your favorite TV show or running errands.

You can get$0.75 off coupon when you buy (2) 2.83 oz. bags or receive a $3.00 off coupon to use when you buy (2) 6 oz. bags or larger. This makes trying them or popping them into your own recipe totally worth it. Who doesn’t love to save money?

5.0 from 3 reviews
Milky Way Simply Caramel Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes #EatMoreBites #shop
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 mini bundts
For the Cake Batter:
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1¾ c. cake flour
  • ¾ c. dark cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. applesauce
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. boiling water
For the Chocolate Ganache:
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
For Decorating:
  • shredded coconut, easter decorations or mini cake toppers
For the Cake Batter:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, cake flour, dark cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, applesauce and almond extract; beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  3. Next, stir in the boiling water and mix well.
  4. Fill the mini bundt cake pan with chocolate cake batter in each well about ¾ full.
  5. Add a Milk Way Simply Caramel Unwrapped Bite into the center of each filled well.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the side of the cake (avoid the caramel center, because that should be liquidy)
  7. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan after being removed from oven.
  8. While they are cooling, prepare the Chocolate Ganache. (directions below)
  9. Turn out the mini bundt cakes onto a cooling rack after 5 minutes.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
  1. In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil.
  3. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Drizzle the Chocolate Ganache over the chocolate bundt cakes.
  5. Top with some shredded coconut and Easter decorations for a cute, Easter themed mini bundt cake.


Skinny Baked Beignets #SundaySupper

Baked Beignets

It’s a Mardi Gras #SundaySupper! (Fat Sunday, if you will)

I’m not from Louisana, but I have a strong connection to it. Many people don’t know that my ex husband (my children’s father) is from Louisana. I met him when I was 19. So before him, I really didn’t know much about Louisiana, Creole and Cajun Culture or Mardi Gras  in general, including why it was celebrated or about any of the customary foods, etc.. It wasn’t long after we met that I got my first visit to New Orleans and my first taste of real Louisiana cuisine, which interestingly enough my ex husband doesn’t like most of,  and I have been hooked ever since.

I enjoy visiting Louisiana occasionally and dining on true Creole food, because up here in Missouri, even the Cajun restaurants don’t really understand real Cajun or Creole food. Not that there’s too many of them, because there really isn’t. Which has left me to create the foods I love in my own kitchen when I am having a craving for them.

This is true with my love affair with beignets, which I have been enjoying since childhood. There is nothing like a traditional Beignets from the heart of Louisiana, but I don’t get down there often and the bakeries up here have no idea what they are doing. I had my first beignet when I was very young, and used to think it funny that it was the Louisiana State Donut, since to me it didn’t seem like a donut.

However, my skinny version here is baked and not fried. You still get the same pillowy doughy square perfection coated in powdered sugar but without the extra fat and grease. You can’t beat that.

Baked Beignets

5.0 from 3 reviews
Skinny Baked Beignets
Serves: 2 dozen
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 4 Tablespoons warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (to proof the yeast)
  • ¾ cup milk or buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼-1/2 cup of powdered sugar for sifting over the warm beignets.
  1. Heat the milk or buttermilk in a small pan over medium heat. Once small bubbles begin to forms around the sides of the pan, stir in the ¼ cup of sugar, the butter, and the salt. Do not allow the mixture to boil ever. Stir continuously until butter is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to allow to cool. (I usually put it in the fridge for awhile to let it cool quicker)
  2. When the milk mixture is just about cool enough, begin the next step.
  3. In a large bowl combine yeast, warm water and the sugar; let mixture stand for 10 minutes until "proofed"... it will be foamy.
  4. Once the yeast has proofed, add the milk mixture, the egg and 2 cups of the flour.
  5. I use my stand mixture and allow it to run for about 2 minutes. The dough will be sticky. Now add the last cup of flour and use the bread attachment to knead for about 5-6 minutes or until your dough is soft and smooth.
  6. Place the dough into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Punch the center of the dough down and turn it out onto a floured work surface.
  8. Roll the dough out to about a ¼ in thickness. I use a rectangle or square cookie cutter to cut out the dough, but you can use a knife, pizza cutter or whatever you have. Place your cut out pieces on large pan, cover them and allow to rise in a warm spot for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  9. At this point, preheat your oven to 400 F.
  10. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Place the pieces of dough 2" apart on the pan.
  11. Bake for 7-10 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and sift the powdered sugar over them generously while still warm.
  13. Enjoy piping hot and fresh for best taste. Serve with chocolate sauce for dipping.

Baked Beignets

Skinny Baked Beignets

Baked Beignets

Don’t miss the other great recipes in today’s Fat #SundaySupper Mardi Gras lineup!

Cocktails & Other Beverages:


Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:


sundaysuppersmJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.