August 26, 2016

Apple Pie Filling Fruit Salad

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With it's mix of crisp fresh fruit, tender chunks of cooked apples, and cinnamon-laced glaze, Apple Pie Filling Fruit Salad will be loved by all.  Perfect for breakfast, brunch, potluck get-togethers, or as a simple dinner side.
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Apple Pie Filling Fruit Salad ~ With a mix of crisp fresh fruit, tender chunks of cooked apples, & cinnamon-laced glaze, this fruit salad will be loved by all.  Perfect for breakfast, brunch, potlucks, or a simple dinner side.   www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


Sometimes a simple fruit salad sure hits the spot.  Lately I've been whipping up a quick fruit salad as one of my go-to dinner side dishes ... just opening up the fridge, grabbing whatever fruit we have on hand, tossing it together, and serving it up. I love it because it's quick, easy, and goes with just about anything.

But most importantly though, the whole family likes it.  It seems whether it be for a dinner side, breakfast, brunch, potluck get-together, or just about any occasion ... fruit salads are both versatile and loved by all.

While my method of simply tossing together whatever's-on-hand fruit certainly works to create a great fruit salad, giving the fruit a simple little glaze sure can take the salad up a notch.  And nothing's easier than doing just that with a simple can of apple pie filling.

August 22, 2016

Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon

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With a handful of pantry staples and a few slices of bacon, whip up a tasty pan of easy semi-homemade Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon.  They're the perfect cookout side.
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Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon ~ Easily whip up a tasty pan of these semi-homemade baked beans!  They're the perfect cookout side dish.  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


Alas, we are nearing the end of summer.  And I can hardly believe it.  It's that time of year when school is about to start up and the less-structured, stay-up-later days of summer are about to be figments of the past.  But as our warmer days wind down, there's still time to get in a cookout or two more before we pack away the grills and pool toys for cooler weather.

And what makes a better cookout side dish than baked beans?  Nothing!  Especially when they're easy, semi-homemade Spicy Baked Beans with Bacon.

This particular baked beans recipe is a cookout staple in our family.  As a matter of fact, ...

August 18, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars ~ Combine two favorites in these totally tasty bars.  They're a double dessert delight!
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars ~ Combine two favorites in these totally tasty bars.  They're a double dessert delight!   www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

You just can't go wrong with chocolate chip cookies.  And you especially can't go wrong with them when you pair them up with another dessert favorite.  Like brownies ... for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.  Or a dip in chocolate ... for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles.

Or how about cheesecake for these super easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars?

August 13, 2016

Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

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Easy-to-make savory Boursin cheese spread, beautifully flecked with herbs and black pepper.  It's so simple to make your own at home!

Easy-to-make savory Boursin cheese spread, beautifully flecked with herbs and black pepper.  It's so simple to make your own at home!   www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

I grew up eating Boursin cheese spread.  Mom and I had a favorite little herb farm lady who would frequent local craft shows to sell her packets of herb blends ... and Mom and I would look forward to seeing her at our town's huge pre-Christmas craft show each year.  We'd seek her booth out so we could stock up on several packets of her Boursin blend.  We'd get home, mix the herbs with some cream cheese and butter, and .... mmmm ... enjoy it's delicious peppery herby-ness.  And now - now I know how to create my own herb mix to make delicious, creamy Boursin-style cheese spread.

But ~ it's not true Boursin, mind you.  That's why I refer to it as Boursin-style spread.  Did you know to be called Boursin, a cheese has to be a specific variety of cow's milk cheese whose making originated in France?

August 11, 2016

{Mostly} Whole Grain Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

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Made with ground oats, whole wheat flour, and just a touch of white flour, these Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins are mostly whole grain.  They make for a perfect low-guilt breakfast or after-school snack treat!
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Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins ~ Made with ground oats, whole wheat flour, and just a touch of white flour, these tasty muffins are mostly whole grain.  They make a perfect low-guilt breakfast or after-school snack!   www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


I love blueberries.  I think they may be my favorite fruit.  But, you know, I've never been a big fan of blueberry muffins - at least not of 'traditional'  blueberry muffins.

To me, many blueberry muffins are kind of like yellow cake with some blueberries tossed in.  Not that there's anything wrong with that - it's just not my thing.

Now these, these blueberry muffins - I love!

August 8, 2016

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli Sheet Pan Supper

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Looking for low-effort, flavorful dinner ideas?  Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli Sheet Pan Supper is for you!  With just a little tossing of ingredients together, this one-pan dish with tasty lemony shrimp and cumin-spiced roasted broccoli is ready in under 30 minutes.
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Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli Sheet Pan Supper ~ With just a little tossing of ingredients together, this one-pan dish with tasty lemony shrimp and cumin-spiced roasted broccoli is ready in under 30 minutes.   www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

I think since I write The Kitchen is My Playground, it's pretty apparent I love to cook.  I started cooking with my Mom way back about the time I started to walk, pulling up a chair to stand on at the counter and being dubbed the resident stirrer.  I think I was also dubbed the resident spoon licker, too ... a responsibility I loved and took very  seriously.

I've carried that love of cooking instilled in me through my Mom throughout my entire life.

But you know what?

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