Watermelon Pizza

****HUSBAND APPROVED DESSERT

This watermelon pizza is not only lovely to look at, but it is absolutely refreshing and perfectly sweet. Lemon zest and fresh strawberries add beautiful summer colors to this dessert and make it bright and wonderfully light. This easy no-bake dessert can be whipped up in no time and is the best afternoon snack for a hot summer day. Finally a dessert that is satisfying, low-carb, and loaded with fresh fruits! I promise, you are going to want to make this refreshing watermelon pizza. Your kids will love this as an after school snack, and your friends will be impressed and delighted at your next barbecue get together. 

Honestly, this is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made. Slice a watermelon, whip up some whipped cream, and cut up some strawberries. Voila! Easy as pie. And almost tastes like pie with fresh strawberries and whipped cream but has half the calories and takes half the time to make. I don’t know about you, but on hot summer days I really love eating fresh fruit. Which is why this watermelon pizza is a perfect summer dessert option for those of us who have a sweet tooth but also want to look good in our new summer dresses. You definitely do not have to feel guilty after enjoying a few slices.

I have been obsessed with making homemade whipped cream. It is so much fun to make and so delicious. Confession: I ate most of the whipped cream with strawberries before I even took pictures of this recipe! Oh did I mention this whipped cream is loaded with fresh lemon juice and zest?? That’s right friends. Lemon whipped cream. How’s that for a delicious summer treat? This watermelon pizza will not disappoint! In fact, what am I still doing typing…I have 2 pieces left in the fridge (sorry honey, I will make more!)!

Watermelon Pizza with Lemon Whipped Cream
This easy summer dessert is so light and fresh!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small watermelon
  2. juice of 1/2 lemon
  3. lemon zest
  4. fresh strawberries, sliced
  5. 1/4 c. heavy cream
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Add heavy cream, sugar, and lemon juice to a bowl.
  2. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Slice watermelon and cut circle into 4 pieces.
  4. Spread a thin (or thick) layer of whipped cream on top of watermelon slices.
  5. Place sliced strawberries on top of whipped cream.
  6. Add desired amount of lemon zest on top.
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The Best Classic Egg Rolls

Whenever I go to an Asian restaurant I have to get egg rolls. I absolutely love their crispy outside and their flavorful inside filled with tons of veggies and Asian flavors. I decided to bring one of my favorite appetizers home for dinner. And boy did I not regret it! This recipe is SO easy. I had dinner made in no time, and I had lots of left overs. 

These are the best homemade egg rolls filled with ginger seasoned ground beef and fried in olive oil to crispy golden perfection. I would argue these egg rolls are even better than takeout; they quickly became a family favorite! Serve with a side of jasmine rice and a yummy soy dipping sauce, and you’ve got yourself a better-than-takeout homemade meal that’s easy and oh so scrumptious! 

Making homemade egg rolls can seem a little bit intimidating. But my friends, let me tell you. This recipe is SO easy. Even a beginner can whip these up and seem like a gourmet chef. They are so crunchy on the outside and the filling is oh so yummy! I seasoned the ground beef with lots of ginger and garlic and sautéed the fresh vegetables in olive oil, so I would say this is a healthy homemade meal that everyone in the family will love! I promise you won’t want to order takeout egg rolls ever again! They are classic and simple but loaded with Asian flavor.  

Classic Homemade Egg Rolls
Yields 20
These crispy and delicious egg rolls are way better than takeout! A quick and easy meal your whole family with love.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package egg roll wrappers
  2. 1 lb ground beef
  3. 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  4. 2 c. shredded cabbage
  5. 2 c. shredded carrots
  6. 1 c. chopped scallions
  7. water
  8. 1 tbsp. flour
  9. olive oil
Sauce
  1. 1/4 c. soy sauce
  2. 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon honey
  4. pinch of chili flakes
Instructions
  1. In a medium pan, cook ground beef until no pink remains.
  2. Season with ginger, salt, and pepper.
  3. Remove meat from heat and place in a separate bowl.
  4. Add cabbage, carrots, and scallions to the same pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Cook veggies until soft.
  6. Return meat to the pan and mix everything together.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Mix water with flour to make a paste to whole the egg rolls together.
  9. Lay an egg roll wrapper on the counter.
  10. Place about 1/3 c mixture in the center of the wrapper.
  11. Fold 2 sides of the wrapper in toward each other, then fold the bottom towards the center and roll.
  12. Seal the egg roll with the water and flour mixture.
  13. Heat olive oil in a medium pan and add the egg rolls.
  14. Cook for about a minute on one side or until golden and flip the egg roll to cook the other side.
  15. Turn the egg roll occasionally until the whole thing is crispy and golden.
Sauce
  1. Add all the ingredients together and mix until well combined.
  2. Use to dip your egg rolls in!
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Orzo Pasta with Goat Cheese

Orzo is one of my favorite little pastas. This dish is simple, fresh, and oh so delicious. I love that it is a light meal that is packed with Mediterranean flavors. I whipped this dish up on a lazy, cozy, and rainy Sunday afternoon. My husband and I savored it with whole wheat bread dipped in olive oil. Pasta and bread-my kind of meal! 

I love goat cheese. It’s one of my favorite cheeses. If goat cheese is on it, in it, sprinkled on top, stuffed inside, I don’t care I’m gettin’ it and I’m eatin’ it. Okay, so this pasta dish is already a winner in my book because of the goat cheese. 

But wait there’s more! Capers, artichoke hearts, shallots, oh my! This dish has a Mediterranean flair that I simple cannot resist.

And oh my goodness fresh thyme!  This dish is loaded with fresh thyme that perfectly compliments the Mediterranean flavors found in this pasta. I am obsessed with fresh herbs. They are so delicious, they spruce up any dish, and they are also beautiful to look at! It is my dream to have an herb garden. I was watching Fixer Upper (my favorite show EVER!), and Joanna designed the most beautiful and elegant herb garden that she hung in her client’s kitchen. (check it out–>http://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/shows/fixer-upper-container-garden-ideas-from-joanna-gaines)

I gotta get my husband to build me one of those. (;  

Care to join me for some pasta and possibly and episode of Fixer Upper? Alright, let’s dig in!

Orzo Pasta with Goat Cheese
Serves 4
A fresh and simple orzo pasta meal perfect as a side dish or main entree!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 c. dry orzo (Garofalo Orzo Pasta, 16-Ounce (Pack of 4))
  2. 1/2 shallot diced
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 1/2 c. artichoke hearts
  5. 1/3 c. capers
  6. salt and pepper
  7. goat cheese
  8. fresh thyme
  9. extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil.
  2. Add orzo and cook 8-9 minutes until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, dice shallot on cook with 1 teaspoon olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Strain orzo (don't add cold water).
  5. Return orzo to a pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Add shallot and garlic to the orzo and stir.
  7. Add artichoke hearts and capers with some juice and stir to combine.
  8. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lots of thyme.
  9. Divide the orzo into dishes and top with desired amount of goat cheese.
Notes
  1. Serve with fresh bread and olive oil for dipping to make an amazing healthy meal for lunch or dinner!
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Puff Pastry with Prosciutto and Potatoes

These little bites are ridiculously easy and unquestionably delicious. Where have they been all my life!? Oh my goodness you guys..these little appetizers didn’t last a day in my house! They are that good. I promise you are going to want to make these. ASAP.

Golden flaky puff pastry, crispy potatoes, prosciutto, apple, herbs…really it doesn’t get much better than this. Apple and prosciutto perfectly compliment each other, and a touch of nutmeg adds the perfect spice to this recipe. Surprisingly, these were so easy to make! Partly due to the fact that I used store bought pastry from Trader Joe’s. So easy and convenient! These puff pastry pockets are the ultimate make-ahead appetizer. They even taste fabulous served warm and at room temperature! The secret to these is cream cheese. I only add a little bit so you don’t have to feel guilty! The cream cheese adds a creaminess you just won’t want to miss. 

As you can tell, I wasn’t sure if I want these to be pockets or bite-size appetizers, so I decided to make a variety of options to see what I liked best. Honestly, they were all delicious. I might like the stuffed pockets because the inside stays nice and warm and melts in your mouth at every bite. These prosciutto and potato appetizers can be baked ahead and frozen up to a month in advance and taste great both warm and at room temperature, so they’re perfect for entertaining. Whether you savor them in your finest little black dress at a party or devour them as they come out of the oven in your best cozy sweater, you won’t believe how wonderful these little puff pastry appetizers are. 

Puff Pastry Appetizers with Potatoes and Prosciutto
Yields 12
A delicious appetizer with a golden flaky puff pastry wrapped around or piled high with potatoes, prosciutto, and chives!
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Ingredients
  1. Puff pastry
  2. 2 small red potatoes
  3. 1/2 red apple
  4. 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  5. 4 oz prosciutto
  6. 1 teaspoon nutmeg (I use-Simply Organic Nutmeg Ground CERTIFIED ORGANIC 2.3oz. bottle)
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. handful of chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop potatoes and apples and add them to a medium sized pan.
  3. Over medium heat, add olive oil to the pan and stir the apples and potatoes until soft.
  4. Add prosciutto and nutmeg. Cook stirring frequently 2 more minutes.
  5. Add cream cheese and stir until smooth and no chunks remain.
  6. Sprinkle salt and peper over mixture.
  7. Add half of your chives and stir well. Remove from heat.
To assemble
  1. Lay out puff pastry on a flat surface.
  2. Cut your dough in 4 inch squares, or create small circles using a mason jar lid.
  3. Top your dough with a tablespoon of the filling.
  4. If creating pockets, place another circle on top of the filling, and pinch the sides together.
  5. If creating bite-size appetizers, place filling on top, and you're done!
  6. Lay puff pastry pockets on bites on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until pastry is golden.
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