Summer Succotash Salad

summer succotash salad with dressing | jessicagavin.com

It’s officially summer and with the warm weather brings more time outdoors, especially picnics and barbecues. Strolling the aisles of grocery stores and farmer’s markets, the produce sections are showing much more vibrant colors as the summer fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready to eat. Whenever I see sweet white corn appear that’s when I know it’s time to fire up the grill! To take advantage of the beautiful produce now available, I wanted to create a more hearty yet healthy salad that would be perfect to serve on those warmer days with those savory barbecue feasts. My summer succotash salad features all of these yummy vegetables in one bowl!… 

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Luscious Raspberry Lemon Bars

amazing raspberry lemon bar recipe | jessicagavin.com

When given the choice of a decadent chocolate dessert versus a light refreshing lemon indulgence, I’m much more of a chocolate lover. I actually used to hate lemon flavored desserts! That’s until I finally made a tray of fresh raspberry lemon bars at home. My first encounter with lemon bars was when I was working at a European bakery in high school, getting the chance to be exposed to lots of different citrus infused treats.

Lemon bars were a staple at Boniere Bakery in Alameda, CA. Baked fresh each week, I used to be in charge of cutting the crisp and gooey bars into perfect squares then dusting them with generous mountains of powdered sugar. I would sneak bites of the browned corners that I cut off, licking off the sticky evidence from my fingers. I think that’s when I started to appreciate the citrus pucker effect of the lemon juice balanced with the sweetness of the sugar in those gooey lemon bars…. 

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Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade

mixing bourbon cocktail drink | jessicagavin.com

Nothing is better than wrapping up a long day by putting on your comfy pants and having your favorite drink in hand. Even though an ice cold glass of organic 2% milk has been my drink of choice lately, my husband Jason likes a more refined and aged glass of whiskey. To spoil the hubs a little bit for helping with all of the baby “nesting”,  I wanted to create a whiskey cocktail made specially for him.

I told Jason that I would make him a gentlemen’s summer drink and needless to say, that put a smile on his face . With Baby Gavin on the way, I couldn’t exactly try the drink once I added the whiskey to it, so I pulled Jason into the test kitchen for a little mixed drink R&D. Together we created a yummy (or so I’ve heard) blackberry bourbon lemonade!… 

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Broccoli Slaw and Kale Salad with Chicken

delicious broccoli slaw and kale salad with chicken | jessicagavin.com

Did I ever tell you that during my pregnancy I craved kale salads? Yup! It was probably one of the healthier foods for my taste buds, compared to all of the sweets that I typically want. As I was roaming the aisles of my local Trader Joes grocery store, I came across a single serving broccoli slaw and kale salad with chicken and thought it would be the perfect lunch for the next day.  I enjoyed the taste and texture of this salad so much, that I created my own recipe! This also saves your wallet, since buying these individual portions could break the bank over time…. 

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Strawberry French Toast Recipe

Strawberry French Toast Recipe | jessicagavin.com

Breakfast is one of my favorite eating occasions for one reason, I get to eat dessert first thing in the morning! As a kid, French toast was my go-to selection whenever dining out on the weekends with my family, or at home on Sunday mornings. French toast has evolved on restaurant menus to include versions using banana bread, baked like a custard in a cast iron pan, healthier whole wheat bread recipes, and even stuffed with rich fillings. I had made a fresh loaf of braided challah bread (a rich egg bread) and I did not want a single crumb to go to waste, so I decided to make an irresistible strawberry french toast recipe!… 

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Lemonade Sugar Cookies

lemonade sugar cookies on a tray

This is a refreshing lemonade sugar cookies recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard. Bright, tangy and sweet, these lemonade sugar cookies are a nice way to brighten anyone’s day. These cookies are perfectly balanced with sweet lemonade icing and a buttery tender sugar cookie…. 

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

buttermilk fried chicken stack on waffles

I’ve never been a person to say no to fried chicken, it’s my culinary kryptonite. I just can’t get enough of the salty, crispy coating, and biting into the tender and juicy chicken meat. My childhood diet often times consisted of orders of McDonald’s chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce (which I still love), red and white striped buckets of KFC fried chicken (I prefer original recipe), and little fried drumettes from Oakland Chinatown which had the tastiest scallion batter. Fried chicken has certainly evolved with many chef’s adding their own blend of spices and coatings, sandwiching them between waffles and served at the swankiest and hippest restaurants…. 

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Spiced Lemon Chicken

Spiced lemon chicken with humus

Are you in need for a fast healthy and tasty dinner? I personally struggle with having time after a long day at work to cook an elaborate dinner. I try my best to make meals that are packed with nutrition in order keep energized for the next day. My spiced lemon chicken recipe is the perfect wholesome meal during those hectic weekdays. I always stock my pantry with essential spices such as garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika, so I can make a quick spice blend to add more flavor to my proteins and the best part is you do not need to marinate for hours!… 

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Gluten Free Salted Caramel Apple Waffles

waffles apples bacon featuring cup4cup

When you were growing up, was your pantry stocked with Bisquick - the all in one miracle pancake, waffle, biscuit and cookie mix? Now the next question… is it still stocked with Bisquick?? Well if you answered yes to that second question I have some news for you… There are some new mixes out there for you to try! I created gluten free salted caramel apple waffles using the new Cup4Cup pancake and waffle mix and I want to share the recipe with you…. 

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Citrus Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

There is nothing better than waking up on the weekend to the smell of sweet pancakes sizzling on the griddle. My fondest memories as a child was tip toeing down the stairs in the morning, still sleepy eyed, and waking up immediately when I saw my mom cooking an irresistible breakfast for me and my family…. 

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