Easy Almond Apple Quinoa Salad

Simple Quinoa, Cranberry, Almond, Apple Salad

A simple quinoa salad with toasted almonds and sunflower seeds, a chopped apple, and dried cranberries. A delicious raspberry vinaigrette covers this salad! Add some grilled chicken if desired.Simple almond, cranberry, and apple quinoa saladThis salad though!! It’s the stuff dreams are made of!: #1: EASY, #2: so, so quick to throw together, #3: HEALTH-FOOD, #4: deliciiiiiious. Optional #5: kid friendly (or at least for my kiddo it is). Although, admittedly I’ve heard it’s strange that I can get a 2-year old to eat salads and lettuce the way he does. It’s really nothing I’ve done, he has always loved lettuce. He’ll eat just about every variety, plain or dressed. He loves salads! And it’s no surprise quinoa is (I think) his favorite food since quinoa meals show up on the regular here.

The few times we’ve made this, he has out-eaten me! Me, the one that is supposed to be “eating for two” mind you. Mixing together quinoa, spinach, some crunchy almonds + sunflower seeds, chewy dried cranberries, and a tart apple with the most delicious raspberry vinaigrette ever turns out to be one heck of a salad. If you wanted to add some yummy marinated grilled chicken it could become quite a filling meal too…. 

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Healthy Apple Muffins (with Greek yogurt)

Healthy Apple Muffins made with Greek Yogurt

These apple pie muffins are made healthier with Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and whole wheat flour. Plus these muffins have an optional cinnamon oat crisp on top made without butter!

Healthier Greek Yogurt Apple Pie Muffins. The crisp topping has NO butter!Okay who is ready for FALL? I say it all year long and I mean it — I live for Fall time. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year! As much as I enjoy summer, when school has started it feels like summer has come to an end. Regardless of what the thermometer is telling me…

And while I’ll still be savoring the last bits of summer, I basically had two summers (Australia’s summer and now Utah’s summer) so I’m good and ready for Fall. To be honest, I’ve been pretending it’s Fall since about the beginning of July when I broke out the pumpkin and started experimenting on recipes for you all. So far I have about 9 different pumpkin recipes that I can’t wait to share with you all. But it would be rude to rob apples of their lime-light so let’s start with some apple recipes! First one up, these delicious and healthier apple pie muffins!… 

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Copycat Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing (No Mayo!)

Delicious Cafe Rio Dressing Copycat but Healthy!

My take on the cafe rio creamy tomatillo dressing (BUT HEALTHY!), a collection of the very BEST blender dressings, and a Blendtec Giveaway!

Delicious Cafe Rio Dressing Copycat but Healthy!I’ve shared this dressing here before when I shared this awesome honey-lime chicken, but I use it for SO much more. We put this on dressing on our salads all of the time and on top of pretty much any grilled meat. The husband says it tastes just like the Cafe Rio dressing! That is a huge win since it’s a lot healthier – it gets its “creaminess” from an avocado instead of loads of mayo!

The key to making this dressing awesome is to adjust the flavors to your preference — if you like more of a garlic flavor you’ll want to increase that, same goes for cilantro, or if you are looking for more heat — increase the jalapeno. Add the milk (or buttermilk) to get to your desired thickness. As written this is a fairly thick dressing which we love. If you want it thinner just add a bit more milk or salsa verde. I find salsa verde (it’s basically a green salsa) right by all the red salsas or in a Mexican food aisle. Enjoy!… 

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Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells

The best way to eat chicken parmesan -- in stuffed shells!

The best way to enjoy chicken Parmesan! Delicious (double-coated) chicken with creamy mozzarella cheese stuffed into pasta shells and covered with a delicious homemade tomato sauce.

The best way to eat chicken parmesan -- in stuffed shells!My family’s obsession with chicken parmesan has been shared a couple of times on the blog; first with this slow cooker soup and then with this one dish quinoa meal. Both change up how chicken parmesan is traditionally made and coincidently both are served with quinoa. Also, both recipes have gotten such great feedback that it felt time to bring chicken parmesan back to the blog.

And I still haven’t made it in its traditional form…

It’s being changed up yet again, but it was finally time to bring some pasta in the mix! Pasta is generally always served with traditional chicken parmesan, so I thought why not stuff the chicken INTO the shells?… 

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Frosted Lime-Berry Spritzer

DELICIOUS blue-lime berry spritzer -- (non-alcoholic sparkling water)

A delicious blueberry mandarine-lime beverage. This spritzer is non-alcoholic made with a sugared blueberry base and a mandarine-lime sparkling water.

DELICIOUS blue-lime berry spritzer -- (non-alcoholic sparkling water)I have to admit, this has been my favorite drink of the summer!! There have been some great ones made (and the best of those have shown up here on the blog), but it has been decided that this one is my absolute favorite.

It’s basically a super jazzed up sparkling water with tons of good flavors PLUS it’s super simple to make. And that color! It’s absolutely stunning — I love the deep purple. It’s the perfect non-alcoholic celebration drink (especially for something like a baby shower or kid’s birthday).

With the blueberries on a skewer, a sugar-rimmed glass, some fresh mint and lime, you’ll feel pretty fancy with this beverage. And that’s before even tasting it…then you’ll see exactly what I mean. This is one delicious drink…. 

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Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches

Delicious and Easy Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches

A copycat churro ice cream sandwich from the Churro Borough in Los Angeles. These tasty churro ice cream sandwiches are surprisingly super easy to make and one of the best desserts you’ll ever have!

The best churros ever! Ice cream sandwich churrosOkay if you love churros, you are in for a whole new level of churro goodness. Remember those churro ice cream bars that debuted here on the blog like just a few days ago? Well, obviously I thought you all needed more churro + ice cream happiness in your lives :)

The truth is, after I made the recipe for the churro ice cream bars and wrote up the post, I did a google search to see if my idea was completely original. I used to google my ideas BEFORE I did them, but then I would get hesitant to post my recipe when my idea wasn’t totally original. So I make my recipe ideas the way I have them and then search after just to see. Turns out I’m rarely as original as I’d hoped to be, but as far as the churro ice cream bars, I think they were a first!!

What I did find in my search are these famous ice cream sandwiches from a place in LA. I’ve actually never been to the “Churro Borough” so I can’t say that these are exactly like those, but they are a copycat of their idea. Apparently these churro ice cream sandwiches are all the rage – people love them…. 

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{One Skillet} Cream Cheese Mexican Chicken & Rice

One Skillet Easy Cream Cheese Chicken and Rice

A creamy Mexican chicken and rice dish made in one skillet and packed with delicious flavors.

Easy ONE SKILLET cream cheese chicken and rice

Okay so confession time. This dish doesn’t quite exactly like these pictures! A couple months ago, I was at my family’s house visiting Grey’s aunts. I say Grey’s aunts, because, let’s be honest, my sisters have far less desire to hang out with me when they can be hanging out with my cute boy ;). While I was there, I raided my parent’s fridge/pantry to come up with a dish very similar to this one for a quick lunch. My sisters, Grey, and I all LOVED it.

So I jotted down a few notes and the next time I made it, I took these pictures. A couple weeks later, I wanted to make it for the husband and for the third run on this recipe, I changed it a bit and it was even better. Flash forward to last night, where it got made AGAIN (can you tell we really like this meal?!) and I believe it to be the best version yet! That said, the photos and recipes are just a little different. They are close enough that I didn’t re-take all the photos in the hopes that I could get you all this recipe quicker (and while you are getting all these yummy summer veggies from your gardens or for good prices at the grocery store). Anyways, if you notice a few very minor differences from the pictures and recipes, that is why :)… 

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Crockpot Creamy Chili Cheese Dip

Simple Crockpot Cheesy Chili Dip - NO Velveeta

This post brought to you by Hormel Foods. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

A simple creamy chili cheese dip made in the slow cooker.

Creamy Chili Dip - made in the Slow Cooker!In the summer, our dinner meals tend to be a little different than they are the rest of the year. With so much fresh produce we tend to always have some kind of huge fruit salad and/or a tray of roasted veggies.

With those fruit or veggies salads we’ll usually grill up some kind of meat (this honey-lime chicken has been our favorite!) or occasionally we’ll have some kind of chip dip. It’s not the most conventional dinner, but one of our favorites. And besides, aren’t finger foods the best way to enjoy dinner?!… 

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Homemade Strawberry Frosty

Delicious and simple homemade strawberry frosty

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SunsOutSpoonsOut #CollectiveBias

A simple homemade strawberry frosty made easy in the blender. (No ice cream machine needed!)

Delicious and simple homemade strawberry frostyHave you ever wondered why Wendy’s hasn’t come out with a strawberry frosty yet? I mean, I know they have their strawberry frosty shakes, but it’s not quite the same thing.

And although I am a chocolate frosty girl through and through, strawberry ice cream/milkshakes are a fun change-up every once and a while. OR better yet, a strawberry + chocolate twist. That, I believe, would be crazy good. The same idea of a chocolate covered strawberry, but in a creamier, cold, ice cream way :)

Anyways, this recipe has taken me quite a few tries to get just right. I started in an ice cream maker and found the consistency of the blender was better. The ingredients have changed a few times and I believe this is just how a strawberry frosty would taste…if such a thing existed!… 

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Churro Ice Cream Bars

Churro Ice Cream Bars

A cinnamon graham cracker crust with a layer of delicious churro ice cream and topped with miniature churros covered in an optional chocolate ganache. ***Scroll to the end for a chance to win a giveaway!***

Churro Ice Cream Bars1
Churro fans anyone? Because these ice cream bars are fully loaded with cinnamon-sugar goodness. With a cinnamon-sugar crust, churro ice cream with ACTUAL churros mixed in it, and miniature churro bites on top, this dessert has got it all. Did I mention the chocolate ganache?…

I have to say, the original inspiration for this dessert idea is all thanks to my friend Cate of Chez Catey Lou. She emailed me a few weeks ago to see if I wanted to team up and do a giveaway where we give one of our lucky readers a whole bunch (6 pints!) of some of the tastiest ice cream ever by McConnell’s. (Enter for your chance to win at the end of this post!)

As I was reading over the list of ice cream flavors available, the one that caught my eye the quickest: “Churros Con Leche.” Churro ice cream? Am I dreaming?! I’d never even heard of such a thing!… 

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No-Chill Best Ever Sugar Cookies {2 “secret” ingredients}

The BEST No Chill Sugar Cookies

2 secret ingredients make up some of the best ever sugar (circle OR cut-out) cookies. These Sugar Cookies don’t require any chilling and hold the shape of a cutter extremely well! Plus a delicious and creamy frosting recipe!
The BEST (No Chill) Sugar Cookies with 2 secret ingredients - makes perfect cut out cookies every time!I know what you are thinking. ANOTHER sugar cookie claiming to be the best sugar cookie ever. But really…these cookies have legitimately been years in the making. Two years to be precise and the results are completely worth it!

There have been countless batches and dozens of changes and tons of taste testing done by many people.

I’ve been determined to have the very best sugar cookies and refused to post the recipe until I was 100% satisfied. And well, the day has come! :) But be warned — this post has a ridiculous amount of text. Over the past two years of experimenting, I have learned a lot and I want this post to be all inclusive so I leave you with the knowledge (and recipe of course) to create the best sugar cookies. A recipe is only so much — there is absolutely technique to baking these cookies and that’s what I’m sharing today…. 

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Coconut Chicken Curry

Easy coconut chicken curry

This coconut chicken curry is packed with delicious flavors and made easy on the stovetop.Easy coconut chicken curry

I officially have a two year old on my hands. Grey turned two this past Saturday (I wrote a short re-cap + some pictures here if you are interested!) and he even learned how to hold up two fingers to show us his age. Occasionally he holds up two fingers on each of his hands, but hey, we’re getting there.

He had a blast unwrapping presents, getting sung to, eating cake + ice cream, and playing with the ridiculous amounts of balloons around the house. As much fun as he was having, I’m pretty sure I was enjoying watching even more!… 

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