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Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Creamy Balsamic Vinagirette 2

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette – Dress up your salads by turning classic balsamic vinaigrette in a healthy creamy dressing.

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette - Dress up your salads by turning classic balsamic vinaigrette in a healthy creamy dressing.

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary!!  We went out to dinner last night to celebrate.  I have to say, I can not believe it has been 14 years.  I have known my husband since I was 15 years old, so he has pretty much always been in my life.  But at the same time, it doesn’t seem like we have been married for that long.  I guess this is what happens when you get old, huh?

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Cafe Rio Dressing

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Cafe Rio Dressing 3

Cafe Rio dressing you can make at home! Get excited, because it is SO good!

Cafe Rio dressing you can make at home! Get excited, because it is SO good!

Are you a fan of Café Rio? If you have one in your town or have ever been, then you know exactly what this recipe is. And I bet you’re excited about it.

Café Rio has somewhat of a cult following, and there are copycat recipes all over the place for pretty much everything on their menu. Including these Café Rio chicken tostadas I made years ago!

But the Café Rio Dressing with tomatillos and cilantro is one of my favorite things there. It is pretty much the reason I order the salad every, single time.

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Corn and Radish Salad

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Corn and Radish Salad {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Corn and Radish Salad – An easy radish and corn salad topped with an avocado dressing.  Great use of summer produce!

Corn and Radish Salad - An easy radish and corn salad topped with an avocado dressing.  Great use of summer produce!

What a busy weekend!  It was our first weekend in forever that we didn’t have plans.  But it turned into a busy and exhausting weekend! We wen up to Rocky Mountain National Park and went on a beautiful hike.  It was almost 9 miles long. Then we met up with friends who were camping in the park.  We haven’t seen them in almost a year, so it was good to catch up.  At least we got to hang out at home on Sunday for most of the day (my son talked us into playing tennis).  So after a long hike on Saturday and hiking with my son on Thursday (pictures on Instagram) I was kind of tired!

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Southwestern Cobb Salad

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Southwestern Cobb Salad {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Southwestern Cobb Salad – A classic Cobb salad with a Southwestern, tex-mex twist!  Topped with a creamy cilantro lime dressing for a hearty, filling, and delicious salad.

Southwestern Cobb Salad - A classic Cobb salad with a Southwestern, tex-mex twist!  Topped with a creamy cilantro lime dressing for a hearty, filling, and delicious salad.

 

Summer is all about eating better and not trying to heat up your house. Thankfully, you can use the grill and achieve both of these goals at one time. Ok, so there may be more to summer like friends, family, vacations, getting outside, swimming, sun, baseball etc…but this is a food blog, so I am here to solve your summer food goals. Today I have you more than covered with eating a little better and keeping the air conditioning from working over-time with this incredible Cobb Salad.

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Thai Chicken Salad

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Thai Chicken Salad {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Thai Chicken Salad – turn up your salad game with a Thai style chopped salad.  Topped with chicken, veggies, and a peanut dressing make for a filling salad.

Thai Chicken Salad - turn up your salad game with a Thai style chopped salad.  Topped with chicken, veggies, and a peanut dressing make for a filling salad.

The weather is finally warming up and feeling like summer here in Colorado.  We had a very wet and cold spring.  Hard to believe that 10 days ago we had to have the heat on, and today we had to turn the air conditioning on!  My son has his first baseball game of the season tonight as well, so it officially feels like summer.  They have not had many practices because of the weather, so it could be a very interesting game. I think tomorrow will have to be our first trip to the neighborhood pool as well!

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Pear, Cashew and Canadian Bacon Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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Pear, Cashew and Canadian Bacon Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing - a great lunch or dinner summer salad with sweet pears, crunchy cashews, salty Canadian bacon and sweet poppy seed dressing. No heating up the kitchen!

Pear, Cashew and Canadian Bacon Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing – a great lunch or dinner summer salad with sweet pears, crunchy cashews, salty Canadian bacon and sweet poppy seed dressing.  No heating up the kitchen!

Pear, Cashew and Canadian Bacon Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing - a great lunch or dinner summer salad with sweet pears, crunchy cashews, salty Canadian bacon and sweet poppy seed dressing.  No heating up the kitchen!

I have to say, I am getting pretty tired of the rain.  We almost never get rain in Colorado, we live in a desert.  But this last month, it has rained almost every day.  I think we have gotten more rain in the last month that we usually do in a full year. Everything is green and gorgeous, which is great!  But the kids not being able to go outside, sports practice being cancelled, and just the overall cloudiness all the time is definitely getting old.  I am hoping this means summer is going to be gorgeous…when it actually arrives.

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Jicama and Watermelon Salad

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Jicima and Watermelon Salad {Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts}

Jicama and Watermelon Salad – use juicy watermelon and slightly sweet jicama to make a great summer side dish.  Toss with a honey-lime vinaigrette.

Jicima and Watermelon Salad - use juicy watermelon and slightly sweet jicima to make a great summer side dish.  Toss with a honey-lime vinaigrette.

Happy Mother’s Day this weekend to all the Mom’s out there!  I don’t get to see my mom on Mother’s Day, but I do get to see her in a couple weeks, so that is good.  Do you have plans for this weekend?  Tomorrow my son and I are going to volunteer for the Homeless Gear Project in our city.  Any plans we might have had for Sunday are probably on hold at this point.  I just looked at the forecast and they are predicting snow.  Seriously?  It is May, almost the middle of May.  Snow should not be in the forecast.  75 and sunny is what should be in the forecast.  I am just crossing my fingers they are wrong.

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BLT Pasta Salad

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BLT Pasta Salad - Turn the classic BLT sandwich in a pasta salad with a creamy dressing. Great for lunch, dinner, parties, potlucks, or just about anytime.

BLT Pasta Salad – Turn the classic BLT sandwich in a pasta salad with a creamy dressing.  Great for lunch, dinner, parties, potlucks, or just about anytime.  

BLT Pasta Salad - Turn the classic BLT sandwich in a pasta salad with a creamy dressing.  Great for lunch, dinner, parties, potlucks, or just about anytime.

April is here.  I am always behind on food holidays.  I never know about them until I see recipes online mentioning whatever day it is.  Well, this time it is different.  April is National BLT Month.  I love a good BLT, so I am all over this one.  And I am sharing this recipe with you early in the month, so you have plenty of time to make this amazing BLT pasta salad and celebrate with me!

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Southwestern Corn Salad

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Southwestern Corn Salad - summer corn never tasted so good!

Southwestern Corn Salad – Corn with bacon, avocado, and tomatoes in a creamy Southwestern style dressing.

Southwestern Corn Salad - summer corn never tasted so good!

Apparently summer days are hard when you are 9 years old.  You have all this stuff in your head that you want to do, but within a couple hours of waking up you are bored.  Mom suggests a bunch of stuff that you could do, but none of it interests you so you sulk around.  Then after awhile, Mom gets fed up, and you get in trouble.  Rough life!  We actually have a system worked out for the summer.  In the mornings I get work done, while my 9 year old has a few jobs he needs to get done.  Then we get to have fun and play in the afternoon.  Either go to the neighborhood pool, play with friends, go for a bike ride, go to a movie, or anything else we can think of.  But I guess the jobs are getting old, and my 9 year old just want to be entertained all day, every day.  So…. is it time for school yet?

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Chicken Caesar Salad

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Chicken Caesar Salad - great summer dinner

Chicken Caesar Salad - lightened up by using yogurt in the dressing

I think that once summer comes, even the most meat eating man out there, is ok with a salad every once in awhile. Especially if it means they get to fire up the grill to cook the meat for the salad.  For my husband, the only reason he will eat a salad is because of the dressing.  If it were socially acceptable, he would probably just drink the salad dressing, or maybe he would use a spoon :)  But seeing as how that is frowned upon, he will suffer through some lettuce in order to get the dressing.  His favorite dressing ever…..Caesar.  Followed closely by Thousand Island.

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