bread and butter pickles

‘Tis the season!

Canning is back. Which basically means that our work days don’t end when we get home from the office, my back and feet are aching, and our pantry is filling back up. Thank goodness for summer gardens and farmer’s markets!

bread and butter pickles

A few weeks ago, when our green beans were coming in non-stop, we put up 18 quarts of beans in less than a week. I was exhausted that week…canning really can take it out of you sometimes.

But pickles are a different story. They’re easier! Well, most things are easier than green beans since they don’t include the pressure cooker. For some reason, it takes about a day for the cooker to get up to pressure on our old, inconsistent stove top. Super fun.

Either way, pickling things is the way to go if you want to start canning. It doesn’t take much time compared to other things (jams, tomato sauce) and you still end up with fresh, homemade goods to enjoy this winter.

bread and butter pickles

To be honest, I was not a fan of any pickles besides dill when I was growing up. My Mammaw made bread and butter pickles every year, and I would never eat them. How could I miss out on those?! Sometimes it makes me sad that my taste buds took so long to grow up and start liking things.

But I’m not missing out on things now.

bread and butter pickles

If you’re looking for a great bread and butter pickle recipe, check out this one I tested/updated from Dixie Crystals – it’s so easy! I’ve even halved the recipe, and it turned out perfect.

You’ll be happy you have these pickles in December. Trust me.

You guys. We may have found our new favorite summer treat.

pb&co banana ice cream

PB&Co. (our favorite peanut butter brand) and Turkey Hill have paired up to make this limited batch banana and peanut butter ice cream. Turkey Hill has come up with the perfect banana base and swirled in peanut butter using PB&Co. Smooth Operator (one of the best!) peanut butter in this limited batch flavor.

The best thing? This limited batch has no additives, and it’s insanely delicious!

pb&co banana ice cream

I was lucky enough to have some sent to me before it showed up in stores, but lucky for you, it will be available on the shelf starting this month and will probably be around till September or October or until they introduce the next special batch they’re working on.

pb&co banana ice cream

I’m usually not a fan of banana-flavored things, even though I love bananas, so I wasn’t sure about this at first. But it has actual banana puree in the ice cream base, not banana extract or other flavorings.

The only thing I can think is that this stuff needs to be made into milkshakes – stat.

Make sure to check your local stores if you’re in the Midwest and East Coast. And if you don’t see it yet, ask if they can get it! You won’t be sorry.

One of my favorite things about summer is that I finally crave cold foods for breakfast again.

In the fall and winter, I just can’t have yogurt or smoothies or anything that isn’t warm. I’m always freezing in the morning, so when summer rolls around and it’s hot outside at 6 am, I am more than ready to dig into big yogurt and fruit bowls or overnight oats or smoothies.

yogurt breakfast

Some of my favorites this year so far? This one above with Stonyfield plain greek yogurt, fresh plum and apple, some almonds, and a drizzle of honey.

And this one was incredible! A base of Stonyfield plain greek yogurt, a fresh local peach, blueberries that I picked the night before, pecans, and some local honey. So good! And easy! And quick! All good things for busy mornings.

yogurt bowl

I’ve also been making a TON of smoothies lately – they’re just so quick to make! I love having them for weekday breakfasts to carry with me to work or as easy weekend lunches, too. Especially when it’s so hot that I don’t want to cook anything.

I think my yogurt consumption increases about 50% in the spring and summer when the weather is warmer, so I’m always finding news ways to use it.

Some of my favorites (besides just a bowl with fruit for a snack):

Most of my favorite summer recipes are for dishes served cold (always good when it’s 90+ degrees outside), but we also love using it a marinade for grilled chicken and in salad dressings or whipped into cake batter or biscuits. You can use yogurt in just about anything!

What are your favorite ways to use yogurt in the summer?

I am honored to be a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club. I received product or coupons for writing this post, but all opinions are my own.

roasted garlic hummus breakfast tacos

hummus breakfast tacos

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sabra Dipping Co, LLC.. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m pretty sure you know by now that we love breakfast. As in, I love it love it. Maybe a little too much? Except it’s not possible to love breakfast too much, right? It’s honestly one of my favorite things – always has been, always will be.

I think the thing I love most about breakfast is that you can make it whatever you want! If you want sugary sweet cinnamon rolls, you can have it. I mean, you’re basically having dessert for breakfast, but it’s totally okay. Or you can go completely savory and do a potato and bacon hash with onions and peppers. Or – if you’re really feeling like you can’t decide – you can do a little sweet and savory combo with brown sugar roasted bacon tucked into waffle batter or a sweet tomato and spicy sausage quiche.

hummus breakfast tacos

No matter what you decide, breakfast is the one meal where you just can’t go wrong. And since it’s the first thing you’re eating when you wake up in the morning — literally breaking the fast – everything tastes incredible. All of it. The coffee (or tea), juice, toast, butter, pancakes, bacon, eggs, smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, muffins, frittatas. All of these things taste best in the morning.

And today, I’ve got my newest obsession: breakfast tacos.

4th of July favorites!

In the running to be a storyteller…

You guys.

I’ve been waiting WEEKS to spill this news!

Have you followed the DaVinci Storytellers over the past three years? I have loved hearing about their travels and watching the videos and reading posts about everything they learned with DaVinci wine.

DaVinci Storyteller

I actually entered last year, but didn’t make it into the finals (bummer). BUT THIS YEAR I DID. And I’m still freaking out about it.

And now I need your help!

They’ve chosen 12 finalists, and now it’s up to all of you to vote!

People from all across the country applied for the chance to join DaVinci in Tuscany this fall. The Storyteller applicants included artists, photographers, writers, chefs and so many amazing food bloggers that they actually included 6 in the final mix – 3 from the West Coast, and 3 from the East.

I am not one to beg, but please, please, PLEASE take a second and vote for me to represent the East Coast in Tuscany this fall. I can’t even tell you what a dream this trip would be.

lucy grape stomping

And I promise – I will do my best to recreate the grape-stomping scene from I Love Lucy if I get to go. That is a done deal. I mean, it’s the one goal I have if I ever make it Italy. It just has to happen.