favorite recipes

Get out the grill for these recipes: it's time to eat outside! The images belong to the original blogger of the recipe as noted below each image.

Pecan-Crusted Pork Pinwheels with Carolina Mustard Sauce
Aaron's parents saw this recipe in the local newspaper before Aaron and I were married, and we have been making them ever since. We don't usually use a tenderloin; we use a boneless pork loin. We serve it with rice (drenched in sauce) because I need something else to eat as an excuse to eat more of the delicious carolina mustard sauce.

Pioneer Woman: Green Chili Chicken
This recipe is a little premature as our garden explodes with peppers in August and September. Nonetheless, it's delicious.
imgae: The Pioneer Woman

Kraft: Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs
I know, Kraft. BUT. Trust me here. Skip all the Kraft ingredients. Use whatever mayonnaise you want (or skip it entirely). Substitute Trader Joe's Goddess Dressing for Kraft's Greek Vinaigrette, and you have a delicious, easy meal.
image: Kraft Foods

Food For My Family: Bean and Barley Arugula Salad
I've been making this one for a few years now. I've made it twice this spring already and have some leftovers in the fridge as I post this. I think it's perfect as a side for burgers.
image: Food For My Family

Allrecipes.com: Mexican Bean Salad
I discovered this recipe when we lived in Nashville. I used to spend downtime on nightshift (or when I was precepting on dayshift) scouring allrecipes for the best rated recipes. This was one of them, and it's still a winner in our book. This is also a perfect side for burgers (or any grilled meat that doesn't have an obvious side dish).
image: allrecipes.com

Pinch of Yum: Grapefruit Mojitos
You may remember my love for grapefruit margaritas. I think I may actually enjoy these even more than those. So refreshing.
image: Pinch of Yum

Joy the Baker: Fresh Blueberry and Mint Lemonade
Save this recipe for blueberry season! (Or use frozen blueberries if you're craving it now.) I made a simple syrup instead of mixing in granulated sugar. (I hate gritty drinks due to undissolved sugar. Pet peeve.)
image: Joy the Baker

I didn't try any dessert recipes this month, but I did make our tried and true cake balls for Anna's birthday. So I'll give you the nitty gritty on those.

Cake Balls (or, if you put a lollipop stick in them prior to dipping them, Cake Pops)
image: mine

First, make a cake. I used this one:
Brown Eyed Baker: Classic Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Because I was crumbling this cake into balls, I did not worry about cake flour and texture. I used only all-purpose flour in place of the cake flour.
update: I now use this yellow cake recipe instead:
Simply Scratch: Homemade Yellow Cake Mix AND Homemade Yellow Cake

image: Brown Eyed Baker

While the cake is baking, make the icing. I'm a sucker for buttercream icing. This is Leah's recipe:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk (plus more, but go slow, adding 1 TBS at a time because it can get grainy with too much milk)
In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter. On low speed, add vanilla and milk. Gradually beat in enough additional milk to make icing smooth and spreadable (or until desired consistency). If frosting becomes to thin, add more powdered sugar.

When the cake is finished baking, crumble it into a large bowl with the icing and mix until combined. Cool the cake/frosting in the refrigerator. Make balls out of the cooled "dough." Melt chocolate. (I prefer bittersweet: Ghirardelli's bittersweet chips (60%) are my go-to). Dip cake balls into chocolate. Decorate if desired (with sprinkles, nuts, etc.). Set in fridge or freezer. Store in fridge or freezer. (I prefer the freezer.) Eat one (or two or three . . . ) every night until they mysteriously disappear.