Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Salad

I've posted this recipe before, but since all of the FOURTH OF JULY feasts are starting 
this week,  this is one salad you won't want to miss! This recipe is from my sister-in-law, 
and it is so AMAZINGLY good and refreshing! The dressing is SPECTACULAR and 
just bursts with flavor in your mouth. Speaking of which, mine is watering right now!

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Salad
Creamy Basil Dressing
1/2 cup mayo (I used light)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup oil (I used the oil from the marinated mozzarella)
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh basil (plus more for salad)

Spring mix salad
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Marinated mozzarella balls (from Costco)
Fresh basil, chiffonade

Blend all of the dressing ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Lay some salad mix on a large platter, top with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Drizzle
dressing over top as desired.

TIP: I made this recently with some cold chopped up rotisserie chicken layered on top as
well so it could be our main course for dinner. It was delicious that way too!


Easy Frosted Banana Cookies

Of course we recently had extra ripe BANANAS that needed to be used for something delicious! We always seem to have 2 or 3 EXTRAS that don't get eaten. Don't you? Either way, these YUMMY cookies turned out to be scrumptiously SWEET. We had to give some plates to neighbors so we wouldn't EAT them all!

Easy Frosted Banana Cookies
1 spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup applesauce
1 large or 2 small ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Frosting (just use your favorite, or mine here)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, use a spoon to mix together the cake mix, eggs, butter, and applesauce. Stir in the bananas and chocolate chips. Scoop 1-inch dough balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Cool on pan for a minute or two and then cool completely on a wire rack. Frost cooled cookies with cream cheese frosting. Makes around 3 dozen cookies.


Open-Faced Turkey and Veggie Sandwich

Yum! I recently had a LARGE quantity of bell peppers in my FRIDGE and needed to come up with some way to use them. I think I found a new FAVORITE recipe! Not only is this meal pretty, but it is PRETTY easy and good for you too.

Open-Faced Turkey and Veggie Sandwich
Red and orange bell peppers, sliced
Sweet onion, sliced
Deli turkey (I used the thicker-cut Costco brand), sliced/cubed
Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (from Costco or Smith's is what I like best)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese

In a frying pan, saute the peppers and onion until slightly golden but still crunchy. Stir in the turkey and a scoop or two of pesto (just to coat lightly).

Turn the broiler onto high. Place bread on a baking sheet and then generously top with turkey and veggie mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese and just a sprinkle of the Parmesan. Stick under the broiler until lightly browned and bubbly.

TIP: This would be fantastic with just veggies! I'm sure tomatoes would be great, but I'm not a tomato person per say, so you'll have to let me know. Also, if you want your bread toasty, feel free to toast it before topping it with the veggies. As is, only the outer edges get toasty in the broiler.


Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

I've been a little OBSESSED with beets lately, so when I did a quick weekend trip to visit a friend in Philly and she made this SALAD, I was a very happy girl! It was a fantastic and LIGHT lunch that she just threw together. It was that EASY.

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Pickled whole beets, chilled (just the kind in the jar at Walmart)
Spring mix lettuce blend
Oil & vinegar dressing (we used Paul Newman's)
Goat cheese
Sunflower seeds

Slice or cut the beets into bite-size pieces; set aside. Place desired amount of lettuce on a plate or in a bowl. Drizzle with a little dressing and toss to coat. Top with the beets and some crumbled goat cheese as well as some sunflower seeds. Simple but amazing!!

TIP: You could obviously add any other yummy veggies to this salad and I'm sure it would be amazing. Cooked and crumbled bacon would be fabulous too. However, I love it as is!


Sugar Cookie Bars

I've definitely had a SWEET tooth lately, and these tasty morsels of goodness helped cure a MAJOR craving! As usual, they are so easy to put together and are PERFECT for any little gathering you might have coming up. You could leave the FROSTING white and do red, white, and blue sprinkles for the Fourth of July.

Sugar Cookie Bars
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash or two of salt
4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 × 12- or 13-inch with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Evenly spread the cookie dough onto the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and bars are golden brown. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Frost the cooled bars and then store in the refrigerator.

TIP: If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a little milk!


Ham and Cheese Sliders

This has been one of my GREATEST finds on Pinterest. It sounds so simple (and it is!), but it has AMAZING flavors that makes my mouth water just thinking about it! So one of these BUSY summer nights when there's not much time to prepare a YUMMY meal, make these.

Ham and Cheese Sliders
24 dinner rolls, cut in half
24 slices honey ham
24 slices swiss cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Miracle Whip
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and Miracle Whip. Spread both sides of the dinner rolls with the mixture.
On a baking sheet with sides, place bottom half of dinner rolls close together and top with 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese. Put the roll tops back on.  
In another bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, onion powder, Worcestershire, poppy seeds, and brown sugar. Pour over the rolls. Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Bake, covered with foil, for 10 minutes; remove foil and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Makes 24 sliders.

TIP: I also made this using turkey and provolone, and it was also delicious! However, the ham and swiss version is our family favorite!