Summertime pasta salad

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For years I’ve been making pasta salad from a box and just adding in additional vegetables and other toppings. I decided to finally try my hand at making a pasta salad from scratch, and I love how this turned out! It was easy to throw together with whatever vegetables I had on hand.

Feel free to add in more vegetables or substitute for ones you prefer more. This salad is really versatile and can be adapted for larger or smaller groups.

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Frosted Banana Bars

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Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been busy growing baby #3 (this little guy is due in August!). Last fall I also started working part-time as an assistant to Jamielyn of I Heart Naptime. It’s been a blast learning from her and helping her with her cookbook!

I’m back today with some frosted banana bars. I brought them to a church function a couple of weeks ago and they were a big hit. I think I got this recipe a few years ago from a co-worker. The sour cream makes them really soft!

They are easy to whip up in under an hour and are a great alternative to banana bread. So let your bananas go soft and go make these bars!

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Easy 3-ingredient slow cooker meatballs

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I’m sharing these easy 3-ingredient slow cooker meatballs. They would be perfect to enjoy during some March Madness basketball games!

My mother-in-law asked us to make these for Thanksgiving a few years ago. I was skeptical after reading the ingredient list. Grape jelly and cocktail sauce? It seems like such an odd combination, but the result is a sweet and tangy sauce that’s perfect for a crowd.

Best of all, there are only three ingredients! If you’re feeling ambitious you could make your own meatballs, but you really can’t beat the convenience of frozen meatballs.

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Chocolate Truffles

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My mother-in-law is all about traditions. Every Christmas they make homemade bread and deliver it to their neighbors while they sing Christmas carols. For St. Patrick’s Day, she hosts a luncheon complete with lots of green food. And every Valentine’s Day, she makes chocolate truffles.

These truffles taste like something you’d pay top dollar for at a fancy chocolate shop. I had no idea they could be made at home for a fraction of the price without compromising on taste.

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Oreo Truffles

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A few years ago my co-worker introduced me to the wonder of Oreo truffles. With only three delicious ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. They taste like mini Oreo cheesecakes. Since I’m a white chocolate fanatic, I prefer them dipped in white chocolate. Plus it adds a beautiful contrast in the photos. You can also use milk or semi-sweet chocolate for dipping. Top with crushed Oreos or sprinkles.

These make the perfect gift to bring to friends and neighbors. I made these for the women I visit teach from church. Everybody loves Oreo truffles! For a simple and beautiful packaging idea, place them in mini cupcake liners and deliver in a painted tin wrapped with baker’s twine.

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Wood Slice Temple Ornament

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It’s been crazy busy around here lately! We hosted my parents for Thanksgiving, and then it’s been nonstop hustle and bustle ever since then. I love this time of year, but I look forward to being able to relax a little more after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I made these wood slice temple ornaments for our primary children and teachers this week. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The image is of the Salt Lake Temple. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen! We always try to do something special for the kids and their teachers who help us so much every week. Our theme for primary this year was “Families Are Forever.” I thought this would be a good reminder of what we talked about all year– how we believe our families are sealed together forever within the walls of the temple.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

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A few years ago, my friend Cindy introduced me to this amazing buffalo chicken dip. One of her co-workers had made it for a potluck and she quickly got the recipe and made it for our friend’s baby shower. I was skeptical, since my tolerance for spicy foods was pretty weak at the time. I couldn’t believe how much I loved it! That was just the beginning of my love for spicy foods.

From that point on we made this dip for almost every baby shower we hosted (which in our LDS ward full of young students, was pretty often). It’s definitely not your typical baby shower food, but it’s always a big hit (and our husbands sure appreciate it when there are leftovers).

This is also a great dip to bring to a potluck, football party or have when friends come over. It’s super easy to prepare, has only five ingredients, and all the cooking is done for you in the crock pot. We usually double the recipe for a large group.

It’s got just enough of a kick without being overly spicy. The ranch dressing tones down the hot sauce, so adjust the measurements to suit your taste.

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Baked Apple Pancake

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I love a good pancake, especially if it’s baked in the oven. You can’t beat the crispy outside, the soft center and the perfect blend of cinnamon and apples in this baked apple pancake.

I found this recipe a few years ago in a Penzey’s Spices magazine. (Sidenote: if you have a Penzey’s near you – sign up for their magazine! They have awesome coupons.) I finally got around to trying it out a few weeks ago when our preschool theme was apples. The kids loved helping me mix the batter, stir the apples and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.

After you slice the apples, the rest of the recipe comes together very quickly. This would be a great breakfast to serve for guests during the holidays.

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Pumpkin Cake Recipe

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I’m so excited that it’s fall and you know what that means – Pumpkin Season! I can’t get enough of pumpkin doughnuts, breads, drinks and of course, desserts! My very favorite pumpkin recipe is this amazing pumpkin cake.

Growing up, my mom would make this every year. I’m sure I make it at least two or three times each fall. I just can’t get enough of this stuff! It’s got a crunchy streusel top, and underneath is an ooey, gooey pumpkin filling that can’t be beat.

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