I've been cooking a lot lately...

It's true. I've been constantly trying new recipes and having a great time with it! I've always loved grocery shopping with all of my heart and now that I get to do it even more makes my little heart jump with joy. I know I haven't been blogging a lot lately, but heres some things I've been making lately.

To the right are some pictures of things I've been making lately. In order from left to right: summer salad, ranch mozzarella balls, vegan sloppy joes and s'mores bars.

Here are the recipes! :)

Summer Salad with a delicious Cilantro Vinaigrette

Everyone in my family devoured this. It's the perfect side or even entree for lunch, dinner, and everything in between. There isn't anything to strong about the taste and it's a healthy alternative to pasta salad! Can easily be made vegan without cheese.

1 can of corn
2 avocados, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 can chickpeas
2/3 cup feta cheese
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 english cucumber

Cilantro Vinaigrette for the salad:
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
6 tbsp olive oil

All you really need to do is chop everything up and put it into a bowl. For the vinaigrette, you just mix it all up in a separate bowl then add it to the salad. I would give you step by step directions, but I don't think thats necessary. :) Next up!

Ranch Mozzarella Balls

Let me warn you...these do not last long. They taste like resturant mozzarella sticks only 1) they have a twang to them and 2) they are sphere shaped. Therefore they are even better! It's messy to make but so worth it!

1 block of fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 packet hidden valley ranch seasoning mix
2 eggs
a lot of panko bread crumbs! (I used spicy ones)
oil for frying

1. Get three bowls. In the first one, mix flour and ranch seasoning mix. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs together. In the third bowl, add 1 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs to begin with.
2. Cut up mozzarella into small square/rectangular shapes.
3. Roll each piece in the flour mix, the eggs, then the bread crumbs. Repeat again for each piece.
4. Add as many pieces as you can fit onto a frying pan, use tongs to flip them. Fry until brown.

Vegan Sloppy Joes

This recipe is way easier than you expect. And you can really be creative with it, but it starts out simple! If you're a huge sloppy joe fan like me, but you don't want to eat meat...try this recipe!

2 bags of MorningStar Farms crumbles
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 cans of manwich sauce
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
buns for serving

1. Add a little bit of oil to pan. Add onions and peppers, cook for 4-6 minutes.
2. Add the crumbles and sauce at the same time. Add any other spices you would like, cover and cook until boiling.
3. Serve on buns. Isn't that simple?

S'mores Bars

Graduation party? Bonfire? Family cookout? Whatever the occasion  these are so creative! It has such a decadent, homemade taste but the Hershey's on top gives it something special. 

For the crust:
1/2 cup butter melted
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

For the dough:
2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup salted butter (softened)
2 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows

For the top before baking: 
1 Milk Chocolate Candy Bar (broken into pieces)
1 Graham Cracker (broken into pieces)
1/2 cup marshmallows

1. Preheat the oven to 325.
2. Line a 13x9 glass pan with foil. Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in bowl (I just smashed up graham crackers instead of buying crumbs) and then pour it into the pan. Press down the crust.
3. Now when it comes to the dough, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt and flour together. It doesn't matter in what order. Then add in chocolate chips and mini marshmallows!
4. Put dough in the pan and press it down. Add the hersheys pieces, graham cracker pieces and marshmallows on top and then cook for 30 minutes.

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