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Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta

Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives and Feta | {Five Heart Home}

Whether you’re searching for a recipe to utilize the spoils of an overabundant garden or you’re simply craving a refreshing summer side dish, this salad should fit the bill nicely either way. My father-in-law has quite the green thumb and consequently, each summer we are the lucky recipients of a plethora of zucchini, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, green beans, and — my favorite — tomatoes.  I’m not using the word plethora lightly.  This is a fraction of the veggies that my {Read More}



“America the Beautiful” Subway Art ~ Free Printable

America the Beautiful Subway Art ~ Free Printable! | {Five Heart Home}

Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I love patriotism and I am very proud to be an American, which is probably why Lee Greenwood’s famous anthem gives me chills and brings me to tears every time I hear it.  I have happy childhood Fourth of July memories of sitting on a blanket on the banks of Town Lake while listening to the 1812 Overture and the Stars and Stripes Forever, as huge fireworks lit up the {Read More}



Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato Salad | {Five Heart Home}

From cook-outs to picnics, potato salad is a quintessential summer side dish.  And if you don’t already have a tried-and-true classic recipe to fall back on, well then, today’s your lucky day! This potato salad is creamy and slightly tangy, thanks to a combination of mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt (take your pick), apple cider vinegar, and two kinds of mustard.  It also features dill pickles and sweet pickles (because why use one when you can use both?!) and hard {Read More}



Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs

Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Hot Dogs | {Five Heart Home}

Benjamin Franklin once said that in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and the fact that bacon makes everything better. Ole’ Ben was onto something, don’t you think? I can probably count on one hand the number of times per year that I eat a hot dog.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy them when I do…hot dogs are just kind of situational/seasonal for me.  I’ll have one at a baseball game in the {Read More}



Razz, White, & Blueberry Smoothies

Razz, White, & Blueberry Smoothie ~ perfect for the Fourth of July! | {Five Heart Home}

As much as my kids love fruit, sometimes they get bored with it.  So what better way to jazz up some berries and bananas than with a festive layered smoothie? Smoothies are cool and refreshing, quick to make, and packed with nutrients.  They make a great snack or even breakfast on-the-go.  This smoothie has the added bonus of three yummy flavors in one, not to mention it’s easy on the eyes.  You may even be able to consider it patriotic {Read More}



Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars | {Five Heart Home}

Pecan pie is probably not the first dessert that comes to mind in the summertime.  But it’s my hubby’s all-time favorite, so for Father’s Day this year?  Pecan Pie Bars.  And let me tell you, they taste just as good coming up on the Fourth of July as they do around Thanksgiving. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of pecan pie, but I find these pecan bars quite irresistible.  They are sweet but not cloyingly so {Read More}



Slow Cooker Ranch Beans

Slow Cooker Ranch Beans | {Five Heart Home}

With barbecue season in full swing and the Fourth of July coming up, I thought it would be a good time to share my favorite recipe for perfect, uncomplicated, chuck wagon-style pinto beans.  And the best part of all is that you can make them in the crock pot! Now some might claim that these beans are plain, and sure, you could gussy them up with diced tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, or cilantro…but I would argue that it is the simplicity {Read More}



End of School Smarty Pants Party ~ with Free Printable Banner

End of Year Smarty Pants Party ~ with free printable banner! | {Five Heart Home}

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated a successful end to the school year for my Kindergartener and preschooler with a family cupcake celebration that we deemed our Smarty Pants Party. I originally wanted to have our little fiesta as soon as we got home from picking up my Kindergartener on his last day of school, but we decided to wait until the following weekend so that Daddy could be in on the fun.  I thought I’d share here today {Read More}



Toddler-Approved Veggie Surprise Mini Muffins

Toddler Approved Veggie Surprise Muffins ~ like a combination of Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread! | {Five Heart Home}

If you’ve been searching for a way to use up the spoils of an overabundant garden, you’ve come to the right place.  And if, as an added bonus, you’d like to get some of those aforementioned excess veggies into your toddler/preschooler/big kid/teenager with as little drama as possible, then look no further.  Carrot Cake, I’d like you to meet Zucchini Bread.  Even though they’re chock full of veggies, who could turn down these little cuties? I am not above hiding/disguising {Read More}



Peach Cobbler Pancake Squares

Peach Cobbler Pancake Squares | {Five Heart Home}

Come June, we Texans love our Hill Country peaches.  When peach season is upon us, we flock to roadside stands to greedily buy up this sweet summer stone fruit by the bushel.  Most of of those peaches are eaten straight-up, but some of them are lucky enough to end up in something like this. Having grown up in the heart of Texas peach country, peach cobbler may very well be one of my favorite desserts ever.  So it’s only fitting {Read More}



Homemade Taco Seasoning

Homemade Taco Seasoning | {Five Heart Home}

If you haven’t started making your own taco seasoning yet, the time is now!  It’s easy, economical, and, since you are in control of the ingredients, you get to avoid the excessive salt, MSG, preservatives, and other unsavory additives often found in store bought taco seasoning. I go through a lot of taco seasoning in my kitchen, folks.  So for me, the other advantage of throwing together my own mix is that I can make it in bulk.  This recipe {Read More}



Photoshop Tutorial: How to Resize a Photo for Extra Large Prints

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Resize a Photo for Extra Large Prints | {Five Heart Home}

Displaying masses of photos is probably my favorite way to decorate the walls in our home.  I’ve already put up several gallery walls and have several more planned.  But what do you do if you want to print a giant photo, but you’re afraid the one you’d like to use doesn’t have the megapixels required to blow it up without losing sharpness and clarity?  Enter Photoshop. This trick comes from Scott Kelby’s fabulous The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital {Read More}



Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Pork Loin

Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Pork Loin | {Five Heart Home}

Even though our daily schedule becomes more flexible once school’s out for the summer, that still doesn’t mean I want to spend hours on end in a hot kitchen.  So when we’re not grilling outdoors, odds are I’m using my crock pot.  Plenty of folks (myself included) tend to think of slow cooker meals as winter fare, and many crock pot recipes certainly fall into that category.  But there’s something to be said for coming home from work or the {Read More}



Dad Libs ~ A Free Printable to Celebrate Father’s Day!

Dad Libs ~ A Free Printable to Celebrate Father's Day | {Five Heart Home}

The countdown to Father’s Day is on, and if you’re looking for a last-minute gift of love and comedy, look no further than this free Dad Libs printable! Growing up in the 80s, Mad Libs were a childhood staple of mine.  Of course, keep in mind that this is coming from a girl who got a thrill out of diagramming sentences in middle school. Regardless of your fondness of or repulsion for parts of speech, the concept of Mad Libs {Read More}



Chocolate Chip Nutella Swirl Banana Bundt Cake with Nutella Glaze

Chocolate Chip Nutella Swirl Banana Bundt Cake | {Five Heart Home}

This cake.  Ohhhh, this cake.  It’s like a swirl of Nutella confection collided with the moistest, most chocolate-studded banana bread ever, causing the heavens to open up and rain down a chocolate hazelnut drizzle. Or maybe that’s all a bit dramatic and it’s really just the best banana Bundt cake you’ll ever put in your mouth.  Either way, you need to try it.  And I would suggest today. I buy a ton of bananas, but the sad reality is that {Read More}



Mint & Lime Sweet Tea Martini

Mint and Lime Sweet Tea Martini | {Five Heart Home}

So what do you do when the cute little mint plants in your herb garden exponentially grow until they threaten to highjack the whole flower bed?  Why, you make a plethora of mint-infused simple syrup, of course.  And what do you do when it’s a summery Friday night and you have a jar of said syrup staring you down every time you open the fridge?  Well, I say you invent an adult beverage to make use of some of that {Read More}



Family Photo Wall ~ Gallery of 20-inch Square Frames

Family Photo Wall ~ Gallery of 20-inch Square Frames | {Five Heart Home}

Several years ago, I decided to put up a gallery wall of family photos à la famous and fabulous photographer Tara Whitney.  And it was love at first sight.  Just sitting at the kitchen table with those huge, cheery pictures made me happy.  My boys never tired of pointing out new details they noticed or asking questions about what was happening when the photos were taken.  But then eight months ago we added baby #3, and something (or rather, someone) was {Read More}



Sonoma Chicken Salad

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I love chicken salad.  LOVE.  And of all the chicken salads I’ve ever tried, the nutty, fruit-enhanced, honey-kissed Sonoma version is my favorite. This recipe actually resulted from my attempt at recreating the oh-so-tasty Sonoma chicken salad from Costco.  I found a similar recipe from Whole Foods and made a few changes to suit my family’s taste, which basically involved omitting the celery (crunching into raw celery has always given me chills, and not in a good way) and the poppy {Read More}



Nut & Honey Granola

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Breakfast may be touted as the most important meal of the day, but hectic mornings don’t always lend enough time to make it fancy or exciting.  In our house, I always try to keep a big tub of homemade granola stocked so that we have a wholesome (and popular) option on even the busiest of mornings. In fact, I usually make a double recipe so that it lasts more than a few days!  I think my boys would eat granola {Read More}



Free Printable! Last Day of School Lunchbox Love Notes

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This Wednesday marks the last day of Kindergarten for my biggest big boy.  I can hardly believe it…where does time go?!  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to come up with fun ways to celebrate a successful first year of school, and it seemed only natural that I incorporate some cheerful lunchbox love notes to commemorate the last day. Over the past school year, I included a special note in my son’s lunchbox each day.  It might be {Read More}



Best Ever BBQ Sauce

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In Texas, barbecue is practically a food group, but no matter where you live, summertime and barbecue go hand in hand.  Of course, where there is barbecue, there must be sauce!  Different regions of the country have decidedly distinct takes on which ingredients constitute the best barbecue sauce, and this Texas girl does favor a bit more sweetness than a true Texas barbecue sauce would probably dictate.  So after a lot of experimenting and tweaking, I finally came up with {Read More}



Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese, Toasted Pecans, & Blush Wine Vinaigrette

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It’s hard to believe that June has already arrived!  Though spring doesn’t technically wrap up until later in the month, in my mind, it’s already summer in every way that matters…school is letting out, vacation is upon us, and here in Texas, temperatures are already cruising into the mid-90s.  I don’t know about you, but my palate changes with the seasons.  Summertime has me gravitating towards recipes that are on the lighter side, quick and easy to prepare, and raring {Read More}