Projects, Recipes

Summer Spotlight Series {Belle Of The Kitchen}

June 20, 2014

Welcome to the Summer Spotlight Series where we’re featuring one FANTASTIC blogger, sharing a bit about her, and highlighting our favorite ideas, projects, and recipes from her (or him, I guess … we’re not partial!).   Today is the second week of this Summer series, and we’d like to introduce you to Ashlyn from Belle of the Kitchen (though I’m sure many of you are already familiar with her and her blog!).

The Summer Spotlight is a collaborative effort to showcase great ideas from a different talented blogger each Friday throughout the summer months. Follow my co-hosts and I online to see the great ideas we share year-round:

Carrie of Kenarry: Ideas for the Home

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Katie of View from the Fridge

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Susan of Oh My! Creative

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Ariean of One Krieger Chick

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This week Carrie from Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, has put together our feature on Ashlyn.

 So … without further introduction … I’ll let Carrie take it away …

I’m Carrie from Kenarry: Ideas for the Home here today to cast a spotlight on my friend, Ashlyn from Belle of the Kitchen.  Ashlyn and I first connected several months ago when we each started blogging.  We were both overwhelmed and excited with all that we’d been learning about the ins/outs of our new role as bloggers. We quickly connected and started to share tips, struggles, and exciting news.  It was great to have our first real friend in the blogosphere as there’s only so much our husbands really want to hear about our blogs.

Ashlyn originally hails from Georgia, but as a devoted Army wife and mother of two she is currently stationed in Hawaii. There were several days this winter when I enviously encouraged her to send some of that warm weather our way! Besides Ashlyn’s southern charm and friendly encouragement, what’s really impressed me about her is all the beautiful photos of delicious food on her blog. At Belle of the Kitchen, Ashlyn is focused on sharing creative recipes for both healthy eating and indulging your sweet tooth. I was thrilled when she said we could share some of them with you in this week’s Summer Spotlight.

Belle of the Kitchen on Summer Spotlight

Ashlyn from Belle of the Kitchen - Summer Spotlight

NOTE: If you love the recipes in the Summer Spotlight this week, please pin them from the original source, Belle of the Kitchen.

Life is Short. Eat Dessert First.

I recently read that saying on a sign in a friend’s cupcake shop, so I thought I’d start with the spotlight on Ashlyn’s Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes. It’s one of the first recipes I discovered on Belle of the Kitchen. As of this writing, the cupcakes have been pinned almost 1700 times. You can see why. Don’t they look amazing?

Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes from Belle of the Kitchen

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

My husband and I have always loved the song by Jack Johnson about Banana Pancakes, so I was drawn to Ashlyn’s Greek Yogurt Banana Pancakes. Why not start your weekend with these on Saturday morning?

Greek Yogurt Banana Pancakes

Greek Yogurt Banana Pancakes - Belle of the Kitchen

Zucchini, Zucchini, and More Zucchini

If you grow zucchini in your garden, you know by the end of the summer you’ll have an overwhelming number of zucchini to contend with. Be sure to visit Ashlyn’s site and pin her Cinnamon Frosted Zucchini Bars recipe for later. You’re going to need it.

Cinnamon Frosted Zucchini Bars

Cinnamon Frosted Zucchini Bars - Belle of the Kitchen

Summer Party Fare

If you’re planning a summer picnic with friends or family, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together your menu courtesy of Belle of the Kitchen. You can thank me (and Ashlyn!) later.

First Course: Appetizer

When I’m at a restaurant, spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite appetizers to order. Ashlyn’s created a skinny version your guests will love.

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip

Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip - Belle of the Kitchen

Second Course: Salad

Tired of the usual tossed salads this summer? Ashlyn’s got a fabulous recipe for Strawberry Spinach Salad along with a great tutorial about how to make cinnamon and sugar roasted pecans.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing - Belle of the Kitchen

Main Course: Burgers

What summer barbecue would be complete without burgers? Ashlyn makes these with ground turkey which makes them healthier than the usual beef burgers. If you don’t have access to a grill, Ashlyn shows how you can pan fry them too. If you need a side dish and still have a lot of zucchini leftover after making her Cinnamon Frosted Zucchini Bars, check out her recipe for Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin.

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers

Bacon Ranch Turkey Burgers - Belle of the Kitchen

Dessert: Save the Best for Last

If we started with cupcakes, it seems only fitting to end with them too. Ashlyn’s Tres Leches Pina Colada Cupcakes are a refreshing way to satisfy your guests’ sweet cravings. Don’t they look great for summer?

Tres Leches Pina Colada Cupcakes

Tres Leches Pina Colada Cupcakes - Belle of the Kitchen

We are grateful Ashlyn allowed us to cast the spotlight on her wonderful recipes this week. If you loved these great food ideas, be sure to follow Ashlyn on:

Belle of the Kitchen

Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Google+

Katie here again … now, I’m no cook, but Ashlyn makes it look so easy, and her photos make it look so delicious, that I just might be inspired to try.  I know Matt would be thrilled to be fed some of these recipes!  

Please send a babysitter (that is capable of taking care of three little boys), a maid (to clean my house), and a bottle of Cabernet or six pack of a fabulous IPA, and I’ll gladly attempt each and every one of these recipes!!

Thanks again for stopping by today! I am so glad we were able to highlight Ashlyn today!  She’s very talented, and her blog is just fantastic!  Thanks, Carrie, for the great feature!!

See you back tomorrow morning for a quick snippet of a guest post I’ve been working on, and then DIY Sunday Showcase tomorrow evening at 5pm CST!


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  • Reply Patti June 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I liked this so much I pinned twice (one to a group board)!
    Patti recently posted…What I’ll Tell Sweet E: You Determine Your WayMy Profile

    • Reply Katie June 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      Hi patti! Glad you liked this feature!! It was so fun getting to highlight Ashlyn and her recipes this week! Thanks for pinning!! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      Katie recently posted…DIY Sunday Showcase … 6/21My Profile

  • Reply Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen June 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Katie, I am so excited and honored to be featured here on your lovely blog today! You ladies have made me feel so special. Thank you very much for including me in this wonderful series!
    Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen recently posted…Exciting News! We’ve Been Featured in the Summer Spotlight!My Profile

    • Reply Katie June 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Ashlyn!! SO excited to feature you this week! What a great blog you’ve started!! I can’t wait to follow you and see more of your great stuff! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

      Katie recently posted…DIY Sunday Showcase … 6/21My Profile

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