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Jo-Anna Rooney

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

This Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake is a delicious cake recipe perfect for breakfast or any time of day!  This simple recipe uses a white cake mix for the base.

This Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake is from a recipe that I found in my Mom’s recipe box…the best place ever to find recipes!  It’s made with a white cake mix base, and has a sugar/nut/cake mix swirl throughout the batter.  Yum.

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

From My Mom’s Recipe Box

One of my most favourite places to find recipes is in my Mom’s recipe box. It’s a treasure trove of childhood memories and delicious dishes, and I can’t get enough of it.  I love to flip through the recipe cards and see my Mom’s handwriting, and who the recipe came from…so so good.  On a recent visit I took some pictures of recipes that I remember enjoying as a kid, but hadn’t had in years.  So I decided that I needed to make some of them again.  This Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake is one of those recipes.

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

Cake Mixes are Great Cake Baking Options

The great thing about this Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake is that it uses a white cake mix, which makes the assembly so easy.  I don’t often share recipes here on my site that use a cake mix…in fact I think there are only 3…my Rainbow Jello Cake, Strawberry Poke Cake and these Peanut Butter Cookies.  But when I’m baking at home, I don’t always make cake from scratch!  Cake mixes are actually a staple in my pantry and I have no regret about that at all. Cake mixes are delicious and perfect in a pinch.

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

The cake mix in this recipe makes for a sweet, flavourful and moist cake base.  But that’s not even the best part…this cake has a sugar/nut/cake mix swirl throughout the batter.  Then after the cake is baked, it gets drizzled all over with a delicious glaze. Delicious.

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

Now I know this is called a ‘Breakfast Cake’, but honestly, I do think it’s a bit sweet for breakfast.  Unless you’re serving it as a side to eggs, sausages or bacon, and fresh fruit.  I wanted to keep the original name of the recipe, but I do think it would be best served for dessert or as a birthday cake!

Easy, quick and delicious.  I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did!

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Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x

Description

This Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake is a delicious cake recipe perfect for breakfast or any time of day!  This simple recipe uses a white cake mix for the base.


Scale

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 white cake mix (take out 1 cup of the mix for the topping)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs

Topping:

  • 1 cup of the white cake mix
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup nuts
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Glaze:

  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make sure you measure out 1 cup of white cake mix and set it aside for the topping.
  3. Using a mixer, combine the boxed cake mix (minus the 1 cup), flour, oil, water and eggs.
  4. Beat the mix for 2 minutes until smooth.  Then pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan (you can also line it with parchment paper if you like).
  5. In a separate bowl combine the 1 cup cake mix, brown sugar, nuts and melted butter.
  6. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the cake, then using a knife swirl the mixture into the batter, until you have a marbled effect.
  7. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
  8. When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  9. During this time make the glaze by combining the icing sugar, corn syrup and water, and mix until smooth.
  10. Then drizzle the glaze over the cake.  I put my glaze into a small ziplock bag, cut a tiny bit off of the corner of the bag then used it to pipe the glaze onto the cake.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Have a delicious day!

Flowers From My Garden: Early Summer Edition

Welcome to my Early Summer Edition of Flowers From My Garden, where I’m sharing a pretty flower bouquet idea from my little urban cut flower garden.

I thought it would be fun to share some simple and gorgeous flower bouquets as I create them from my very own little urban cut flower garden!  This is my first bouquet of the season, and boy is it lovely.

Last summer I couldn’t get enough of all the gorgeous flower farmer accounts on Instagram.  I was glued to their posts and stories, watching as they harvested and created the most amazing flower arrangements.  In admiration, with some envy, but filled with so much inspiration. I have always dreamt of having a flower garden of my own, but just never really did anything about it because I live in the city.  But I stopped myself and asked, what does that have to do with anything?

Yes, you can create a cut flower garden in the city!

Being in the city does not mean I cannot have a little cut flower garden!  What was I thinking?!  So over the winter I did a little planning and a lot of dreaming.  Buying bulbs and new planter boxes, all in preparation to create my very own urban cut flower garden.  And now here it is July, and I’m finally harvesting bouquets from my yard.  Filled with all the pretty little flowers, herbs and leaves that I can find.  It’s amazing what just a few plants and bulbs and a lot of imagination can do.

My Early Summer Bouquet

I’m completely smitten with my early summer bouquet. IN LOVE.  Like really really really in love.  I filled this little arrangement with Peonies, Anemones, Bleeding Hearts, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Strawberry leaves, Nasturtiums and Lavender.  So pretty.

So lesson learned.  I grew all of these in my little city garden, and I can’t even tell you how happy this makes me.  Don’t ever think your garden is too small.  It’s not.

I can’t wait to share more bouquets as the season rolls along!  Stay tuned…I hope you leave feeling inspired.

Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

This Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken is a delicious and easy dinner idea!  Made with marinated chicken, loads of vegetables, cooked noodles, feta cheese and Greek dressing, this salad is a perfect summer meal.

Pasta salads are the best.  They’re easy to make and everyone loves them.  And this Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken is no exception.  Made with simple and delicious ingredients, this salad will soon be a family favourite!

Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

When I think about summer foods, I immediately think of pasta salads.  On a hot summer day, there’s something so great about a cold pasta salad loaded with delicious ingredients.  They’re so easy to make and you can be very flexible with the ingredients you add…pretty much any summer vegetable or grilled meat works fabulously in a pasta salad.

Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

For this pasta salad I’ve put together all the delicious ingredients of a Greek Salad, including vegetables, Greek chicken, olives and feta cheese, and mixed in cooked noodles.  It’s a meal in a bowl!

Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

Colourful, healthy and definitely a crowd pleaser.

Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

Keep it Easy, Use Store-Bought Dressing!

You can make your own Greek dressing for this salad…I have a recipe that I often use here (it’s the marinade recipe).  Or, to make things even more simple, for this salad you can use a pre-made bottle of Greek salad dressing that you can buy at the grocery store.  Sometimes store-bought is definitely good enough.  I just use about half of the bottle for the marinade and the other half of the bottle for the salad dressing.

Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

So easy, so good.

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Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x

Description

This Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken is a delicious and easy dinner idea!  Made with marinated chicken, loads of vegetables, cooked noodles, feta cheese and Greek dressing, this salad is a perfect summer meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • about 2 cups of Greek salad dressing (homemade or 1 bottle of store bought Greek salad dressing (475 g bottle))
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 cups of cooked noodles
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 green, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 cucumber, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

Greek Chicken:

  1. Whether you decide to make this homemade Greek marinade, or use 1 cup of a pre-made Greek dressing, either is delicious.  Pour 1 cup of the dressing over the cut pieces of chicken, and let marinate, in the fridge for at least one hour.  You can leave it overnight as well.
  2. When it’s time to cook the chicken, add the chicken and dressing to a skillet on medium heat, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the chicken is no longer pink, so about  15-20 minutes.

Greek Pasta Salad Assembly:

  1. Toss together the cooked pasta, chopped vegetables, olives, feta cheese and cooked chicken with the remaining salad dressing and let it rest for at least 1 hour.  Recipe Tip: I like to make this salad in the morning and serve it for dinner, the longer it has to rest, the better the flavour. 
  2. Stir well before serving.

More Delicious Pasta Salad Recipes to Try!

Have a delicious day!

Buttermilk French Toast

This Buttermilk French Toast is an easy, quick and delicious breakfast!  The buttermilk adds a soft and tasty tang to classic french toast.  It’s our favourite.

French Toast is one of our most favourite breakfasts and makes a regular appearance in our home on weekends.  Serve with a pat of butter, syrup, fresh fruit, and for a special treat add whipped cream!

Buttermilk French Toast

Growing up, I always looked forward to weekends when my Dad would make French Toast for breakfast.  He would make the BEST French Toast.  Our toast was always made with white bread and a simple mixture of milk and eggs. Not much has changed in how I make French Toast for my family now, except I do like to experiment with different types of bread.  Basically, if I have any bread around that is drying out, it’s slated for French Toast.  I’ve made it with sourdough bread, cinnamon chip bread, whole wheat, brioche and even old hamburger buns.  It’s actually a really great way to use up old bread.

Buttermilk French Toast

I also like to switch up the milk I use to make French Toast.  Most times I will make it with regular milk because that’s what I have around.  But I also really love French Toast made with buttermilk.  The buttermilk adds a soft, creamy and slightly tangy flavour to the toast.  It’s delicious.  I would actually say it’s the best way to make French Toast!

Buttermilk French Toast

Serve your Buttermilk French Toast with pats of butter, syrup and a selection of fresh fruit, bacon and sausages.  Brunch perfection.

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Buttermilk French Toast


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 servings 1x

Description

This Buttermilk French Toast is an easy, quick and delicious breakfast!  The buttermilk adds a soft and tasty tang to classic french toast.  It’s our favourite.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp sugar (more if you like)
  • 1 loaf of sliced bread, we like a thicker sliced bread for french toast

Instructions

  1. Preheat a skillet on medium heat.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and sugar.
  3. Dip the sliced bread into the milk/egg mixture, coating each side. If you like your french toast firm, coat your bread quickly. If you like it a little less firm (soggy), soak it.
  4. Cook on skillet for about 4 minutes per side, until each side is golden brown.
  5. Serve with butter and syrup.

More Delicious Breakfast Ideas:

Dutch Baby Pancake

Dutch Baby Pancake

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bake

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bake

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake

Have a delicious day!

Lavender Tea Lemonade

Lavender Tea Lemonade is a delicious and unique twist on classic lemonade!  Made with frozen lemonade and steeped lavender tea.  Garnish with sprigs of lavender and slices of fresh lemon. So easy and tasty!

Today I’ve joined a group of blogger friends, and we are sharing 20 delicious summer drink recipes with you!  Thank you to Krista of Happy Housie for organizing this Season Simplicity Summer Series.  In case you missed my other posts in this series, you can see them here: Summer Wildflower Wreath and DIY Hanging Trellis.   Make sure to check out all the delicious drink recipes in the links at the bottom of this post!  xo

Lavender Tea Lemonade

I love lavender.  The smell, the flowers…just everything about it.  I love that you can add it to flower bouquets, add sachets of dried flowers to your clothing drawers and you can even cook with it and add it to all kinds of recipes. If you haven’t tried lavender in baking, my Lavender Honey Bundt Cake is delicious!

Every summer I also like to grow pots of lavender in my little urban back yard, where you’ll often find me toodling around snipping herbs for dinner, deadheading plants, willing my dahlias to grow, and snipping lavender for recipes and little bouquets.  This year my lavender plants are so prolific so I’m enjoying being able to try new things with it.

One recipe that I have wanted to make for years now, is a lavender scented lemonade.  There’s just something so intriguing about lavender and lemons together…I tried a glass on vacation one time and have never been able to forget it.  I figured the time was now to try to make it at home.  First things first though…one must make Lavender Petal Ice Cubes for Lavender Tea Lemonade!

How to Make Lavender Petal Ice Cubes

How to Make Ice Cubes with Lavender Petals

This year I have been curious about adding edible flowers to so many different things.  I made this Lemon Tart with edible pansies, as well as this Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail with pansies frozen into the ice cubes.  I just love the idea of fresh flowers added as edible garnish.  So of course I had to make this Lavender Lemonade Recipe with ice cubes with lavender petals!  Here’s a quick instruction on how to make them:

  • Fill an ice cube tray half way with filtered water.
  • Add lavender petals.
  • Freeze.
  • Then add another layer of filtered water.
  • Freeze.

How to Make Lavender Tea

How to Make Lavender Tea

But the real star of this lemonade show is the lavender tea!  Many lavender lemonade recipes utilize a lavender simple syrup, but I didn’t want to use a syrup in my recipe because the lemonade portion is already sweet enough.  Instead, I decided to make a simple steeped lavender tea with my own lavender.  It’s so simple.

Lavender Tea Lemonade

Stress Free Recipe Tip!

For this recipe I took an ‘almost-homemade’ approach.  Not everything has to be made from scratch, because often times a store bought pre-made ingredient works great.  Of course you can make your own fresh, homemade lemonade, but for the sake of sanity and ease, I used a store-bought can of frozen lemonade concentrate for this recipe.  Lemonade is a staple in our home during the summer, so I always have cans of Minute Maid Lemonade Concentrate (12 fluid oz), in my freezer.  Saves time and tastes delicious.

Lavender Tea Lemonade

So I mixed up the lemonade using less water than I usually would, and added the lavender tea to top it up.

Lavender Tea Lemonade

The result is a delicious and refreshing lavender tea lemonade.  It tastes like lemonade with a hint of lavender…just enough to taste the lavender without it being too overpowering.  And depending on how long you steep your lavender tea, that will decide how much lavender flavour is added to the lemonade.  I let mine steep for a couple of hours.

Lavender Tea Lemonade

To make your Lavender Tea Lemonades extra fancy, add the lavender petal ice cubes, fresh lemon slices and fresh lavender sprigs.  So pretty.

Lavender Tea Lemonade

I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as I do!

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Lavender Tea Lemonade


Description

Lavender Tea Lemonade is a delicious and unique twist on classic lemonade!  Made with frozen lemonade and steeped lavender tea.  Garnish with sprigs of lavender and slices of fresh lemon. So easy and tasty!


Scale

Ingredients

Lavender Tea:

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh lavender flowers
  • 2 cups boiling water

Lemonade:

  • 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate ( 12 fluid oz, or 355 mL – I like Minute Maid)
  • 2 cups water
  • ice cubes
  • sprigs of lavender and lemon slices for garnish

Instructions

Lavender Tea:

  1. Add the chopped lavender flowers to a tea ball or strainer, and place in a container big enough to hold at least 2 cups of hot water.
  2. Pour the hot water over the petals.
  3. Let steep for at least 1 hour.  I let my tea steep for a few hours for full flavour.
  4. Let cool completely.

Putting the Lavender Lemonade together:

  1. Make the lemonade according to package directions, EXCEPT, only add 2 cups of water, not the full amount as directed on the package.
  2. Add 2 cups of the lavender tea.
  3. Stir.
  4. Add the lavender ice cubes, sprigs of fresh lavender and lemon slices.
  5. Enjoy!

Lavender Tea Lemonade

So pretty and so uniquely delicious!

Lavender Tea Lemonade

More Summer Drink Recipes to Try:

Now make sure to take a tour of all the delicious drinks below!  I hope you’ll leave inspired to make something.

Blackberry Mango Real Fruit White Wine Slushies at The Happy Housie
Grapefruit Pineapple Margarita at Craftberry Bush
Elderflower Rose Wine Spritzer Cocktail at Modern Glam
Summer Sangria at Nina Hendrick
Simple Summertime Margaritas at The Handmade Home

Refreshing Summer Cocktail at Rooms FOR Rent
Pandora Frozen Nightblossom Recipe at All Things With Purpose
Lavender Tea Lemonade at A Pretty Life
Gingered Sangria Flora at Willow Street Interiors
Blueberry Basil Mule at My Sweet Savannah

Keto Ice Cap at Life is a Party
Lava Flow Cocktail at The Turquoise Home
Raspberry Watermelon Slush at Clean & Scentsible
Pina Colada Agua Fresca at Jenna Kate at Home
Banana Peach Smoothie at She Gave it a Go

Blackberry Mint Prosecco Smash at Sincerely, Marie Designs
Mojito Style Limeade at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Fizz at The DIY Mommy
Classic Frozen Pina Colada at Finding Silver Pennies
Simple Whisky Sour at Place of My Taste
Frozen Peach Pineapple Strawberry Virgin Bellini at Summer Adams

Have a delicious day!

The Classic Canadian Caesar

The Classic Canadian Caesar is one of Canada’s most loved drinks!  Made with clamato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a blend of delicious spices. The Caesar is like a meal when it’s garnished with celery sticks, pepperoni sticks, pickles and a wedge of lime!  So good.

The Caesar is a classic Canadian drink, and one that makes an appearance at pretty much any summer party or barbecue we go to!  It’s not a Canadian party unless there’s a bottle of Clamato in the fridge.  This delicious drink is, admittedly, made with some unusual ingredients but they work together. They really really do.

The Classic Canadian Caesar

Have you ever seen a drink look more delicious? I mean, these are like a meal.  You don’t have to add all the garnishes, but you should.  You really really should. Pickles, yes. Pepperoni, yes. Celery, a must. Bacon, why not?

The Classic Canadian Caesar

Ok before we go to far, let’s talk about what a Canadian Caesar is, and a bit about the main ingredient which is Clamato juice.

The Classic Canadian Caesar

If you’re not from Canada you might be asking, what on Earth is Clamato?  Now hear me out before you get grossed out… Clamato is a drink mix you buy that is a mixture of clam and tomato juices.  Weird, I know. But it’s so good, I promise!  It doesn’t taste clam-y, it’s more like a light and salty refreshing tomato juice. 

The Classic Canadian Caesar

And when you mix the Clamato juice with vodka (if you like), hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and spices, you get the Classic Canadian Caesar.  Don’t forget the extra good stuff though…

The Classic Canadian Caesar

How to Drink the Classic Canadian Caesar

To get the full Caesar experience you can’t forget the salty rim!  You have to lick the rim, then take a sip of the drink, then follow it up with a bite of pepperoni, celery or pickles.  Trust me.  It’s delicious. I hope you try it.

The Classic Canadian Caesar

Canadian Caesar Fun Facts!

The Caesar was invented in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta in 1969.  As a matter of fact, May 13 is Caesar Day here!  But really, summer is Caesar season.

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The Classic Canadian Caesar


  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

The Classic Canadian Caesar is one of Canada’s most loved drinks!  Made with clamato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a blend of delicious spices.


Scale

Ingredients

The Caesar:

  • 1 oz Vodka (you can leave this out if you want a virgin Caesar)
  • 2 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
  • 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes of salt & pepper
  • 4 oz Motts Clamato Juice
  • Caesar seasoning salt rimmer (Mott’s is a great one) See notes.

Caesar Additions (anything you like!):

  • celery sticks
  • pepperoni sticks
  • pickled asparagus spears
  • green olives
  • dill pickle chunks
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Rim a glass with the seasoning salt rimmer.  To do this, put a generous amount of the seasoning salt onto a small plate.  Use a lime wedge and rub it along the rim of the glass to wet it.  Then turn the rim of glass in the salt mixture to coat it.
  2. Then in a glass combine the Clamato, vodka (if you’re adding it), Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper.  Be careful not to touch the seasoning salt on the rim of the glass.
  3. Garnish with all your favourite things!  The more the better…it’s almost like lunch!  😉
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

If you don’t have a pre-made seasoning salt rimmer, you can use celery salt instead.

Classic Canadian Caesar Recipe Tips:

  • Use Clamato juice, not tomato juice.  It’s just not the same thing.
  • This drink is delicious without the vodka too.
  • Add any of your favourite garnishes…dill pickles, pickled onions, pickled asparagus, pickled beans, pepperoni, celery, bacon…endless possibilities
  • If you don’t have a pre-made seasoning salt rimmer, you can use celery salt instead.

Another great drink made with Clamato is Beer and Clam!

Clamato juice with beer is the best!  This is one of my most favourite party drinks.  Just pour a beer in a glass, and add 3 to 4 oz of Clamato.  Yum.

Have a delicious Day!

Summery Peach Recipes

Fresh peaches are delicious in so many sweet and savoury recipes! Here are 7+ delicious Summery Peach Recipes to get you inspired. From pies to cakes to jams, drinks, chutneys and more!

Every summer as peaches come into season, I buy as many as I can get my hands on…buying big boxes of peaches at summer markets is my favourite!  I keep them around for snacking, and I also like having extra peaches so that I can bake and cook with them.  Then I get busy in the kitchen!  Here are some of my favourite peach recipes…I hope you find something delicious.

Peach Raspberry Crisp

Peach Raspberry Crisp is a classic summer dessert, made with fresh seasonal peaches and raspberries.  Serve warm with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  So good.

Peach Raspberry Crisp

Summer Peach Pie

This Summer Peach Pie is a perfect summer pie.  The crust is tender and flaky, and the filling sweet and full of delicious peach flavour!

Summer Peach Pie

Peach Bundt Cake

This Peach Bundt Cake is tender, sweet and so delicious.  The peaches add the perfect touch of flavour…you want a piece now, I know it.

Peach Bundt Cake

Ginger Peach Flavoured Water

This Ginger Peach Flavoured Water is a refreshing, delicious and healthy way to enjoy water!  Just add fresh peaches, ginger and mint.

Ginger Peach Flavoured Water

Campfire Peach Crisp

This Campfire Peach Crisp dessert is cooked in a tin foil package over a low flame campfire. So delicious!

Campfire Peach Crisp

Peach Apricot Pie

Peaches and apricots put together into a flaky delicious crust, makes for a fantastic summer Peach Apricot Pie!

Peach Apricot Pie

Easy Peach Jam

Make this Easy Peach Jam with only 3 simple ingredients!  No pectin or canning required.

Easy Peach Jam

Grilled Pork Chops with Ginger Peach Chutney

These Grilled Pork Chops are delicious with a simple homemade Ginger Peach Chutney made with ripe summer peaches.  An easy and tasty dinner that’s ready in under 1 hour.

Ginger Peach Chutney

So many delicious peach recipes to try this summer!  Keep checking back here as I’ll be adding more peach recipes as I make them.  Or PIN this post to save it for later!

Have a delicious day!