There are few things in life I enjoy more than today’s recipe. A giant bowl of tortilla chips, a good, strong margarita (on the rocks, please), and a freshly-made batch of delicious guacamole. Are you with me on this one?

If you’ve never made guacamole at home or never tried it before (gasp!), this recipe includes everything you need to know about the beauty of making a good guac. We can call it guac for short, right? Fresh ingredients and the perfect balance of flavors come together in this simple recipe that is greatfor snacking or as a side to your favorite Mexican dishes. I’m including tips for how to choose the perfect ripe avocados, how to make-ahead this recipe, and how to customize the guac to your own liking. Grab a bag of tortilla chips and let’s make some guacamole!

How to make the BEST guacamole! This fresh, healthy recipe is perfect for snacking or as a side with your favorite Mexican dishes! |
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30 Minute Fresh Tomato Marinara

By Samantha of Five Heart Home

You’re just 30 minutes away from a delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce, brimming with ripe, juicy tomatoes, savory garlic, and fresh herbs.

30-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce ~ made with fresh tomatoes | for

Hello there, friends! It’s Samantha from Five Heart Home, and I’m happy to be back at Love Grows Wild today with a new recipe. I hope you’re all having a fabulous, fun, and relaxing summer!

Summer is my favorite season for a variety of reasons, but one of the things I love about it the most is all of the amazing fresh produce. From zucchini to cucumbers to peaches to tomatoes, I tend to incorporate the spoils of my generous in-laws’ garden into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But can I share a little secret? Tomatoes are my favorite, and as much as I enjoy popping cherry tomatoes raw or turning jumbo tomatoes into salsa or a nice, thick-sliced tomato sandwich, sometimes it’s fun to cook with them as well!

30-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce ~ made with fresh tomatoes | for

If you’ve made homemade marinara sauce before, you know that it typically involves blanching and peeling tomatoes and slowly simmering them for hours to develop a deep, rich, mellow flavor. Well, this is not that marinara sauce. I like to think of this 30-Minute Marinara as a quick and easy, fresher-tasting version of your Italian grandmother’s family recipe. [Read more...]

Apple Pie Bars

Reality just hit that we are officially four weeks away from the first day of school. Four weeks. Where the heck did summer go? I feel like I’m finally just getting a chance to slow down and enjoy the sunshine, but before you know it, the kids and I are going to be knee-deep in math homework, spelling quizzes, and sports equipment, so I guess I better enjoy these last few weeks while I can!

I was in the mood to do some baking the other day and found inspiration in a big, beautiful bag of Granny Smith apples that I had just picked up from the store. The boys and I love snacking on apple slices and peanut butter (creamy for them, chunky for me!), but I couldn’t help but crave a giant slice of warm, fresh apple pie after spotting those apples in my fridge. I needed some apple pie. ASAP.

So I pulled out my baking ingredients and got to work. As I started chopping up those bright green apples, I started thinking… what if I turned my regular apple pie into bars? Little individual, handheld bars that you could easily pack up for a picnic or the school lunches that will soon need to be packed every morning. I loved the idea and loved the amazing results of this glorious baking creation even more! So today I’ll show you how to make my Apple Pie Bars with a fresh apple filling, homemade double crust, and a sweet vanilla glaze drizzled on top!

These Apple Pie Bars are the perfect handheld dessert and SO delicious! Made with a fresh apple filling, homemade crust, and sweet vanilla glaze! |

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Coconut Shrimp

Lately I’ve been getting tired of the same old chicken and beef recipes, so I’ve been adding more seafood into our meals. When I’m craving some light and healthy, I go for my spicy cilantro shrimp with honey lime dipping sauce. When I’m craving something with a little Mexican flair, I make these grilled tilapia bowls. But when I’m in the mood for some good, old-fashion fried comfort food, I make this Coconut Shrimp!

How to make Coconut Shrimp at home! This recipe for crispy coconut shrimp makes a delicious appetizer OR main dish! |


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Parmesan Roasted Vegetables

This is the week I’ve been waiting for all summer long… fair week! I’m going to pig out on corn dogs and funnel cakes until you have to roll me home! We took the kids for the first time last night, and between the pound of sugar I consumed in lemon shake-ups and the giant, caramel and pecan-covered cinnamon roll I devoured at 9:00 last night, I’m pretty sure a diet detox is going to be in order after this week. Probably for the rest of summer. I better really enjoy fair week while I can!

Luckily, I already have a couple new light and healthy recipes up my sleeve, and this one is by far my favorite! My mom made these delicious Parmesan Roasted Vegetables a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them since. I’ve probably made them 4 or 5 times already! They take just a few minutes to prep and make a delicious savory side dish that pairs well with almost any meal. Fresh, healthy veggies coated in a savory Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture and roasted till perfection… it doesn’t get any better or easier than this!

Parmesan Roasted Vegetables - fresh vegetables in a crispy, cheesy coating and roasted for a delicious and easy side dish! |
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Watermelon Lemonade and a KitchenAid Giveaway!

Picture this…

You’re sitting poolside on a perfectly sunny day. Your children are playing together harmoniously while you relax reading your favorite new novel… or celebrity gossip magazine… or whatever floats your boat. Your stud muffin husband walks over and hands you a delicious chilled beverage. It’s pink and fruity with a bright yellow slice of lemon hanging on the edge of the glass. You take a sip of the colorful drink and taste a sweet, fruity, and very refreshing watermelon lemonade.

This drink, my friends, is the perfect sip of summer! While I can’t promise you that your kids will get along harmoniously or that your hunk of a husband will wait on you hand and foot (sorry, guys. I wish!), I can promise you that this Watermelon Lemonade will become your favorite new way to quench your thirst this summer! It mixes up quickly in a blender and is bursting with sweet, fruity watermelon flavor. Serve it chilled with some lemon slices, and you have a delicious drink to enjoy!

*Spoiler Alert: I’m giving away the same KitchenAid Diamond Blender I use for this recipe to one lucky reader!! Details at the bottom of this post!

Watermelon Lemonade is easy to make and super refreshing! Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of this sweet and fruity drink! |

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Easy Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken

My husband is the griller in our house. Always has been and most likely always will be. Not because I don’t want to learn how to use the grill or because I’m opposed to standing next to a smoky, red-hot fire while singeing off my arm hair… okay that part may be true. But mostly because my husband insists on having a charcoal grill that is so large it could probably cook an entire hog all at once if necessary. It’s a “real man’s grill”, he tells me.

And I get it, charcoal does make food SO much more flavorful. But I’m not going to go start up my husband’s gigantic charcoal grill just to cook a few hot dogs when the mood strikes. I’m way too lazy for that. If I can’t turn a little knob and have an instant fire ready cook my little hot dogs, I’m not going to bother with the grill at all. I’ll leave it to the “real man” in the house.

But on those nights when he’s working late at the farm and I have a major hankering for some phenomenal grilled food, this is the recipe I turn to: Easy Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken. The most tender, tangy barbecue chicken legs made the easy way in the oven!

The easiest way to make tender, tangy barbecue chicken in the oven! |
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