Happy Post: Summer 2011- Recipes for Labor Day Weekend

by Marla on September 2, 2011 · 77 comments

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Fresh, whole food recipes by Marla Meridith

Labor Day. The last long weekend of summer is here. Can someone please tell me where the time went? This summer flew by in one big whoosh. Now we are about to welcome fall. My daughter is back in school and my son waits in the wings for pre-school to start next week. With a long 3 day weekend ahead, lots of folks will be grilling, entertaining guests and embracing the abundance of late summer garden fresh ingredients.

I am thrilled to share a tasty re-cap of what summer was to us…in a Happy Post. I have made it so you can add links from your blog, posts that inspire you. Whatever you like, does not have to be food. Simply happy inspiration that you want to share with us.

Let’s spread the *happy*

 

Telluride, CO Town Park. Mom with kids in park.

Summer was plentiful, abundant and filled with life long memories. We were in Telluride for many weeks and it hurt to leave. My true spirit thrives in those mountains. Perhaps we will live there full time some day. A girl can dream right? Admittedly I need to find my groove back here in the OC. CO taps into my creative spirit and helps me find my center.

It is a place where this Energizer Bunny can beat her drum with pride.

Strawberry Peach Coconut Popsicles help cool us down.

Summer popsicle recipe with strawberries and peaches

So does Honeydew Sherbet-Ice Milk.

Gotta admit I hardly had a clue as to what Labor Day actually celebrates.

Wikipedia always helps with the unknown. Here goes: “Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable for women to wear white”

I will continue to wear white. ~  Just sayin’ ~ I will also eat these Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip all year long.

Grilled Chicken Kebab skewers with bell peppers for Get Grillin'

All kinds of skewered food were smokin’ this summer. Perhaps it was my buddies Matt and Adam’s book On A Stick that made all foods served on a stick ultra HOT. That book is really amazing, if you don’t already have it you must.

Here are a few more of my fun foods on sticks….try some Grilled Hot Dog Skewers with Avocado Dip

Hot Dogs on a stick recipe for summer Grill BBQ party

Or how about Mini BLT Skewers…..

Healthy Bacon Lettuce Tomato kebab party skewers with lunch box

Were you around this summer for the 6 week Get Grillin’ I hosted with Cookin’ Canuck? Gosh was that fun.We grilled & grilled then grilled some more. We loved sharing recipes with you and we LOVED those you shared with us.

Summer grill blogger event hosted by food blogs

My Balsamic Grilled Vegetables were a colorful hit.

Grilled vegetables on blue & white china

Salad heaped with fresh veggies, grilled chicken, soy glazed tofu or meat are always a hit too. Add some grilled Camembert cheese to that and heaven is found…

A sweet strawberry or raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing helps too.

grilled tofu and chicken salad with summer vegetables

I was so happy when my BLT-A Quinoa Salad made it to the pages of Bon Appétit online. Oh happy days…..

Micro Greens over quinoa in glass mason jar with cherry tomatoes

Sweet pizzas became quickly addictive and you have not seen the end of those around here. Chocolate Peanut Butter BananaGrilled Chocolate Cherry  and Summer Fruit Crostatas are all time favorites.

Notice the chocolate obsession on those……

Chocolate and fruit dessert pizzas and crostata

Let’s not forget how delicious summer fruit is by the handful.

Fresh summer blueberries and cherries in red bowl

And then of course when we add a gluten free vegan cookie crust underneath to make fruity tarts.

Healthy diet apple tart on Family Fresh Cooking blog

To wash it all down I came up with a Creamy Blueberry Banana Shake that we enjoy often.

Healthy diet fruit milk shake on Family Fresh Cooking blog

I hope you like all nibbles from out summer. Hopefully you can sample them some day.

Here’s to a delightful long weekend and a nod to the cooler seasons ahead. My personal favorite time of year. I was at the beach one time this summer (I live within 10 miles of it) Does that tell you how much I crave and adore the mountains?

Remember my lick of fall in the heat of summer in early August? If you are a fan of pumpkin I believe you will love these Pumpkin Pie Popsicles.

Homemade Summer Popsicles with pumpkin and goats milk

What are some of your favorite summer memories? Do you celebrate through food too? I have a sneaky feeling you do….

Link up your favorite summer recipes or whatever made you *happy* from the past few months. Be sure to link back to this post or Family Fresh Cooking  you can also add my Happy Post Badge below to your submitted post. Let’s spread the HAPPY. I will share a re-cap of some of those on Monday.

Here is the badge, and code to add it to your blog (You can also find it on my my badges page shortly)

BADGE: 150 x 150 Pixels

Happy Post - FamilyFreshCooking.com

Use this code to place the 150 x 150 Happy Post badge on your site:

Add Happy Links Here – Whatever Inspires You….Food, Crafts, Photography, etc.


*By the way I will be specking at two events this fall. If you are in the area pop I would love to say *hi* On September 23rd I will be on a panel at Techmunch LA in Santa Monica, CA. On October 15th I will be on a panel in Atlanta, Georgia at the Fresh Summit Conference speaking to the Produce Marketing Association.

Tidy Mom

*This post has been included in TidyMom’s I’m Lovin it Fridays

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa September 2, 2011 at 7:34 am

An amazing collection of recipes! Time passes so fast…

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Jeanette September 2, 2011 at 7:34 am

What a stunning post Marla – love all these ‘happy’ summer foods. So glad you were able to get away this summer with your family and find your center. We all need that at least once a year before we delve back into the school year. Hope your kids get off to a smooth start this school year!

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3 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Jeanette, I cannot believe school is here. I am clinging to the more relaxing days of summer. Glad you like the re-cap. I so enjoyed reading your posts on your family trip to Hawaii. Such special moments & memories you created. I have learned so much about that region from your posts. I love the new ingredients you share with us. Fun to travel the world through my blog pals :)
Hope you are doing OK with your son in college. That is a HUGE challenge for any mom… xxoo

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4 Amanda September 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

Wonderful and beautiful recipe Marla! You have got book material here… cant wait to see that! :)

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5 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Amanda, ya think? Coming from you that means a lot. We’ll see what pops up down the road. It better be a sweet offer…would love to write & shoot a book. Perhaps some day. What I want to see? Your book!!

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6 Katrina September 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

Everything looks so yummy! I don’t even know where to begin! haha

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7 Maria September 2, 2011 at 7:55 am

Great recipes and photos!!

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8 Cookin' Canuck September 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

What a wonderful post, Marla. I love the picture of you with your kiddos. I had a ball hosting Get Grillin’ with you and was so glad to see our participants submit so many wonderful recipes.

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9 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Thanks Dara, hosting Get Grillin’ with you this summer was really a highlight for me. I believe our readers got a kick out of it too :) Hopefully we can rock it out again next year.

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10 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] September 2, 2011 at 8:30 am

Great round-up, Marla! I just love the colors in your fresh dishes.

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11 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Fresh is best Miss Allison. It always amazes me the gorgeous colors in real, whole foods. Why anyone would want to take away from that? Not so sure.

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12 HeatherChristo September 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

This is such a wonderful idea. I am so inspired that I am going to work on my own summer synopsis today! Thanks Marla :)

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13 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Yay Heather. Can’t wait to see your summer synopsis. I am SURE it will ROCK :) Loved the cookies & lemonade post the other day. Quintessential summer!

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14 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com September 2, 2011 at 8:53 am

Amazing summer delights, recaps and photos Marla. Especially the ones with your kids. So cute :D

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15 Angie September 2, 2011 at 9:43 am

Marla your photos are so incredible! Bon appetite and gourmet magazine will be knocking on your door one day very soon!
You are so talented my energizer bunny friend! So many beautiful and delicious memories of summer.

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16 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Hey Angie, I got Bon Appétit & Gourmet online in the bag. Now I just need to score Bon Appétit print ;) One day I hope.

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17 Andrea DiGeronimo September 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

Marla,
What a wonderful happy post!!! I love the beautiful photo at the top of the three of you, all in navy blue. There were probably 4 of you with Ross behind the camera.

What makes people happy? That question reminds me of the sweet children’s book “Claire and Capricorn the unicorn”. Funny how in that storybook she can’t answer the question what makes people happy, but decides she can answer what makes her happy for breakfast. It is really is all about the food isn’t it? Well that and a few other impt things like family, friends, laughing (a lot), faith, hope, & love, seeing pure beauty and bringing beauty to this world using your own special gifts. Thanks for providing lots of those happiness’ to so many people, especially me. :-)) xoxo, Andrea

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18 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Hi Andrea. Miss you so my friend! I hope you have been having an amazing summer. Not the same in these parts without your family around. The summer was a blast. Especially the T-Ride part (but that goes without saying, right?!) You are correct, Ross is behind the camera. I have some of him & the kids on that rock that I will post in a Telluride re-cap post. Gotta have that post on it’s own. Soooo many photos!
I have never seen the book you mention “Claire and Capricorn the Unicorn” I must get my hands on it. Sounds wonderful. I am with Claire….I can always share what makes me happy for breakfast even when I am in a bad mood. That alone puts a smile on my face. Here’s to lifes simple pleasures!
Love what you say about beauty, special gifts, love, laughter…..all of it. I feel so blessed each & every day. Gotta always reach for the soul within to stay smiling :) xxoo
By the way…even though we have not spoken on the phone in a long time, it is so nice to know we are connected. Always.

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19 Bev Weidner September 2, 2011 at 10:50 am

That is one scrumptious summer! I could unhinge my jaw on this post.

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20 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Bev, please don’t unhinge your jaw. Then you could never eat again….girl you crack me up. So glad you like the summer abundance over here. I need to dash one to your place to see what you are cooking up. Always great eats over there!

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21 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. September 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

Great Labor Day recipes and love your pictures! Congrats on your speaking gigs! you go girl! :)

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22 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thanks Alison. Wondering when we are gonna meet up again?? The Atlanta trip is really quick, otherwise I would have had you meet me out that way.

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23 Liz - Meal Makeover Mom September 2, 2011 at 11:05 am

Your post makes me happy. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to check out all your faves and the rest of the blogs that linked up. Have a great holiday weekend!

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24 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

You too Liz! Happy to see you back on the scene ;)

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25 Angie's Recipes September 2, 2011 at 11:32 am

What a happy and delicious summer collection!

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26 Marsha - redhotcookinmama September 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

What a great post! This made me so hungry, I might have to try some pumpkin popsicles! You inspired me to do a summer of berries wrap up!

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27 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Yay Marsha, a summer berries wrap up is an awesome idea. Berries are my favorite fruit ever. Link it back to this post if you have it done before Sunday midnight :)

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28 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Marla, this is an awesome post!

I know that you truly LIVED life this summer with your kids and cherished as many of the small moments as humanly possible. You truly walked the walk. Spending time with them, being there for your family, being together, you did it.

You are my inspiration and reminder to do more with my family, be more present mentally; be more attentive, and just savor each and every detail…more. We all do our best but when I see you…I just say, THAT’S an amazing mother :)

Thank you for this reminder and I love the Happy Spreading. I linked up to a recipe that makes me really happy: White Chocolate Vanilla Marshmallow Cake Bars!

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29 Marla September 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Seriously Averie, those are the kindest and most beautiful words. Thank you. Very touched :)
We are such busy moms and hard workers. It is so hard to find the balance sometimes. I guess we all need to do our best. You are an amazing woman & mom….don’t ever forget that, deal? I know you nurture that little gal of yours with everything you’ve got. I try each day to be there for my kids as much as possible. The one thing they wish for: me to get that GIANT 24-70 lens out of their faces. They are off put by the constant paparazzi~their mom ;)
Does Skylar feel the same way?

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30 Kathleen September 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm

You sure have had a delicious summer. YUM

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31 Brooke @ Food Woolf September 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Wow. I could barely get past the first photo without a full mouth salivation kicking in. What a great round up. Now I’m REALLY hungry and ready to do some final days of summer cooking.

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32 Nutmeg Nanny September 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Such a great roundup! Love all the pictures and the yummy food :)

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33 Sukaina September 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Looks like you had a wonderful summer Marla.Here’s to an even happier Autumn/ Fall. Great collection of recipes too!

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34 Amy Tong September 3, 2011 at 2:11 am

Love all your recipes. They are always fresh and delicious. I’m sharing my Almond Cookie Crisps today. I couldn’t help but did a happy dance when these cookies came out of the oven. :)

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35 Marla September 3, 2011 at 5:53 am

Amy, a happy dance for cookies…I LOVE that. Now I think we all need to try them :)

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36 Joanne September 3, 2011 at 4:04 am

Seeing all of these gorgeous recipes kinda makes me wish that summer would never end! Have a great weekend, Marla!

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37 Marla September 3, 2011 at 5:54 am

Oh fear not Joanne, you know with fall around the corner we will dazzle each other with delightful eats!! I can’t wait to see what you will cook up :)

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38 Katie September 3, 2011 at 6:40 am

Hi I found your blog on a link from love veggies and yoga. Looks beautiful, I can’t wait to start trying some of your dishes on my husband and little guy!
Katie

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39 Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 3, 2011 at 6:47 am

I love this happy post, Marla! Hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family!

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40 Feast on the Cheap September 3, 2011 at 7:40 am

Such a great idea – and such great recipes…

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41 Kalyn September 3, 2011 at 7:48 am

Oh my, all your food looks so delicious!

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42 susan September 3, 2011 at 8:01 am

that shot of the peas is one of my favorites! great post, Marla.

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43 Kristi Rimkus September 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

I’m glad you had a wonderful summer. It’s true the summer days go by so quickly, then it’s time to get the kids off to school and ready for fall. Thanks for the inspiration with all these lovely recipes for the holiday weekend barbecues!

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44 Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) September 3, 2011 at 8:26 am

Thanks for visiting my blog… I LOVE your blog! Such yummy recipes, amazing pictures, AND cute kiddos! Glad to share my Salad with Fruit Salsa and Coffee-Spiced Chicken!! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!

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45 Nami | Just One Cookbook September 3, 2011 at 8:48 am

Hi Marla! Ohhh I’m really impressed with the all these recipes and photos of your food!!!! Everything looks delicious. Very colorful and healthy. Thanks for inviting me for the Happy Post. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! :-)

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46 Michelle September 3, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hiya, and thanks for dropping by on my blog. You have a gorgeous space out here, and I am so impressed. I’ve linked up my Evan’s Cherry Drizzle for the happy post, and yes that day really did make me very happy :-) Cheers! Michelle

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47 Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking September 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

Marla, all of your recipes look wonderful and very appropriate for a “Happy Post”! I am ALL over that chocolate obsession!
Thanks for stopping by 365! I’ve added my Samoas to today’s post! Cookies always make me happy and doing the SRC has been so much fun!

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48 Marla September 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Hey Lynne, thanks for adding your Samosa cookies to my link up. Those are happy indeed. Let’s visit often, OK?!

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49 Donna September 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Marla I just want to say that I can’t think of a food blog out there that spreads as much “happy” as yours. It always gives me a boost each and every time I look at your blog. Your sweet little family, your food, and YOU make the world a brighter place!

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50 Marla September 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thank you so much Donna! Back at you :) Your blog is a wonderfully inviting space that I enjoy visiting as well.
I love what I do and it thrills me that I can help make the world a brighter place.

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51 Jamie @ the unseasoned wok September 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Thank you for the invite! It was such a nice surprise this morning. I love this roundup of recipes and the photos are just stunning! I hope you have a fun and safe long weekend!

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52 Marla September 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Back at you Jamie. It was so fun visiting your blog too. I love making new friends through blog land. See you around soon, OK?!

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53 Natalie @ Perrys' Plate September 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm

What a great collection! Thanks for the linky party! Hope you have a great weekend, Marla!

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54 Aggie September 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Luuuuurrrrvve this post :) seriously, I know what you mean about your true spirit living elsewhere, I feel like that pretty much all the time. I belong on the ocean and now I’m starting to realize the mountains too. But ho hum…I have to figure out how to thrive right where I’m at ;)

What a fantastic round up of good food! Love the pic of you and your kiddos!!

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55 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective September 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Oh my goodness, it all looks so good it’s hard to know where to start. …Maybe the quinoa salad. Have a great weekend!

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56 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit September 4, 2011 at 7:27 am

I love the picture of you and your children! There’s SO much love!

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57 Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet September 4, 2011 at 8:37 am

Love all the “fresh” recipes especially the coconut peach pops! A double whammy on my sweet spot!

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58 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

My goodness I think this is my all-time fav post of yours!! Your photography and recipes just blow me away. :) I’m going to check out those dessert pizzas right now!

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59 Diane {Created by Diane} September 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

What a beautiful line up of deliciousness!
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend Marla :) I linked up my Antipasti Appetizer, it’s great when you need to get out of the kitchen and enjoy the party!

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60 Ashley@BakerbyNature September 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

Summer really did whoosh by; I’m sad to see it go. ALL of your pictures look delicious and are a wonderful ode to the wonderful season of Summer.

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61 zerrin September 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Fantastic list of recipes! They are absolutely enough to make someone happy! And I love your picture with your kids. Lovely!

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62 Jayasri September 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Hi Maria, thank you so much for introducing me to this wonderful space!, what a beautiful blog you have, so looks Summer, making me feel so delighted to see your lovely clicks I am so happy to be with you in SRC, I have linked my recipes to your Happy post. It has taken my name. will be visiting you often to check out your recipes

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63 Chris and Amy September 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm

This post definitely makes us happy! Thank you for inviting us, and we’ve added your blog to our “favorites.”

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64 Shaina September 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Wonderful collection!

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65 Parsley Sage September 5, 2011 at 6:14 am

Sorry I missed the link up! Turned out beautifully though! That cheese….ooooooh! I want to swim in that cheese!

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66 Kimby September 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Marla, this was one “oooh, ahhh” of a post! (Sorry I missed the link up this time — looking forward to more.) Beautiful photos, beautiful thoughts.

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67 Marla September 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hi Kimby. I am sorry you missed the link up too. Next time I will try to post it the night before so there is more time to link up. I will run a Happy Post every 2 weeks or so. Maybe more…we’ll see. Gotta work on a master posting calendar.

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68 Nancy@acommunaltable September 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Great post Marla – lots of delicious dishes out there!!! Sorry I missed the link up – trying to get caught up before school starts – eeek!!!

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69 peachkins September 6, 2011 at 5:58 am

Oh my gosh! I missed this… I’m gonna do that BLT on a stick!

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