Peachy Arugula Salad Recipe

Oh, friends. This salad. It’s what Billy refers to as my “showstopper salad.” I can’t say I disagree!

The combination of the peppery arugula, the salty salami, the sweetness of the peach, and the tartness of the lemon is a flavor explosion. Gourmet, yet simple. Just the way I like it.

When I first was developing this recipe, I didn’t put any peach in it.  It was still absolutely delicious, but the peach undoubtedly takes this salad to the next level. Most certainly, you can substitute with whatever fruit is in season. I imagine this salad would be scrumptious with pear!

Furthermore, it’s safe to say this peachy salad tastes just like summertime!

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Peachy Arugula Salad Recipe

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients:

  • Arugula
  • Genoa Salami, Sliced
  • 1 15 oz. Can of Northern Beans
  • Croutons
  • 1 Peach, Sliced. (White or Yellow)
  • Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Raspberry Blush Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Start with desired amount of arugula in a bowl.
  2. Layer on salami, northern beans, croutons, and peach.
  3. Season with pepper. (Add salt if you are not using salami.)
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over the salad.
  5. Drizzle with EVOO and vinegar.

 

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Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

Making granola is so cozy. I like to have a vinyl playing while I make it.  It’s fun to skip about the kitchen to some music, ya know?

Granola is so simple and quick to make, yet it makes my kitchen smell like I’ve been slaving away all day. It’s the perfect snack. I don’t know why, it just makes me happy!

My five ingredient granola is a reader favorite. You can check out the recipe here.

NATURALLY, I had to develop a fall granola recipe to up the coziness factor. This idea was born many months ago in the heat of summer, when I was daydreaming of fall. Oh fall, you are a darling and I’m so glad you’re almost here.

This pumpkin spice granola is basically everything you adore about granola and fall, all baked into crispy morsels of golden perfection.

With maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, festive spices, and juicy dried cranberries, this granola makes a thoughtful gift or a happy snack.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Recipe

  • Servings: 1 1/2 Cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 and a 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 4 TBS of pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 5 TBS of dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice
  2. Add the oats to the mixture and thoroughly combine.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Spread oats in an even layer across the cookie sheet. Pack down slightly if you want more granola clusters.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir at 15 minutes to prevent the granola from burning. At the 15 minute mark, add the pepitas.
  6. During the last half of the cook time, check often. Granola can burn easily.  If you’re not sure if it’s done but it looks done, it probably is! Granola will continue to cook a little when you take it out of the oven and will continue to harden and crisp up.
  7. Add dried cranberries once it is out of the oven.

Note:

If you want more granola clusters, don’t stir immediately after taking out of the oven.  This will allow the clusters to form and bind.

Ordinarily, I add a pinch of salt to granola.  However, the pepitas are salted, so I do not add any additional salt to this recipe.

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I wish you could smell how deliciously fragrant this granola is! With a splash of almond milk, you’ve got yourself a healthy breakfast. All you need is a hot cuppa pumpkin coffee.

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Summertime Pizza Recipe

pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

“What’s for dinner?”

“Pizza!”

Always music to my ears growing up. But let’s be honest, pizza for dinner still puts a pep in my step.  I suppose that’s the “youthfulness” in me. There’s just something about homemade pizza. It’s so much fun to make and to get the whole family involved.

Today I want to share with you my summertime pizza recipe.

But first, I want to share how I get my crust crisped to perfection. I shared this method with someone once, and they were so excited! I remember them saying, “This is a game changer! I’ve always struggled with soggy pizza! I’m learning how to make pizza from a real Italian!” Haha.


The Secret to Crispy Pizza:

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Pizza dough prepped for the oven!

I purchase my pizza dough from the bakery at my grocery store.  When you’re ready to start cookin’, let the dough rest outside of the fridge for a little while.  This will help the dough become more pliable. Roll the dough out or stretch it with your hands until it is the size and thickness of your preference. Brush it with olive oil and season it with oregano.  Take a fork and prick a few holes in the dough to prevent huge bubbles in the dough. Then, put the dough in the oven WITHOUT any toppings.  This is when you want to fully cook the dough and get it nice and golden. If you’re using a pizza pan with holes in the bottom you can leave it on the pan.  But, if you’re using a cookie sheet, you’ll want to shimmy the crust off the pan halfway through the cook time (this allows the bottom of the crust to brown).  Cook time will depend on your dough and the thickness, as well as your preference. Once your crust is crispy and fully cooked (should take 15 to 20 minutes), put your toppings on your pizza. Once the pizza is topped and ready to go, put back in the oven for ONLY 3 minutes.  This is simply to melt the cheese and heat the toppings through.

Using the above method will keep your pizza toppings from losing their freshness and crisp, and will prevent a soggy pizza crust!


So now for the summertime pizza recipe! This recipe has become a staple in the Brown Abode! Billy and I made it for our family the other night, and they’re already asking for us to make it again.

I created this recipe to be a light pizza that is perfect for warm summer evenings by the pool.  With peaches, fresh sweet basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, it’s very gourmet and feels very southern.  Soul food for sure!

pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

Summertime Pizza Recipe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano
  • Shredded Italian Cheese
  • 1 Peach, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salami, sliced into thin pieces
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven according to the directions of your chosen pizza dough.
  2. Brush with olive oil, season with oregano, and prick with a fork.
  3. Cook dough until golden and crispy. The crust should be fully cooked. Babysit the dough to prevent overcooking.
  4. Add cheese, peaches, and salami.
  5. Put back into the oven and bake for 3 minutes.
  6. In a small skillet, simmer balsamic vinegar til it thickens and forms a glaze. Set aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  7. When the pizza is done, top with fresh basil and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

-From the kitchen of Julia Brown

http://www.theyouthful.me


pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

Get in the kitchen this summer. Have some family or friends over, have a record spinning, and blow them away with this tasty pizza that looks straight out of a restaurant. If you make this recipe, comment below! I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it!

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Bruschetta Recipe

My sister and I have started a new Thursday night tradition. We have each other and our hubs over at each other’s homes, alternating weeks. It’s become a coveted time of laughter and good food! The perfect way to break up the week.

When they came over to our place, I made bruschetta as an appetizer and they enjoyed it so immensely! What I love about bruschetta is it’s delightfully light, looks impressive, but is deceptively easy to make! So I thought I’d share my recipe with you all–because that’s what friends are for!

Speaking of bruschetta, I must confess a pet peeve of mine—when people call it “broo-shetta.” Being the little Italian girl that I am, hearing bruschetta mispronounced is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Haha. “Broo-sketta” sounds far more beautiful, don’t you agree?

Bruschetta

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes, petite diced and seeded
  • 1/2 onion, petite diced
  • A few leaves of basil, chopped
  • A sprinkle of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • A dash of garlic powder
  • 1 to 2 TB of olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Baguette

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, basil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.
  2. Refrigerator mixture until ready to serve.
  3. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch pieces.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder and toast in even for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. (Or until desired crispiness.)
  5. In a small pan, simmer balsamic vinegar until it bubbles and reduces in volume. It will continue to thicken as it cools and will form a glaze. Set aside.
  6. Spoon tomato mixture on each slice of bread and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top.
  7. Enjoy!

-From the kitchen of Julia Brown

http://www.theyouthful.me

I love how light and refreshing this appetizer is! The perfect cheese board pairing! May this recipe delight your tummy and wow your guests.

Ciao!

5 Ingredient Granola Recipe

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There is something so gratifying about making homemade granola.  It makes you feel like some sort of amazing cook, but in all honesty, this is so simple to make.  Not to mention, the aroma that will fill your kitchen! Think:: toasted oats coated in cinnamon and honey. So. Good.

I recently started enjoying greek yogurt as a daily snack.  (My personal favorite is Fage.) I can’t get enough of its creamy, thick texture. Topped with fresh strawberries, granola, chocolate chunks, and honey–it’s the perfect healthy breakfast. Or dessert.

Yet, store-bought granola can be so pricey. And some contain questionable ingredients.  So began my quest to make simple, clean granola.  After a few tries, I finally settled on the perfect recipe.  And I’m sharing it with all of you!

The best part is–this granola only requires 5 ingredients.  Chances are, they are in your pantry right now! I love saving money wherever I can, and this recipe is the perfect solution to my granola addiction.

Here are ways to enjoy your homemade granola:

  • Topped on plain greek yogurt with fruit and honey
  • As a quick snack to munch on (Billy loves to grab the jar of granola from our pantry after work.)
  • On top of vanilla ice-cream
  • With a splash of milk (kind of like cereal)

5 Ingredient Granola Recipe

  • Servings: 1 1/2 Cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Add the oats to the mixture and thoroughly combine.
  3. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Spread oats in an even layer across the cookie sheet. Pack down slightly if you want more granola clusters.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Stir at 15 minutes to prevent the granola from burning.
  6. During the last half of the cook time, check often. Granola can burn easily.  If you’re not sure if it’s done but it looks done, it probably is! Granola will continue to cook a little when you take it out of the oven and will continue to harden and crisp up.
  7. Enjoy! You can add dried fruit once it is out of the oven.

Note:

If you want more granola clusters, don’t stir immediately after taking out of the oven.  This will allow the clusters to form and bind.

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I hope you enjoy this highly requested recipe! It is a new weekly obsession of mine. If you make it, comment below! I’d love to hear all about it.

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Starting Your Day

They say that the first 10 minutes of your day sets the tone for the rest of your day.

I really started exploring this concept, trying it out for myself. For me, this way of beginning your day has little to do with checklists and tasks, and more to do with positivity and setting the scene.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of ways to start your day, with the hope of a fruitful, joyful, productive day.

1. In the Word

This is of utmost importance. I’ve always remembered my pastor saying, “We need God and we need Him early.” If you are struggling to find joy each day, but aren’t starting it with Jesus, you are setting yourself up for a dreary day. Spending time with the Lord in the morning is like coffee for the soul. The perfect way to awake and refresh. Nourish and uplift. It doesn’t have to take long. Just dedicate a few quiet moments to set your heart on things above.

2. Make Your Bed

A simple task yet so powerful. This minuscule decision sets your scene. Tidying your space helps give you that extra little boost in the morning. You’re awake. You’re up. Your bed is made. It’s go time.

3. Stretch

Perhaps a full blown workout just isn’t in the cards. That’s okay! Simply moving and stretching can alleviate tension and help put an extra pep in your step.

4. Get something done.

Even just one tiny task. Just do one productive thing in the morning, and you will be surprised how much you will accomplish throughout the day. Put away the dishes from last night. Flip the couch cushions. Fold that load of laundry. Small tasks have big effects.

Discipline will be needed in order to have a fruitful morning. Sometimes we need to help motivate ourselves. For example, I made a rule for myself a few months ago: The tv can’t be turned on until I’ve spent my quiet time with the Lord. That simple rule has been monumental in my morning routine. And in my walk with the Lord.

How are you setting yourself up for success each morning?

Happy Youthful Year

I felt a new year’s post was in order. There is something absolutely wonderful about the start of a new year. Fresh and hopeful. Clean and crisp.

This year my goal is to truly encompass the “Youthful Philosophy”, as I like to call it. This philosophy is not a free pass to conduct myself with immaturity. Rather, it is maturely choosing to embrace the best traits of my childhood.

And what does that look like?

1. Childlike Faith

My faith was unwavering as a child. Steady and natural. As this year is sure to present some changes, my goal is to strive towards absolute surrender to the Lord. He has always come through, so why should I doubt Him?

2. Quick Forgiveness

I struggle with this. I’m so sensitive and when someone hurts my feelings or seems to care so little, it becomes so easy for me to dwell, and harp, and re-hash. However, as a child, this wasn’t such a struggle. I am praying that the Lord will help me with this. That I will simply pray for those who act unkindly.

3. Contagious Joy

I have always possessed what I like to call my “Julia Joy.” Yet, life can quickly zap that right out of me if I let it. My goal is to be irresistibly joyful. So much so that it bubbles over and creates ripples.

4. Life Lived Unplugged

Technology wasn’t as commonplace in my childhood. While technology can be truly amazing and useful, it’s important to be able to entertain oneself without it. I want to read more books and create more things and just be in the moment. Not living with a screen plastered to my face.

5. Constantly Imagining

This was a true talent of mine as a child. And still is. But it’s easy to forget to keep that imagination alive. I hope to add a little more imagination in my writing this year. You never know what that could lead to.

6. Reckless Love for the Lord

The love of Jesus in a child is so moving and raw. A true example. The greatest goal I can make this year is to love my God more. To spend more time with Him. I will say, the last few months of 2017, I read my Bible more consistently than I had ever in my entire life. And it rocked my world. In the best way possible. Therefore, I want to keep increasing this time spent with Him.

7. Wonder

Children love to wonder, don’t they? “What’s that?” “How does this work?” “Why does it rain?” Their questions go on endlessly. They stop and look at things. May my sense of wonder and awe increase this year. May I stop and gaze at the moon. May I breathe in the fresh air. May I look on God’s creation with admiration and true worship.

Happy Youthful Year, everyone! Excited to see where God takes this little blog of mine this year.

Dinner in 30: Easy Paella Recipe

I think the underlying hesitancy to cook is: busyness. An hour of prep. A half hour to cook. And an hour of countless dirty pots and pans. I recognize this need and the demand for easy, healthy, flavorful meals that nourish and satisfy you and your family. That’s why my new goal is to create a series of recipes that will be classified as: Dinner in 30. Healthy, unique, meal ideas that take around 30 minutes from start to finish.

This easy paella recipe is the definition of simplicity. Minimal ingredients, and only requires one pot and one pan. The use of chicken sausage keeps things simple, since chicken sausage is bought already fully cooked. All you must do is chop it and brown it. 🙌🏼

Here is this lovely recipe, that has become a weeknight staple in The Brown Abode.

Easy Paella Recipe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 10 oz bag of yellow rice (with saffron)
  • 3 chicken sausages, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the bag.
  2. While the rice is cooking, brown the chicken sausage in a large skillet.
  3. Sauté the onion and pepper.
  4. Then add the peas and black beans.
  5. When rice is cooked, add to the large skillet and toss.
  6. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

Note:

I like to use Vigo yellow rice. It has the seasonings already in it.  Saffron is a very important component of traditional paella, but it can be very expensive if you buy it on its own. It is definitely worth buying rice that already has saffron in it.

Pumpkin Face Mask


Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or a skincare expert. I’m just a girl who loves pumpkins in the fall! Whenever making a diy mask or using a new skincare product, always apply a small amount to your arm before using to test how your skin will react.

There’s two things I’m currently all about right now: pumpkins and selfcare. There’s just something about fall: the way it looks, feels, tastes. I yearn for it more each passing year. And with that longing, my love for pumpkins grows. They really are a delight, aren’t they?

While amidst my favorite season, I’m also in a season of change in my life personally. This presents challenges at times, but I’m learning to take time to breathe in the fresh air, and lean in to my Savior.

So since pumpkins and selfcare are two things I am loving right now, I thought I’d combine the two! A pumpkin face mask! 🎃


As if I even needed another reason to love pumpkins, they happen to be really beneficial to your skin! Pumpkin smoothes and brightens your skin, contains acne fighting zinc, has lots of fatty acids and vitamin e, and contains antioxidants for radiant skin!

This simple mask only contains 3 ingredients, and is so fun and festive to use! Hmmm fall themed spa-night, anyone? 🍁😏

Pumpkin Face Mask

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 TB of canned organic pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp of raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredients and stir in a small bowl.
  2. Apply to a clean face and leave on for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse skin with cool water and blot dry.
  4. Enjoy hydrated, plump skin!

Note:

This recipe yields enough for two to three uses. Store covered in the fridge and use within a couple of days.

Light a candle, grab your favorite book or magazine (The Magnolia Journal), and enjoy the pumpkin-y goodness!


A Trip to Trader Joe’s 

Aaaaahhh Trader Joe’s.

You know…going to Trader Joe’s feels less like an errand, and more of an event. In fact, you could make a whole girl’s night or date night out of it. Start in the flower section (they have the best, fresh florals) and work your way up each aisle, picking up whatever strikes your fancy. Take home your unique goodies, have a “tasting”, and watch some Netflix. Bam. Consider your Saturday night planned. 👌🏼

I typically do most of my grocery shopping at Publix, and then get fun speciality items at Trader Joe’s. But this past week, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I bought a week’s worth of food soley at Trader Joe’s. Not only was it a delicious success, but we came in well under budget. Win!

Even though Trader Joe’s is a relatively small market, it is fully stocked with unique foods. You wouldn’t know it by looking at it. But once you start perusing the aisles, you’ll find yourself reaching for item after item. Curiosity and adventure fill the shelves. I’m really quite obsessed.

Sooooo how about I cease the rambling and oodling, and simply share my favorite Trader Joe’s goodies that you need on your grocery list.

1. Mini Blueberry Tea Scones

Deliciously moist, I tend to crave these! With coffee or tea, you’ll feel like you’re at a coffee shop right in your own abode.


2. Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza

This pizza is hands down the best frozen pizza ever! It legit tastes like it’s from a restaurant. They don’t skimp on the veggies and the crust is just the right thickness. Why am I not surprised that this pizza is imported from Italy? 🇮🇹

3. Organic Popping Corn

I love making homemade popcorn on the stove. These kernels make for crispy snacking and numerous batches of the favorite movie night treat. I make mine with olive oil, and no butter. A sprinkling of salt and parmesan cheese is all you need. #healthysnack

4. Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana Slices

Ohmygoodness. These are a delight! They’re great when you need a bite of chocolate! They’re rather refreshing too! Find these in the frozen dessert aisle.

5. Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread

This is Billy and I’s latest obsession. I know, we are a little late to the game. But, seriously. Bread that tastes good, and isn’t loaded with sugar. Protein? It’s got 3 grams per slice. Fiber? 2 grams per slice. It’s based off of the Bible verse Ezekiel 4:9. You can find this at Trader Joe’s in the bread section, or at other natural food stores.


6. Eucalyptus 

No trip to Trader Joe’s is complete without some fresh eucalyptus. I simply can’t help myself. Fragrant and beautiful. Arrange some in a large jar, or hang a bundle from your shower head for some aroma therapy during your shower.

That’s all for now, folks! I could go on endlessly, but I thought I’d keep this list concise.

Remember, fall is just around the corner! Trader Joe’s will soon have pumpkin everythang! They’re pumpkin spice flavored coffee is a personal fav. The wait will be hard, but it will be worth it. 🍁