Homemade Cherry Cream Soda

Learn how to make homemade cherry cream soda with fresh cherries. Perfect to drink as it or pour over ice cream for ice cream floats.


Learn how to make homemade cherry cream soda with fresh cherries. Perfect to drink as it or pour over ice cream for ice cream floats.

Last weekend a friend and I went exploring in our own city of Pittsburgh with our cameras. Sometimes I feel awkward walking around as a local with my camera, like I’m a new tourist for the first time. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. Probably because nothing says “look at me!” quite like whipping out your camera in a non-touristy area. Having a friend around helps because then I can focus on her and not on the people staring at us. One way we figure out awesome shooting locations is to follow other local city photographers on Instagram. I follow a good bit of Pittsburgh photographers, so when I see a cool photo, I’ll send my friend a link and tell her we need to go there. The one group even coordinates local photo walks, so I’m hoping to attend their next one coming up. Make sure you check out my @citylifeadventures Instagram account for city and travel photos.

Anyway, when my friend and I went shooting this weekend, it was hot. Super hot. 90 degrees hot. My friend left shortly after lunch time because she had to finish packing for her vacation. I went home and drank all the liquids because I was dehydrated. Usually my go-to is ice cold water (without the ice), but sometimes I get bored with only water. At this point, it was too late in the day for coffee. Since I still had sour cherries left from a few weeks ago in the freezer, could I make some sort of cherry drink? Then it hit me – homemade cherry cream soda aka red cream soda. I loved drinking red pop growing up, whether it was red cream soda or simply red pop. I’ve made Vanilla Bean Cream Soda Floats before, so I knew how to make cream soda. All I had to do was add cherry juice.

[Continue reading]

BLT Pasta Salad

Tracking Pixel
Because your pasta salad shouldn’t be boring! BLT Pasta Salad with homemade ranch dressing, tomatoes, lettuce, and of course plenty of crispy bacon.


Because your pasta salad shouldn't be boring! BLT Pasta Salad with homemade ranch dressing, tomatoes, lettuce, and of course plenty of crispy bacon.

This post is sponsored by Smithfield.

Eek how is it one week until 4th of July already?! Pretty soon I’ll be going to the local arts and heritage festival then over to my parents for food and neighborhood fireworks. We usually stick with the same menu every year – hamburgers and hot dogs, 1-2 side dishes, and dessert. One of those side dishes is always macaroni or potato salad, whether it’s Amish Macaroni Salad or Italian Potato Salad. This year I’m thinking of changing it up with a new kind of pasta salad.

I know, I know – do you really need another pasta salad recipe? Can’t you stick with your favorite tried and true dishes? Yes, yes you do need another recipe because this BLT Pasta Salad is one you don’t want to miss. It’s loaded with bacon, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella cheese, and homemade ranch dressing – all of the flavors you love about a classic BLT sandwich with a few added extras. Bacon and ranch go hand in hand if you ask me, and as a Pittsburgher, we love to eat ranch on everything. For the pasta I used farfalle because the store was out of rotini. I’m not entirely sure why all of the rotini was gone. Maybe everyone was making rotini salad at the same time? Personally bowtie pasta is more fun to eat. The grape tomatoes put me in the mood for caprese salad, so I decided to throw in some fresh mozzarella balls from the local Italian deli. Maybe it’s not traditional for BLT, but who could say no to fresh cheese?

[Continue reading]

No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Parfaits

Beat the heat this summer with these red, white, and blue No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Parfaits with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Made with homemade whipped cream (no Cool Whip)

Beat the heat this summer with these red, white, and blue No Bake Mixed Berry Cheesecake Parfaits with fresh strawberries and blueberries. Made with homemade whipped cream (no Cool Whip) What kind of summer person are you? Do you like to soak … [Continue reading]

Strawberry Snack Cake

This fresh strawberry snack cake from scratch with homemade cream cheese frosting is made in an 8x8 pan without cake mix or Jello. Its natural pink color comes from fresh strawberries.

This fresh strawberry snack cake from scratch with homemade cream cheese frosting is made in an 8x8 pan without cake mix or Jello. Its natural pink color comes from fresh strawberries. Happy official first day of summer! In my mind along with … [Continue reading]

St Louis Gooey Butter Cake

No need to drive to St. Louis when you're craving St Louis Gooey Butter Cake - a flat, dense cake with gooey, buttery center topped with a touch of powdered sugar. Grab your fork and dig it!

No need to drive to St. Louis when you're craving St Louis Gooey Butter Cake - a flat, dense cake with gooey, buttery center topped with a touch of powdered sugar. Grab your fork and dig it! The best part about traveling is being inspired in … [Continue reading]

Caesar Macaroni Salad

Caesar Macaroni Salad with a homemade Caesar dressing combines traditional Caesar salad and summer macaroni salad into one picnic side dish.

Caesar Macaroni Salad with a homemade Caesar dressing combines traditional Caesar salad and summer macaroni salad into one picnic side dish. Last week I talked about my new tagline and how it more accurately described the recipes I make. … [Continue reading]