Guys, I can’t even express to you in words how much I love this appetizer. If I could figure out how to put videos on my blog, then I would take one of me eating these, because only then would you really be able to tell how very much I love these little goat cheese crostini bits of deliciousness. This recipe was totally snagged from a spectacular little hole-in-the-wall wine bar on Cape Cod, where I went with some girlfriends a few years ago. And since then it’s been a staple with our group of friends, when we get together, there better be goat cheese crostini. Also, did I mention how easy it was to make? You just slice up a crusty baguette (I used Trader Joe’s ficelle), toast it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, and then spread the warm bread with goat cheese. Then drizzle the crostinis with good honey — I used orange blossom honey, yum — and sprinkle with fresh thyme. The only other step is try not to eat them all before your guests arrive — I promise, it’s going to be difficult.

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Last year after my birthday I wrote up a “30 before 30” list of things I wanted to accomplish and do — and the tastiest of goals on that list was to learn how to bake macarons. This weekend I tackled both by taking a macaron baking class at Sur La Table with sister and our friend! My greatest takeaway from the class was that now I understand why macarons are so expensive — it ain’t easy to make them! But our awesome teacher gave us lots of tips to perfect this tricky baking skill. We made some delicious flavors: mint with chocolate espresso ganache, strawberry with champagne butter cream, and then the wild card… bacon macarons with maple cream filling. I will totally try making them again (on a less humid weekend!) and am already hunting for my next cooking class to take because we had so much fun. And bonus: I now have 2 dozen macarons to snack on this week! Macaron 1Macaron 3Macaron 2Macaron 4 Macaron 5 Macaron 6 Macaron 7

I’m getting creative at not using the oven this week, ready for another cool summer recipe? Just three simple ingredients went into this light salad: watermelon chunks, chopped fresh mint leaves, and a drizzle of orange blossom honey over the top. I mixed everything together and served chilled — there is nothing that tastes more like summer!

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I couldn’t bear turning the oven on in our apartment this weekend, (it’s been quite the heat wave) so I had to get creative making a dessert to bring along to a friends BBQ. I picked up a frozen cheesecake at the grocery store and chopped it up into small cubes, and layered the cheesecake bites with fresh blueberries and raspberries in pint-sized mason jars. To make them look a little more special, I used cut up fabric pieces from bandanas to top the lids, and used washi tape to affix mini spoons to the jars. We kept them in the freezer right up until they were ready to be served, and the result was a cool, handheld treat for our day by the pool!
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I don’t know about you, but I am ready to celebrate America tomorrow, bring on the flags and the hot dogs and the fireworks! And bring on the cocktails too. In preparation for 4th of July celebrations, I whipped up a cocktail recipe that’s both festive and refreshing: the Berry Sangria Spritzer. In a pitcher, combine a large handful of mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries were my mixture of choice), and few sprigs of fresh mint. Fill the pitcher with white wine — sauvignon blanc works well — and let the pitcher sit in the fridge overnight so the berries infuse into the liquid. When you’re ready to serve, scoop out a few of the berries into a glass over ice, and pour out the wine mixture so the glass is 3/4 of the way full. Fill the glass the remaining 1/4 of the way with plain or berry soda water and garnish with some fresh mint. The result is a light cocktail that  is perfect for a sizzling hot summer day!

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It has been unbearably hot in Boston for the past week, and when prepping for a bridal shower this weekend, I was worried about keeping our big drink dispensers of cocktails cool. There is nothing worse than a warm drink, except for perhaps, a watered down drink. So in an effort to keep things cool and strong, I chopped up lemons and berries and filled up ice cube trays with just a splash of water to hold them together. The result was bright, colorful frozen fruit cubes that I added into the mixed drinks — chilly and pretty, a win win! berry ice cubes DSC_0041

Do you ever get a craving with the season change? The warm weather and beginning of summer has had me craving lemonade, ice cream, and sweet fresh blueberries. For Father’s Day last weekend I pulled out my grandmother’s blueberry cobbler recipe, and it just tastes of summer. It’s so simple to make and it’s a real crowd-pleaser — we practically licked the inside of the dish clean! Scroll down for the recipe.

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Grandma’s Blueberry Cobbler

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/2cups of sugar (divided)
  • 1 tsp  of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice

Melt butter in casserole. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, 1 cup of sugar, and combine with milk. Pour batter of butter when melted.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, blueberries, and lemon juice. Simmer on stove for 10 minutes. Pour blueberry mixture  over batter (but do not stir). Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.

I was at a new grocery store last weekend couldn’t pass up the delicious looking fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice on display — and being the healthy gal that I am, immediately started thinking about which liquor I should mix it with.  The debate concluded with a tie, gin and champagne — and the Grapefruit Gin Fizz was born. Ready for this recipe? Start with 2 oz of gin over ice, add 6 oz of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, top with a splash of St Germain and finish with a champagne float and  garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit. Striped straws are optional, but highly recommended (and let’s talk about how cute my new straw dispenser is — an amazing wedding gift from a cousin that knows me really well.) Bottom’s up, it’s Friday! 

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While on our honeymoon last week (more on that to come, I have lots of pictures to share!) I was sunning myself by the pool at the Viceroy Palm Springs and perusing the lunch menu from  my lounge chair. I noticed a tasty sounding Mediterranean steak pita sandwich on the list, and though I wasn’t hungry at the time, I kept thinking about the combination long after we left. I attempted to recreate the dish for dinner this week: Grilled steak and red onions, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper on top of butter lettuce and chopped kalamata olives in a pita with a light aioli seasoned with lots of oregano and lemon zest. It was the perfect summery weeknight meal!

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This weekend I decided to make some sweet treats to bring to an Easter celebration. I love any sort of food that can be consumed in bite sized servings (because, let’s be honest, then I have an extra hand to hold my glass of wine).  So when I read the name of this recipe “two bite lemon cheesecakes” — I was sold. Plus is there anything prettier than the combination of bright yellow lemons and deep blue blueberries? Yum!

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You can find the recipe here.