I usually share my download posts at the end of each week, but this one got pushed out a few days later because we snuck away for the weekend to celebrate some of our best friends getting married! It was the most beautiful weekend for a wedding, and we had a crazy amount of fun drinking and dancing and partying it up with our best buddies. It was proof that I can still party like a college girl, but also very solid proof that I recover from partying like a 30-something mom of a toddler. I’m moving a little bit slower than usual on this Monday morning; strong coffee and the promise of an early bedtime are keeping me motivated. While I recover from my bridesmaid duties, I hope you’ll enjoy my stream of consciousness on recipes, books, and the end of summer:   read more

Last week I wrote a big blog post about my favorite cookbooks that I use for dinner inspiration — especially when I’m in a dinner-planning rut. I heard from so many readers that they were often in a similar spot, uninspired and stumped about what to make for dinner. More than that, everyone seems to be looking for ideas that quick and easy because dinner time can be downright hectic (we have our fair share of toddler meltdowns right before dinnertime too!). I decided to dig into my recipe archives this week and pull out over 20 of my tried-and-true dinner ideas that I lean on when I need to get something tasty on the table after work. I hope this list helps make planning dinner a little bit easier this week!  read more

I was going to save this post for later in the week, assuming people were more likely to get excited about making cocktails over the weekend. It’s Monday though, and man, Mondays can be rough — a good cocktail just might be the perfect solution to send this darn Monday off into the sunset. (Side note: I think summer Mondays are the hardest because summer weekends are SO fun and awesome that they just magnify how Mondayish Mondays can be). Okay, onto cocktails! I have made this simple summer sangria on several occasions this summer and it has been a hit. It’s really tasty, like, the pitcher is magically empty in 15 minutes kind of tasty. The best part is it’s super easy to make — just chop up some fruit, add tiny bit of sugar and lemon juice, and top with white wine before chilling and serving. You can mix it up and add in whatever fruit strikes your fancy — I made one batch with some juicy pieces of watermelon, and another where I muddled in a few raspberries. Get the full recipe below, and cheers! read more

I think we can all agree on one thing: sometimes you just need a pasta night. I felt in a bit of a funk earlier this week (a little bit of stress can be amplified by gross sticky humidity, right?) and if there’s one thing that can bounce me back it’s usually a big bowl of pasta. I wish I was one of those people who combats a bad mood with exercise but that’s just not me, pasta is my healer. I did go to spin class to earn this bowl of pasta, because my metabolism just isn’t quite pulling it’s weight these days (weight jokes! ha!) and it was so worth it. read more

I’ve been buckling down this week on a long list of tasks for work and life and the book! A busy week is just the kind I like though, it makes the weekends (especially summer weekends) feel all that much sweeter. I am crossing our fingers the forecast brings us a bit of sun so we can soak up these last summer days with some beaching and al fresco dining. Before we get there, I’m sharing a few links, recipes, and products to wrap up the week! read more

I find that at the end of each season (ugh yes, it’s the end of summer, SIGH), I get into a bit of a dinnertime rut. I lean on a handful of go-to recipes each season – in the summer, lots of grilling – and they can feel a bit tired after several weeks in the rotation. As I sat down to do my weekly plan this week I was itching for some inspiration and dug into my cookbook collection in our kitchen. As I flipped through a few of my go-to cookbooks, I thought I’d start a list of the favorites I use for dinner ideas again and again. This list has several dinner-idea classics, a few that I use in specific situations (like when I’m looking to eat healthier) and a few that are totally new to me that I’ve been using for recent inspiration. I hope they spark some dinnertime creativity in you too!
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It’s Taco Tuesday! I actually just had to check the calendar to confirm it is in fact Tuesday, since this week seems to be dragging. Confirmed: we haven’t quite yet made it to Wednesday, so we will reward ourselves with the one redeeming quality of Tuesday: taco night. Tacos are the most-requested meal in my household, and I’m always on board with that suggestion. This week I decided to mix up our standard taco fillings with a few new ingredients! These tasty tacos are loaded with flavorful bites of chorizo sausage crumbles, black beans and corn with lots of spices, and crispy little potatoes underneath queso fresco and taco toppings. I’ve been dreaming of this recipe since I last tested them, and think I’ll double the batch next time so we have lots of leftovers for lunch too! Get the full recipe below: read more

Our local library has been hosting a summer concert series, and for the past few weeks we’ve gone and had a little picnic dinner and listened to the music. It’s been so cute to see Jane get into the music, she sat with her little box of snacks and clapped at the end of each song. Last week I wanted to make a few simple snacks that we could transport for our picnic, and I got a craving for a savory crostini. This recipe was made with a rather loose plan of blending a few pantry ingredients together in my food processor and crossing my fingers it came out delicious. I’m happy to report, the experiment was a success! The sun-dried tomato chickpea spread has a lot of the Mediterranean flavors of a white bean dip, but a bit more of the texture of a rustic hummus. It tasted really fresh and delicious for a summer snack, but I’m going to keep this recipe in my back pocket for some easy holiday entertaining appetizers too! Get the full recipe below:  read more

I’m constantly brainstorming new recipes that can be prepped in big batches and reheated throughout the week. It’s the best way to keep us on track with healthy eating choices, especially during lunch time. One of our all time favorite meal-prep recipes that we have for both lunch and dinner is a spicy chicken thigh recipe that we grill over high heat for a tasty charred flavor. We have made it so often though, that I needed to think of a way to refresh it and prevent lunch boredom. I decided to take the same flavors from the marinade and turn it into a spicy lime peanut sauce that would glaze baked turkey meatballs, and serve them over white rice with some diced carrots, onions and scallions. One of the things I love about this recipe is you can be prepping all of the elements simultaneously; the sauce can cook on the stove while the meatballs are in the oven, and I use my Instant Pot to cook rice while I chop up the veggie toppings. It makes enough for a few dinner portions or a whole work week of lunches broken down into some microwaveable glass containers! Get the full recipe below:
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Sometimes instagram makes me crazy — the always changing algorithms, my slight addiction to checking it — but one thing I currently love about it is that it’s an instant feedback loop for my content. People tend to comment on my blog posts less and less, but more and more I’m having great 1:1 conversations with readers in Instagram messages. Last week I shared a fun summer BBQ menu idea, and right after posting it I got a ton of questions from readers about the pasta dish in the images. I wasn’t planning on sharing the pasta recipe because I didn’t have great photos of it, and the recipe needed some adjustments. But after a few requests I decided to write it up and with some tweaks!   read more