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I’ve got a recipe for you today that’s a little bit cheesy, a little bit spicy, and is served in a crispy, carb-y, delicious bread bowl made from La Brea Bakery’s jalapeño cheddar bread. So you know, you’re welcome. The bread itself was the inspiration for the recipe, jalapeño and cheddar are a winning combination in my book! I used those flavors to update a classic baked spinach dip for a savory appetizer with a little bit of a kick. And if you’re not ready for a piping-hot dip just yet, you can refrigerate it and serve it cold too, I tested it both ways and they’re equally delicious. Recipe below!

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This hot, steamy, humid weekend called for a serious cool-down concoction. I’ve seen this idea of adding popsicles to cocktails on Pinterest before, and this felt like the perfect time to try it out. In a wine glass I muddled a few mint leaves and sliced peaches,  poured in some chilled vodka, and topped off the glass with half an IZZE sparkling peach. Then for the finishing touch, a peach popsicle dunked in to keep things cool! And the best part is that you get to snack on the popsicle while you enjoy your drink! Cheers! 

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A trip to Texas this past spring turned me on to jalapeño margaritas, and a recent dinner at Besito put watermelon margaritas on my mind.  When Breville sent me one of their powerful blenders to try I thought this was the perfect time to combine the two! It’s got the tang of lime, the heat from the jalepeno-infused tequila, sweetness from a bit of agave, and the pureed watermelon gives you a majorly refreshing taste. I blended up a big batch, which was helpful since they were so tasty they disappeared fast. Now, the real question is, how have I lived this long without a blender in my life? Full recipe for your own summer-cocktail enjoyment below! 

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We have been so busy this summer with weddings,  house hunting, and family events so we took a little one-day ‘vacation’ trip up to Maine this weekend with one thing on the agenda: eat lobster rolls. Our first stop was in Wiscasset to try Red’s Eats, whose claim to fame is that they put more than a full lobster on their rolls. The roll was pretty tasty and the portions were not over-exaggerated. While we were in Wiscasset we popped into a few shops and I scooped up an healthy amount of fresh washi tape and paper goods at Rock Paper Scissor. Stop two was at Waterman’s Beach Lobster for lobster roll#2, which they serve on a hamburger bun! The lobster roll was great, but the real draw here is the amazing view and rhubarb pie that knocked my socks off (okay, maybe knocked my sandals off?). I’m going to have food-dreams about that thick, buttery, flakey pie crust. We  ended the day up in Camden, ME with cocktails from Pig + Poet  on the porch of White Hall — which was a pretty magnificent cap off to a perfect summer day! 

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They say a party with out cake is just a meeting. Well, I say a party without appetizers fits the same criteria. Even if I’m just having a few people over for casual drinks, I almost always make two things: a cheese plate and a small crudité platter. I always feel like I’m being super healthy when I make a veggie and dip tray, but let’s be honest — vegetables are only there as vehicles to get the most amount of dip possible in my mouth — real talk people! Alouette Cheese sent me some of their new Le Bon Dips to try and I attempted a little stylists’ trick to make my crudité look extra appealing: I made a dip bowl out of veggies!

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Guys, let’s talk about wine spritzers — why does this drink get such a bad rap? I have to start this blog post with a shout out to my brother-in-law who inadvertently inspired this idea. Sometime last summer we asked him to whip us up a drink at a family party, and maybe-sort-of-jokingly he told us he was going to make us wine spritzer. We giggled when he actually made them and brought them over to us, but guess what? They were really delicious. They can be light, crisp, and fruity — which are some of the most basic tenants of a good summer cocktail option. Plus they have a great name! A spritzer just sounds refreshing, doesn’t it? I decided to take a stand and stick up for the poor little wine spritzer and make one of my own with mixed fruits and IZZE sparkling waters:

  • Step 1: Fill a stemless wineglass or tumbler with ice and mixed fruit of your choice.
  • Step 2: Fill the glass 1/2 to 2/3 full with a fruity, light white wine.
  • Step 3: Top with a flavored sparkling water (I love the Mandarin Lime IZZE flavor!)
  • Step 4: Clink! Times to cheers glasses with friends and enjoy a summer evening outside.

izze spritzer 2
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I love my apartment, and I love summer, but gosh is it hot in my home right now. Once the weather gets warm, our place heats up and just never seems to cool down again until summer is over (the perks of living on the top floor, right?).  The idea of turning on the oven can just about send me into a fit of tears, so we’ve been eating a lot of quick, simple summer salads for dinner around here. My new favorite combination is can barely count as a recipe, it’s  just a few quick ingredients tossed together: baby arugula, cubed cantaloupe, chopped up prosciutto, crumbled blue cheese, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, good balsamic, and lemon juice. Need a few more summer salad ideas? I included a list of some of my favorites below: 

 

I feel like I claim a lot on here that my recipes are pretty easy — which makes sense because while I love to cook, I’m not the most patient person (and hate following a complicated recipe step by step!). But this recipes? I mean you almost don’t even have to look at the instructions below. All you need it some fresh white fish, a few pieces of butter, and chopped up tomatoes, shallots, corn and chorizo — wrap it all up in parchment paper and pop it in the oven while you have a glass of wine and scroll through instagram for 20 minutes (you know that’s what I do when I’m waiting for dinner to cook — no shame here!), what’s better than that?






Ingredients

  • 1 lb Cod or haddock loin
  • 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 ears of corn
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small chorizo link, chopped
  • 2-3 small shallots, chopped
  • Fresh lemon and chives for garnishing

Instructions 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place cod loin, divided into 2-3 portions, in a pan lined with parchment paper. Salt and pepper cod, drizzle with olive oil, and disperse cubed butter over fish. 
  • Combine corn, tomatoes, shallots and chopped chorizo, spread out over fish. 
  • Pull parchment paper up over fish and fold edges to seal. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked though.
  • Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and chopped chives. Serve over rice. 

A few weeks back a member of our Boston Bloggers group approached me about photographing our apartment for Houzz. I’m sure anyone who rents would agree with me, that apartment living isn’t always perfect — you have to work with what you have (in my case, crazy zig-zag carpeting and a kitchen with no cabinets!). Knowing those imperfections can be the things that I dwell on, I was a little apprehensive at first — but Faith from Design Fixation photographed our space and I’m so touched seeing the images that she captured of it. We’re in the very beginning stages of house-hunting (exciting! terrifying!) and I’m so happy to know that this imperfect little apartment where we got engaged, married, and built a pretty cool adult life is preserved. I pulled a few of my favorite details from the shoot below, if you’d like to see more of the images and interview (plus lots of product resources) head on over to HouzzScreenshot 2015-06-25 08.49.11Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.49.53Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.49.40 Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.50.38 Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.50.59 Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.52.08Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.52.47Screenshot 2015-06-25 08.51.41All photos taken by Faith from Design Fixation

 

We’re calling this the ‘summer of boats’ — I kicked off the summer with a tour of Newport harbor, have enjoyed some lovely ferry rides, and this past weekend myself and ten of my best friends used Vimbly to book tickets on the Adirondack III to sail around the Boston Harbor for an afternoon. We were celebrating a very special birthday for my friend Taz, complete with a boat-side cheese plate, mini-cupcakes, and champagne for our ride. It could not have been a more perfect day, or more gorgeous weather, and we even got the best seats on the boat — it felt like our own little private excursion since we all got to sit together in the separate back area of the boat. Our harbor ride reminded me of two things: 1) gosh I love have a cocktail while out on the water, what’s better than that? and 2) we have a lot of fun when we decide to use our weekends to try something new and break out of our normal routines. So, here’s to more fun weekend activities that break the mold (and thanks Vimbly for giving me the opportunity to realize that!). Now, where are we boating to next? 




Please note: Vimbly offered me a complimentary chance to use their site and try out their service. All opinions and images are my own.