I posted last week about some of my tips for planning an instagram-worthy vacation, but I  have to admit that I’m guilty of keeping all of those vacation pictures and on my phone and camera long after we return home. Remember the good old days when you couldn’t wait to run out to the photo store and get your film processed from vacation? With the instant gratification of digital photography, I rarely actually print out images anymore, they end up just living online. Snapfish offered to let me try out their new website and travel photo books to help me put an end to all of my vacation pictures staying on my iPhone.

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Let me let you in on a little secret: I love the process of planning a trip almost more than I do going on the actual trip. It’s like a sport for me — finding the hidden gems in a new city, organizing our days to maximize all of the different neighborhoods I want to explore, and collecting as many recommendations as I can before we leave about what I *must* eat or drink in our destination city. We have taken some pretty amazing trips over the past few years that lead to awesome adventures (check out our travels to Austin + Marfa, Nashville, and our cross-country honeymoon road trip for a few examples!). Someone commented on one my instagram posts last week and asked how we go about planning for these fun little getaways, and it dawned on me that I actually do have a pretty standard process that I thought I’d share here today, check out my tips for note to plan awesome getaways:  

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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.