Blueberry mint simple syrup is super easy to make, I whipped up a batch this weekend to top off prosecco for a sweet, seasonal cocktail. To make the syrup, combine one cup of sugar, half a cup of water, a handful of fresh mint leaves, a few pieces of lemon rind, and two cups of blueberries in a saucepan. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, and let them cook down for about 10 minutes. Next, strain the berries, leaves and rind and leave the liquid in a bowl to cool down. I was impatiently awaiting a cocktail, so I cooled mine in the freezer for a short time. After cooling, strain the syrup one more time. To make the cocktails, pour a glass of champagne or prosecco three-quarters of the way full, and then add the simple syrup to taste–  I like mine a bit sweeter, so I added about one full tablespoon to my drink. Then garnish with lemon, mint, and fresh blueberries — and cheers! I’m thinking ways to use the leftover blueberry mint simple syrup — perhaps on a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream?

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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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We had a little “Sunday Funday” at our apartment this weekend — the arrival of our monthly cheese delivery from Murray’s (best wedding gift, ever) called for a celebration. So my buddy Taz came over to enjoy some cocktails and bites to close out the weekend. We made one of my favorite snacks — goat cheese crostini — and whipped up a fresh batch of blueberry mint simple syrup to top off some prosecco cocktails. And the talented Taz took lots of pictures, so come back tomorrow to check out the recipes!

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All Images by Bring to Light Photography

Luckily summer is almost over, because this Saturday I am confident it peaked — I had the.best.day.ever.  We went with some friends for a day trip out to Nantucket and had the most perfect summer day. It  was my first time there, so we explored the quaint little cobblestone streets and did some window shopping, we took a ride out to the Cisco Brewery and did a tour and some tastings, and we had a delicious seafood dinner as the sun was setting over the island. At one point we were sitting outside with the sun shining, eating oysters and enjoying some drinks while listening to a live band play at the brewery, and I just felt so overwhelmingly happy — I mean, does it get any better than that? photo5photo2photo3photo4photo

I was picking up a few weekend supplies (ie: cheese plate rations) at Trader Joe’s this evening and made a detour down the dessert aisle only to find a frozen sampler of TJ’s macarons. I felt it was my duty to share this very important information with my readers, as a public service announcement. I will warn you, they’re not as light and fluffy as homemade macarons (which I know from my cooking class experience!) — but at just $4 for a dozen, they are totally worth it. I have completely demolished one full row already, cassis and salted caramel were my favorites, just in case you were wondering. 

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I had one of those weekends where I felt like I was a kid again. My little brother was up visiting to tour some colleges with us, and we had so much fun together just taking in the simple joys of summer. We entertained ourselves with a round of (competitive) mini-golf, indulged in giant bowls of ice cream (black raspberry for me!), played lawn games at a BBQ, and enjoyed a seafood lunch by the water on a warm, sunny day — what’s better than that?

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Excuse the grainy iPhone pictures here, but in my fury of preparations for last weekend’s bachelorette party, this was the best shot I got of a fun little item I added into favor bags. I refuse to subject my gal-pals to the hot pink/zebra/glitter products of the bachelorette aisle at party stores and went with a DIY approach to favors. Among the contents were these mini envelopes filled with Advil for the after-after party. I got the bags and stickers at Gus & Ruby Letterpress, and drew a few silly sayings on the closure labels to let guests know that recovery was on the way – and from my personal experience, they came in handy come Sunday morning.

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I felt like I packed an entire summer’s worth of activities into my weekend. On Friday we took a sail around the Boston harbor on the Adirondack III — a belated birthday treat for the Mr — and it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous night. We had wine and cheese and took in the Boston skyline as the sun set. Then Saturday was filled with lots of celebrations and activities for a dear friend’s bachelorette party. We got blow-outs with the bride-to-be to get ready for the day, and did  a walking wine tour of the South End neighborhood, tasting wines and food pairings at different local restaurants — wine and cheese were clearly the theme of this weekend! And our day of fun was followed by the usual bachelorette debauchery of dancing and clinking of champagne glasses. It was a jam-packed weekend and now I’m paying for it — I can’t wait to get in my bed and catch up on the DVR!

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The summer is halfway over and I have a major item to tackle on my “Kate’s Summer of Fun” bucket list (why yes, I have come up with a theme name for this summer). That item? See an outdoor movie and throw a fabulous picnic while I’m at it. Luckily my neighborhood has a whole movies-in-the-park series this year, I just need to get myself into gear and make it to one. I clipped this great cheese pairings piece from a recent Martha Stewart magazine to use as inspiration for some picnic treats — don’t you just want to try them all?

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