I am eating up every last bit of summer this month. We had a perfect 4th of July weekend with some beach time, meals by the water, and a friend’s pool party to top it all off (Jane put those toddler swim lessons to the test and was paddling around like a fish!). This week we’ve been eating from our veggie garden every night and I’m loving it; it turns out the way to get me to eat my veggies was by growing them (and occasionally by mixing them with pasta). And there’s more summer fun in the mix coming up: I’m tackling the outdoor movie night from summer bucket list, gearing up for more beach time, and packing a picnic for a summer concert series at our local library! Summer is sweet, and I’ve got a few more warm-weather updates for you below:    read more

My most-popular recipe in the last year (actually, maybe ever?) has been my sheet-pan cauliflower gnocchi with tomatoes, made with the cult-favorite Trader Joe’s Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi. I was totally amazed by the response to this recipe, but I get why people like it: it’s healthy-ish, it’s fast and simple, and it’s made on one sheet pan so the clean-up is easy! I always stock up on the Trader Joe’s Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi when I see it in stores, and decided to give my go-to recipe a facelift for the summer-season! This recipe is a spin on my original, but I added in summer veggies like squash and zucchini, tossed Italian sausage in the mix for some added flavor, and finished it off with a dollop of ricotta cheese (which melts over the warm gnocchi and acts as a sauce). It was a big hit all around our dinner table, and think this one will be a new favorite for the cauliflower gnocchi fans! Full recipe below:  read more

I have a new weeknight dinner staple that I have to share with you, and it takes about 20 minutes to make: Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Polenta. I’m all about speed on weeknights, and I recently started making instant polenta as a shortcut for fast meal prep. It only takes a few minutes to make once you have water boiling and it can take on so many great tastes based on what you mix into it. Another one of my hacks for quick dinners in the summer is grilling shrimp and corn; they’re both fast cookers and take on tons of flavor from the grill heat. I even prep the marinade  for the shrimp earlier in the day to get things moving quickly when I’m ready to assemble our meal. The creamy parmesan polenta and the fresh corn and tomatoes make for a perfect pairing with the grilled garlic shrimp — this one is getting added into my weekly rotation all summer long! Full recipe below: read more

I am just so excited about the 4th of July holiday coming up this week because we have lovely, low-key plans. Fingers crossed for some sunshine so we can make it a beach day, followed by a little grilling at home and hopefully making it back to the beach for the local fireworks. We plan to spend the weekend catching up with a few friends, so casual entertaining is top of mind for me! I put together a festive berry-inspired tablescape to celebrate the holiday, full of my favorite red, white and blue hues. Scroll down for all of the linked resources, and Happy Independence Day!  read more

It’s the season of summer barbecues, al fresco family get-togethers, and asking “what can I bring?” when you’re invited to summer soirees. I have a patriotic (and delicious) dessert idea that will hopefully be the answer to that question for all of your warm-weather gatherings: a no-bake cheesecake tart topped with a bounty of fresh, seasonal mixed berries. Here is why this tasty treat is such a winner — no turning on the oven! The whole thing gets made in a few short steps, starting with a crumbly graham cracker crumb crust. A few quick pulses in the food processor and pressing it into the tart pan is all you need to do to get the base of this dessert ready. Then get your electric mixer to do the heavy-lifting on the next step — whip heavy cream with sugar, vanilla, cream cheese and mascarpone for a fluffy and sweet filling that gets poured into the tart crust. Then you chill the whole thing until you’re ready to serve it, and garnish it with colorful sweet berries. Easy, tasty, and it looks like a million bucks! Get the full recipe below:  read more

Please note: This post was created in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions, images and content are my own.

It’s been a few weeks since I kicked off my “be a better baker challenge” in collaboration with my friends at Chase Freedom Unlimited, and I’m due for a check-in on my progress! When starting any new goal, I always find the hardest part is just that: getting started! I tend to get caught up in planning and researching and prepping, but kickstarting a goal always works best with action, which means I have to get in the kitchen and get baking! read more

If there’s one thing you probably know about me, it’s that I love a grazing board. Putting together these themed boards has become one of my favorite seasonal entertaining ideas, I love tweaking them to fit different events and holidays. With the 4th of July coming up this week, summer entertaining is top of mind; I wanted to create a summer grazing board that was fit for warm-weather hosting!  read more

A few weeks ago my husband and I were sitting on the couch and chatting about our weekend plans. We started throwing around the idea of going to the beach and after a few minutes we were deep down a rabbit hole discussing how the worst part of beach days is all of the lugging and hauling of our stuff to and from the car. Sometimes the idea of packing everything up almost deters us from doing the trip (and we live a 5-minute drive to the beach, so it’s not much of a trip at all!). We came to a determined agreement that we would refine our beach-packing process this summer and hone it down to only the essentials, the best of the best. After a very serious inventory of what we actually use at the beach we have a new system down, and I’m happy to report the last few beach visits have required much less schlepping. I thought I’d share a few of our refinements, and the favorite beach gear items we use again and again that made the beach bag cut! read more

It was a beautiful, 80-degree, perfect weather day last Sunday and I woke up with some very serious determination to have the BEST summer day. I swear that toddlers have a sixth sense for this kind of mental planning and they just love to throw a wrench in those plans. We had a tough morning of grumpiness with a certain unnamed toddler, we never made it to the beach like I planned, and I was so deflated by the time she went down for a nap. Summer is fleeting in New England, and I put so much pressure on those short weeks to make the most of it. After Jane woke up from her nap I knew we both needed to reset the day and I asked her what she wanted to do. She answered without hesitation: ICE CREAM! read more

What is it about summer that makes reading so enjoyable? In the good ol’ days I could sit on the beach during a vacation and make my way through 3 books a week! Of course life with a toddler has definitely changed my reading pace, but I have found I’ve been reading a ton this summer thanks to picking up books at night instead of flipping on the TV. I have a big stack I’ve been collecting for my summer line-up and thought I’d share my 2019 summer reading list to spark some inspiration if you’re looking for a good beach read of your own:

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