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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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. 

Guys! It’s National Donut Day! Why didn’t I take the day off of work to celebrate? Silly me! I’ll celebrate this momentous occasion by rounding up three of my favorite mini-donut recipes from blog posts of the past — hope you enjoy some of my favorite sweet treats today and celebrate too!

  • Apple Cider Donut Cupcakes. These are addictive, and what I would consider my favorite Fall donut recipe (that’s a thing, right?).
  • Donut S’mores Pops. I’m a genius for dunking chocolate mini donuts into melted marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers, right? I’m a MAD genius for then putting them on a popsicle stick and making them into donut-pops.
  • Mini-Donut Birthday Cake. I made this for my donut-loving girlfriend for her birthday (a fun story, I thought it would be a great idea to carry this cake on my lap in the car ride over to her house without a cake carrier, things almost ended in a major chocolate-covered disaster, but it was delicious nonetheless!)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

    mini-donut-cake-5 

I volunteered to make a pasta salad for a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ and decided to dig for inspiration to mix up my stand-by recipe. I found an old Martha Stewart antipasti pasta salad recipe and gave it my own spin with a few different ingredients. It wasn’t an exact science — I tossed radiatore pasta with balsamic vinegarette and lots of salt and pepper. Then I folded in a handful of chopped tomatoes, capers, provolone cubes, a jar of green olives, diced salami, finely minced red onions and lots of torn fresh basil leaves and chopped chives. It was a hit and will likely be the new ‘stand-by’ pasta salad for BBQs this summer!

With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, it feels like the right time to mix up a summery new cocktail to celebrate. My friends at IZZE sent me some tasty sparkling blueberry juice to try and I used it as the inspiration for this simple seasonal drink. To make one for yourself, pour 2oz of vodka and fresh juice from half a lime in a glass over ice. Rub a few mint leaves between your hands to open up their flavors and add them to the glass. Top the rest of the drink off with half a bottle of IZZE Sparkling Blueberry and give the cocktail a stir to combine. A little extra mint and lime wedge (and of course some patriotic striped straws!) are all you need to garnish and finish your drink. Having friends over that are looking for a mocktail? Just replace the vodka with a little soda water instead!

Please Note: This post was sponsored by Izze; all images, ideas and content are my own. 

 

Earlier this week I mustered up some bravery and went outside to our tiny little apartment-sized grill and started to clean off the heavy wear it took over the winter. It wasn’t fun, but the result was that delicious smokey smell of the first barbecue of the season. And then poof! just like that, it’s Memorial Day weekend and my summer is packed with invites to friends and family’s backyard BBQs — I can’t wait. I always love to bring a dish along with me and decided it was time to spice up some of the staples in my repertoire. Taking some inspiration from an amazing restaurant in my neighborhood, Sarma, I used flavors from a potato dish I had tasted there over the winter and create a Greek-inspired potato salad. Tzatziki, dill, red onions, and slivers of shitake mushrooms give this side dish a really bold flavor (I can’t stop eating it!). Full recipe below. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs of baby yellow potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of tzatziki sauce
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of finely minced red onion
  • 3/4 tbsp of fresh dill
  • 3 tbsp of minced chives

Instructions:

  • Boil a pot of water and cook the washed baby yellow potatoes until just soft to touch (test them by pressing down on them with a fork — if they start to mush just slightly, they’re ready!). Drain and set aside to cool.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, saute 1/2 cup of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms with a tiny bit of oil in a pan for 3-5 minutes, set aside on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil and let them cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine tzatziki sauce, sour cream, mayonnaise and vinegar.
  • Next, fold in the potatoes, mushrooms, red onion, dill and chives to combine and coat.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.