I don’t know about you, but I am ready to celebrate America tomorrow, bring on the flags and the hot dogs and the fireworks! And bring on the cocktails too. In preparation for 4th of July celebrations, I whipped up a cocktail recipe that’s both festive and refreshing: the Berry Sangria Spritzer. In a pitcher, combine a large handful of mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries were my mixture of choice), and few sprigs of fresh mint. Fill the pitcher with white wine — sauvignon blanc works well — and let the pitcher sit in the fridge overnight so the berries infuse into the liquid. When you’re ready to serve, scoop out a few of the berries into a glass over ice, and pour out the wine mixture so the glass is 3/4 of the way full. Fill the glass the remaining 1/4 of the way with plain or berry soda water and garnish with some fresh mint. The result is a light cocktail that  is perfect for a sizzling hot summer day!

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It has been unbearably hot in Boston for the past week, and when prepping for a bridal shower this weekend, I was worried about keeping our big drink dispensers of cocktails cool. There is nothing worse than a warm drink, except for perhaps, a watered down drink. So in an effort to keep things cool and strong, I chopped up lemons and berries and filled up ice cube trays with just a splash of water to hold them together. The result was bright, colorful frozen fruit cubes that I added into the mixed drinks — chilly and pretty, a win win! berry ice cubes DSC_0041

Now that our wedding is over, I’m back in the bridesmaid saddle and helped host a shower for one of my best girlfriends this weekend. It’s so fun when your fellow bridesmaids love party planning, this was an all-star team of girls working to put on this shin-dig. The shower had a Palm Beach-inspired theme with bright pinks and greens, lots of friendly lawn flamingos, and pom-poms galore. My favorite detail? The flamingo cocktail stirrers!
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Last week I had one of my girlfriends over for dinner after work, and when strolling the aisles at the grocery store for some post-dinner dessert inspiration I decided, it’s summer, we need an ice cream sundae bar. In my opinion, a great sundae is really all about keeping it simple and letting the ice cream take center stage. We had delicious flavors (hello, sea salt caramel) with classic toppings: sprinkles and caramel sauce — and it was delicious. Note to self: have more ice cream parties.  Ice Cream 1Ice Cream 3Ice Cream 2

Note: Some of the products featured in this post were provided by Wayfair, all opinions are my own. 

Do you ever get a craving with the season change? The warm weather and beginning of summer has had me craving lemonade, ice cream, and sweet fresh blueberries. For Father’s Day last weekend I pulled out my grandmother’s blueberry cobbler recipe, and it just tastes of summer. It’s so simple to make and it’s a real crowd-pleaser — we practically licked the inside of the dish clean! Scroll down for the recipe.

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Grandma’s Blueberry Cobbler

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/2cups of sugar (divided)
  • 1 tsp  of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice

Melt butter in casserole. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, 1 cup of sugar, and combine with milk. Pour batter of butter when melted.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, blueberries, and lemon juice. Simmer on stove for 10 minutes. Pour blueberry mixture  over batter (but do not stir). Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.

I was at a new grocery store last weekend couldn’t pass up the delicious looking fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice on display — and being the healthy gal that I am, immediately started thinking about which liquor I should mix it with.  The debate concluded with a tie, gin and champagne — and the Grapefruit Gin Fizz was born. Ready for this recipe? Start with 2 oz of gin over ice, add 6 oz of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, top with a splash of St Germain and finish with a champagne float and  garnish with a slice of fresh grapefruit. Striped straws are optional, but highly recommended (and let’s talk about how cute my new straw dispenser is — an amazing wedding gift from a cousin that knows me really well.) Bottom’s up, it’s Friday! 

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This particular road-trip stop is special enough to get its own post. We had a loose itinerary for our trip, we knew our general route, and when we needed to be in LA for our flight back, but everything else was a spontaneous plan. And when we ended up making it California with an extra day to spare, we decided to spend a night in Palm Springs — using the HotelTonight app we struck some amazing luck and got a room at the Viceroy Palm Springs. We joked upon arrival that I was checking-in to instagram heaven, it was one of the most picture-perfect places I have seen (with credit to Kelly Wearstler’s design). I had to be dragged out of the pool at check-out time — it was so hard to leave!

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I shared a bunch of honeymoon pictures yesterday, but this particular type of trip called for a follow-up post with a focus on the food. We pretty much ate with abandon for two whole weeks, (with thanks to my trusty Food Network app we hit up lots of hidden gems). Chicago was all about the pizza, I wanted to buy tickets for a pizza walking tour, and when I found out they were sold out we decided to do a self guided version. We hit up some Guy Fieri approved drive-ins, and had some of the best fajitas I’ve ever tasted in Moab. And we tried some things that were almost beyond my imagine: a breakfast pot pie in Denver, a sweet pea and corn grilled cheese in Cleveland, and the winner of best road trip find: macaroni and cheese with a homemade cinnamon applesauce to dip the pasta in. You have to eat it to believe it.

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Trying to narrow down pictures to share from this honeymoon was nearly impossible, I want to sit down and show every single person I know all of the photographs I took on our two-week  adventure. When we first told people we were going to drive cross-country for our honeymoon, we got lots of ‘well, if your marriage can last that, I guess it’s meant to be’ comments. I’m happy to say we proved the naysayers wrong, we’re still married! And we had so, so, so much fun on our trip, we saw so many amazing places and landmarks. We took in a game at Wrigley when we were in Chicago, we wandered around the Nelson Atkins museum in Kansas City, saw a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado, drove through Arches National Park in Moab, and hit up the strip in Las Vegas. After 3700 miles we hit the Pacific Ocean, coast to coast. It was a perfect adventure to start off life as husband and wife!

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While on our honeymoon last week (more on that to come, I have lots of pictures to share!) I was sunning myself by the pool at the Viceroy Palm Springs and perusing the lunch menu from  my lounge chair. I noticed a tasty sounding Mediterranean steak pita sandwich on the list, and though I wasn’t hungry at the time, I kept thinking about the combination long after we left. I attempted to recreate the dish for dinner this week: Grilled steak and red onions, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper on top of butter lettuce and chopped kalamata olives in a pita with a light aioli seasoned with lots of oregano and lemon zest. It was the perfect summery weeknight meal!

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