Please note: This post is created in partnership with Christmas Tree Shops andThat!. All opinions, images and content are my own.

I have been checking items off my summer bucket list – lots of beach days, working on my garden, eating al fresco and perfecting my margarita recipe! One big item on my bucket list was to have an outdoor movie night with Jane, and maybe make some tasty s’mores to go along with our viewing party. read more

I have been on such a corn-kick lately; I can’t get enough of the sweet summer kernels! This recipe is for a simple summer pasta dish full of the sweet corn that I sautéed with butter and garlic and shallots. The corn releases juices and creates a creamy sauce when combined with the butter, wine, and reserved water from the pasta. I folded in fresh pesto (recipe in my cookbook!) and herbs to give it even brighter, seasonal flavor, and some sweet Italian sausage gets added in to give it the heartiness of a main-course. I have made it a few times in the past few weeks, once when we had family over for an al fresco dinner. I served it with a fresh garden salad, and savory slice of Southern Living’s buttermilk tomato pie. The whole meal just tasted of summer in every single bite! Get the full recipe below: read more

A few weeks ago I was confiding in my mom about my secret guilt that I never made a baby book for Jane. I’m so type-A and generally obsessed with paper products so it’s strange I never started one. My mom reminded me though that I have a much more detailed account of Jane’s life than most people have of their kids — right here on the blog and on my instagram page. She was so very right! I do cherish looking back at old posts and seeing our travel adventures, and try to share funny anecdotes in my captions too. Last week we spent a nice stretch of time down on Cape Cod with our close friends and had the very best time — splashing in the ocean, eating all the fried seafood, and making memories. So this post is my summer vacation addition to the “baby book” full of all of the pictures I would have tucked inside! read more

A crudité platter is almost always on my menu-plan for gatherings, big or small, because it’s a wonderful way to add tons of color and flavor to a table. It’s also a delicious and easy way to incorporate the bounty of New England’s seasonal vegetables available locally in the spring and summer!  I like to give those beautiful seasonal ingredients an accompaniment that lives up to their fresh, crisp flavor; a homemade dip is the perfect balance for the crudité. This cottage cheese dip, using Hood’s new flavor Cottage Cheese with Cracked Pepper, is simple to assemble and tastes best after the flavors combine for a bit in the refrigerator.
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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