With summer coming to a close (ugh!) I’m making use of every last second of the season by grilling and eating al fresco as often as possible. I have been honing my grilling skills this summer thanks to my new Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub – see my green goddess grilled chicken recipe and my mango-peach grilled pork tenderloin – and have been trying to expand my menu with new grilled dinner ideas. The tomatoes and basil in my veggie garden are still going strong and served as inspiration for this bright, fresh dish: grilled cedar plank salmon with pesto. read more

Around this time of year, I start collecting inspiration for all of my fall projects. I realized after the last few months of staying closer to home just how much I missed heading into a store to gather ideas for the seasonal themes and hues I use in my photos and content. So when my friends at Christmas Tree Shops andThat! invited me to see all that’s new for fall I was excited to take some time to browse and hunt for fresh ideas that would inspire my seasonal palette.
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If you have been around here for a while, you have heard me tout my love for al fresco chicken sausage. It’s a staple in our fridge for quick weeknight dinners when I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen (a little secret about being a food blogger: when you cook all day for work sometimes the last thing you want to think about is what to make for dinner!). When my friends at al fresco chicken shared their first taste of their new line of chicken burgers I was eager to give them a try. We’ve been making an effort to cut most red meat out of our diet this year to lessen our impact on the environment, so a chicken burger swap for summer grilling was a welcome menu addition!  read more

After I started using the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub in some of my go-to recipes (see my green goddess grilled chicken recipe!), I started to explore some of the other cook programs on the app. It got my wheels turning and gave me the confidence to try grilling some proteins that I haven’t tried before. Pork tenderloin is a dinner favorite at our house in the cooler months, but I never cook it during the summer because I hate turning the oven on for 30+ minutes to let it cook. I decided to use the pork cooking programs on the Weber Connect to experiment with cooking it on the grill. read more

Over the last few years I made a commitment to myself to get back into a groove of reading more regularly. I was stuck in a bad cycle of ending my days with mindless TV and endless instagram scrolling, so I set a goal to start reading every night instead. It was a huge shift and now has become a part of my routine that I look forward to daily — a great motivator to turn off my phone, get lost in a good book, and power down my brain. I ended each year with a massive review of all of the books I read (see 2018’s list and 2019’s list) and this year I thought I’d do something a little bit different. I’m sharing a running list of my mini book reviews as I go, because 2020 just calls for escaping into a story more than years past, you know? Scroll down for my list and reviews, and let’s see if 2020 is the year I finally beat my reading list goal!  read more

Lately it has been hot-hot-hot and my desire to cook dinner has been low-low-low. We’ve been relying on some simple meals like grilled chicken, salads full of fresh, crunchy Little Leaf Farms greens and mixing in whatever is ripe in my garden (so many tomatoes!). A very simple way to make a quick garden salad feel a little more special is with a homemade vinaigrette dressing. read more

The weather is warm, my garden is bursting, and with our summer-at-home in full swing it’s the perfect time for some al fresco grilling recipes! Grilled chicken is just about as classic as it comes for a summery dish and this version is drizzled with a riff on green goddess dressing that is packed with seasonal flavors. My friends at Weber shared their Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub with me and I got to test it out on this recipe. It has a variety of cook programs for different selections of meat that take you through the prep stage through taking it off the grill. It takes the guesswork out of the grilling part, and leaves the seasoning, sides, and sauces up to me (my favorite part!) read more

The weather has been so hot recently, I have been doing a little bit of cooking one or two days a week and trying to stretch out leftovers as long as possible to avoid my steamy kitchen. Most nights recently we’ve been making chicken or veggie burgers on the grill and serving them up with a green salad and some kind of a cold side dish — this simple pasta salad has been a favorite. I had the idea for making this pasta salad with orzo, but I’ve scoured all of the grocery stores near me and couldn’t find orzo pasta anywhere. Stumped for a substitute, I stumbled on these tiny farfalline, itty bitty mini bowtie pasta that are so cute! They were a great replacement and melded perfectly with the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs in the dish. My first ripe tomatoes and baby cucumbers are starting to pop in our veggie garden, so I’ll be making this with fresh ingredients all summer long. read more

I didn’t plan to write a whole post about these tasty little snacks, but I enjoyed them so much that had to save the idea to reference again! I whipped up these little crostini for a warm, sunny happy hour this weekend and they were delightfully delicious. Here’s how to make them: toast a baguette (I used Italian bread since that’s what I had on hand) until the bread pieces are just lightly golden brown. Spread a healthy portion of herbed goat cheese or Boursin cheese on the warm bread and top them with a few torn pieces of salty prosciutto, slices of sweet summer peaches, and a couple of fresh basil leaves. I gave them a dash of black pepper on top and started gobbling them up immediately! Sometimes simple is best, and these tasty bites made with fresh summer ingredients were certainly the case. Yum! read more

Beach days are in full swing in our little coastal town! After living by the ocean for the past 5 years, I like to think that I’ve gotten my beach-packing process down to a science. One of my best tricks for packing up for a long day in the sand is making tasty wrap sandwiches that transport easily and hold up well in a cooler. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite combinations, all made with fresh, crisp Little Leaf Farms Lettuce, to help inspire your next beach day lunch! read more