Blueberry mint simple syrup is super easy to make, I whipped up a batch this weekend to top off prosecco for a sweet, seasonal cocktail. To make the syrup, combine one cup of sugar, half a cup of water, a handful of fresh mint leaves, a few pieces of lemon rind, and two cups of blueberries in a saucepan. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, and let them cook down for about 10 minutes. Next, strain the berries, leaves and rind and leave the liquid in a bowl to cool down. I was impatiently awaiting a cocktail, so I cooled mine in the freezer for a short time. After cooling, strain the syrup one more time. To make the cocktails, pour a glass of champagne or prosecco three-quarters of the way full, and then add the simple syrup to taste–  I like mine a bit sweeter, so I added about one full tablespoon to my drink. Then garnish with lemon, mint, and fresh blueberries — and cheers! I’m thinking ways to use the leftover blueberry mint simple syrup — perhaps on a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream?

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Guys, I can’t even express to you in words how much I love this appetizer. If I could figure out how to put videos on my blog, then I would take one of me eating these, because only then would you really be able to tell how very much I love these little goat cheese crostini bits of deliciousness. This recipe was totally snagged from a spectacular little hole-in-the-wall wine bar on Cape Cod, where I went with some girlfriends a few years ago. And since then it’s been a staple with our group of friends, when we get together, there better be goat cheese crostini. Also, did I mention how easy it was to make? You just slice up a crusty baguette (I used Trader Joe’s ficelle), toast it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, and then spread the warm bread with goat cheese. Then drizzle the crostinis with good honey — I used orange blossom honey, yum — and sprinkle with fresh thyme. The only other step is try not to eat them all before your guests arrive — I promise, it’s going to be difficult.

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I couldn’t bear turning the oven on in our apartment this weekend, (it’s been quite the heat wave) so I had to get creative making a dessert to bring along to a friends BBQ. I picked up a frozen cheesecake at the grocery store and chopped it up into small cubes, and layered the cheesecake bites with fresh blueberries and raspberries in pint-sized mason jars. To make them look a little more special, I used cut up fabric pieces from bandanas to top the lids, and used washi tape to affix mini spoons to the jars. We kept them in the freezer right up until they were ready to be served, and the result was a cool, handheld treat for our day by the pool!
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This weekend I decided to make some sweet treats to bring to an Easter celebration. I love any sort of food that can be consumed in bite sized servings (because, let’s be honest, then I have an extra hand to hold my glass of wine).  So when I read the name of this recipe “two bite lemon cheesecakes” — I was sold. Plus is there anything prettier than the combination of bright yellow lemons and deep blue blueberries? Yum!

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You can find the recipe here.

I’m making the use of my week off and tackling a mile long to do list — that’s just the kind of  vacationer I am. One thing I wanted to do this week was finally dive into some of the cookbooks I got for Christmas, but haven’t had the chance to use yet. Last night I poured over the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and decided to make her Harvest Roast Chicken with Olives and Grapes; holy moly was this delicious — and so simple too! You can find an adapted version of the recipe here.

Smitten Kitchen

Every party needs a signature cocktail, and an Oscar’s viewing party should be no exception. I mixed up a drink I’m calling the “Red Carpet Cocktail” just for the occasion. Pour a flute 3/4 of the way full of champagne and then add a few splashes of Rose’s grenadine for a colorful punch. Garnish with a cherry Twizzler wrapped around a bright red maraschino cherry and of course, a striped paper straw. (Looking for more Oscar’s Party ideas? Check out my post over on the Wayfair blog today!)Header ImageCocktailADSC_0039

It has been a zillion degrees in my apartment for the past few weeks with this heat wave in Boston, which means I have been quite lazy with making dinners at home. I saw a recipe that required no stove time in this month’s  House Beautiful and it finally inspired me to cook something up besides take out. This recipe was a perfect simple summer meal;  I added on some grilled corn for a little extra color and flavor, and it turned out delicious!

Black raspberry, blackberry, really berry anything is my favorite — I love the  flavors but think I’m also drawn to the delicious looking colors too. This blackberry buttercream frosting recipe is definitely getting stored away for a special occasion — it’s mouthwatering just looking at it.

via Kitchen Trial and Error

I was hoping to post pictures of my New Years Eve decorations this morning, but they just need a little more tweaking tonight (and by tweaking I mean my boyfriend drove me to the craft store at 9:00 last night so I could buy more glitter — he is a saint).

In lieu of glittery decorations this morning, you will have to subside on a recipe I threw together for dinner this week. I think every issue of the Rachel Ray magazine has some variation of her peas and ricotta cheese pasta dish. I adapted it by tossing in some of my own ingredients, it’s simple, quick, and deliciously rewarding.

Start by boiling a box of pasta of your choice (I used shells, because they trap the cheese and peas quite nicely).  While the pasta is boiling, chop and brown 2-3 links of sausage in a small pan (I used sun tried tomato chicken sausage). If you’re truly talented at multi-tasking and can boil water, brown sausage, and take on an additional step… put some frozen peas in the microwave to warm them up. Next, empty half a small container of ricotta cheese into a bowl (about a cup) and toss it with some garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. When the peas are warmed they can be mixed into the ricotta cheese (reserve a few to sprinkle on the top). When the sausage is fully browned, add a handful of pine nuts to the pan and let them toast for just about a minute (they burn easily, so keep them moving around the pan). Drain the pasta and reserve a dash of the pasta water (if you’re using shells you can really just quickly drain them and throw them back into the pot, they’ll hold some water naturally because of their shape). Finally, mix the ricotta and peas in with the pasta. Spoon the sausage and nut mixture, and any reserved peas on top of the pasta and finish with some parmesan cheese. Eat and enjoy!