For the holiday a couple weekends ago, we hosted a BBQ in honor of my family being in town. Not only did we enjoy delicious food, but we also spent time on the patio, breaking in our new outdoor furniture and using the new grill. For appetizers, my mom made incredible guacamole, and I was set on making Grilled Feta with Thyme. This amazingly simple starter was first devoured two summers ago in the Hamptons, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. The feta is seasoned only with olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and then grilled until the cheese is warm and spreadable. The cheese, spread on top of soft pita, is a perfect combo. I love when something so easy is also so delicious!
Summer in a bowl - who doesn’t love the sound of that?!
I discovered this recipe back in March when summer was still a wishful thought. I tucked it away until now when sweet corn, zucchini and tomatoes would be in their prime. I always enjoy a big bowl of pasta, but there is something about this whole wheat spaghetti laced with so many vibrant vegetables that really makes me want to frolic in the sun. With the pasta and veggies lightly coated with only olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly grated parmesan, this recipe is made to showcase the beautiful bounty of the summer. Since the dish is so simple, it’s all about the garlic, fresh basil and hint of mint that makes this taste ever so garden fresh.
My husband and I have been working on a major backyard project. Call us crazy, but we had our pool filled in. When we bought the house last year, that was always in the plans. We wanted a yard and we didn’t want to maintain the pool, which took up the entire space behind our house. The removal is complete and we now have a new patio and grass to enjoy the remainder of the summer.
With the completion of this project comes more exciting things, like patio furniture and a new grill! The grill has arrived and I must say, she’s a beaut! I have never been so excited to get cookin’. Since my husband has been even more ecstatic about this new toy, I let him have the honor of selecting the recipe for the first fire! We made Southwest Turkey Burgers, which are sure to be added to the summer foods rotation. The burgers were loaded with peppers, jalapeno, onions and great spices, making them extremely flavorful. They were then piled with pepper jack cheese and turkey bacon, sending these turkey burgers right over the top! I can assure you, this was the first of many tasty grill recipes to come.
With my due date under 2 months away, it’s officially time to put away the suitcases, relax and prepare for our upcoming arrival. To cap off the traveling, my husband and I made one last trip to Chicago this past weekend to see family and friends. It was the kind of weekend that was so nice, I’m still thinking about it on Wednesday! Even though the trip was planned last-minute, my friends saw to it that I try some new restaurants and enjoy the city that I miss dearly.
Friday night my friend and I tried the new Mott Street (from the Ruxbin team). The casual spot featured mostly Asian-influenced dishes and a variety of meats that I’d rather not think of by name while eating them. The highlight of the meal was the giant Oyster Mushrooms, which were roasted and pan-seared and served in a thyme and miso butter. The miso butter was so amazing, I could have eaten it with a spoon. Other standouts were the Stuffed Cabbage with kimchi stuffed with pork butt (ewww) and rice in a kimchi broth, as well as the Tres Leches dessert, with strawberries from the Ruxbin garden.
Saturday, the weather was a little weird on and off, but the rain held out and ultimately it was a beautiful day in the city. In the morning I got some time with my adorable niece and nephew…
…followed by lunch at Little Market, manicures/pedicures, and very little downtime before a fun night out at Siena Tavern and a birthday party at Frontier. My friend had been raving about Siena Tavern, and thankfully, it did not disappoint. Although I have few pictures from dinner, I must report that the gnocchi with truffle cream and fried sage, along with the spaghetti with lump crab were particularly incredible. As if there weren’t already enough carbs on the table, I couldn’t resist the Parmesan-Sage Fries with lemon-garlic aioli. They were insane! How cool is this fresh herb wall that surrounds the bar?!
Sunday morning, before we said goodbye, I had brunch with friends at Little Goat. I couldn’t resist grabbing some amazing treats from Little Goad Bread for the car ride home.
July 4th is less than two weeks away, and likely, you’re already planning your Independence Day shindig. With so many tempting summer recipes out there, it’s tough to decide what to make. I have a cake that’s so easy, yet so good, your dessert planning will be a no-brainer. This Lightened Up Strawberry White Cake recipe is, just like the name implies, SO light and fluffy! It’s almost too light since eating a second piece is hardly a chore. This dessert is not what I consider to be homemade, but the slight modifications that are made to this boxed cake result in a great summer treat. With yogurt baked in the cake, and a whipped topping and yogurt frosting, this dessert will be a crowd-pleaser without ruining anyone’s bikini bod!