Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My 10 favorite summer recipes!

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I can't believe we're already at the hump.  Gotta love those short holiday weeks.  The picturesque Memorial Day weekend was the perfect unofficial start to summer: cookouts, merriment with family and friends, and plenty of time outside which led to the inevitable (and obligatory) first sunburn of the season -- yikes!  #SPF30forlife

Being around so many buffets this weekend had me dreaming of overflowing farmers' markets, seasonal produce, and classic summer foods.  I made a list of new recipes I'd like to share with you in the coming weeks and, boy, should you get excited/hungry!

But, with along with the new, I fantasize and long for the tried and true recipes of summers past.  Things that have become part of our season repertoire because we loved them so much.  From my kitchen to yours, here are my top 10 favorite summer recipes.  Happy (summer) cooking!

  • Cool overnight oats with fresh fruit - A little planning at night makes this a quick and refreshing breakfast on hot summer days.  This is my go-to breakfast when I have lots of physical activity planned for a toasty and humid day ahead.
  • Zucchini pizza bites - This recipe serves two highly important purposes: 1) it utilizes the abundance of zucchini in the summer, and 2) satisfies my craving for pizza without heating the oven/pizza stone/entire apartment for an extended period of time.  Win win!
  • Andy's marinated BBQ chicken - While Matt's friend, Andy, is such a hilarious and fun dude, his recipe for barbeque chicken might just be my favorite thing about him ;)
  • Caprese quinoa-stuffed tomatoes - Another delicious result that came from brainstorming about how to use excess fresh summer produce.  Instead of zucchini, tomatoes got the royal and extra cheesy treatment!
  • Thai pork burgers with Sriracha aioli - Not yo' mama's burgers, these will knock your socks off time and time again.  I recommend doubling the recipe for Sriracha aioli because you'll want to put it on everything!
  • Two ingredient fruit dip - Quick, simple, and guaranteed to please everyone.  Try it with any kind of berries, apples, cantaloupe, peaches, etc.!
  • Chocolate wafer icebox cake - This is, hands down, the most requested treat among my friends with summer birthdays.  Simple, sweet, oh so creamy, and positively show-stopping.  No oven or special tools are needed, and it uses only 4 ingredients.  You've gotta try this!
  • Grandma's ice cream Oreo dessert - I couldn't make a list of summer eats without including my family's favorite treat.  Matt and I were talking about upcoming trips to my aunt and uncle's cabin at the Potomac river and obviously this Oreo dessert came up several times.  I can't have it soon enough!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

8 Perfect party cookie recipes!

(taps keyboard) Is this thing on?

It's been a while, but I'm back.  And you're here, too -- thank you!

I bet you're wondering where that cake recipe is that I promised you last week.  Well, let me be frank: it didn't turn out quite like I expected.  The end result was mind-blowing, but there were many, many bumps and adaptations along the way.  So many hiccups that I decided not to share it with you until I could nail down a clear recipe.  Phrases like "when half of the cake sticks to the pan" and "when the meringue is taking forever to fluff thanks to the gosh dang humidity" don't exactly sell a recipe, do they?

At any rate, the cake was pretty ding dang delicious, and I will be making it again ASAP.

These past three weeks have been fun and busy!  I've been working in the kitchen almost every night on cookie orders for weddings and birthday parties.  Since so many of you are heading to parties and cookouts or hosting your own for this upcoming holiday weekend, I thought you'd like some inspiration for the dessert table.  Here are the recipes I've been baking that I know you and your friends and family will love: