July 22, 2014

Mid-Summer Garden Update

We are about halfway through our first gardening season in the new yard and it is time for an update. So far I’m happy to report that my year of experimentation is going fairly well. I’ve learned quite a bit about our climate, the sun patterns, and what critters I have to contend with around here. Here are some photos if you’d like to see:

Garden Tour: Naptime Chef

July 17, 2014

Summer Dinner: Havarti & Ham Tart

Smoked Ham & Havarti Tart

Sometimes I like a new recipe so much that I make it a little too frequently. That is what happened with this simple ham and cheese tart. The first try was such a resounding success that it quickly took center stage in my weekly dinner repertoire. I admit it is a bit decadent for an everyday dinner. But, we are all sold on it, so I’ll keep making it until something new comes into play. The genius of this dish is in the simplicity of the ingredients: quality Dijon mustard, creamy Arla Dofino Havarti cheese, thin slices of smoked ham, all insulated by buttery puff pastry.

July 16, 2014

Tzatziki Roasted Potato Salad

Tzatziki Roasted Potato Salad

I am a bit of a mayo-phobe so I am always looking for substitutes when I make classics like chicken salad, potato salad, and the like. Usually I end up swapping regular mayo for a sauce that is heavy on yogurt or sour cream. They serve the same purpose, to moisten and flavor a dish, but tastes vastly different than mayonnaise to me. Last weekend I took my first crack at a mayo-free potato salad and made it with tzatziki sauce instead. My friend make Greek chicken skewers as the main course, so the cool cucumber-y salad was the perfect side.

July 15, 2014

The Forest Feast, Strawberry Salsa + Giveaway

The Forest Feast

A few weeks ago The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson landed on my doorstep and I instantly deemed it the most gorgeous cookbook I’d ever seen. Not only is it full of delicious vegetarian recipes, it is a colorful feast of Erin’s watercolors, typography, photography, and more. Each recipe features it’s own watercolor by Erin, a unique layout, and original photography. On top of that, the recipes feature vegetables in ways I haven’t seen before. The butternut caprese, for example, is the perfect twist on an everyday favorite. I also love her cool watermelon “cake”, and ideas for vegetable ribbon salads. The first recipe I made from it was the strawberry salsa, it was such a hit at our block party!

Today I am sharing a great chat I had with Erin, the delicious salsa recipe, and a chance to win a copy of this book. I swear, once you crack the cover you won’t be able to stop reading it and you’ll tab just about every recipe to try tout de suite!

July 11, 2014

Let’s Get Her to Camp

Let's Get Her to Camp

I write regularly for Momtastic and was so excited to work with them on this cool campaign called Let’s Get Her to Camp which is being run by Nestlé Crunch in conjunction with the Girl Scouts. As a former Girl Scout I am a huge advocate of camping and wilderness skills for girls. I also believe girls benefit from a little time away in the summer when it is age appropriate. Check out all the cool information about this campaign and maybe you can find ways to participate in it in your area! Read More…

July 10, 2014

Instagram: Cooperstown for the Fourth of July

We had the most delicious Fourth of July in Cooperstown this year. Here are some fun photos I took on instagram if you’d like to see:

Parade

On the Fourth we rode in my Dad’s Model A Ford in the 100th Springfield Center Fourth of July Parade. There is no hard proof but we’ve been told it is one of the oldest parades in the country. My daughter and her friend threw lots of candy out the window. It is always a little bit of struggle to remind them to throw it. They’d rather keep it all to eat themselves!

July 9, 2014

A Few Watermelon Salads

Here is the thing about watermelon salad, I never make it the same way twice. But, it always tastes great no matter what I through at it. Today I thought I’d share a few different variations for how you can make it at home. And, please, share your additions and tell us how you do it!

Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad

This Watermelon-Goat Cheese-Basil salad is such a fave. It will even be in my next book!