caprese salad

Caprese salad is so easy to put together and is so refreshing in the summer. When you have an abundance of juicy ripe tomatoes in the summer this is a great way to use them and serve as an appetizer, as a side, or just for snack. I’ve been loving the heirloom tomatoes this summer, they taste amazing and fresh from the garden which is how I remember eating tomatoes as a kid. They’re a bit pricey, but give them a try, you’ll be happy you did.

IMG_1489

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: More tomatoes more servings! I use one tomato and ¼ log of mozzarella to serve 2

Ingredients:

Tomato
Fresh Mozzarella
Balsamic Glaze (you can make your own balsamic reduction or just buy the glaze at the store)IMG_1494
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Prosciutto (optional)

Make it your own: Add a slice of prosciutto for some extra meat and salt! Or put your caprese right on top of some grilled chicken for a fresh summertime meal!

Directions:

  1. Slice tomato in thick slices and place on plate.
  2. Add a piece of prosciutto on top of the tomato, if desired.
  3. Slice mozzarella in thick slices similar in size to the tomato slices.
  4. Lay mozzarella slices on top of the tomato slices
  5. Place a basil leaf on top of each slice of cheese.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
  7. Bon appétit!IMG_1504

 

Tip: Grow your own basil! I’ll be the first to admit, I can’t even keep a cactus alive…but I bought a pot of basil at Whole Foods and it has been doing great. I keep the little guy on my porch and make sure it is in the sun when I’m home. It’s a great to have on hand for caprese salads, pizza, sauce, and even lemonade.

IMG_1497

Continue Reading

butcher prints

We wanted to fill up some open wall space we had in our kitchen, so we went to Etsy to find some cheap butcher prints – we’ve always wanted some and they make the perfect fit for a carnivore’s kitchen. As many of you know Etsy – like Target – is a a trip down the rabbit hole of shopping. After a good two hours of navigating through the plethora of butcher print options we found a great a deal of four 5′ 7″ prints for $38.

IMG_2324

The prints came in about a week later and are beautiful! They were slightly larger than the 5′ 7″ frames that we purchased at Target – but with some precise scissor work cutting out the white borders they fit perfectly. They look great in the frames and really had a little something extra to the space (right next to our sale apron from Anthropologie).IMG_2327

Even if you’re not a fan of butcher prints – this store on Etsy, Kitchen Bath Prints, offered a variety of other great prints for any space. Check it out and tell us how you decorate your cozy kitchen!

Check out Kitchen Bath Prints on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KITCHENBATHPRINTS?ref=l2-shopheader-name 

 

 

Continue Reading

mexican street corn

Plan on having a Taco Tuesday?! This Mexican Street Corn, sometimes called by its Spanish name, elotes, is the perfect side to compliment your fiesta! It’s a perfect summer dish and a great way to spice up some corn on the cob while it is in season.

Serves: 2IMG_1966
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 ears of corn
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 lime, halved
3 tablespoons cotija cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Make it your own: Add some red pepper for some extra heat, or use taco seasoning to add a deep blend of spices.

Directions:IMG_1967

  1. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, chili powder, and juice from ½ lime in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Grill corn for about 7-8 minutes, or until it has nice char marks.
  3. Spread sour cream mixture evenly over corn.
  4. Combine parmesan cheese, cotija cheese, and cilantro in small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle cheese and cilantro mixture over corn.
  6. Use remaining ½ lime to serve lime wedges with the corn.
  7. Enjoy and be sure to have lots of napkins ready!

IMG_1975

Tip: If you don’t have a grill or live in an apartment, like me, simply use a cast iron skillet to achieve the grill marks while cooking indoors!

Continue Reading

asian avocado

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, but sometimes they ripen all of the sudden and I find myself scrambling for another creative way to eat them. This recipe requires minimal ingredients without making you have to eat plain avocado (trust me, you don’t want to make a habit of this- I ate them basically plain for a month straight in Costa Rica and had to take a long break afterward to regain my love for them!).
IMG_1597

Serves: 1 large snack or 2 small sides
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 avocado
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Make it your own: Add some cucumbers or crispy rice noodles to add some crunch! Add ginger or rice vinegar for even more flavor.

Directions:

Scoop out avocado flesh and remove seeds
Slice or mash avocado (however you prefer to enjoy it!)
Sprinkle with garlic powder, red pepper, and sesame seeds
Pour soy sauce over avocado
Enjoy as a snack half way through the day or as a side with dinnerIMG_1998

Tip: This is a quick way to to get rid of an avocado before it becomes brown. Experiment with flavors you enjoy! Avocados are a great snack packed with healthy fats.

Continue Reading

go M83

Dylan and I are road-tripping this weekend. Thought we would share one of our favorite new songs. It’s perfect for that feeling when you first get into the car and make that first turn to your destination. It’s bound to get any weekend off to a great start and will be stuck in your head for a while…but that’s not a bad thing at all.

Continue Reading

sushi stacks

Sushi is awesome. Real sushi is not awesomely easy to make without the right grade of fish, knife skills, and equipment. Sushi stacks, on the other hand, are easy and taste the same! One is perfect for a midday snack, a side or eat a few for a filling meal! I found the recipe for these sushi stacks here. I made some small changes to make it my own and make it simpler, like prepping the night before, making the stacks smaller, and using sesame seed as a garnish so I didn’t have to make an extra trip to the store.
IMG_1145

Servings: Makes 8 stacks
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:IMG_1740

1 ½ cups cooked brown rice (I used one bag of boil-in-bag rice and saved the extra)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cup frozen, cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp (all you have to do is thaw it!)
1 cucumber, cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped (optional, I’ve made it with and without – both are great)
1 ripe avocado, mashed
Soy sauce to taste
Sesame seeds to garnish
Sriracha and/or sriracha mayo to garnish

Make it your own: Use crab instead of shrimp, add cream cheese, fry your shrimp, use quinoa instead of rice, or make a veggie-only version!

Directions:

  1. The night before I cooked the rice and refrigerated it to get ahead.IMG_1151
  2. The cucumber and chives can be cut ahead of time as well. Combine and store in fridge.
  3. When you are ready to assemble your stacks (from this step forward, do not prepare the day before), thaw your frozen shrimp in a colander with cold water running over them for about 5 minutes, or until no longer frozen. Cut into ½” pieces.
  4. Scoop the flesh out of a ripe avocado and mash with a fork.
  5. Mix in rice vinegar with your cooked rice.
  6. Set all ingredients in front of you in different containers in order: cucumbers with chives, mashed avocado, shrimp, rice with vinegar.
  7. Using a ½ cup dry measuring cup, layer ingredients starting with cucumber, then avocado, then shrimp, then rice. (Skinny taste used a 1 cup measuring cup but I wanted a smaller serving)
  8. Pack down lightly by pressing.
  9. Flip over onto plate tapping gently on measuring cup to release.
  10. Pour desired amount of soy sauce on each stack. Garnish with sesame seeds and sriracha or sriracha mayo.
  11. Dig in and enjoy!IMG_1154

Tip: Dyl and I each ate 4 stacks and it was really a filling meal surprisingly! Eat 1 or 2 for a snack/ light meal or 3 or 4 for a full meal!IMG_1157

Recipe from SkinnyTaste: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2015/10/spicy-california-shrimp-stack.html

Continue Reading

frozen mocha

Everyone loves indulging in those delicious frozen coffee drinks with the big long names, but one thing I don’t love is they put a dent in your wallet. Not only that, but they can come packed with tons of unnecessary calories. This homemade version of a frozen mocha drink is inexpensive to make, provides multiple servings, and is the perfect rich yet refreshing treat made with ingredients you probably have on hand.

Serves: 2-4IMG_0223
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
3 cups frozen coffee (I put leftover coffee from my pot in a cup in the freezer)
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup chocolate syrup
1 cup ice (optional – this is to dilute it if it is too strong)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional – depends how sweet you want it)
Whipped cream and more chocolate syrup for topping

 

 

Make it your own: Add some extra flavors like peppermint or caramel to make it even more decadent! You can usually find lots of fun flavors as extracts in the spice or baking aisle.

 

Directions:IMG_0228

  1. Run hot water on outside of of your cup of frozen coffee to help it come out easier.
  2. Combine frozen coffee, milk, chocolate syrup, ice, and sugar in blender.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream (check out my recipe for homemade whipped cream here) and chocolate syrup.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Tip: There’s always a little bit of coffee left in the bottom of the pot! Freeze this in a cup or container throughout the week to use in your frozen mocha. You won’t have to wait for your coffee to freeze when you’re craving this sweet treat!IMG_0293

Continue Reading

old books

I always love adding cute accents to my apartment. One of my favorite places to look for pieces is at antique stores. They are packed with tons of old books that also look great as decoration – and they usually come at pretty good prices. Dyl and I have so much fun picking through antique stores and seeing what funny book titles we come across and trying to guess how old some books are.

FullSizeRender (1)

We brought home a few really beat up ones because they were classic titles that also looked great displayed in our apartment. At home, we placed them between some bicycle bookends from Target. It made for a simple accent in our living room that made the whole room a little more cozy.

What everyday items, like books, do you use as decoration?

Let me know! IMG_0380

Continue Reading

homemade whipped cream

Whipped cream is a sweet, airy topping that can add tons of deliciousness. It’s great on desserts, drinks, fruit, breakfast, whatever you can put your mind to! Don’t get me wrong, the stuff out of the can is delicious and great to have on hand, but once you make homemade whipped cream, your tastebuds will be hooked. It only takes 3 ingredients and 5 minutes and will take anything sweet to the next level.

IMG_0258

Serves: About enough to top 4 ice cream sundaes generously 🙂
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons granulated white sugar

Make it your own: Replace half a teaspoon of the vanilla with an extract that pairs well with your dessert to create a fun, flavored whipped cream. Or add a drop of food dye to make it fun for kids.IMG_0263

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl (make sure there is plenty of space in your bowl as the mixture will almost double in volume
  2. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. You can also do this step by processing all ingredients in the food processor on low for 1 -2 minutes.
    -The main idea here is to incorporate air into the cream to make it nice and fluffy. Move your mixer around and on the surface a bit (careful you might splash). And be patient, this usually takes about 5 minutes until it looks like whipped cream.
  3. Enjoy on your favorite dessert, breakfast, or snack!

Tip: Remember you can always add more, but not take away once an ingredient is mixed in. If you don’t like things too sweet, add the sugar slowly and taste as you are mixing it.

IMG_0286
look out for a post coming soon featuring this whipped cream on top!
Continue Reading