Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Cucumber Appetizer + The Chew serves up summer!

When I think of good food in the summer, I think about fresh and simple. Flavors that make you drool but minimal time in the kitchen. Are you with me? Who wants to be stuck indoors on a gorgeous summer day? Not this hostess.

One of my favorite new things to eat are cucumbers. I might be a little obsessed with them lately (I even made a cocktail highlighting them, recipe coming soon). If only they would produce in my garden (side note, anyone know a trick for growing good cucumbers?).

This appetizer/snack/lunch is one that I am eating almost everyday. The star? Cucumbers!

 

Cucumber Appetizer

To make:

Thinly slice a cucumber and arrange on a plate or platter. Drizzle with a juice of a lemon. Sprinkle with a seasoning like Salad Supreme (you can also trying garlic salt and sea salt)

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The next cucumber-recipe exploration is going to be this cucumber punch from Carla Hall. Carla is one of the super talented chefs rounding out the cast of ABC’s The Chew. Have you seen it? The Chew is your one-stop shop for everything food. Celebrating and exploring life through food, The Chew is an innovative daytime program co-hosted by a dynamic group of engaging, fun, relatable experts in food, lifestyle, and entertaining. Featuring celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly and fresh face of healthy living Daphne Oz, The Chew is a leap forward into a delicious new kind of talk show. I’m digging it (and their yummy recipes).

I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes from The Chew over the next couple of weeks. The first couple that I’m dying to try are the cucumber punch and grilled cantaloupe. WHAT? I have no idea you could do that!

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All summer-long, ABC’s The Chew is your one-stop shop for everything food. From grilling and outdoor entertaining to road trips and picnics, The Chew is dishing out the most sizzling, mouth-watering meals to satisfy your summer cravings!

Tune In: Fresh Daily. Weekdays 1e|12p|c

Stay tuned for more of my favorite clips and recipes I’ll test along with them!

 

 

Compensation was provided by ABC via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ABC.

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3 Poolside Cocktails

It’s the first day of summer! You know what that means? That’s right… dusting off those fun summer cocktail recipes friends! Tomorrow the troops and I are headed for a much anticipated week in Palm Springs (we’ll be staying in this poolside home, yay!) and in preparation I had to figure out just what we’d be sipping on poolside (can’t you tell I plan the important things first?).

I’m heading out to the market to pick up the fixings for these 3 poolside cocktails. What do you think? Don’t they look refreshing?

I hope your first day of summer is a great one!

3 Poolside Cocktails

3 poolside Cocktails to try this summer (or this weekend if you’re adventurous like me!). 

Cucumber Cooler :: Blueberry Mojito :: Champagne Grapefruit Mojito

Hostess Tip: When looking for several new cocktails to try, look for those that have similar ingredients so you can stock up and avoid buying too many 1x use ingredients. For example, these three drinks have mint, club soda and rum in common. 

To see which is my favorite, be sure to follow along my cocktail-making journey this weekend on Instagram.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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Summertime Plans + Poolside Grilling

With my Summer Thyme beverage in hand, I’m daydreaming about all the upcoming summer fun there is to be had (you know, in between w-o-r-k that is). With our two girls almost out of school, a great Memorial weekend under our belt, and the sunny CA sunshine — we’re about ready to kick into that summertime gear!

First up on our agenda is a week long getaway to Palm Springs.

 Palm Springs getaway | Thoughtfully Simple

 Is it time to go yet?

Palm Springs getaway

We’ll also see plenty of lazy beach days. When we have no plans on the weekend it’s pretty common that we just call decide to head to the beach (why not right?). This summer the Mr. and I are in the market for new beach cruisers so we can all go for a long Sunday beach strolls at the beach. And summer wouldn’t be complete without many casual backyard gatherings with family and friends — and of course, keeping up with our garden.

Here’s a new recipe that I’ll be serving up while we’re relaxing poolside in Palm Springs. What I love about it is that it tastes fresh and flavorful but it’s super simple to make.

hot dog appetizers

Grilled Hot Dog Bites with fresh Jalapenos, Tomatoes & Avocado Dressing

Grill your Hebrew National Hot Dogs and lightly toast the buns.

Slice the hot dogs, buns, jalapenos and tomatoes. Assemble and hold in place with a toothpick.

Serve on a platter with a bowl of your favorite avocado dressing for dipping.

See? super simple!

What fun summer plans do you have? 


Hebrew National tastes great because, for more than 100 years, we’ve adhered to the highest quality standards. Hebrew National Franks are made with premium cuts of 100% pure kosher beef, and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no by-products, and no fillers. Premium taste and high quality every time, for any occasion. That’s our guarantee. Learn about even more reasons to love Hebrew National, and tell us why you love them, too! http://www.facebook.com/HebrewNational

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Cheers to Summer Thyme

It’s HOT and feels like summer and when the temp rises nothing else makes sense then pouring a cool and refreshing drink. The other day after work I mixed this baby up for a little cool down. My garden was my inspiration, I LOVE creating drinks from what I am growing (that means I’ll always have the ingredients on hand)! This is virgin, but you could also add a splash of vodka or gin to make things fun. I’m calling it the Summer Thyme.

sumemr cocktails

Summer Thyme

For each drink you will need:

-2 Strawberries

-Sprig of Thyme

-Lemon wedge

-Club soda

To make: Muddle the strawberries in the bottom of your glass. Add ice and club soda. Squeeze lemon wedge into glass and garnish with Thyme.

Simple and refreshing. Cheers!

Still thirsty? Check out these other summer cocktails.

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This is how we kick off summer

This past weekend the family and I escaped for a nice long Memorial Day weekend at one of our favorite places. Filled with sun, water and family — we couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop for an easy, simple, and fun mini-getaway.

Between water sports, beach time, grilling, and a little R&R — we had a fun filled trip. Here are a few pics of our weekend. See all of the pics from our weekend on Instagram tagged #99summerdays.

The sun was warm (which meant I was in my happy place). It really felt like a kick-off to summer.

Cruisin’ along side the river was in the cards as well.

No long weekend is complete (in my book) without a themed drink! This one was super simple: vodka, cherry 7-up and a few maraschino cherries to garnish. Also, cute straws are a must (these cute pinwheel straws came from Target).

Grilling was a must-do. Simple all-beef hot dogs hit the spot for easy grilling that pleased the crowd. Hebrew National had us covered (and they are the best hot dog in my opinion). Good, simple, food.  Plus they are easy to make and everyone is happy. Perfect for summer get-togethers.  I love pairing it with a veggie packed spaghetti pasta salad.

Tori’s  Summer Spaghetti Pasta Salad

-1 package thin spaghetti

-1 jar Zest Italian salad dressing

-1/2 jar Salad Supreme (look in the spice aisle)

-1/2 large red onion, finely diced

-1 green bell pepper, finely diced

-2 large tomatoes, finely diced

-2 cucumbers, finely diced

To Make:

Cook spaghetti and toss with bottle of dressing. Finely dice all veggies, put in a large bowl and mix in salad supreme. Combine dressed spaghetti with veggies, nix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (it gets better with time!).

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hebrew National via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hebrew National.

Hebrew National tastes great because, for more than 100 years, we’ve adhered to the highest quality standards. Hebrew National Franks are made with premium cuts of 100% pure kosher beef, and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no by-products, and no fillers. Premium taste and high quality every time, for any occasion. That’s our guarantee. Learn about even more reasons to love Hebrew National, and tell us why you love them, too! http://www.facebook.com/HebrewNational

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Decorating Cupcakes with Chocolate Flowers

I used candy melts in so many ways: creating chocolate covered pretzels, dipping strawberries, making chocolate candy molds…it is so useful! Last week I shared over on the  SCJohnson.com blog, how to create cute cupcake toppers for spring.

Here’s a peek:

Decorating Cupcakes with Chocolate Flowers

 

Creating this spring flowers took less than 15 minutes total! Not only are they simple, but you can really get creative with the chocolate and make different sizes and styles of cupcake decorations.

Be sure to check out my full post for the step-by-step photos and create your own spring cupcakes!

I am a Guest Blogger for SC Johnson and this is a sponsored post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

 

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