Hi friends! I’ve written about how our priorities have shifted over the years quite a few times- how we’ve turned our attention away from seeking satisfaction from things towards seeking happiness from experiences. I was in a bit of a race with myself in the past- I wanted more success, more clothes, new things to decorate our house with. None of which is a problem except for that it distracted me from enjoying what I have, and from…well, having as much fun as I’d like! I feel more grounded, content, and at peace since we’ve made these changes. I’m a work in progress of course, but I definitely value my time differently and you won’t find me spending it chasing the next must-have thing with the intensity I did before. You WILL find me plotting more ways to enjoy our life!
One of the things that happened when we moved into our current house a bit over two years ago is that we made friends with quite a few of our neighbors. This might not seem like a big deal to some of you but neither Lou nor I had experienced neighbor friends in our adult life and it turns out these relationships bring so much goodness to our days and enrich our time here on this big ol earth in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We’re kind of obsessed with these neighbors of ours! Every few months we host a s’mores night in our front yard- wine for the adults, s’mores for the kiddos and any soul who happens to walk by is invited to join. It’s such a fun cast of characters and I love watching the kids play into the night- they’re living my childhood dreams of endless summer! We’ve been wanting to add another celebration to the mix for the summer season- something a bit healthier and geared more towards the adults. Which brings me to our newest tradition- the front yard picnic!
Gathering on blankets spread on our lawn with neighbors is the perfect way to enjoy my summer (and life) essentials: great conversation, delicious food and drinks, summer sunshine and belly laughs! The menu for our front yard picnic is simple, quick to throw together and most importantly: totally yummy and fun! Sandwiches are my favorite picnic food- probably because they’re a treat I don’t indulge in too often but really, really love. I made two kinds that celebrate what’s in season, one with heirloom tomato, pesto and ricotta, another with fig, goat cheese, mint and honey. Alongside the sandwiches I threw together a simple green salad, bowls filled with popcorn and sweet potato chips, cherries, watermelon, berries, figs, pistachios, and saltwater taffy rounded out the nibbles. For drinks, a selection of Teas’ Tea– my favorite for their simple Organic ingredients and bright, fresh flavor! The Rose Green Tea is my personal fave. They’re also what I’m sipping on when I hit my afternoon wall and need a little treat to help perk me up!
I hope this post inspires you to get together with friends and enjoy the season! And if you don’t already know your neighbors, may I suggest a front yard picnic as a way to meet them? Who knows what goodness they may bring into your life… xx- Sarah
This post was sponsored by Teas’Tea, thank you so much for supporting our sponsors!
I’ve been on a single serving dessert kick ever since I snagged this KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Mixer- finding ways to whip up easy, healthy and delicious treats has been a major goal of my pregnancy.Which is what led me to an apple pie craving, which led me to this apple pie-ish incarnation, which leads me to sharing it with you because keeping it to myself would be practically criminal!
Now that we’re in the throws of fall I am craving all of the apple everythings- and this little treat hits the nail on the head for me!Warm, brown buttery cinnamon apples topped with fresh whipped cream, which is a breeze to whip up (HA!) in my mini mixer. (An aside: why is it that everything mini is so much more fun?!Case in point:mini ponies, mini cupcakes, and mini golf!)
My friends, are you into brown butter?I’m sort of new to it, but since I started making it it’s been a weekly addition.The carmelly, nutty flavor is just the BEST!And it’s so easy to make but also makes you feel like legitimate baker genius.Win- WIN! Add apples and cinnamon, top with fresh whipped cream and you’ve got yourself a simple treat that tastes far more decadent than it is!
Seriously, thank you KitchenAid® for giving me an excuse to make small batches of whipped cream.My pregnancy has been a million times better because of it.Fresh whipped cream makes everything better, now that I think of it.
And thank all of you for supporting KitchenAid®, whose partnership made this post possible.Hope you love!xx- Sarah
Hello my friends! The temperatures are dropping here in San Diego and I can feel the seasons shifting, although we’re certain to have at least a few more hot weeks before the year ends. My neighbor says we’re in the midst of the battle between summer and fall, which I love. For now I’m basking in the mild weather and thanking my lucky stars for a break in the sweltering. I’m also squeezing in the last of the summer treats before I dive back into roasting winter squashes and simmering soups for hours over the stove. I found some pink plums at the market the other day and decided they would be the perfect way to celebrate the change of season, so I roasted them with a nod to fall and then turned them into ice cream as a farewell to summer. And oh me oh my, I’m so happy I did! With a richness from roasting, the flavor of the plums is sweet but not overt; delicate but also somehow decadent. Or maybe it was the dark chocolate and the toasted coconut (which I strongly recommend as a topping) that brought about the decadence. Either way, this ice cream will not disappoint. I hope you love! xx- Sarah
I’m on a taco kick lately- like for the past ten years. HA! But seriously they’re my go-to when I want something delicious, quick and easy. They’re like reruns of The Office- they’ll always please and never ask anything of me. Today’s incarnation are grilled shrimp piled with crisp red cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, lime crema and cotija cheese. Simple, satisfying, healthy and perfect for al fresco summer dining. I know you’ll love them! xx- Sarah
Hi friends! I’m excited to share today’s post with you- I’ve got the makings of a beautiful Mediterranean dinner party here to inspire your own backyard summer entertaining as these long hot days beg to be celebrated with friends and family! I created a menu that keeps your oven off and kitchen labor to a minimum, but will still provide a delicious, memorable evening for your loved ones. The trick- seasonal produce that’s fresh and beautiful, it’ll save you the trouble of hours of prep time!
Speaking of saving, Lou and I have been watching our spending in ways we never have before now that we’ve got a little one on the way and find ourselves all of a sudden facing things like preschool tuition (I swear I had no idea that was even a thing), saving for college and the general financial responsibility of providing for this little guy who will be joining us in the next few months. As we make these adjustments I’ll be finding ways to make every penny count- including using my Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express, which that offers a host of savings opportunities, including 3% cash back on groceries! You can bet I’m happy for that 3% back when I’m shopping for summer soirees, PLUS the $250 I will earn back if I spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership! Click through to see all of the dishes and decor, with details on how to make everything below. Hope you love, and happy entertaining!!! xx- Sarah
This post was produced in partnership with American Express. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!
Hi friends, happy Saturday! As you may have seen here, we have a boatload of passion fruit coming from our vines right now and I’m looking for every way I can eat it. Which led me to trying this recipe for passion fruit curd- a divine creation I swear! I loved the recipe and the curd BUT it has a bit too heavy of a sugar load for my liking. I decided to try to substitute the sugar with raw honey which causes less blood sugar spikes, has more nutritional properties and is always my preferred choice of sweetener.
The thing is, to keep all of the benefits of raw honey you have to abstain from heating it. Which led me to modifying Martha’s recipe by heating the passion fruit juice and egg yolks but waiting until after I removed the mixture from the stovetop to add in the honey. This proved to be delicious, but instead of a thick gelatinous curd I was left with a thick, delicious sauce. If I understood more about the science of what happens in the curd making process this wouldn’t have come as a happy surprise, but since I’m fairly inexperienced in the art of cooking with sugar it was a total happy accident!! I’ve been drizzling the passion fruit sauce on my greek yogurt parfaits, honey sweetened creme fraiche ice cream (I need to share my recipe for that soon too!), piles of stone fruit, and pretty much anything else that I find that could use a touch of sweetness (I’ve got plans for it to hit my fish tacos soon but I’m not sure if that is actually a good thing or a weird pregnancy thing). All I know is it sounds questionably delicious to me so I have to try it!!! Ok, have at it my friends, recipe after the jump! xx- Sarah