Mussels with Cherry Tomatoes and Chorizo

Mussels with Cherry Tomatoes and Chorizo

Steamed mussels are one of my favorite dinners to make at home because (1) people are always impressed (2) it’s fast and easy (3) it is so dang good.

Add this one to my collection of recipes that work for both quick weeknight dinners and for a dinner party. This rendition of Mussels with Cherry Tomatoes and Chorizo is efficient and elegant without being difficult or time-consuming.

The very important broth can be dressed up many ways, and this time it’s jazzed up with cherry tomatoes and fresh, sweet summer corn. This will offset the smoky, browned bits of chorizo. The chorizo is key here, adding flavor, body, and color. You’d think a little saffron (wink, wink) fell into the pot considering the resulting deep yellow-orange color of the broth, but it’s the chorizo. And to do justice to this broth, make sure to have plenty of bread and wine on hand.

This is just the thing I want to eat on a late summer night. Continue reading  continue reading

My Favorite Food Podcasts


While I do love my Songza* playlists, lately I’m spending more and more time listening to podcasts while I’m cooking at home, commuting to work, traveling, or cleaning around the house. I subscribe to podcasts of varying topics, but my favorite podcasts are the ones talking about food. Sometimes I’m even tuning into a food podcast while I’m power walking like a Golden Girl around Crescent Lake Park, getting inspiration for dinner while I work out.


Today I’m sharing a list of the best food podcasts streaming through my phone recently. These are my favorites, but please share what you think are the best food podcasts below! I’m always looking for a new podcast to add to the rotation, and I’d love to hear what gems you’ve found. Continue reading  continue reading

Summer Bucket List

Ileana Morales Valentinerosecherriesgiftdinnertacos al pastor

Summer, as brutal and endless as it can be in Florida, is still so much fun. It’s vacation time, beach time, (birthday time for me!) and rosé time. Oh, and tomato salad time! As August sneaks up on us this weekend, here’s my summer bucket list. I’ve already knocked out a few of these, but I better get started on these other to-do items! They are mostly food-related, duh. Bucket listing inspired by Joy the Baker’s summer bucket list. You should get in on this.

My Summer 2015 Bucket List

  • Get a bike.
  • Make ice cream.
  • Make ice cream cake.
  • Make sorbet.
  • Make popsicles.  (Cherry popsicles!)
  • Make chimichurri.
  • Bake a pie.
  • Go to an outdoor movie screening. (Jurassic Park, and an attempt at Dazed and Confused.)
  • Make romesco.
  • Try (balayage) highlights. (Totally loving it.)
  • Plan a big trip for late 2015 or early 2016. Spain? Argentina? Italy??
  • Make sangria. I’m thinking a rosé sangria.
  • Eat more tacos.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go scalloping in Homosassa with Danny and my dad.
  • Plant an herb garden in our backyard. Hi, basil, mint, and rosemary.
  • Choose the right red for our new front door because… Danny and I bought a house this summer! I am in love with our new home in St. Pete. More pics to come! We’re still unpacking and just finished a maniacal week of painting. In the meantime, help me decide if our front door would look better in Million Dollar Red or Vermilion?

And lemme know because I’m curious… what’s on your summer bucket list? What else should be on mine?


Peach Pie Bars

Peach Pie Bars



“That’s it. This is the last time I turn on the oven in this house,” I said to my husband. We’re planning on moving at the end of July, and I was sweating in our kitchen. Again.

“Yeah, right,” Danny said.

He totally called it. Because I have a problem: I love roasting dinner and baking dessert in the oven, even if it’s not quite the season for it. Despite my better judgment, I’ve kept turning on the oven, which is probably as old as me and emits nearly as much hot air into the whole kitchen as it does to the food cooking inside it. I’ve continued to turn the dial up, fanning myself with pot holders for the sake of za’atar roast chicken and potatoes, broiled tofu to top a weeknight salad and, most importantly and recently, crumbly peach pie bars. Continue reading  continue reading

Roasted Cherry and Coconut Pops

Roasted Cherry Popsicles

Bing cherries

Roasted cherries

Cherries are my main squeeze right now when it comes to fruit. Sorry, berries. Sorry, apricots. Plums, it’ll be you in a month or so. Peaches, I’m coming for ya, too! But for now, I’m craving cherries so much that I’m willing to stain my fingertips red as I pit more than a pound of them in the name of popsicles. Popsicles! Because it is so steamy outside right now, and we are in dire need of a refreshing treat. But it will have to get a bit hotter before it gets cold. For these popsicles, I’ve coated the cherries in a splash of balsamic til they’re shiny and then popped them in the oven for 20 minutes to maximize flavor. The balsamic and a bit of hot hot heat deepen the flavor of the bing cherries.

The cherries, once intensified and cooled, head to the food processor before getting swirled together with coconut cream. Have you tried coconut cream? I had plans for coconut milk (which you can still use here) but stumbled on a can of thicker and richer coconut cream at Trader Joe’s and decided a creamier version would be great in a pop. It kind of has the consistency of thick Greek yogurt. Coconut cream brings a lot to the resulting pops in terms of texture.

There will be more pops to come from my kitchen this summer! But for now… Continue reading  continue reading