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

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Hot dogs, check. Icy beer, check. Pie, check. Burgers, potato salad, corn. Check. Check. Check.

You probably have most of the bases covered for your next cookout spread but if you’re looking for something unexpected that will win over as many hearts as that bowl of chips, look to blistered shishito peppers.

Platters of these charred peppers have become popular at restaurants, but they’re way easy to make at home and are an excellent start to a meal. The hardest part may be finding shishitos near you. Typically they are picked when still green, and that’s how you’ll find them at the grocery store. (Locally, Trader Joe’s carries them.)

These Japanese peppers are about 4 inches long and wrinkly, like they’ve been out in the sun a bit too long. Shishitos are mild and crowd-pleasing peppers, though it is said that every once in a while you bite into a hot one in the bunch. The numbers I’ve heard for this game of culinary roulette are one hot one for every 10. This keeps things exciting, but just so you know, I’ve bitten into a hot shishito, and it’s not exactly fireworks in your mouth. You’ll be okay.

Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers don’t need much to shine, just a bit of high heat and a big pinch of flaky salt. And like salty potato chips, you’ll always want to reach for one more. Continue reading  continue reading