Spring Rolls 15 Ways

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cooked with any kind of heat this summer, and will use almost any excuse to avoid it. Now that it’s mid-July I’m beginning to tire of salads and starting to search out recipes that are cool, refreshing, and healthy. I’ve never made spring rolls or worked with rice paper before, but they seem like a great place to start. Flavorful, versatile, and delicious looking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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June Favorites

 

1/ Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes
I’ve been doing container gardens for the past few years, and this summer I ventured into the world of cherry tomatoes, Sweet 100s specifically. They’re a vining variety that are deliciously meaty and sweet. Last week I was able to start picking a few day as they ripen and my salad game has gone up a notch!

2/ Mom’s Stuff All-Purpose Piñon Salve
I started using Mom’s Stuff a few years ago after meeting Mom’s daughter and trying out a sample. Each jar is handmade from all natural ingredients that deeply moisturize, soothe, and protect your skin and there are no filler ingredients like water, cheap oils, or stabilizers. Lately I’ve been dabbing some on bug bites for comfort.

3/ Illume Candles Vanity Tins
Illume Candles first entered my life back in college, when I bought two delicious smelling candles for more than I could afford. I’m loving the design of their Vanity Tins and the scents are just as good as ever!

4/ Pineapple Sage
It was the pineapple-scented leaves that caused me to pick up one of these to plant this year. In late summer they bloom bright red, tube-shaped blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

5/ La Colombe Draft Latte
This is the treat I’ve been reaching for on hot summer mornings! Lactose-free milk and cold pressed espresso make for a slightly sweet drink without any added sugar.

6/ Kristin Ess Instant Lift Thickening Spray
Forever on the search for the perfect hair product that will give my fine hair more oomph, and this spray has become the top contender. You don’t need to use a ton, it’s not super sticky, and the smell is amazing.

7/ Lou & Grey Linen Racerback Tank (50% off!)
I picked up black and grey ones a few weeks ago and have been more or less living in them. They hit my short(ish) torso in just the right spot and the cut is super flattering.

8/ Carmex Comfort Care Colloidal Oatmeal Lip Balm
As a lip balm-aholic you can take my word that this stuff is the real deal. Its blend of natural colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed antioxidant rich fruit seed oil provides long-lasting moisture for visibly smoother lips.

9/ Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
A collection of poetry and prose about survival, about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. And how to find the sweetness in all areas of life.

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Breakfast Cookies 12 Ways

It’s officially (officially!) summer, and as the temperatures climb my appetite drops. I want nothing hot on my plate, especially first thing in the morning with my iced coffee. This year I want to experiment with some breakfast cookies that can be made up in advance for the week and enjoyed on the go or on the slow. Check out theses twelve recipes I’m hoping to test out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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May Favorites

1/ EcoBark Dog Harness
After years of searching for a harness that helped control my dog’s tendency to pull, as well as one that fit her broad chest/small neck measurements, I’ve found it. This thing is a lifesaver and the straps are made from recycled water bottles – bonus. (Note: runs small)

2/ Lemon Tree
Plants are therapeutic for me, and I picked up one of these little guys during a plant buying binge. I liked the idea of trying to grow it so much that I bought my Grandma one for Mother’s Day, too. No doubt hers will be five feet tall before mine hits 18-inches!

3/ Native Union Night Cable
This ten-foot long cable is amazing for charging your phone and devices while lounging in bed. The weighted knot anchors it to any surface, so you’re not left searching for your fallen phone when the alarm goes off in the morning.

4/ Elemental Coffee
My favorite coffee from when I lived in Oklahoma City remains my favorite 2 1/2 years post-move. The small batch roastery imports and roasts their own, and you can order a subscription service to show up on your doorstep. I highly recommend the Perusha.

5/ NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square
A classic orangey-red that looks amazing on any skin tone, it’s been my go-to for a few years.

6/ Case Study Bentwood Tray Table
I rely on this tray table in the evenings, when I’m sitting on the couch with the dogs and either listening to records or half paying attention to something on television. It’s a great height and wide enough that I can sit crosslegged under it.

7/ Bebe drawn by Preserve a Moment
The super talented Susanne Kasielke drew my pup, Bebe, from a photo I’d shared in Instagram months ago. Her work is top-notch and I suspect it won’t be long until I commission her to illustrate my other pup as well!

8/ Tadesse Bucket Bag
The perfect bag for summer, its roomy interior provides so much space for essentials while the drawstring closure keeps it all secure. (It’s also available in a mini size and several colors of leather!)

9/ Yucca Plant
I had no clue that yucca plants could survive outdoors in Pennsylvania, or that I had three in my front yard, or that they bloom sporadically! Mine sprouted some tall stalks just about overnight, now I’m waiting for their white bell-like flowers to bloom.

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Rose 15 Ways

I suppose it’s part of my slow evolution into a Plant Lady that flowers work their way into my diet. With the exception of rose, I’m not sure any of the other petals I’ve eaten have had much flavor – more of a garnish situation I guess? This summer I’m anxious to work some more of this unexpected ingredient into everyday recipes to make them a little bit more special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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Complements Modular Chocolates

 

What started as an end-of-year client thank you project by design studio Universal FavouriteComplements is now gauging interest in making their modular chocolates a for sale product. These tasty bites were created by combining 3D printing, design, and the help of Bakedown Cakery to make the flavor profiles like shortbread, blackcurrant, and fairy floss a reality. Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on a box?

 

 

 

 

 

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Charcuterie + Crudités + Tappas Boards

 

Snack-filled meals have long been some of my favorites, back in November I even laid out my dining room with charcuterie, crudités, and tappas for my housewarming party. What I love most about these types of spreads is that there are no real rules, only fast and loose suggestions.

These tappas boards by Samarie Designs would be a beautiful addition to any spread. Printmaker Samarie Higgins teamed up with woodworker Jeremy Happ to create these one-of-a-kind pieces that use sustainable wood. Each one features a swirling work of art that’s sure to complement the food served upon it.

 

 

Charcuterie includes mainly meats and cheeses, with some supporting roles thrown in by way of fruits, veggies, nuts, and carbs. It’s definitely an appetizer that’s heavy enough to be considered a light dinner. (A recommended 5 oz. of meat and 2 oz. of cheese per person, if you’re curious.)

+ dry-cured salami, prosciutto, smoky sausage, speck, coppa, chorizo, and sopressata
+ one of each type of cheese: stinky (blue), aged (cheddar, gouda) , soft (double or triple creams), hard (parmesan, manchego), and fresh (ricotta, goat, mozzarella) served at room temperature
+ toast a sliced baguette and/or cut up flatbreads in the oven
+ add small bowls of nuts and dried fruits scattered in between
+ olives, cornichons, and artichoke hearts will elevate your entire board with new textures
+ a few types seasonal fresh fruit, either sliced or in bowls
+ slice the hard cheeses, break up the stinky ones, provide different knives for the soft and fresh
+ add in a grainy mustard, fig jam, and fragrant honey for those who want to get adventurous

 

 

Crudités platters are usually full of seasonal vegetables, something pickled, and a few sauces. It’s a versatile appetizer because it can be served cold or hot, depending on the time of year. Separate everything into groups when plating on platters and boards for maximum visual impact.

+ cold, sliced seasonal vegetables– broccolini, cauliflower (white, green, orange and purple), radishes (red, black, watermelon), asparagus, celery, carrots, assorted bell peppers, snap peas, haricot vert, English cucumbers
+ mini skewers with things like mozzarella balls with cherry tomatoes
+ steamed, grilled, or baked vegetables such as corn on the cob, mini potatoes, and edamame
+ something bright and citrusy, like sliced oranges or Meyer lemons
+ two to three sauces for dipping
+ hollow out a few small heads of cabbage and fill them with thicker sauces for serving
+ a fancy salt, like pink Himalayan

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April Favorites

 

1/ Tea Tree Oil
I’ve been using this stuff in multiples ways, including in my diffuser and on blemishes.

2/ PureAir 50
This little plug-in ionic air purifier is amazing. It cleans 350 sq. ft. of air by removing odors and reducing bacteria and viruses with activated oxygen. I have mine next to the cats’ litter box – the danger zone! – and noticed a total elimination of smell within about 15 minutes. It emits a kind of white noise sound when turned on, but I quickly got used to it.

3/ Lamb’s Ear
After years of admiration, I added one of these perennials to my porch collection. I’m hoping to keep it in a pot rather than have to plant it in the ground, but only time will tell how the plant tolerates it.

4/ Froozer Blue Aloha
These super natural treats are basically a frozen smoothie in a tube. They’re super tasty with only 35 calories and 9 carbs, which is a necessity for snacks with this type 2 diabetic.

5/ Common Goods Lavender Linen Water
I’ve been using this on my bedsheets for a few years now, I’m a real sucker for anything lavender scented as you may have noticed. This linen water is scented with 100% pure essential oil, is plant based, and biodegradable.

6/ Function of Beauty
Everyone’s been chattering about this line of shampoos and conditioners can that be personalized to your hair’s specific needs, and I’m here to report that the hype is 100% true! I love it and may never use another brand ever again. (Grab $5 off your order here.)

7/ Round Taper Planters
This spring I had to replace the large bamboo planters I’ve used for the past several years due to normal wear and tear. I wanted something simple and affordable that would complement my new black shutters and came across these fade and weather resistant ones at Target. They’re available in four colors and seven sizes! (I also have four of the 6-inch ones indoors)

8/ Vineyard Hill Naturals Cardamom & Fig Candle
You might think this scent sounds a bit heavy for spring, but it’s quite the opposite. And the soy-based candle’s jar is one I’ll definitely be reusing with that Greek key pattern.

9/ Spruce Cleaning Wipes
I’m kind of the worst at keeping my electronics clean, and these little wipes are a fun reminder (those faces!) to wipe everything down – they’re also great for your eyeglasses. Made in the USA, free of harsh chemicals like alcohol and ammonia, and vegan.

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Smoothie Bowls 12 Ways

While you’ll never convince me that a smoothie bowl is anything other than an excuse to eat your drink with a spoon, I’ll happily admit that they offer up some high quality visual appeal when done right. What’s more, if they get you to eat more fruits and vegetables than usual who am I to judge the method of transport. These beautiful concoctions have caught my eye and now I’m wondering – do you subscribe to the smoothie bowl trend? Have a favorite recipe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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