Eat + Drink

tart_3There is nothing better than roasting vegetables the fall. The whole house smells like home cooking and the oven provides a bit of extra warmth form the cool fall breeze. At first glace this roasted vegetable tart may look a bit challenging, but it is super easy and straight forward. The tart is also great because it can be made ahead of time and served warm or cold. I sometimes even roast extra vegetables, one serving for dinner and then the next day whip up a tart with the leftovers.


Here is the quick and easy guide to building a roasted vegetable tart. Note that even the crust is pretty straight forward and does not need time to chill in the refrigerator. You can make the crust while the vegetables are cooking in the oven.






This Summer I cooked a full Mexican theme feast with Perry from I wanted to bring back the Forbidden Rice Bean Salad recipe because the beans I have been getting at the market and farmers market are phenomenal. This is the perfect side dish to any meal to be served at a dinner party or on a regular week night! We have a couple weeks left until beans will no longer be in season at the end of September, so if you make this salad make sure you also make enough for leftovers the next day!!!



> COCONUT GRANOLA / August 21, 2014
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I was recently inspired by a friends Coconut Granola and asked her the recipe. To my surprise it sounded relatively easy, quick and healthy. We set up a cooking date and over a cup of tea and great conversation, we whipped up a double recipe.

Photo_1 She did note that her recipe was inspired by Two Peas and their Pod, but it has has modified by reducing the coconut oil, maple syrup and brown to lower the sugar content and cut out the excess sweetness. You also have sweetened coconut in the granola, which gives you an extra bit of sugar in every bite. The total amount of ingredients have been modified based on personal preference.

gornola_1.0I found that this granola is a great housewarming gift or hostess gift. It looks fantastic in a mason jar or packaged up in a clear plastic tube. I pack it in Strawberry Blonded’s as a snack and enjoy it over yogurt. It takes under 40 minutes to prepare and looks as good as it taste.



> SUMMER PEACH COBBLER / August 17, 2014
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I always get excited at the end of summer walking though the produce section of the local market and seeing towering stacks of peaches. Late summer is the season to make a homemade peach cobbler. This recipe has just the perfect amount of sugar – it is not too sweet. Also the smell of peach cobbler cooking in the kitchen is enough to make your mouth water. If it does not get finished for dessert, it will be gone by breakfast. I always serve my peach cobbler with Haagen-Dazs ice cream and a touch of fresh whipped cream.


Untitled-1It is best served right out of the oven warm and then if you have left overs warm it up in the morning and it makes for a great breakfast!







I got together with the talented Perry from Ski Boots in the Kitchen to cook a Mexican themed feast. Perry has a way of making cooking look so easy, taking the intimidation factor out of trying to cook something new and comes up with great original recipes. I love following her blog for inspiration and I was lucky enough to have an evening to cook with her where she taught me all new recipies. We brainstormed on a menu together and came up with a complete meal starting with an appetizer, an original drink recipe, full feast and then ending with Death by Chocolate Mexican cupcakes! I have especially always loved her guacamole…so simple and easy, but so delicious, so I told her if we were doing Mexican I had to watch her make it! She wanted to do Jalapeño Poppers for an appetizer along side a nice cold Pineapple Tequila Crusher drink. Throughout the entire meal we had a common theme of using Pineapples and Jalapeños for the perfect mix of something sweet and spicy. The complete menu is below (scroll down for main dishes recipes!).

Pineapple Tequila Crushers with Fresh Basil

Jalapeno Poppers with Pineapple and Bacon

Guacamole and Chips

Drunken Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Forbidden Rice and Bean Salad with Orange Dressing

Mexican Corn off the Cob

Death by Chocolate Mexican Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting



The chicken was so flavorful in this marinade and was even better with the Pineapple salsa placed on top!





I loved how Perry came up with this bean salad instead of serving a traditional salad and the dressing was such a fresh new idea I had never seen before. We inccorporated the amazing colorful green beans from Copper Moose Farms I had bought on my trip the day before. They were so crisp and filled with fresh flavor. beans_final


I have been grilling veggies all summer on the BBQ, but this was a new way to serve corn in an easy mess free way (no dental floss required after!)! It paired great with the chicken and bean salad, but could also be served up with so many other BBQ meals.

corn recipie






This bite size appetizer is simple amazing mouthwatering and soooooo good!!!!! There was so much flavor in one little bite with the spicy kick filled with cheesy goodness, some sweet from the pineapple and on top of all that the bacon puts it over the top. It was one of my favorite new recipes I learned from cooking with Perry and can’t wait to try and make it on my own.




The recipe above explains steps for sprinkling the bacon on top, but you can also do it wrapped and follow the same baking directions above, baking the bacon together with the poppers for another version. Make sure you bacon is on the thinner side if you choose to go this route and wrap around the poppers once they are ready and stuffed.


The rest of the meal I cooked with SBITK can be found here and Perry was wearing the Charleston Indigo cute apron from Taylor Linens.



Who doesn’t love being served a fresh bowl of good guacamole? If you start to follow this recipe your bound to crave this weekly now and it’s a great garnish for any Mexican feast. I love how quickly Perry from Ski Boots in the Kitchen can whip it up and be serving it in no time, but also has a little trick to keeping those avocados from turing brown (see below!).


The complete meal cooked with SBITK can be found here.



To my surprise this drink was so delicious that I have served it up twice in the last week. A tequila based drink can sometimes be too much for me, but this one is amazing using Reposado and the fresh pineapple juice mixed with the basil. It had the perfect flavors to go along with our complete Mexican theme feast!



IMG_8097On top of everything we cooked up in the kitchen for the Ski Boots in the Kitchen meal, we couldn’t resist adding in this Mexican chocolate cake dessert and tried it in a cupcake bite size form (not reccomended)! It came out with an amazing gooey inside (but deflated) and the flavor of the chocolate frosting was mouth watering. As full as I was I had to have not just one, but TWO, hence the name!

*We still wanted to share the recipe because they were so delicious, but recommend making it in a bundt pan as a true cake for the best results. 





Watching fireworks on July 3rd is a family tradition that usually starts with an outdoor afternoon BBQ followed by laying out blankets and counting the minutes until the sky turns dark. With the growing number of kids in my life and the late bedtime fireworks show, I am a big fan of bringing a sweet snack for the kids to enjoy while watching the show. Brown Butter Kettle Corn is simple to prepare (15 mins), easy and light to pack and perfect to pass out right before the firework start. I guarantee that it will be gone before the show is over.

Final_1 Brown Butter Kettle Corn (serves 6):


1 stick of unsalted butter

1/2 cup of light brown sugar

8 cups of popped plain popcorn

1 tbs of Sea salt


Coat the bottom of a large pan with vegetable oil and put five kernels of popcorn in the bottom of the pan and close the lid. Turn on stove to high and wait for kernels to start to pop. Once the corn has pop pour 1/2 – 1 cup of pop corn and shake the pot to cover all the corn in oil. Once all of the corn has popped remove it from stove.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat until it foams. Add brown sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Pour hot mixture over popcorn and mix together turning the popcorn so that the sugar is distributed evenly and then add sea salt. final_final

Strawberry Blonded’s 4th of July – Checklist:

1. Red Salt Water Sandals // 2. Red Scarf // 3. Sun Glasses // 4. Frilled White dress // 5. White or Red Headband