{virtual} coffee chat

Let’s grab a cup of coffee and pretend that the weekend isn’t over.

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If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you all about our 4th of July weekend.  And I’d want to hear about yours, too.  This 4th of July was different than most but it was relaxed and enjoyable.  I really didn’t know what to do with myself on Saturday when I had no one to cook for.  Our 4th of July dinner included a few “trashed” up appetizers,  delicious ribs, sausage and a beautiful salad.  Oh, and bubbles.  (Thank you again, Kimberly and Jeremy for having us over!)

trashed apps

dinner

rose

If we were having coffee this morning…I would tell you that I picked up the longest sparklers I’ve ever seen for our 4th of July celebration.  Sparklers = 4th of July.

If we were having coffee this morning…I would tell you that our zucchini is out of control.  I see a zucchini lasagna in our future.  But I used one of the zucchinis to make Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread.  

If we were having coffee this morning…I would tell you about the book I finished this weekend, Life from Scratch.  It was so good.  I’ve always loved memoirs and this one takes you on a journey involving food, family and forgiveness.  It’s brilliant.  And it includes recipes.  And she has a blog.

If we were having coffee this morning…I would tell you about how we made bacon.  (!!!!!)  Last Sunday we began the process and we finally got to smoke it yesterday and fry up a few slices.  More on what we did with the bacon later.

If we were having coffee this morning…I would tell you that I’m already looking forward to the weekend.  Big Guy is taking me out on a date and mojitos are on the menu for Saturday (National Mojito Day!).  Gosh, I love this guy.

If we were having coffee this morning…I would leave you with these two words:

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I hinted that this ice cream flavor was happening sooner rather than later.

And it was so much better than I expected.

All the flavor of blueberry cheesecake.  But in ice cream form.

#howisummer

We don’t keep ice cream around the house but come summertime, we love to make homemade ice cream.

Nothing beats the creaminess and deliciousness of making your own.

Sure, it takes a little bit of time – but the first bite will make you forget the work you had to put into the ice cream.

 

blueberry cheesecake

Cream cheese for cheesecake flavor.

Whole milk because it’s ice cream.  Duh.

Heavy whipping cream because life is too short to eat light ice cream.

Light brown sugar for a deep sweetness.

Salt to balance the sweet.

Bourbon not only for flavor but to help with preventing iciness.

The blueberry sauce is swirled in before freezing.

Fresh, local blueberries BURSTING with flavor.

Sugar for a little more sweetness.

Corn starch to help with thickening the sauce.

Water.  Because it was in the recipe.

Another pinch of salt for more balance.

Lemon juice to brighten it all up.

And finally…

Graham crackers for crunch and the ultimate cheesecake flavor.

I scream, you scream…

 

Pork Belly and Brie Burger with Spicy Peach Caramelized Onions {and marinated tomatoes}

Yesterday I was all healthy and vegan but today I’m pure indulgence (with a side of healthy).

I’ve had a lot of burgers in my lifetime but this is by far the best burger I’ve ever tasted.

But how can you go wrong with pork belly?

Originally, the burger was “simply” going to have bacon on it but we found ourselves with a slab of pork belly and decided that it was fate.

So on Friday night at 11pm, we were preparing the pork belly by giving it a good massage with brown sugar, salt, and Sriracha (the pork belly recipe is from Easy Gourmet – a cookbook by one of my favorite food blogs.)

After a full day at the pool, it was time to cook the pork belly low and slow.  The pork belly bakes at 250 degrees for 3 hours and then at a higher temperature for about 20 minutes for color.

pork belly

Allow the pork belly to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.

One bite, and you’re in heaven.

But it doesn’t stop there.  We added the pork belly to a burger that is made with veal and beef.

A new burger combination to me, but it was incredible.  On top of the burger, a slice of creamy, dreamy brie.  We don’t eat brie all that often (for no real reason) so Big Guy thought the brie was an indulgence, too.

And for major flavor – peach caramelized onions.  And I might add that the onions were straight from our garden – making it all the better.

Brioche bun.

Veal/beef patty.

Brie.

Peach caramelized onions.

PORK BELLY.

That’s it.  There’s no more room for any other flavors.

And while the photos don’t do it any justice, this is the most insane burger ever.

And to make myself feel better, marinated tomatoes on the side.  

This burger is completely over-the-top.

But that’s why we had vegan muffins for breakfast.

Friday Favorites

How is June almost over?  Summer weekends are my absolute favorite and I hate how fast they’re flying by.  I didn’t make a summer bucket list this year  (I do have a Summer Reading List, though!) but I am still trying to soak up as much of summer as possible.  This weekend my in-laws are visiting and I’m so excited for them to see the living room/entryway renovation.  We have plans on Friday evening but Saturday is all about relaxation!  Oh, and good food – but that’s a given.  So before we start our last weekend in June, here are my favorites of the week.

Favorite Red, White and Blue:  4th of July Pineapple Sparkler Centerpieces.  How fun are these!?!

 

Favorite Frozen:  Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.  I’m not quite sure what’s on the menu for Saturday but I can almost guarantee this will be dessert.

 

Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Golden Beet Chips with Spicy Goat Cheese Dip.  Yesssss.  And the vegetable chips totally balance out the goat cheese dip.

 

Favorite Daydream:  Greece.  The pictures take my breath away so I can only imagine what it’s like to actually be there.  #bucketlist

 

Favorite “Drink This Now”:  4 Under-the-Radar French Rosé Regions.  Rosé is the perfect summertime wine.  (And I think a glass bottle would go great with those appetizers above.)

 

Favorite Wake-up:  Overnight Oats Banana Split.  I love overnight oats.  And who wouldn’t want a breakfast that looks like dessert?

 

Favorite Grilled:  Smoky Beer Burgers with Gouda and Mustard-Horseradish Aioli.  It isn’t really summer until you’ll grilled a burger.

 

Favorite Slice:  Four Cheese Pizza.  Mozzarella, Parmesan, Brie, Ricotta.  Need I say more?

 

Favorite Real Estate Game:  Nantucket vs. Martha’s Vineyard.  The Nantucket house is my pick (that kitchen!) but I can’t help but lust over the Martha’s Vineyard backyard.

 

Favorite Spiked:  Fresh Raspberry and Gin Slushies.  These would be the perfect way to get a party started…

 

Cheers!

 

{virtual} coffee chat

Good morning!  Grab yourself a cup of joe and let’s chat.

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If we were having coffee this morning…I might actually be drinking La Croix because I’m beyond obsessed.

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you about the prettiest little present I received from one of Big Guy’s clients.  She was visiting the states on business from Singapore and I was asked to go to dinner with the two of them.  And she brought ME a present!  It’s a beautiful hand painted ring/trinket holder.

If we were having coffee this morning…I would tell you that she made me want to travel the world even more.  Her stories were amazing.  She did say I could come stay with her for  month or two if I wanted…

If we were having coffee this morning…I would hope that we would have a breakfast this amazing with our coffee.  On Sunday morning, after spending an evening at SoCo and doing all our chores we chowed down on homemade biscuits, poached duck eggs, asparagus and pork belly.  Breakfast dreams do come true.

sunday brunch

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you about the chores that I completed before demolishing that plate of food.  The most fun chore was collecting quail and duck eggs.

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you that freshly picked blueberries are the best.  And I’m the best blueberry picker out there.  I filled my container up the fastest.  Probably because I wanted a biscuit.

blubes

If we were having coffee this morning…There is no way I couldn’t go without showing you a picture of Banana – the duck with upside down wings.  I can’t make this stuff up.

banana

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you that I finished book #2 from my Summer Reading List.  It was a great one and I plowed through the entire book on Saturday while laying by the pool.

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you that I bought three of the other books on my list – this is going to be the summer of reading.

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d tell you that Big Guy and I finally found a long weekend to go to the beach.  And that makes me so, so happy.

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d invite you over for lunch.  Summertime lunches are generally the same – big ole salad with some sort of protein.  Currently I’m loving farm fresh eggs.  This particular one was a duck egg.  And a big scoop of hummus on the side.  No need for dressing on this salad.

If we were having coffee this morning…I’d remind us both of this:

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks

Summer is officially here.

And the garden is finally starting to deliver some homegrown goodness.  On Sunday, Big Guy picked two huge zucchini from the garden and I couldn’t wait to put them on the plate for dinner on Monday. 

zucchini stacks

Zucchini slices are sprinkled with salt and pepper before grilling until tender.  While Big Guy manned the grill, I prepped the other ingredients.

I sliced two gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and a mozzarella.  I also prepped the balsamic drizzle – a combination of EVOO, balsamic glaze and garlic plus a little salt and pepper.

Once the zucchini was grilled, simply layer all the ingredients.  Tomato slice, zucchini slice, mozzarella, more zucchini, tomato and I ended with a zucchini slice.

Once stacked, drizzle the entire platter with the balsamic dressing and then sprinkle with fresh basil.

Summer never tasted so delicious.

Friday Favorites

 

Favorite Toppings:  Tex-Mex Hot Dogs.  I crave a hot dog about once a year and that’s usually in the summertime.  But let’s be honest – it’s more about what’s on the dog and less about the dog itself (except I won’t get close to a boiled hot dog).

 

Favorite Basic:  Ruffled-Hem Cami.  You can’t go wrong with a simple yet perfect black cami during the summer.  Whether dressed up or dressed down, this top can take you just about anywhere on a summer Saturday.

 

Favorite Wake Up:  Cream Cheese and Macerated Strawberry Toast.  So simple yet so beautiful.

 

Favorite Meatless Monday:  Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.  One word:  YUM.

 

Favorite Obsessed:  East Hampton Beach Retreat.  I would never, ever want to leave home if this was my back patio.

 

Favorite Appetizer:  Easy Shrimp Salad Bites.  These five ingredients small bites would be perfect for any summer occasion – from baby showers to back yard parties.

 

Favorite Southern:  Country Ham and Pickle Sliders.  If I served this as an appetizer, I’d probably earn “best wife of the year” award.  {But I would do it without earning an award because I can’t get over the homemade peach mustard and pickled green tomatoes.}

 

Favorite Upgrade:  Elvis Ice Cream Snackwiches.  Stop.  I can’t even handle this right now.

 

Favorite Flavors:  Lemon Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  I’ve been obsessing over lemons lately and the addition of blueberries sounds heavenly.

 

Favorite Devour:  Slow-Cooked Baby Back Ribs + Mac and Cheese Waffles.  Yes, you just read that correctly.  Mac.And.Cheese.WAFFLES.

Favorite Cocktail:  Grapefruit-Fennel Fizz.  We have so many fennel fronds in the garden.  What better excuse to have a cocktail!

Cheers!