Even though we had a winter day in May here in Utah, it’s starting to feel like summer. And that means BBQ grillin’ time and summer foods! These Caprese salad skewers are perfect bites of freshness and assembly is as easy as 1…2…3!
Made with fresh mini mozzarella balls, skewered with tender basil leaves and juicy tomatoes and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Tip: You can use a plain balsamic vinegar or try our secret ingredient–pomegranate balsamic vinegar from a local Ogden restaurant called Hearth on 25th! You can also find it online here.
This stuff is delicious! This simple appetizer will have people coming back for more and I know they won’t be able to eat just one!
Bridget City Blooms Pillow on White: I have been in love with Caitlin Wilson’s pillows for a long time. I religiously follow her instagram and find myself “double tapping” her photos daily. Her design is simple and her patterns are a perfect balance of polished and whimsical. So when I was thinking about the perfect item for the Spring edition of “sweet picks” this fun, floral pillow popped into my head. It’s colors are bright and clean–without being too loud or over done. The pattern is a breezy floral print and the pillow itself is soft to lounge on. It makes a perfect edition to any couch or bed needing a Spring pick-me-up.
Now, these pillows aren’t cheap, but definitely worth the splurge for one or two (you can get Target or Home Goods pillows to fill in the rest). And if now isn’t the time for a pillow splurge, now you know where to look next time you’re in the market for the perfect accent pillow. Image Source: Caitlin Wilson
Good Natured Soy Candle: The allure of Anthropologie gets me every time! I can never just walk past the store, I always have to go in and check out all of the amazing stuff they have even if it’s just to window shop. Which is hard to do because I usually want it all! This time I went in to window shop, but as I was browsing around I came across a giant display of cute tins of soy candles and had to smell them all! The one that caught my eye first was the Apricot and Basil one. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect this combo to smell like, but I was curious and oh my goodness! One sniff of this candle and I was in LOVE!! IT SMELLS SO GOOOOD!!
You need to make a trip into your local Anthro and smell it! Trust me, your nose will be in heaven! After smelling the others I kept coming back to this one because it smelt so delicious and sweet. I knew I probably wasn’t leaving the store without purchasing this candle. I held onto it as I browsed the rest of the store and as I was looking around, I kept catching myself opening up the candle just to smell it! You know it’s that good when you are walking around the store looking like an addict getting their fix whiffing the candle. Image Source: Anthropologie
Artificial Plant in Stand Large – Threshold: I’ll admit it, I have a black thumb when it comes to house plants. I even somehow lack the ability to keep catus and succulents alive. That’s why I have no shame when it comes to decorating my house with artificial plants. And you know what, I’m always in luck because my favorite go-to store (Target of course) always has really beautiful artifical plants that you would never guess aren’t real. This plant is my recent purchase and I love it. It’s very pretty, modern and fits in nicely with the rest of my decor. So if you’re like me and are lacking that green thumb, check out this plant and the others available at Target. Image Source: Target
1. Peach, basil, and balsamic chicken salad with crispy prosciutto The weather is still too hot around here to convince my mind that it’s Fall and as a result I’ve had a resurgence of summer salad cravings. This salad is a perfect end of summer entrée filled with peaches and made hearty with the balsamic and chicken. Bits of crispy prosciutto add a salty accent and the whole salad just comes together beautifully.
2. Marinated tomato peach salad with herb butter toast I love mixing sweet with savory and this marinated peach and tomato salad with buttered toast is a simple, end of summer meal. Make sure to grab a nice crusty Italian loaf and your taste buds will be singing. You could even chop the tomatoes and peaches a little smaller and create a tomato/peach bruschetta.
3. Grilled peach, brie, basil sandwich I don’t know what it is about brie, but I’m drawn to it. I might as well create an entire Pinterest board it. Anytime there’s a recipe that calls for brie I pin it. It’s something about the creaminess that is magical and it’s distinct, yet subtle flavor. It can stand alone or be paired with other fixins. It’s just the bomb. So when I saw this recipe for peaches, brie, and basil I let out an audible, “Yessss!” Then when I saw the recipe was from Two Peas and Their Pod I was even more excited because Maria and Josh never let me down. So get fancy and make this “grown up grilled cheese.” Treat yo self.
4. Bacon-wrapped grilled peaches with balsamic glaze Excuse me, duh, why didn’t I think of this? When is wrapping something in bacon a bad idea? Hmm….never. I can’t actually think of something that was wrapped in bacon that I didn’t like. So naturally sweet peaches and salty bacon are a fantastic combo. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m itching to. So if you beat me to it let me know how amazing it is, okay?
5. Peach Galette with Honey Vanilla Pistachio Brittle and Cardamom Rose Whipped Cream I mean, whoa. Peaches, pistachios, cardamom, and rose whipped cream!!!! Talk about an all-star cast of ingredients wrapped up in a flakey pastry carb. Holla! I’m a sucker for interesting combinations and complex flavor profiles. They just speak to my inner adventurer and creative. If this were on a menu at a restaurant hands down I would order it. But since this is a recipe on a Pinterest board I have only yet stared at it longingly. I mean who has rose water laying around? But if you’re like me and you like having a few of these fancy ideas laying around for the perfect dinner party or fancy gathering, this guy needs to be added to the list.
6. Peach Caprese Salad You don’t need more than a picture to figure out this simple recipe. Peaches + Mozzarella + Basil + Balsamic = Caprese Perfection.
7. Pavlova with roasted peaches, blackberries, and mascarpone I ate this last night and it was amazing. In fact, I ate two of these last night. It was so good. The pavlova was not as intimidating to create as you may think and the mascarpone cream middle was heavenly. I could have stopped there, but then we added the roasted peaches and blackberry sauce and my taste buds began to chirp a sweet summer tune. Mmmm. It was a perfect combination of sweet and creamy. We made just a couple adaptations to the recipe by not smashing the blackberries (we left them whole), we cooked the blackberry sauce until it was an extra thick syrup, and we garnished with some fresh basil to balance some sweetness and enhance the awesomeness. And it worked. This was a crowd favorite for sure.
8. Peach blueberry pie Not all recipes or food blogs are created equal. This is true. But Joy the Baker has been winning my trust over the years and is now one of my go-to spots for sweet treats and desserts. So when this recipe for Peach and Blueberry Pie was recommended by a friend I knew I had to try it. And you should too.
10. Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce Whenever I need a solid, tried-and-true, classic, crowd-pleasing, recipe for something I always turn to The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drumond. I’m sure you’re also a fan of her ability to turn classic recipes into mouthwatering home-runs. She’s got skills. And this iconic American peach crisp recipe is no different. She creates a classic peach crisp to perfection and jazzes it up with a maple cream sauce. It’s the perfect transition dessert from Summer to Fall.
Summer might be coming to an end, but that means the best season of all is upon us….fall. There are of course the obvious reasons as to why this is my favorite time of year (hello pumpkin everything) but one reason I love the fall is because I can actually enjoy getting outside and hiking with my family. The temperature is 100 percent more to my liking for being active and you get to enjoy the leaves changing color with the beautiful scenery.
Lucky for me, my husband is Mr. Outdoors and is always keeping me fully stocked with everything and anything I could possibly need for hiking and camping. Whether I’m planning a short hike or a longer adventure, there are a few items I always bring along.
Flight 18 Peregrine Pack This pack is great for easy day trips along the trail. It has a roll-top to keep debris from getting in, but makes it super easy to slide gear in and out through the wide opening. Another plus is you can roll up the excess bag to keep it more compact or even fold it into a zippered pocket to pack down to fit inside a purse or jacket. How awesome is that?!
BugBand If you hate the smell of bug spray as much as I do, BugBands are a fun way to ward off unwanted insects without a sticky smelly mess. These bands can be worn on your wrist, ankle, backpack or even pet collars and will work for 120 hours. BugBands are safe for kids and come in a lot of fun colors.
Adventure Medical Kit The number one thing I always make sure to take with me, NO MATTER WHAT, is a medical kit. The Adventure Medical Kit is awesome because you can restock what you need without wasting money on a whole new kit. They offer a wide variety of kits from 1-person basic kits, to multi-person multi-day rated kits for the big adventures. You can even go as far as getting one that’s waterproof. Believe me, they are worth every penny!
Bear Spray My husband always makes fun of me because I’m a nervous nelly when it comes to wildlife, especially with my daughter around. So I tend to keep bear spray with me just in case.
Petzl Headlamp This is an absolute MUST to take on any trip, whether a short hike or big adventure. A head lamp can save your life by either guiding you out of a bad spot if you get lost and end up staying out longer than expected. It can even be used as a signal device in the event of needing assistance. You never know
Go-girl If you haven’t heard of this, you’re missing out. The go-girl is awesome. All I can say is it’s a lot easier to use this then figuring out another way to go on a trail.
Eco-Trekker If you have some time to kill, this is a great way to relax on the trail or at a campsite. It’s super light making it easy to pack and comes in a variety of colors.
Nalgene Bottle We love Nalgene in our home because they will not shatter or crack. They are BPA free and come in a million different colors and styles!
If you’re looking for some fun hiking options around Northern Utah, click here!
Summer has been awesome. Campfires, sunscreen and treats everyday. I mean, right? You’re eating treats everyday too, no? I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I love s’mores. And this summer has got me hooked—like addicted. I need s’mores like a pregnant lady needs pickles and ice cream. My new found love affair poses a few logistical concerns as you can imagine. I want s’mores way more often than is feasible to build a campfire. However, late one night when the campfire cravings came a knocking, in a stroke of genius I decided to fire up the gas stove in the kitchen to toast my mallow. And IT. Was. Perfect. It’s now become a nightly routine. All you need is a fork to roast the marshmallows gently over that smokin’ blue flame. Once golden and sizzling grab your graham crackers topped with chocolate and squish that s’more into a melty, delicious summer treat. And the best part is you don’t have to wash your hair six times to get the campfire smell out!
As my love (read: addiction) for s’mores continued to blossom I needed to find a way to share it with the masses (aka my family). I needed a way to get a lot of bang for my s’mores buck if you know what I mean. And I remembered having an out-of-this-world s’more pizza in NYC. If I could have flown one in that night, I would have. I think Google is working on an algorithm for telepathic pizza delivery, but apparently there are still a few kinks to work out. So I was forced to go old-school and search “s’mores pizza recipe” on the interwebs. After skimming options, I stumbled upon this great recipe with a homemade graham cracker crust and gooey mallow middle. Insert heart eye emoji. If you’re looking to feed a crowd a campfire classic or just want a flame-less alternative to feed your summer s’mores addiction look no further! This pizza is great hot and gooey, but is also tasty at room temperature. And if you eat it the morning after, go ahead and call it a “breakfast pizza.” That’s a thing, right? It is in my house.