Saturday, July 27, 2013

Summer Tomatoes, Slashed and Stuffed

This is one of my favorite summer recipes. Why?? Because it says my garden is plentiful, the sun is shining and I have so many tomatoes that I am just searching for ways to prepare them. This recipe has such simple, clean flavors that really define summer for me. The taste of homegrown tomatoes is really something to be treasured. There is only a few months out of the year that tomatoes are at their prime and this recipe definitely capitalizes on that flavor. Each of these little buttery tomatoes pops in your mouth and you have the instant taste of summer.

 This is a great appetizer or an amazing side dish. I have made this recipe for many different people and it has always gotten rave reviews. Give it a try!! I guarantee you will be impressed.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Italian Sausage Zucchini Boats

How does your garden grow? Despite the rain mine has hung on. I am still getting tomatoes, squash and lots of cucumbers. I love it. Everyday I go out with my basket and fill it up. When I have a lot of produce, this is one of the recipes that I love to make. It takes up quite a few of my veggies. I have written this recipe, but I like to substitute anything that I have to change it up. If I have more tomatoes, I use them. Less peppers, that is OK too. Just use what you have. This recipe is not so much about being perfect as it is about celebrating fresh tastes and loving what Mother Earth has provided for you. This recipe is summer in a boat.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cakes

So even food bloggers make mistakes..... and this recipe turned out to be one of mine. Every year when we go to the beach, I make my sister something for her birthday dessert. I typically make cupcakes and freeze them, then ice and decorate them when I get there. This year, I spoke to my 6 year old nephew on the phone and he told me he wanted ice cream cakes for his Mom's birthday. He had seen my Whoppers Malted Milk Ball Ice Cream Cake and he was having ice cream dreams. So "Aunt Becky" quickly agreed. How hard could it be?  I already took a huge cooler full of all the dinners for the week. I would make them 2 days before, freeze them and take them in the  cooler. So I set about my task.

OK..... I think you see where this story is going..... After my 8 hour drive to OBX (in typical July heat), I opened the cooler to find totally frozen steaks, chicken and even sweet potato French fries, and there was my perfect plastic container of ice cream slime?!?!?!?!!!! How could this happen? Everything else is frozen... Blah!  As I am dumping peanut butter milk down the drain and picking cupcake papers out before they go into the disposal, my Dad comes into the room and suggests refreezing them. We were way past that point.  "Aunt Becky" had let everyone down. I was not a happy girl, but I was at the beach and no one's feeling seemed too hurt. So, the next day we made strawberry shortcake and celebrated just the same.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I made this recipe for our the beach trip. Every year I meet my family in the Outer Banks, NC for a week of fun in the sun and relaxing. I look forward to this event every year. It is one of the few times that we all get together and truly have nothing else to do. Christmas is a nice time to see everyone but here are so many other activities going on that it is hard to spend real time talking or relaxing. The beach has a different vibe though. After the long drives and the hustle and bustle of getting unpacked and the kitchen stocked, everyone goes into "beach slumber mode." This means there is no agenda, no time schedule and no reason to leave our road, our beach house or even the couch if you don't want to. Myself, I am a "beach chair sitter"-with a book, people watching or taking a snooze.  I always say the water, sand and sun instantly take the weight off my shoulders.

As long as the sun is out, I will be at the beach. For years, my mom was been right there beside me. We are the official beach bums. There have been days in years past at OBX where we have refused to come off the beach because we are sure the sun will come out. We bundle up in beach towels and hats and wait; not willing to give up one second of beach sittin'. Then there are the other days when we wake up, immediately see the sun and put "Mission Sunshine" in motion. No one can pack a cooler, get dressed and haul chairs to the beach faster than us. We are like a finely oiled machine. Sure, other family members come and go and we love to see them all, but Mom and I are the diehards. We Love the Beach.... and there is no one I would rather sit there soaking up the sun with than her.

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