Cocktail: the Paloma

I'm feeling regardful that I didn't make a summer bucket list this time around because this summer has felt action packed and we're only half way through. It has been simultaneously moving very slowly and flying by, and a good mix of relaxation and being busy, busy, busy. We've had friends in town to show our city to, some beach days, happy hours and board game nights. We made a fire in our chimenea, cooked a lot of meals (thanks to Hello Fresh), and I've had pool days and shopping days, and found some new favorite restaurants. We got our new sofa delivered and have more friends coming and more small vacations planned. I know I say this every year, but this could possible be one of my favorite summers to date.

When I think about my favorite summer cocktail, it's the paloma. I'm not much of a tequila drinker, but palomas and margaritas are a favorite of mine. I'm all about grapefruit cocktails, so just add tequila and a little salt and I'm fully on board. Plus, this cocktail is incredibly easy.

Paloma Cocktail

Makes one cocktail

4 oz grapefruit juice
2 oz tequila
1/4 of a lime
1/2 teaspoon sugar
splash of grapefruit seltzer or club soda
coarse salt, optional
lime wheel, optional
grapefruit slice, optional

In a short or highball glass, wet the rim of the glass with a lime or grapefruit slice. Spread coarse salt out onto a small dish and dip the rim of the glass into the salt, covering the rim of the glass.

Add ice to the glass. Add grapefruit juice, tequila, and sugar into a glass and give a stir to dissolve the sugar. Squeeze a 1/4 of a lime into the glass and stir again. Top with grapefruit seltzer or club soda, a lime wheel and a grapefruit slice. Cheers!

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Recipe: Berry Smoothie Bowl

For a while now, smoothie bowls were something I never thought much of. I loved looking at photos of them on the internet, but actually making one seemed unnecessary to me. It's just like eating a lumpy smoothie with a spoon. 

But while spending the day at the beach, I saw a ton of people sitting on the beach eating these gorgeous looking pink bowls filled with fruit. After hunting down where they were from, and also what they were (pitaya bowls!), I knew I needed one (and then maybe another one for the trip home...). I was hooked. It's like smoothie soft serve and I haven't stopped eating these at home.

I do have to give credit to my friend, Chelsea, for teaching me how to properly freeze a banana. Pro tip: don't freeze it with the peel on. 

Berry Smoothie Bowl

Makes one very large bowl

Smoothie Bowl
1 banana
1 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

Toppings
1/2 cup granola
3 strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
3 tablespoons of toasted coconut

Peel the banana and place in a bowl in the freeze for a minimum of an hour.

Once semi-frozen, blend the banana together with frozen berries, yogurt, and water. Once fully blended, spoon into a large bowl and top with any toppings of your choice. I went with toasted coconut, blueberries, raspberry, strawberries, and granola. Eat immediately.

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Cocktail: Raspberry and Peach Bellini

The Bellini seems to be an underrated brunch cocktail. Though it's often overshadowed by the incredibly basic Mimosa and the savory Bloody Mary, the Bellini brings it's own special quirkiness to the table. The Bellini is kind of like the sweeter sibling of the mimosa; fruit purées and nectars mixed with bubbly champagne or prosecco. 

In this drink, we're making our own raspberry purée and mixing it with some thick and juicy peach nectar. Perfect for a summer brunch!

Raspberry Peach Bellini

Makes one drink

Drink
4 oz peach nectar
2 oz raspberry puree
Prosecco

Raspberry Purée
1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon honey
Half a lemon

In a medium bowl, mix together raspberries, honey, and juice from the half a lemon. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour. Pour berries and any juices into a blender and pulse until puréed.

In a glass, add raspberry purée and top with peach nectar. Stir together and top with Prosecco. Garnish with some fresh raspberry and/or peach slices. There you go!

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Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

It's been a little while since we baked together, friends! So I wanted to ease you back in with a simple recipe that takes under 30 minutes to throw together. We're making a crisp because it's simple, versatile, and delicious. It's also one of my favorite treats because you can make it for dessert and serve it with ice cream and then reheat the leftovers for breakfast the next day. And we aren't skimping on the topping either, since that's really the best part. Let's get to it... 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Yields 8 servings

2 cup strawberries, chopped into small pieces
2 cups rhubarb, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 lemon
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set aside a 8x8 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, juice from half a lemon, and sugar until everything is combined and the fruit is coated. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and melted butter until combined and mixture is crumbly. 

Add fruit mixture and any juices from the bowl into the baking pan and spread out evenly using a rubber spatula. Using your hands, sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the fruit so that the fruit is completely covered. Bake for 30-40 minutes until fragrant, the fruit is cooked through and bubbly, and the top is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream. 

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Favorite Podcasts

Truth be told, I've been trying to write this little blog posts for weeks. Weeks! And this is the second week in a row without a new recipe *insert sad face* so I thought I would update you a bit. Two Fridays ago I accepted a new job, which I'm pretty excited about, but I've spent the past two weeks doing the stressful interview process and waiting, then giving my two weeks at my current job and transitioning everything I did to others. Plus we spent last weekend away at the beach. All in all, just a busy couple of weeks but I'm feeling anxious to get back in the kitchen this weekend. In the meantime, I thought I would put together a post I've been wanting to write for a while now: fav podcasts.

Podcasts are a huge part of my life these days and I'm always on the hunt for new ones. I have a 45 minute commute each way to work and podcasts have seriously improved that drive. I feel less like I'm just wasting away in my car and feel more like I'm learning something, even if it's mostly true crime stories and useless information. You'll see by the list below that I'm a big true crime junkie so if anyone has any different ones, let me know in the comments!

My Favorite Murder: I don't know when I first heard about MFM, but from the first episode I was hooked. Two women, sitting down and chatting about true crime and serial killers. Sign me up. I think what I like most about this podcast (and what I know a lot of people don't like) is that this podcast feels like a real life conversation. When I listen to it, I feel like I'm being told a story by one of my girlfriends, which I find to be a very interesting approach to a podcast about crime. So if you are looking for a streamline, professional, all-the-facts type of podcast, this is not for you. But, I enjoy most of their episodes.

You Must Remember This: Though originally drawn to this podcast because of her season on Charles Manson, I've since listened to the Dead Blondes and Blacklisted seasons. This podcast is pretty much the opposite of My Favorite Murder when it comes to information and tone. You Must Remember This tells "the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century." Karina Longworth's stories are incredibly detailed and dense (in the best way possible). The research and preparation that must go into each episode is impressive in itself and each episode is incredibly well written. Plus, I love Karina's voice and pronunciations. 

The Dollop: I just love The Dollop. I love it. Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds tell stories from American history, but not the stories you learned about in history class. And I know this doesn't sound like it would be funny, but it's honestly hysterical. These are the stories, people, and little blips in history that for the most part have been untold. The man who invented the high five, the first welfare queen, New York City's Gopher Gang to name a few. It's interesting, it's funny, and I feel like I've learned a lot of our country's ridiculous (and many times appalling) history.

Stranglers: This 12-episode podcast details to the crimes of the Boston Strangler and tells the stories of his victims. This is a story that I was obviously aware of, but had never listened/watched anything dedicated to. The story itself is pretty crazy, and has a handful of twists and turns and conspiracies associated with it. Similar to You Must Remember This, Stranglers is beautifully narrated and researched, and hits all the markers for me. Plus, it's still an unsolved case.

S-Town: I think this is maybe my favorite NPR podcast. I loved the first season of Serial and all, but found myself way more all-consumed with S-Town. Such a bizarre and interesting story about interesting people. I binge listened to this in about 4 days. 

This American Life: It felt almost too obvious to add This American Life to a list of my favorite podcasts. Obviously it's a favorite. But even as new podcasts pop up about topics more germane to my interests, I still always enjoy new episodes. It just holds up for me.

Up First: This is a fairly new-to-me podcast but I LOVE it. I've always struggled with keeping up with current events and news and this gives me a quick, thorough update of current events each morning. I listen to it while I'm getting ready and it just works for me.

At Home With...: A new podcast by Anna and Lily of The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles, two of my favorite beauty/lifestyle vloggers. Way different than many of the other podcasts I love, they go into the homes of women in the beauty business and have a chatty conversation about their work and their home. Maybe it's just because the woman they are interviewing are people of interest to me, but I've been really enjoying this one.

WTF with Marc Maron: WTF is a podcast I've been listening to for years and though I haven't listened to it too much recently, it still remains one of my favorites. This a standard interview-style podcast, with guests ranging from Barack Obama to Anne Hathaway. Comedians, actors, musicians, there's really an interview for everyone in there. My favorite thing about this podcast is that Marc Maron tends to dive deep. Yeah, he talks about their latest projects or what they're most notable for, but dives into their personal lives, aspirations, and the motivations behind their work. He's just a great interviewer.  

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