My husband and I are off to Alaska tomorrow to celebrate the marriage of two of our closest friends, who are both Alaska natives!  We're excited to see the sights and sounds; glaciers, wild game reserves, wilderness, and beyond, and are looking forward to some outdoorsy fun with friends.  

In the meantime, have a wonderful, safe 4th of July weekend!


Last Great Book I Read: If You Find This Letter

I came across a recommendation for If You Find This Letter while perusing a "books you should read this summer" list, and was almost instantly captivated.  This memoir is quite unlike any I've ever read, and an emotional, thought provoking testament to the dying art of letter writing, a personal hobby of mine.

The author, Hannah Brencher, details her journey of becoming a love-letter writer to the masses starting as a recent college grad, feeling lost and anonymous among the crowds of New York City.  Feeling a need to connect with those like her, desperate, lonely, and alone, she started leaving random letters around NYC, simply addressed as "If you find this letter, it's meant for you..."  What started as an outlet to find her place in the world has since evolved into a network of letter writing to the helpless, the hopeless, and those craving heartfelt words of sympathy, encouragement, and support.  

Her website is still very much active and alive today, and even if you skip the book, I suggest you take a gander.  It's worth a few minutes of your time.


Dinner Last Night: Peach, Basil, and Balsamic Pizza

The weather has been GORGEOUS here around the greater Seattle area, warm mornings, bright sunny skies, and brilliant blue sky.  Monday marked my last day of school for the year, and the official kick off to summer!  

To avoid any additional heat, we've been opting to grill over bake recently for dinner, so pizza on the grill was naturally one of our next meals on deck.  After a trip to our local farmer's market for some fresh produce, we picked up a few peaches and sprinkled with fresh basil from our garden.  There's nothing quite like pizza on the grill, and summer peach, basil, and balsamic pizza, you are a keeper! I didn't have any goat cheese on hand, but the pizza definitely wasn't lacking in flavor.

Chef's Table

Need a new TV series for the summer?  My husband and I recently started watching Chef's Table on Netflix streaming per a friend's suggestion.  It's a 6-episode documentary series about six distinctly different chefs who are considered visionaries in their area of culinary expertise.  Their restaurants and cooking styles are vastly different from one another, making each episode exceptionally unique; ranging from the beginnings of farm to table, to outside-the-box-Italian, to cooking off the grid in the far reaches of Patagonia.  We're only three episodes in, but so far it's pretty interesting.  Check it out!


Weeknight Baking: Salted Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats

First off, when is the last time you had rice krispy treats?  For me, these lovely little morsels remind me of the post soccer game treats of my youth, but I'm pretty confident it's been a while!  I can't actually recall the last time I've made them - if ever.  However, with the hot weather we've been having in the greater Seattle area the past few weeks, I was desperate for a dessert to bring to my book club meeting that didn't require an oven.  Enter: salted browned butter rice krispy treats a la Smitten Kitchen.  Brilliant!  

Ridiculously easy compared to most other desserts, and the flavor was excellent, just enough salt and an extra oomph of nuttiness from the browned butter.  My darling daughter also served as my sous chef - "measuring" or in her case enthusiastically scooping - the rice krispies.  Don't think I'll ever make the original version again.

The Pie Project #6 - Blueberry Rhubarb

I'm on a pie roll!  A few weeks back, I made this masterpiece, my latest pie to hit the oven - blueberry rhubarb.  As I was brainstorming possible pie combinations I remembered I had two bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer from Trader Joe's.  That plus an excess of rhubarb in our garden made for the perfect pairing.  The tart of the rhubarb is a great complement to the sweetness of the blueberries.  Go heavy on the cornstarch, cause this pie's a juicy!  

Past Pies * one * two * three * four * five

Friday Fun

Have a wonderful weekend!

+ cool down with watermelon ice cubes

+ is best really the worst?

+ best new summer reading suggestions

+ if I had enough guts to wear a jumpsuit, this would be it

+ ever had a muffin cake?

+ darling scalloped shorts

+ went and got myself hooked on this trashy summer show

+ loving this glassybaby for summer

+ perusing this pie cookbook

+ how many steps should you really walk in a day

+ what will rifle think of next? 

Dinner Last Night: Turkey Burgers

Until I discovered this recipe, I've never been a big fan of turkey burgers.  My sister Katie on the other hand loves them and always seems to gravitate toward turkey over the traditional beef.  Yet, somehow I've never been able to create that ultimate flavor that highlights the leaner turkey meat while not just posing as a hamburger.  This recipe changed everything - thanks to my friend Sarah.

Breadcrumbs, gruyere, grainy mustard, scallions, add in a few grated veggies for a good measure - how could you go wrong?  Since I could pretty much eat a burger everyday, this recipe will sub as an excellent alterative to keep us a little healthier this summer.


Favorite Summer Salad Recipes

Hello there!  We are hosting a few BBQs on the horizon, and I would love some advice or suggestions on your favorite summer salad recipes to share!  The produce at the Farmer's Markets these days is bountiful, and rich and vibrant with color, I'd love to try out a new recipe on friends.

What is your go-to summer recipes to capitalize on summer produce?