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Summer

Seven Layer Pasta Salad

Appetizers, Dinner, Salads, Summer, The Holidays

I love a regular, classic salad. Yes, I do.

But sometimes I like to choose fun. And for me, that means adding pasta into the mix. Pasta salad is the best kind of salad. We all know this.

I also love the very American seven-layer salads. They look like traditional Americana dishes to me. Something I never grew up with. My mom didn’t make American foods like this, which obviously made me even more curious.

For this post, I teamed up with French’s. Their Classic Yellow Mustard is a summer (and beyond) staple that adds a pop of flavor into all kinds of summer dishes. I usually make dressings with Dijon mustard but this is proof that yellow mustard also has its place in dressings. This one is a creamy herbed dressing that can be used instead of ranch.

I like my pasta salads to have texture, texture and more texture. The radishes and sugar snap peas add lovely texture. It makes it super refreshing and on the lighter side, which might be surprising considering the fact that it’s a straight-up pasta salad.

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Agua Fresca (Watermelon, Canteloupe + Honeydew)

Drinks, Summer

I’m currently flying in the sky headed to Florida to visit some family for the 4th of July. It’s going to be a quick and snappy trip—just how I like it.

And I was going to wait to post this recipe next week but I’m having some flight entertainment issues. I downloaded a bunch of episodes of season seven Drag Race for the plane and they didn’t actually download, unfortunately, so I’m bored. I figured I’d share this recipe instead of being bored, so here’s to hoping you have time to make it before the 4th!! If not, then maybe you can make it this weekend or the weekend after. Summer isn’t going anywhere.

In fact, it’s just gearing up. This weekend it’s going to be 105 degrees F in LA. WHUUT! Yes, and I’m getting back just in time for the beautifully warm festivities. You best believe I’m making a big batch of all three for the weekend.

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Spicy Chipotle Chicken Cemita Sandwich

Dinner, Sandwiches, Snacks, Summer, The Holidays

True story: Josh was TERRIBLE to date. Especially in the beginning. He’d do that thing where you text someone and they start to text back so you see the bubble show up and then it stays like that for a few minutes, so you wait, expecting a long, meaningful message. AND THEN, the bubble disappears and no text is sent. For days.

When I brought this up to him and told him that I had other people who would be better texters and who actually liked animals (that was a lie, I had no one), he told me he wanted to apologize over cemitas. Everything with Josh was an excuse to just eat something that has been on his list. So I agreed. Josh and I worked everything out obviously. But my takeaway was that cemitas are delicious.

For this post, I teamed up with French’s. Their Classic Yellow Mustard is a summer essential, we all know this. You know how to make a grilled hot dog even taste better? Add yellow mustard. A pretzel? Salad? Yellow Mustard. I also love to add it to sauces and dressings and a myriad of other things for flavorful summer meals.

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Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Chipotle Hummus

Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer, Vegetarian

I’m not gonna lie, I actually didn’t even know how to use a grill until 6 months ago. I’ve always had a gas grill or no grill at all. I lived in Los Angeles for years and years with no outdoor space so please don’t hold it against me! But a few months ago, I got a grill. A bright, pretty red one and finally purchased one of those chimney things and learned how to use it properly. It honestly couldn’t be simpler so I have no idea why I was a little intimidated by it.

The best part of summer—besides copious amounts of watermelon and popsicles—is grilling. I love grilled foods. And I could eat a grilled veggie sandwich every single day. They are so good and light-feeling.

For this post, I teamed up with La Brea Bakery! I love their bread; in this recipe, I used their Telera Take And Bake Rolls, and you can find a coupon to purchase on their site and more summer recipes here. I baked the bread on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then sliced the rolls in half and grilled them.

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Mini Summer Galettes with Walnut Streusel

Desserts, Summer

As a self-employed person, weekends aren’t always weekends. I actually like it this way. I know it may sound strange but I love doing work on the weekends because it means peace and quiet and zero emails! WOOHOO! This weekend was a combo of work and relaxation and it felt really nice.

I’ve been put on Queer Eye Season 2 and started to edit all the photos that exist on this computer. Josh was like, “why are you putting on that show because you’re gonna cry?” I was like, NO I’M NOT. And then literally seven minutes into the show, I started crying. Lol. It’s emotional!

Let’s talk about the recipe. I haven’t alway been a big fan of galettes. I kinda always thought they looked a little sloppy and I preferred and perfect-looking pie. And then I just embraced that them looking kinda sloppy is exactly what galettes are all about!

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Basil Pistachio Pesto with Blistered Tomato Pasta

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Summer, Vegetarian

In the second installment of….let’s go through my hard drive and find all the posts I haven’t posted, here is a summer-y pasta!!

Before we went to Japan, everyone warned us: THE JET LAG IS TUFF. I was scared. Will I be a walking zombie? Will I be able to enjoy my days? I assumed yes because I’ve been to Europe a few times and while I’m a little out of it and tired, I drink coffee and run off adrenaline because I’m on vacation and it’s fun!

When we got to Japan, I was a little tired. I ate some soba, walked around and then went to bed at 10pm and the next morning I woke up bright and early (I think 6am) and was totally fine.

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Zucchini Lasagna

Dinner, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Summer

I love a vegetable noodle dish. Real, gluten-filled pasta is my fave, but sometimes I crave the flavor of those dishes and want to skip the heaviness. (And then again, sometimes I like the heaviness haha!)

One thing I use over and over is my KitchenAid Architect Stand Mixer with Vegetable Sheet Cutter attachment. I got both of these things from Macy’s (my architect stand-up mixer is my favorite). I’ve made different iterations of this same dish, swapping out zucchini for butternut squash and even eggplant—it’s so good. The classic version of this dish used zucchini. It’s delicious and cheesy and when you’re craving something lighter, this is the move.


For this post, I teamed up with Macy’s Wedding Registry where I’m recommending that these two items have a place on it. Yep, they truly deserve a spot. As you probably know by now, I use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer daily. I bake a lot, but really it’s not just for baking. I make plenty of other things in my KitchenAid, including lasagna!



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Baked Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders

Dinner, Sandwiches, Summer

As you know, summer is usually a slow burn for me. It takes me a bit of time to welcome the unrelenting heat and mosquitos. I’m more of a winter person, you know this. But this summer I’m excited. I’m excited about outside BBQs and cubing up watermelon and maybe jumping in a pool.  Summer is weeks away but we all know that Memorial Day is the unofficial kicking off point for summer.

For this post, I teamed up with ALDI, where you should go for all your summer food needs. They have everything from fresh meats to BBQ and fresh organic produce for pies. It’s a one-stop shop for summer!

I’ve been wanting to make hot chicken, but in slider-form for a while now, so I figured what better time than now to unofficially kick off summer.

My favorite part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a fryer or a big pot of oil. This is in the oven, baked, the whole time. I know we’re not fans of lots of oil so this one is pretty simple.

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Gluten-Free Summer Strawberry Coconut Tart

Desserts, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Spring, Summer

I realize that I kinda owe you an apology because before this recipe I realize I’ve never really posted gluten-free desserts. For me they’ve always been a challenge, mainly because I can eat gluten so I’ve never really taken the time to understand gluten-free baking. Also, the recipes I usually come across are annoying looking. Too many ingredients, xanthum gum, etc. Like, it feels like I need a million ingredients, ones I probably won’t use again.

SO, when I opened Sweet Laurel by Claire Thomas and Laurel Gallucci, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the recipes seemed. Their book is full of grain-free desserts, all of which are made with minimal amount of ingredients. I settled on this almond crusted strawberry coconut cream tart because it was as simple as can be and your girl looooves coconut.

This tart is SO simple to throw together. The only prep is to make sure you have a can of coconut in the fridge so it’s super chilled because the filling is coconut whipped cream.

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Ramp Cacio e Pepe

Pasta, Quick and Easy, Summer

RAMPS! So very seasonal! Their seasonality is sort of dramatic. Especially here in Los Angeles where ramps don’t grow locally.

Most ramps you’ll find in LA are from the Pacific Northwest because they need like forest-y type of terrain and they need a lot of rain and water.

They’re a spring time produce and they’re so delicious. They’re really good with so many things.

A few years ago was the first time I tried a ramp and I was, like, what is all the fuss about?!?! Well, if you’ve never had them I’ll describe them like this:

Think very garlicky but without the spice. They’re a very smooth flavor but strong. It’s hard to describe but they’re really just this delicious garlicky/onion-y type flavor but don’t feel intense or bitter or sharp. It’s smooth AF.

This meal obviously could be made without the ramps. This is a classic cacio e pepe pasta. Cacio e pepe is super easy to make. It’s all about technique tho and really the most important thing in this recipe is the pasta water and the black pepper and cheese.

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