Friday Favorites: Summer Finds

Alternate title – Friday Favorites: Saturday Edition

Alternate title 2 – Friday Favorites: It Was the Longest Day of the Year and I Still Couldn’t Get a Blog Post Up

Now that summer is officially here, how about some Favorites to get us in the mood? Summer to me means lighter fare, fun atmosphere, and fresh flavors. Let’s get started, shall we?

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While getting our apartment set up, Numero Uno and I went to the local hardware store to purchase a simple outdoor furniture set and gardening supplies. In the process, we found other goodies (shocker). We came home with this beverage cooler and it has been providing chilled refreshments to our guests ever since. Before a party, we buy a large bag of ice and are able to keep beers cold out on the porch without taking up valuable fridge space. Continue reading

Recipe: Best.Cake.Ever.

I’ve never been much of a cake fan. Growing up I always requested either a pie or an ice cream cake as my birthday treat. Cake always seemed too dry and airy. I like my desserts dense and rich. Like a good thick, chewy brownie… mmm. I’ve since discovered that cake doesn’t have to mean dry and light and have found a few that really make my heart sing. This is one of them. And oh dear god, does it fit the bill.

Butter Cake Mastros

Enter the butter cake from Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills. Continue reading

The Inaugural Dinner Party

For the last two and a half years, my fiancé and I have been living in a 390 square foot apartment. Now before you wonder how the heck we did it, let me explain that it was located right on the beach in Santa Monica, California. A backyard as beautiful as this can help you forget about a lack of space:

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One thing that I truly missed while living there (besides a garbage disposal and a room other than the bathroom to escape to) was the space to entertain friends and family. I grew up in a family that cooked and ate together. On weeknights it was Mom cooking us dinner and then waiting for Dad to get home before we sat down to eat. On weekends it was the two of them cooking and grilling together while listening to “steak music” (jazz that was always associated with a more elaborate, relaxed weekend meal). For me, food always brought people together and became a way to express love and gratitude. During the week, I eat a pretty clean and simple diet, but when it comes time to share the experience with others, I like to create a special ambiance with special food. Continue reading