It’s summertime which means it’s my favorite season of the year! While some love cooler temps, I’d prefer to not worry about whether or not I’ve got the right coat or wrap or sweater on. For me, sun, warmth, and being by the water = happiness.

We recently had a family get-together poolside and enjoyed a fabulous dinner al fresco. The beauty of this dinner is that much of it could be prepped beforehand which meant more time spent with family.








(Adapted from Food Network)

My new favorite crostini! It’s a snap to prepare, and the combination of brie and prosciutto coupled with a tad of honey is to die for!

1 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch slices (about 40 slices)

8 oz Brie cheese

2 TBSP honey

4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide ribbons (about 6 slices),

Finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, for serving (optional)

Preheat the broiler.
Arrange the baguette slices on the prepared baking sheet. Cut the Brie into 1/4-inch-thick slices and put 1 slice on each piece of baguette. Broil until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes.
Drizzle the toasts with the honey and then top with some prosciutto and a sprinkle of thyme leaves if using.


(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

3 garlic cloves
3 15-oz cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 TBSP minced fresh cilantro
Additional minced fresh cilantro
Fresh vegetables (such as carrot sticks, celery sticks and cauliflower)
Tortilla chips

Finely chop garlic in processor. Add beans and lemon juice and puree.

Mix in oil, cumin and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 3 tablespoons cilantro and mix.

Transfer to large bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) To serve, drizzle with a bit of olive oil; top with cilantro, and serve with vegetables and tortilla chips.


(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

This salad is such a nice addition to any summer meal. And I love that there is no added sugar to the dish – just plain ingredients brought together so you can taste each one clearly. So delish!

6 large ears white corn, husked
5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup (packed) thinly sliced fresh basil

5 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
3 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Using large knife, cut corn kernels from cob. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add corn; sauté until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Transfer corn mixture to large bowl. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, 3 tablespoons oil and remaining basil.

Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

(Adapted from Epicurious)

This recipe takes a bit of preparation to char and seed and peel the peppers but it’s worth it. Makes a beautifully colorful spot on your dinner table!

2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2 poblano chilies (fresh green chilies, often called pasillas)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBSP chopped fresh basil
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic

Wash peppers thoroughly.

Char all peppers and chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened all over.

Place in a paper bag. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed peppers and chilies. Cut peppers and chilies into large triangles.

Mix all remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add roasted peppers and chilies and toss.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover; chill at least 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature.


(Adapted from Epicurious)

1 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
2 1-lb New York strip steaks (each about 3/4 to 1 inch thick), trimmed
6 5-to-6″ long French-bread baguette pieces, halved lengthwise
2 large garlic cloves, halved
3 1/2 cups arugula (about 2 ounces)
2 large plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and herbes de Provence in small bowl to blend.

Rub oil mixture over both sides of steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 8 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Cool completely. Wrap steaks tightly with plastic and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Preheat broiler. Place bread, cut side up, on baking sheet. Lightly brush cut sides of bread with 1/4 cup oil. Broil until bread is golden, about 1 minute. Rub garlic halves over toasted sides of bread.Cut meat into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Place arugula over bottoms of bread. Top with meat, then with tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with bread tops. Cut sandwiches in half. Serve warm, or wrap with foil and chill if packing for picnic. (Can be made 2 hours ahead.) I served a simple blue cheese dressing and a horseradish sauce along side.


(Adapted from Bon Appetit)


1 cup flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup slivered almonds


1 1/2 cups sugar

3 TBSP cornstarch

2 3/4 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2″ thick slices

2 1/2 1-lb bags frozen sliced peaches

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

2 tsp grated lemon peel

1 1/4 tsp almond extract

Vanilla Ice Cream (for topping)


Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl.

Add butter, and rub in with your fingers until the mix resembles course meal.

Add almonds. (Can be prepared and refrigerated the day before)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray with cooking spray a 13×9″ glass baking dish. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add apples, peaches, lemon juice, lemon peel and extract. Toss well. Transfer to baking dish; place on baking sheet.

Bake until juices bubble 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sprinkle topping on top of fruit. Bake until topping is browned about 25 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream.

A couple of pics of our newest family additions: