Homemade Guacamole


I was recently at a small summer pool party where the host decided to go super simple by serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and a HUGE bowl of fresh, homemade guacamole with chips. It was delicious. She didn’t stray from the classic pool party foods (which everyone, I mean everyone, loves.) and infused a little freshness and an exotic touch with the homemade guac. Here is my quick recipe for guacamole that has never failed me (or take more than 10 minutes to make when it’s just before kickoff time).


(super fresh cilantro, love how bright green it is)

(ground sea salt)



Greek Salad


Greek salad is light, healthy, and fast to make (words not usually associated with amazing taste), yet is packed with flavor from sprinkles of feta, black olives, and fresh basil. I picked up a purple basil plant from my local Home Depot a few weeks ago and it yields a traditional basil flavor with bright peppery notes, perfect for use in summer salads. The cucumber is sliced on the diagonal for nicer presentation. Alternating green and white stripes could be peeled down the sides using a vegetable peeler before slicing for an even fancier finish. I cheated and used bottled Greek dressing from Trader Joe’s which tasted great and has simple ingredients. I made this in under ten minutes (including slicing the vegetables!) and definitely plan to include it as the salad on my next menu.

(purple basil leaf)



Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese


This is a simple tapas-inspired snack that looks and tastes like it takes hours in the kitchen to prepare. Luckily for all of us date/bacon/goat cheese aficionados, it doesn’t. The melted goat cheese stuffing elevates the sweetness of the dates, which are balanced by the saltiness of the turkey bacon. Also, these travel well, we piled ours into a to-go container with a bottle of wine and brought to the park to see an outdoor local theater production of Spamalot. See the recipe here and pictures of the process below.

(loving this sweet La Bonne Vie goat cheese packaging)