10 pinterest recipes to try this summer

we've all been there. maybe you're bored. maybe you have some free time or a day off. whatever the reason, you get a spark of inspiration and decide you want to put your culinary skills to the test at a delicious, albeit kind of intense recipe found on pinterest after waaay too long a browsing sesh. what the hell, you've made a homemade pizza before. how hard could these pan seared scallops with pancetta, pea & mushroom risotto be?  after making your list and writing down maybe twenty-ish ingredients you start to question your decision. but you persevere. you're going to make dinner if it's the last thing you do and your significant other is going to love every bite. you leave the grocery store, head spinning, having spent enough to buy you a weeks worth of groceries under typical circumstances. because who knew scallops weren't in season? not you. 

finally you're home. four hours later your kitchen looks like hurricane andrew made a resurgence from the atlantic and whizzed directly through your townhouse like he had a vendetta or something. all to what end? to find that this recipe was the blandest, yet most expensive meal you've ever schlepped over. you ate crayons in preschool that tasted better.

okay, so maybe we haven't all been through that exactly, but you get the point and to some extent you probably have. so i'm here to save you! here are ten pinterest recipes that are ACTUALLY good!  and easy. and require only a few ingredients. sometimes, simplicity really is best.

COOKIE + kate :

skinny margaritas

don't let the name throw you. these don't taste "skinny". they taste fresh and pack a punch. i personally cannot stand those pre-made fluorescent yellow or green drink mixes they sell in grocery stores. try a fresh squeezed margarita and you'll never go back. in a pinch, i've used honey instead of agave and they turned out great!

pinch of yum : 

red thai curry sauce

i'm a thai food junkie and red curry chicken is my go-to order. i've never been able to recreate it at home though until i stumbled on this recipe. i usually sautee  1lb chicken, red bell pepper, and onion and half a carton of mushrooms together and then add it to the sauce. and serve over rice. 

COOKIE + kate : 

fresh mango salsa

this is great with tortilla chips, as a topping for tacos or served over baked salmon. it's the perfect summer staple.

smitten kitchen :

double chocolate banana bread 

this stuff is heaven. i make this banana bread quite often actually. i somehow always have a couple of bananas lying around that have seen better days and there's no better way to put them to use. it's really good for breakfast, dessert or a snack!

cooking classy : 

avocado hummus

if hummus could be beautiful, this would definitely be beautiful hummus. the creamy texture and color are what caught my eye. my only concern was if this would turn that brown murky color that avocados tend to after a day or two. well friends, i'm on day two and i'm happy to report that it's holding up really well and still looks like a delicious shade of green. 

glorious treats : 

magnolia bakery banana pudding

i made a trifle version of this for a friends wedding shower a while back and it turned out great. the texture was so light and fluffy. it got rave reviews and some people even took some home with them. i'll take that as a compliment!

gimme some oven :

chicken, bacon & avocado chopped salad

this is a great weekday dinner option for someone on the go. it's healthy, yet calls for few ingredients and scores high on the taste charts. i mean anything with bacon and / or avocado is bound to be delicious. ammi right?!

minimalist baker : 

quinoa stuffed peppers

i've had some organic quinoa sitting on my pantry shelf for way too long. that coupled with my no carb kick last week, i decided to give these a shot and boy were they delicious. note, i used chicken broth instead of vegetable to make the quinoa so it had some extra zing. it was a good addition. also, i use pinto beans instead of black beans because i prefer the flavor and i add ground turkey.  these are great for leftovers too!

the cooking jar : 

hash brown egg nests

taste meets convenience. these are so easy to grab on the go for busy mornings! and let's face it that sums up about everyone in america. 




that's it! hope you all are having the very best week. until next time! 




it's funny, at the beginning of the 2015 i told myself that i was really going to live it up this year. it's the last year of my twenties and who knows, possibly my last full year without children so i made a promise to myself that i would go new places, see new things, put caution to the wind and have fun like i did when i was eighteen. with this milestone birthday looming over my head i feel a certain sense of obligation to myself to accomplish some things i've been wanting for years. a few of those things being: one really amazing trip to europe or a pristine beach somewhere, make headway on my career (hairstyling and makeup), either start keeping a diary again or blogging, get my creativity back, move to california once and for all, put forth a conscience effort to eat healthy and excercise on the reg, make new friends and have the most fun i possibly can through it all.

we are only on this planet once and only have a short seventy or so years, if we're lucky, to do everything we dream of and it can slip away within the blink of an eye. i'm bound and determined to feel like i've made the most of it. i mean, i've been really shocked at how many new places i've seen and things that i've done already this year. i'm not even seven months in and already i'm really excited about everything that has happened so far. cheers to life and enjoying it!


being from a teeny tiny town in the mountains in the throes of city life, sometimes (a lot of the time) i just want to throw my hands up in the air and book a one-way ticket to easter island or some remote place far, far away from it all. someplace where they don't even know what pollution IS. (seriously, i watched a documentary on easter island one time.) especially living in LA with 24/7 traffic and smog. but then i find a place like the iliad bookshop within walking distance from my house and i feel thankful again to live in a city with some culture. i could get lost in these aisles for hours.

el matador

we've had a lot of visitors since moving out here and we're expecting to have a lot more. it's no secret that we are kind of obsessed with malibu. benji's parents came to visit us for ten days last week and our first stop was of course, el matador beach. there was some girl make pretty art out of roses on the sand. also, this picture of benji sparked a google search to see if 'merman' is a real word and i somehow instead found a man in florida who lives his life as a mermaid. he's on youtube. look it up.

but first, chaaai.

the next day i took benji's folks to a coffee shop in burbank i've been wanting to try, the commissary. it was the best chai latte i've had and i might just become a regular. 

warner brothers studios

the same day we also went on a tour of warner bros. studios here in burbank. it was a lot better than i expected it to be! the picture on the left is of their three story prop house. they found out after getting them that these chandeliers appraise at over a million dollars each. wowza. it's cool to know what lies behind that water tower i'm always driving by on the way to hollywood. also, we got to see the set, in the first picture, that they use to film a ton of their movies and shows and now i can't stop spotting it in everything i watch.

mission inn hotel & spa

this place, you guys, is nothing short of wonderful! it's so picturesque and birds are just chirping away everywhere you go. we stayed a night here in riverside california with benji's parents. we had a great dinner and brunch the next day. along with some good ole vitamin d at the pool. 

joshua tree

after leaving riverside we roadtripped over to joshua tree national park. we stopped at pie for the people for lunch before heading into the park for some sight-seeing. it was so stinkin' hot compared to last time i was there when hillary and i were in sweaters! it actually felt like a desert this time. 

the getty

i think if you're coming to los angeles the getty museum should be on the top of your list of things to do. good grief, it's gorgeous. i've been twice this month and i don't regret it. my in-laws loved it! this time they had better art on display. paul cezanne on the left and van gogh on the right.


pacific coast highway

when you have the option between a six hour drive and a twelve hour drive to the same destination you would choose the shorter route, right? duh! well, not us. we chose the scenic route up to san francisco, aka the PCH. all i ever hear about is 'oh, it's supposed to be the prettiest, most scenic drive in north america'. blahh, blah, blah. what they don't tell you? it's also the SCARIEST. holy shiz, you're on top of cliffs over the pacific ocean maybe 10-15 stories up the entire time. the only thing between you and a free-fall into the wildest ocean you've ever seen is a skinny little guard rail here and there. well folks, i lived to tell about it and although it's a nail biter, i'd do it again and i think you should too! it's one to check off the bucket list.

san francisco

one case of vertigo and twelve hours later, we made it! san francisco is my favorite city. i've been once before several years ago and forgot how much charm this place has. it's so unique with it's cable cars, bay bridges, row houses, trolleys and steep hills. we went to a concert, haight and ashbury, pier 29,  the golden gate bridge, telegraph hill, golden gate park, berkeley, mama's for brunch (omg, yum) and other places that i know i'm forgetting.

that's about it for now. hope you all are having the summer of your life!