The Freshest Dish of the Summer

Avocado Mac and Cheese hits the spot as a delicious, healthier take on everyone’s favorite comfort food. While the green hue may be slightly disconcerting at first, be prepared to enjoy what’s probably the freshest dish of the summer. Kicks of lime and cilantro intermix with a creamy avocado sauce that awaken the taste buds with light, yet rich flavor. This pasta is best served immediately after preparation because the avocado will oxidize and begin to turn brown over time in the fridge. For an extra boost of [... more]

An Easy (Bakeless) Party Dessert

What do you call a baker that doesn’t use an oven? Not sure, but if your oven ever goes out, or you still haven’t cleaned it since that homemade pizza disaster, then these No-Bake Peanut Butter and Pretzel Bars from Top With Cinnamon are perfect. Everything on the list is probably already in your pantry, so you don’t have to worry about going to the back corner of the health food store to pick up an obscure spice. Just mix it all up, let the chocolate sit, then cut and serve. [... more]

Pre-Fall Fashion to Wear Now

You’ve heard of Fall fashion collections, but did you know about “Pre-Fall”? Designers recently debuted their 2014 Pre-Fall collections, which are often meant to be in-between season lines featuring fewer pieces than full Fall and Spring collections. These “Pre-Fall” lines are perfect for those living in regions that begin to transition into cooler weather early, but not exactly ideal for those living in, say, the South – where it’s still in the 70s going into November. While that usually means these chic Pre-Fall styles are just plain unwearable until the holidays, there [... more]

Pied and True

Rhubarb isn’t the most common vegetable used in baking (and actually, it’s considered a fruit by the government), but when added with blueberries and apples to a pie, this tart veggie-fruit can be a pleasant accent. Sarah from The Vanilla Bean Blog was experimenting with different ways to make her own flour when she made this Rhubarb Blueberry Apple Pie, so it’s got some great made-from-scratch elements in addition to these fruity flavor features. However, just as she substituted a few things in this recipe from one she found [... more]

Grilled to Perfection

If you’ve ever struggled with cooking meat on the grill, or just know someone who has (hey, Dad!), the iGrill2 is exactly the kind of gadget you need. This “rugged grilling thermometer” is designed to help you (or that “friend” of yours who is terrible at grilling) cook your meal to perfection. All you have to do is insert the thermometer’s probes; up to four different meats can be tracked at one time. The iGrill2 then syncs with a connected app on your smartphone so you can keep track of the [... more]

Oats of Flavor

Creating tasty desserts in the summertime calls for a little innovation. The dense and heavy treats of that accompany winter get replaced with lighter, fresher options. One delicious example of a perfect summertime post-dinner dessert is the Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bar. The indescribably good taste of the crumbly cookie-like crust comes from a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and other spices. Rolled oats get thrown in the mix for a bit of added texture. The delicious tangy swirl is made from sliced rhubarb and fresh strawberries [... more]

Rocking Chair Not Included

Looking for a light and refreshing summer beverage? Well, look no further. The Citrus Mint Spritzer provides the perfect tart to crisp ratio and quenches the thirst that accompanies a hot Southern day. Start by boiling some sugar-water in a saucepan before letting it cool and pouring into a chilled glass. Add in a mixture of orange juice and lemon juice for a bit of tart flavoring. Pour in a little Sprite before garnishing it all off with a few citrus fruit slices and a couple of [... more]

On the Brinka Style

Graphic shoes can liven up your wardrobe by working print into your everyday looks. Bally’s Brinka Pumps ($313) in an Aztec-inspired geometric pattern catch the eye without overwhelming your outfit. The soft, calf-skin leather shoe comes in two different color ways: a neutral steel gray and a warm shade of coral. True to the current trend that bucks sky-high heels, the Brinka stands just a tad over 2½ inches, making them perfect for either day or night. Wear these with a pair of dark-blue skinny jeans or [... more]

Petal Pusher

When the heat begins to creep into the South this summer, be prepared to rock this gorgeous skirt from Anthropologie. Perfect for the often-unpredictable seasonal weather, the floor-length Firefleur Maxi Skirt ($168) features lightweight fabric to keep you cool during the heat of the day and lend just enough warmth at night. The trendy piece also celebrates the season with a fun floral pattern in a rainbow of colors. Pair it with a simple, solid top and your favorite sandals for effortless summer style.

Anchor’s Away

Reminiscent of a sailor’s uniform, the classic blue and white striped shirt became popular in the U.S. after Coco Chanel began using the French design in her nautical clothing line in 1917. The quintessential pattern later experienced a resurgence during the 1950s and 60s and became synonymous with that era. Since then, the popular look has appeared on the silver screen as well as in many fashionable women’s closets. Ideal for nearly any occasion, a navy and white stripe basically serves as another spring and summer neutral. [... more]

Adult Swim

Summertime activities call for a bathing suit that can hold up to months of fun in the sun while also making a personal statement. Strong Boalt’s swim trunks for men capture the spirit of the season with their bold colors and prints, which clearly reflect their deep roots in the line’s birthplace of Palm Beach, Florida. We particularly love the whimsical Classic Boardshort Dark Blue Elephante ($130), which features a zipper fly and Velcro-fastened back pocket for optimum functionality as well as style.

Cake With an Irish Accent

You don’t have to wait until Saint Patrick’s Day next March to celebrate Ireland’s rich culture. Salute the Emerald Isle this summer with a little local flavor crafted from their famous stout brew. This Guinness Chocolate Cake combines chocolate, caramel, and the dark Irish brew to create a dense and decadent dessert. Two full cups of sugar counter the bitterness of the beer, resulting in a rich, intense flavor. And if that’s not enough, a Salted Caramel Glaze drizzled on top elevates the cake to sinfully sublime. [... more]

Not-So-Mellow Yellow

Everyone knows bright colors go hand-in-hand with summer fashion, but if you’re a guy looking for this year’s IT color, turn your attention to a bright marigold or lemon yellow. Flattering to so many skin tones, this rich buttery hue radiates a fun-in-the-sun vibe while remaining surprisingly chic. Pair a bright cotton sweater with a sharp navy blazer for work, or slip on some eye-catching loafers before heading out at night. Not feeling so brave with this bold color? Get a taste of it with a yellow [... more]

Beach Bombshell

Who said beachwear can’t be glamorous? This chic, all-black one piece and matching cover-up makes the perfect ensemble for poolside evenings and resort vacations. The waist-cinching Shape Swimsuit by H&M will boost your body confidence, while the sensually sheer Beach Dress with deep V-neck and side slit playfully offers peek-a-boo moments. Paired with these trendy platform Lindsey Wedges by Stella McCartney and gold and red accessories from Swell Caroline and House of Lavande, this fetching outfit will surely turn heads at any waterside gathering. H&M Shape Swimsuit [... more]

5 de Mayo: Cheesy Corn Dip

Food just seems to look, smell, and taste better when it’s baked in a cast-iron pan. Summer Corn and Cotija Cheese Dip exceeds all my cast-iron fantasy foods. It’s the perfect party dip to serve straight from the iron beauty you bake it in. Even better, the ease of the recipe, short list of ingredients, and minimal prep and cooking time (only 30 minutes total) will blow your mind. Summer yellow corn shines bright in this recipe, and its sweet flavor heightens when mixed with scallions, garlic, [... more]

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