Summer is undeniably my favorite entertaining season. I mean, what’s better than a laid-back get together with friends on the patio, soaking in a little sunshine and savoring flavors fresh off the grill? For my latest edition of Dressed to Entertain, I’m taking you to my backyard for a Mediterranean al fresco dinner and showing you exactly what I’d wear. My favorite navy and white color combination fit the bill perfectly, and allowed me to leverage several of my go-to wardrobe staples for summer. Hop on over to Channeling Contessa to read the full post and get the details on how to recreate the look!
Recently, we’ve become creatures of habit. We make a Mediterranean-inspired feast once a week and never tire of it. Perfect for a quick summer meal, chicken rubbed with a blend of Middle Eastern spices is balanced with a creamy, tangy yogurt sauce. I like to serve the kabobs with grilled flatbread, homemade hummus, a simple salad of cucumber, tomato, red onion and feta dressed with red wine vinegar and oregano, and apricot-mint couscous. It truly is a feast, and we always have leftovers, but you’d be surprised how much we consume. It’s a favorite meal in our home for sure, and one where all the recipes have been born from our own experimentation in the kitchen. Keep reading for the details!
Spiced Chicken Kabobs
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together all spices to create the rub. Rub can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container.
- Rub each chicken breast generously, on both sides, with the spice blend. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into cubes, then thread onto pre-soaked skewers. Cook on a grill, flipping once.
Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Fold in the cucumber and shallot, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 3/4 cup couscous
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup of fresh mint, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. While you wait for the water to boil, lightly brown the couscous in a separate saute pan over medium-high heat. Toss constantly, about 5 minutes. Transfer couscous to the pot of boiling water, season with salt, remove from the heat and cover. Let stand about 5-7 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- While couscous is cooking, saute the garlic and shallot in the saute pan until just browned. Set aside.
- Once couscous is ready (all the water has absorbed), fold in the garlic and shallot, apricots, and pistachios. Squeeze in the lemon juice and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil to re-introduce moisture to the couscous.
- Fold in the parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
I’ve mentioned it before, but the warmer weather of late spring and early summer makes me crave vibrant colors like no other time of the year. Clearly, as you can see in all of the visuals from today’s links, from a rosy rhubarb tart to a neon pink necklace DIY to fuchsia carpet at home and persimmon cushions poolside in St. Barths. I’m hoping for a colorful weekend myself, starting with a little photo shoot this afternoon for Elizabeth’s next One Last Bite column (coming next week!), some gardening outside over the weekend, and of course our weekly trip to the farmer’s market on Saturday. What do you have planned? Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy my favorite links from the week!
Plate: A stunning Rhubarb Tart recipe that once translated to English, looks surprisingly easy.
Closet: Grace teamed up with Holst & Lee last week on a neon tassel necklace DIY that I can’t get out of my head. But since my DIY skills (read: patience) are pretty limited, I may have to try the earrings instead.
Home: I’ve been craving a big pop of color in our monochromatic living room, like this eye-catching rug in the living room of Claire Thomas.
Passport: The newest issue of Lonny transports us to the relaxing oasis of La Banane in St. Barths, and I can’t get enough of those vintage-inspired poolside cafe sets.
Images: Food and Cook | Stripes & Sequins | Rue | Lonny
Come summer, there’s nothing I enjoy more than grilling dinner and watching the sun set on our patio with John. Perhaps the best thing about grilled summer meals is how easily they come together, leaving you more time to enjoy the weather and good company. I started making this scallop recipe back in grad school on a tiny camping grill on my tiny deck, and years later it’s the first meal I crave as soon as warm evenings set in. We made it last night and discussed a few potential future adjustments (searing the scallops, making more broth on the stove for soaking our French bread), but even at its simplest, steamed in foil packets, it’s a longtime favorite.
I often get asked how I style my hair (in fact, even just yesterday!). While I’m always super flattered by the compliment inherent in this question, I have to laugh because my response is always the same - oh, it’s actually just dirty! And 100 percent of the time that hair style also took me zero effort. I’ll be the first to admit it took me years to get here—years of straightening my naturally wavy hair, years of trying products that just didn’t synch up with my hair type, and even a few years of using too much hairspray and dry shampoo for ‘dos that were way more primping than my casual everyday style. It wasn’t until more recently that I realized that those perfect mermaid, bedhead waves I (and everyone else) was pinning left and right on Pinterest? I have that hair. So why am I messing with this very desirable, covetable thing?
The problem was embracing my natural hair while figuring out how to make it look its best—and all with as little effort as possible. Let’s be honest: I would much rather get some extra shut eye in the morning—or drag myself out of bed to pre-sunrise yoga—than spend time fussing with my hair. Spending hours in the bathroom getting ready is just not my style.
So today I thought I’d share two haircare tips and four products I’ve recently adopted to fit both my style and hair type. I’d also love to know: Would you be interested in “tutorials” on my go-to hair styles? I’ll warn you I am no hair guru, but the looks I lean on are uncomplicated in the best kind of way (think loose or beachy waves, ballerina buns, side braids, and messy chignons). So keep reading and then be sure to let me know in the comments below!
Anyone else jump for joy with the first blooms of spring every year? No matter where you live, or how long your winter is, it seems like spring can never come quickly enough. I find myself leaning on way more neutral and dark staples in the winter than I’d care to admit, so the first chance to start breaking out colorful prints and pretty pastels is always welcome. We had fun with my father-in-law in town over the weekend and put his photographic genius to work, and today I’m debuting a new look for my style sessions!
I love mixing prints and textures, like this vibrant floral tank dress with my current favorite fringe cardigan. The great thing about a little floral number like this is how versatile it can be—you can easily throw on a navy blazer and pair of neutral pumps for a more business-appropriate work look.
These studded sandals are another current go-to of mine, elevating casual weekend looks for brunches and dinners. But since they are flat and can make your legs look shorter, I make sure to balance them with thigh-grazing hemlines or skinny jeans.
Get the Look: Anthropologie Cardigan | ANLO Dress (similar) | J.Crew Belt (similar) | Zara Sandals
Photos by Joe Craig
Happy Friday! Let’s dive straight into this week’s favorite links, shall we?
Plate: I’ve been wanting to try my hand at scones, but I’ve also been waiting for a recipe that spoke to me. Joy delivered: these scones are studded with sweet summer blackberries and fragrant lavender.
Closet: This Zara skirt is popping up everywhere, but guess what? It’s not actually a skirt - it’s a skort! Brilliant. Get it at Zara.
Home: I’ve been toying with the idea of painting our office, but Jo Malone’s global headquarters in London has me hooked on the idea of yellow curtains for a pop of color.
Passport: We have Greece on the brain for our next vacation, and these images of Mykonos are only increasing my desire for a Mediterranean adventure.
Still in need of Mother’s Day brunch inspiration? Check out my recipe archive!
Images: Joy the Baker | Tuula Vintage | Lonny | Marta Locklear via Entouriste
I didn’t plan to post these cupcakes on the blog (hence the Instagram photo). But since several of you asked for the recipe after I posted this quick pic, and because they were a BIG hit at my girlfriend’s baby shower, I knew I had to share. These cupcakes are rather special in that they accommodated my friend’s three food allergies by being dairy free, nut free and olive oil free. Those are some difficult ingredients to bake without, let me tell you! And while we have some lovely cupcake shops in town, none could say with full conviction they could deliver “safe” cupcakes. So I scoured the Internet for cupcake recipes, and once I found one that looked close enough, I made a few additional substitutions…
One of my very favorite meals come summertime is Salade Niçoise. I love to make a large platter and serve it family style, and I could eat the leftovers for days. It’s really something I never get tired of, and especially lovely to enjoy on warm evenings on the patio with a bottle of wine. Before my mom left earlier this week, she made the most delicious riff on traditional Niçoise—in place of the tuna, she grilled cedar-planked salmon, seasoned with lemon, thyme and pepper. It was pretty incredible and honestly this untraditional version is my new favorite. This salad also gets my vote with a Kalamata vinaigrette and crisp fennel added to the mix. Keep reading for the recipe, and I hope you’ll give it a try for yourself this summer!
This is Erin with Rosehip Flora, and today I’d like to share a how-to on a smaller scale. Let’s look at making a simple and sweet boutonnière or corsage for your sweetheart. Ladies and gents alike can’t complain about a handcrafted gift for a special occasion.
The first time I cooked dinner for my last boyfriend (now husband), I had some blooms on hand and fashioned a lovely little boutonniere for him to wear. It was a welcoming gift - welcome to my home, welcome to my life, welcome to my heart. He had never been presented with such a gift before, and I certainly have no regrets about making this sentimental gesture. Keep reading for the step-by-step instructions…