Strawberry Ricotta Crostini with Fresh Herbs is a light and refreshing summer appetizer that's easy to prepare and perfect for guests. Get the recipe from SavorySimple.net

2013 wasn’t that long ago but in terms of my career it feels like an eternity has passed since then. So much has changed. One thing that remains the same, however, is my love of working with California Strawberries and supporting their work with farmers.

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These cherry vanilla muffins are soft and delicate from buttermilk. They can be made with either sweet or sour cherries and are perfect for brunch! Get the recipe from SavorySimple.net

I went cherry picking for the first time this past weekend! It was so much fun and I can’t believe I waited this long to pick my own. Cherries taste amazing straight from the trees. The heat of the sun makes the juices burst in a way that reminds me of freshly roasted berries. I’ve always loved to go apple picking in the fall but I think cherry picking is one of my new favorite spring traditions.

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This summer ale beer bread has hints of lemon and pepper. No kneading required, ready in under an hour! Get this easy-to-follow recipe from SavorySimple.net

I’m a total sucker for beer bread, even in the heat of the summer. What can I say? I love carbs. The thing about beer bread is that it’s very fast and easy to prepare, even for beginners. There’s no kneading, no stand mixers, and no yeast aside from what’s already in the beer. Making beer bread is easier than baking muffins. And as different seasons arrive, I love experimenting with different beers to create variations on my standard beer bread recipe which has appeared many times on this blog (for example, here’s the Spiced Octoberfest version I created back in the fall).

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This Savory Baked Oatmeal with Bacon, Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions is an amazingly hearty breakfast. For a vegetarian/vegan option, simply omit the bacon! Get the recipe from SavorySimple.net

I’m excited to be teaming up this week with MightyNest for a series of recipes using some of their fantastic cast iron products! I really love working with cast iron. It’s an amazing conductor of heat and is wonderful for getting a good sear on meats, among other things. I especially love using enameled cast iron, which is what I used with this savory baked oatmeal. In addition to getting very hot, cast iron can go directly from the stovetop to the oven which is extremely convenient. Enameled cast iron is very easy to clean and it’s also just gorgeous. Presentation is important to me.

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Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter and Parsley - a simple, low carb, vegetarian side dish that's incredibly flavorful and easy to prepare!  Get the recipe from SavorySimple.net.

I’ve learned a lot about food photography in the past few months. I’ve attended two separate workshops on opposite sides of the country and worked with some incredibly talented people. I’ve made wonderful new friends. And I feel like I’m finally ready to do something I have procrastinated for the longest time: upgrading my camera equipment. But before getting into all of that, I want to share my experience at First We Eat, the amazing food photography retreat I attended which was hosted by Eva Kosmos of Adventures in Cooking and Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provincial.

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