This Grilled Italian Sausage and Vegetable Orzo Salad is all about summer grilling! Smokey, charred vegetables add a ton of flavor to this meaty pasta salad. It's ready in just 30 minutes. Get the recipe from

I cannot stop grilling this month! Taking advantage of our back deck and grill is probably one of the things I look most forward to during the summer. We’ve really been working on turning the deck into an extension of the rest of our house so that it’s a comfortable place to hang out during the warmer months. Since buying the townhouse 3 years ago we’ve slowly been making improvements to the “room” by adding cushioned furniture, an outdoor rug, citronella lanterns and, of course, the grill. We’ve even been teaching the cat to get comfortable with a harness and leash so she can sit outside with us. It’s truly becoming a family affair.

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Grilled Oysters with Chipotle Tarragon Butter and Gremolata are a fun and flavorful summer treat! You’ll never want plain oysters again! Get the recipe from

I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of really fun, cool things since I began my food blog but there hasn’t been a ton of travel blogging. It’s an idea I’ve thought about on and off over the years because traveling is my other big obsession after food. If I could afford to travel more often, I definitely would. But it has been difficult since changing career paths. Not only is money a bit more tight than it used to be but when I go on vacation, I’m not earning a living. It’s the main downside to being self employed, as far as I’m concerned.

When I was first contacted last year about spending a weekend at The Melrose Georgetown Hotel and dining at their restaurant Jardenea, I was caught off guard. DC is filled with restaurant bloggers and reviewers but I’m not technically one of them. I come up with recipes and I take pictures of food. Was it ok to switch things up?

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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

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

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

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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