How to Spritz like an Italian

Friends of mine are in Italy right now, and every so often I get a glimpse of their adventures on my socials- the ancient streets, the vibrant markets…the afternoon spritz

I might have been jealous of their travels if my Italian friend, Margherita, hadn’t invited me and a few friends over to her place for a little aperitivo of our own. We each brought a few appetizers to share, popped open a bottle of prosecco and toasted the beginning of summer with Aperol spritz.

Lo spritz‘, afternoon happy hour in Italy, is designed to be social. It involves sharing plates, small bites and of course, the spritz cocktail. This effortless entertaining over seasonal, simple fare is my strategy for gathering with friends this summer and in a short blog series, I’m going to show you how to spritz like an Italian.

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The Ultimate Camping Food Day!

Last Friday we left the city behind and headed for the green rolling hills of Vermont for an impromptu camping trip.

A recent overhaul of our outdoor gear meant that everything I needed was relatively easy to find. Over the years, Danny and I have developed a system: I pack the kitchen gear/food while he takes care of the essential camping/sleeping gear. So if we’re missing a corkscrew, it’s on me; if the axe is nowhere to be found, that’s all him.

By now the kids pack their own items – everything from warm socks to Frisbees, bathing suits and pocket knives. Together we get the van loaded and the canoe tied to the roof. Thankfully, leaving for a camping trip has become much more streamlined.

Over the weekend I received a lot of questions about our camping experience, so I thought I’d revisit the topic here on the blog. I’ve written extensively about camping over the years, as we’ve gone every summer with our kids since they were babies. I’ll do a full round up at the bottom of the post, but before that, let’s have some fun and imagine what the Ultimate Camping Food Day would look like.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Asparagus

Our backyard was a busy place last weekend, with family and friends dropping by and staying to visit. It’s exactly how I love summer life to unfold, with spontaneous spritz on the patio and campfire s’mores just for kicks.

A vegetable-packed pasta salad is one of the ways I like to feed a crowd without too much effort, especially when it is sweltering outside. You can make it in advance or whip it up at the last minute; serve it on its own or with a side of grilled sausages.

It’s fast to prep, is easily customizable and enjoyed by all. Simply put, pasta salad is just smart, simple summer cooking – which is why I can’t believe I’ve never shared a recipe for it until today. Today’s recipe for Mediterranean Pasta Salad is our go-to salad during the hot months. I give my version, but also suggest plenty of ingredient variations for you to make it your own.

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Ten Spring 2018 Cookbooks I am Loving

Although it would be impossible to top last year’s bounty of beautiful cookbooks (*wink-wink* mine was among them) 2018 is shaping up to be a solid year for fantastic cookbooks of all sorts.

I’ve been cooking from a stack of exciting new books over the past few months as they have been released, and these ten have been the most enjoyable, inspirational and, indeed, motivational. My collection is all the better because of these new titles, and I’m thrilled to share them for your consideration.

Cookbooks are very personal, and what inspires me may not nudge you in the direction of the kitchen. I say take some time in a bookstore to flip through these books and let yourself fall in love with one or two. Better yet, research the author and decide who you would like to support. Then buy one for yourself and one for a friend. Okay! Read on for ten Spring 2018 cookbooks I am loving.

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The best asparagus recipes

On a weekend excursion to the market I spied the first local asparagus and brought home two fat bundles for dinner.

I added it to the grill, along with our flank steaks, and finished everything with a lemon-ramp (wild garlic) compound butter. It was an absolutely epic way to finish off the May long weekend. And now that asparagus is here, it’s going on the menu plan just about every day.

When it is harvested in its prime, asparagus doesn’t need much more than a little butter and salt; however, should you want to play around in the kitchen, this is Spring’s most versatile vegetable. From pizza to pickles, prepare to be inspired by this round-up of the best asparagus recipes from Simple Bites.

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