our best 4th of july recipes for a spectacular weekend

It’s hard to believe the 4th of July is already upon us! Here’s a few of our favorite, no-fuss, serves-a-crowd recipes to get you out of the kitchen and enjoying yourself.

1. Easy berry crumble.



2. Roast chicken on the grill. Spatchcocking! Make it your friend.



3. Green pea hummus dip. So easy, so tasty!



4. Pizza with fresh tomatoes and corn pesto. Summer on a plate.


5. Strawberry and pea shoot salad.


6. Cinnamon and cardamon oatmeal cookie, ice-cream sandwiches.



What are you cooking over the 4th? Tell us about your favorite recipes!

From our partners

new obsession: trader joe’s bottled cold brew coffee



I have a new addiction and it’s a costly one. Cold brew coffee. I’ve been ordering it from Starbucks and to our local coffee shop in town, The Able Baker, begrudgingly shelling out $3.50 to $4 per serving because it just tasted so much better than melted-ice-cubed-watered down dripped coffee. Ever industrious, Chad decided to make some for ourselves at home. Suddenly we realized why cold brew was so expensive! To make a gallon jug of it for ourselves, we had to use nearly half a can of ground coffee beans. And we had to plan and be patient: The brewing needed to be done overnight. Then I discovered Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Concentrate, in a bottle. Each one makes 12 cups of coffee for $8. To make it, the ratio is 1/3 coffee to 2/3rds water. Simply pour the concentrate over ice, filling a glass about a third of the way. Add 2/3 water, or less if you like to add a lot of milk like I do. While technically it still is a little cheaper to make it yourself, the results from the bottle are so are damn tasty and fast, it is helping me get my summertime caffeine fix without going broke at the coffee shop.

Have you tried cold brew coffee? Let me know what you think.

Another coffee story: The Pour Over Technique. We love it!

From our partners

the deal on farmigo: how this online farmer’s market is improving our meals and school


A few weeks ago one of our friends and fellow elementary school mom had the idea to bring Farmigo to our community. The concept is simple. Order fresh farm goods online through the easy-to-use site, pick up your edibles once a week at her house, and a portion of the sale gets donated to our local school. In the first week, we raised over $600.

Clicking through Farmigo you can find all the staples you need: bread, eggs, milk, meat, and of course, fresh veggies and fruit. Start browsing around and before you know it you are adding things to your basket that whet your appetite and inspire the chef in you. The first week, I admit went a little order-happy and bought more stuff than we could finish off in a week, but now I seem to be in a groove. I found the key is use Farmigo to supplement the trips we take the main supermarket, and the treat is discovering ready-made short cuts that make getting a healthy dinner on the table during the week super simple. We currently have fresh ramp-ravioli and spinach pesto in the fridge.  Today, I’m going to bring a cup of bone broth with me to work as part of my low-cal lunch. And, I can’t wait to eat our fiddlehead ferns! The plan is just to keep them simple, with a light saute of butter and lemon juice.

Benzi Ronen, founder and CEO of Farmigo, told Forbes this week that he thinks his start up will kill the supermarket. I don’t know if I agree with that. The physical act of hand selecting your food with your eyes and hands and nose should never be fully replaced with online ordering. It’s skill set and social ritual that is too crucial to our civilized lives. But if you have a hard time making it to the weekly farmer’s market, and consider buying locally sourced food a priority for you, Farmigo is a no-brainer. The fact that it helps our school with additional funds is only a bonus. We’ll be using the money, in part, to start a vegetable learning garden at our school. How cool is that?

Learn more about Farmigo here. And if you’re already using it, tell us what’s in your basket!

From our partners

real life test kitchen: a green smoothie that tastes good


When it comes to smoothies, I like the ones that remind me of milk shakes: preferably ones that have some peanut butter, banana, and perhaps some chocolate, tossed in. I’ve never been a fan of make-at-home green smoothies, mostly because the ingredients aren’t things I have handy. Enter this delicious whipped number I discovered at Bon Appetit. It’s a kale-banana-peanut-butter smoothie, and it couldn’t be more delicious or good-for-me. You simply mix almond milk, a banana, two tablespoon’s of peanut butter, a cup of chopped kale, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a few ice cubes in the blender. Voila, a yummy breakfast that will power me until 1pm, no problem. I do suggest brushing your teeth immediately afterwards, however. Those pesky little pieces of kale can be quite persistent! Click here for the full recipe at BonAppetite.com.

From our partners

real life test kitchen: lemonade’s sweet potato with parsley and pistachio vinaigrette


The other day I was in Los Angeles for work, and decided to go for a walk. The first thing you notice when you are walking in Los Angeles is that no one else is. Then you start to notice how pretty the side streets are, with rust-free vintage cars parked here and there and lovely succulent gardens in front of cute little bungalows. Of course, I was in West Hollywood, one of its prettiest neighborhoods. Wondering around in search of place to eat, I stumbled upon Leomonade, hidden behind a tall green flowering hedge on Beverly. It was the answer to all my cravings. Surprisingly tasty, healthy food served without attitude at great prices. I ordered a three dish sampler for about $8 and loved it so much I went back again. My favorite dish was sweet potato with parsley and pistachio vinaigrette. I could have eaten an entire bowl.

Exiting the city from LAX, I discovered the Lemonade cookbook, which not only had the recipe for my sweet potato dish, but a whole lot more. I’ve got a long list of things I want to try from it, but this was on the top of my list. I made it on Monday and have been enjoying all week. Now it’s your turn.

Lemonade’s Sweet Potato With Parsley and Pistachio Vinaigrette

What You Need:

1 lb of sweet potatoes (I amped this up and used about four medium sized ones) – sliced and then cut into one inch cubes
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 pistachio vinaigrette (more on that below)
1/2 cup shelled, toasted and crushed pistachios (I put them in the toaster oven for about 4 minutes)
1/2 chopped parsley
salt and pepper

For the Vinaigrette:
2 tbls sherry vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange juice
1 tbls honey or agave
1/2 shallot chopped
1/2 tsp course sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 pistachio oil (see below_

For Pistachio Oil
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
1/2 cup canola oil

How To Make

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cup up potatoes and then place them on a baking sheet in a single layer.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss.
4. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, toast and crush your pistachios. Enough for tossing in the salad and for the oil.
6. Take a 1/4 cup of those pistachios and put them in a blender with canola oil. Blend at high speed for about a minute. Pour that into a glass or jar and set aside.
7. Mix vinegar, honey, lemon and orange juices, shallot, salt and pepper in large bowl. Pour pistachio oil on top. Include the goop that may have settled. I used about half of my pistachio oil. Taste the dressing and test to your liking.
8. Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven and let them cool.
9. Then add sweet potatoes to the dressing in the bowl, toss in the rest of the toasted, crushed pistachios and fresh parsley.
10. Toss and eat!

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