weeknight celebration | apple blossom dinner

Seattle has an abundance of cherry trees and this time of year they go bonkers.  I'm sure other parts of the country have the same explosion of blossoms this time year which makes the apple blossom the perfect icon of spring.

For a few years now I've been dying to put together an "Apple Blossom Dinner" to celebrate all of the amazing flavors of spring under someone's blooming apple trees.  I don't have such trees so I haven't pursued how to actually make that happen.  Instead, I've put together a little dinner for hosting such a party in the event you have a gorgeous tree in your own yard.  

I made this little dinner in partnership with DRY Sparkling because it's the perfect match with their DRY Sparkling Fuji Apple.  It's not like 'apple juice' apple flavor, but a light and refreshing apple - like the moment you bite into an apple.  

Serve the cocktail before dinner and the DRY Fuji Apple with dinner - or add a little vodka and spike the DRY at dinner too!  Scroll down for my Herb Rubbed Pork dinner and keep going for a light and refreshing punch to go with it!


with fennel and leeks


2 lb pork tenderloin

2 large fennel bulbs, sliced into ½ inch pieces

4 tbs olive oil, divided

2 leeks, sliced into strips

2 tbs dried bouquet garni spice*

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup white wine

salt and pepper

1 ¼ cup chicken stock

1 cup couscous

2 sprigs fresh rosemary







Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Toss fennel, onions and garlic in olive oil



Rub pork with salt and pepper and sprinkle bouquet garni over the top. Brown in a cast iron dutch oven in a little oil



Add vegetables and wine.  Pop into a 400 degree oven. 



Bring chicken stock and rosemary sprigs to a boil.  Remove from heat and pour in couscous.  Let rest 5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and remove rosemary.



Cook 15 minutes until meat thermometer reads 135.  Remove and let meat rest. 




Bouquet garni spice is available at most spice shops, but you can mix up your own with rosemary, thyme, basil, sage and tarragon. 

What's a good party without a cocktail?   I like to make cocktails in a big batch when I'm hosting a party.  It's so much simpler to serve people from a punch bowl than to constantly mix drinks.  I've found it's pretty easy to forget an ingredient and then the whole thing is off.

weeknight dinner | waffles

I adore my waffle maker.  Waffles are so stinking delicious and can be an awesome dinner.  I've been converting loads of our favorite waffle related foods into dinners we can serve up for our family and on the app.  

The best part about some of these waffles is that they are portable!  (Hello Baseball Practice!)  The calzone waffles are especially perfect for dining on the go.  They are perfect for packing to a baseball game to have for a picnic dinner that the whole family will eat.  

Calzone Waffle

Calzone Waffle

Waffle Frittata

Waffle Frittata

Monte Cristo Waffles

Monte Cristo Waffles

Roasted Poblano Chili with Cornbread Waffle Sticks

Roasted Poblano Chili with Cornbread Waffle Sticks

weeknight ingredients | ginger

weeknight ingredients | ginger

I use ginger in almost everything I made.  Seriously.  It's one of my favorite flavors.  It's so bright and rumor has it, it helps with inflammation.  I'll take any less inflammation I can get.  

weekend holiday | easter cupcakes

Sometimes the best ideas are the easiest ideas.  This is a fast way to turn store-bought cupcakes into something festive and fun for Easter.  I did this last year too.  It's a guaranteed win.  Plus if you use store-bough cupcakes it's done in about 5 minutes.  So in case you forgot you were supposed to bring the dessert to Easter this weekend, you can pull these off right before you head out the door.  

You are more than welcome to make your own cupcakes.  I highly recommend chocolate so it looks like the dirt under the grass you're going to make with coconut.  

To make these, mix up 1 cup coconut with 3-4 drops of green food coloring.  I like the very liquid-y grocery store food coloring for this.  I usually love the paste kind, but it's a challenge to get even color across the coconut with the paste.  It's super easy to get it mixed in quickly with the drop-y kind.  

Pop the cupcake down into the coconut.  Start gently so the frosting doesn't squish out too much and roll a little to incorporate the edges.  Top with a few of your favorite chocolate eggs (Cadbury eggs make me swoon.)

weekend baking | buried carrot cookies

weekend baking  |  buried carrot cookies

These chocolate cookies are the best chocolate cookies ever.  Like ever.  Usually I make them with extra chocolate chips inside.  Because who doesn't need a little more chocolate?  

For Easter, I was trying to figure out a way to make my favorite cookies a little more festive.  I decided it would be a kick to turn them into little 'buried carrot' cups.  All it takes is a little orange frosting and something fun on top.  I made my toppers out of a piece of felt and a toothpick, but you can make yours out of cloth, tissue paper, or just leave it out.  They taste the same without, but they just aren't as darling.