watermelon st. germain cocktails

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / @loveandlemons

In case I haven’t mentioned it before – it’s pretty hot here. I’ve been eating watermelon like crazy because, well, I think it just might be the most refreshing fruit on the planet.

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / @loveandlemons

I had been thinking of making watermelon margaritas until I had the most refreshing elderflower & vodka watermelon cocktail made by the Tipsy Texan a few weeks ago at the opening of Métier Cook’s Supply (a really cute kitchen supply store, btw – if you’re in Austin, go check it out).

This is definitely a simplified version but I get impatient to make cocktails that have more than just a few easy ingredients. The hardest part here is de-seeding your watermelon and blending it into juice. (The second time I made these, I got lazy and just bought some cold-pressed watermelon juice).

This recipe doesn’t have exact measurements because I find some watermelons to be sweeter than others. Play around and make these as sweet or as tart as you like.

Cheers!

Watermelon St. Germain Cocktails / @loveandlemons

red & white summer wines

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

Happy almost 4th of July!

Jack and I just got back from a long week in Chicago so didn’t have time to get my flag-cake on… (not that I’ve ever made a flag cake, but there’s always next year). Since the internet seems to be blowing up with food coloring, I thought I’d take a different approach to “red and white” and share a few of my favorite summer wines.

These are all very food-friendly. I’ve made some pairing suggestions but, really, they’re very versatile – perfect for any weekend picnic or cookout. (Also, they’re all under $20). Available at (wine-carrying) Whole Foods stores, now through mid-July:

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

Innovac!ón Chenin-Chardonnay 2013, Argentina $9.99
I’ve been a fan of Innovac!ón wines for a long time. This 70% chenin/30% chardonnay has notes of white flowers, apple, pears and tropical fruits. The flavor is fresh and soft with well-balanced acidity. (It’s also 1 liter bottle so it’s a super bargain).

pair with:
Heirloom Tomato Avocado & Chickpea Salad
Grilled Veggie Skewers
Edamame & Corn Succotash

Frey Agriculturist Organic Blanc 2013, California $11.99
This one wins my award for “prettiest bottle.” Frey Vineyards is America’s first maker of certified Biodynamic® wines. This organic white is a blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and riesling. It has notes of honeysuckle, tropical fruits and orange blossom.

pair with:
Mango Zucchini Lettuce Wraps
Grilled Peach Salad w/ Mint Pesto
Strawberry Quinoa & Feta Salad

Les Hauts de Bel Air Bordeaux Blanc 2013, France $10.99
A beautiful pale yellow Bordeaux Blanc… This white has delicate aromas of sandstone, rosemary and thyme backed up by pepper, fresh peaches, and grapefruit zest.

pair with:
Quinoa Apricot & Arugula Salad
Anna’s Tomato Gazpacho with Mango
Chickpea Niçoise Salad with Roasted Potatoes

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

Soleil des Garrigues Ventoux 2012, France $10.99
This one is our favorite red lately – it’s made up of 70% grenache, 15% syrah, 10% carignan, and 5% cinsault. Its aromatic bouquet features red licorice, white pepper, raspberry and sweet cherry fruit.

pair with:
Grilled Polenta with Zucchini Salsa
Rosemary Lemon Pasta
Feta & Harissa Fattoush Salad

Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana 2011, Italy $19.99
A blend of 50% sangiovese, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 25% merlot, this smooth super Tuscan blend is vegan, spicy and full of juicy black fruit.

pair with:
Grilled Potato & Arugula Salad
Grilled Herb Garden Pizza
Grilled Panzanella with Poached Eggs

Sanford Flor de Campo Pinot Noir 2012, California $19.99
This medium bodied balanced wine delivers bursts of bright red raspberries and cherries with an earthy hint of pepper.

pair with:
Tomato, Feta, & Honey Toasts
Kale & White Bean Crostini
Slow Roasted Tomato Pasta

red and white summer wines / @loveandlemons

This post is created in partnership with Whole Foods.

dinner party w/ the yellow table

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.comUntitled-1

When someone asks you if they can come over and throw a dinner party for you and your friends, you say yes. Resoundingly, yes. To be honest, I struggle with throwing dinner parties – they’re a LOT of work and at the end of each one I always say to Jack “let’s just meet friends at a restaurant next time.” My friend Anna – from The Yellow Table – however, is a pro. She’s on a mission to make this year “the year of the dinner party.” She just spent a month driving from NYC to LA throwing 8 (EIGHT!) dinner parties along the way, including a stop at our place last weekend.

Why would someone put themselves through something so crazy as a Cookbook Roadtrip? “Something magical happens when people gather around table,” she told me… “I just love that sense of connection.” Her passion for bringing people together over delicious food was the inspiration behind the cookbook that she created (and blogged about for 100 days in a row). I can tell you first hand that her recipes are beyond delicious… but here’s the thing:

We have to kickstart that cookbook! CLICK HERE, to preorder your copy of The Yellow Table Cookbook, which will fund the first round of printing. Your copy will arrive this fall, just in time to lend some inspiration to your holiday gatherings.

And now, some pics from our party!!

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.comdinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

Anna created her menu using tons of local ingredients: Heirloom cherry tomatoes garnished her creamy gazpacho. Beautiful shaved carrots got tossed into a huge lemony kale salad. Juicy peaches and blackberries became a (make-ahead!) crumble with a crispy oat topping. (All of the recipes are in the book, btw).

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.comdinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

I set the table with mismatched chairs, vintage dishes and assorted patterned napkins. (Being a food blogger, I don’t own “sets” of anything). I designed little menu cards to tie the look together. Anna plated soups just before guests arrived – icy cold gazpacho was perfect for this hot summer night.

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.comdinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

The night was filled with good friends, (and new friends!), and of course great food. The main course (not pictured b/c Jack was too busy eating it), was grilled skirt steak and fish topped with roasted red pepper chimichurri – a delicious twist on a classic.

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

Everyone sat around the table and enjoyed wine late into the night…

dinner party with The Yellow Table / loveandlemons.com

Special thanks to Anna for coming to our house and creating such a magical evening! And thanks to Whole Foods who provided all of the groceries and wine!

food by: Anna / photography by: Jack / tables & graphics by: yours truly

blackberry & lemon zest crostini

blackberry and lemon zest crostini / loveandlemons.com

Now that it’s nearly summer, I’ve been making more and more things with less and less ingredients. Lately, I’ve been in love with this juicy little blackberry bite – it’s simple, sweet & bright, with an unexpected savory note from the thyme leaves.

These would be beautiful (not to mention ridiculously easy to assemble) for any last minute cocktail party. The only thing missing here: a patio & a few glasses of prosecco. It’s 5 o’ clock somewhere right?

blackberry and lemon zest crostini / loveandlemons.com

veggie thanksgiving recipes

a veggie thanksgiving recipe guide / loveandlemons.com

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?! Neither can I… although we’ve been cooking up a storm of comfort foods in order to post recipes here before the holiday. By this time next week I’m sure I’ll be craving sushi rather than stuffing. But until then… here’s a bunch of recipe inspiration in case you’re in need of T-day ideas:

pictured above:

Roasted Squash with Apple Salsa  /  Roasted Cauliflower & Leek Soup
Poblano Cornbread Stuffing  /  Roasted Beet Pear & Walnut Salad
Butternut Squash & Leek Risotto  /  Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Apple Spice Cocktails  /  Mini Vegan Pumpkin Pies

We made a new “Holiday: Thanksgiving” category in our Recipe Index, click here to see every recipe that I’ve tagged as a Thanksgiving possibility.

If that’s not enough, check out this Veggie Thanksgiving Pinboard I’ve been working on that’s full of deliciousness from all around the web.

Happy meal planning!