Happy National Watermelon Day!


Tomorrow, August 3rd is apparently National Watermelon Day…a holiday I’ve been personally pre-celebrating pretty much every day for the past three weeks or so. Fresh watermelon is pretty much my favorite thing about summer, but this year I’ve also noticed a plethora of watermelon drinks on the market. One of the tastier ones I’ve sampled is Sparkling Ice’s Strawberry Watermelon fizzy drink, and for the holiday occasion they’ve offered up this fabulous recipe for filling your watermelon with…what else? Watermelon!

Pomegranate Watermelon Summer Slush

1/2 Personal-size seedless watermelon, chilled, cut & cubed (about 5 cups)
1/3 Cup Sparkling Ice Strawberry Watermelon
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 Cups ice
Small watermelon wedge, spear of blueberries a few pomegranate seeds (optional for garnishes)

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Garnish as desired and serve in a hollowed-out watermelon shell for a fun “fish bowl” inspired drink.

Oh, and if you’re not liking this whole “mock” thing….sub in some hard stuff!
Sparkling Watermelon Vodka Lemonade

3 Cups seedless watermelon pieces
3 Lemons, juiced
1/2 Cup Vodka
1/4 Cup Fresh Mint
2 Cups Lemon Lime Sparkling Ice

In a blender, puree the watermelon and lemon juice, strain through a sieve into a drink pitcher. Add mint, vodka and Lemon Lime Sparkling Ice, then stir. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

4th of July weekend is upon us! As the most highly anticipated summer cooking holiday of the year (sorry Memorial Day and Labor Day, but you know it’s true…) it’s imperative to have your menu game on point. And I’m not talking just the expected hot dogs and hamburgers. You need some winning sides ready if you’re going to impress at that neighborhood BBQ or block party!

Stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorites appetizers or sides any time of year, because you can make them as heavy or light as you’d like them to be, depending on what you choose to fill them with. Plus, in the summer, you can even cook ’em on the grill! The cow-loving folks at the Texas Beef Council recently reached out to us with an especially inspired idea… next time you’re debating between making burgers or stuffed mushrooms, why not treat yourself to the best of both worlds and stuff a mushroom full of beefy, blue cheesy goodness?


Beef and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Read More

7 Delicious Toppings for Sweet Potato Toast


Brought to you by the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

While classic avocado toast is one of our favorite morning treats, we can’t help but feel a tad guilty when we’re loading up on empty carbs morning after morning. Lucky for you (and us!), the latest trend in the breakfast world comes sans bread and is made up of nutrient-rich instead! Available year-round, this spectacular sweet spud is jam-packed with vitamin A and fiber, naturally sweetened from the earth and low in calories, making them the perfect meal for those on the go. And they can be used in so many ways, like as toast!

The best part? Whipping up this sweet treat is quick and easy. Pop your sweet potato into the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up. Then simply slice some sweet potatoes about ¼-inch thick (we love NC Sweet Potatoes!) and pop ‘em in the toaster or toaster oven. We recommend toasting twice for a just-the-right amount of crunch. Once done, top with whatever your heart desires – whether it’s a little avocado or a whole lotta cheese, we know you’ll reach for it morning after morning.


Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

Looking for some inspo? Read on for seven delicious toppings for your sweet potato toast!

Cheese, Please!

What’s tastier than creamy and rich brie cheese? Toast your sweet potatoes, spread your favorite brie on top and finish with some generous drizzles of sweet, locally-made honey. It’s the bee’s knees!

No Schmear Job

Love lox and bagels? While this breakfast all-star is a Sunday morning essential, it’s also loaded with calories that can slow down your day. The solution? Sweet potatoes, of course! Toast up some  , top ‘em with a little crème fraiche, pile on the smoked salmon and throw some capers on top for a little extra punch. Done and done!

Crazy for Coconut

Looking for something sweet? This dessert-inspired iteration will leave you pining for more! The best part? It’s a healthy way to get an all-natural sugar fix. Top with a healthy serving of almond butter, add some finely-chopped dates and complete the treat with a drizzle of coconut butter.

All About Almond

A tried-and-true favorite, this version is topped with almond butter, fresh banana slices, and sprinkles of sweet cinnamon. It’s a creamy concoction that we know you’ll swoon over.


Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

Hello, Hummus
Full of flavor and nutrition, this fresh and flavorful version can be whipped up in a matter of seconds. Simply top your “toast” with your go-to hummus and add some heirloom tomato slices on top. For an added kick, finish with a sprinkle of chili flakes or Himalayan salt.

Pesto Perfection

Simple and tasty, this sweet potato toast is topped with omega-3 rich pesto sauce (recipe here) and is guaranteed to become the best part of your morning routine. Bonus tip: make the pesto ahead of time so you can spread it on in a flash.

Anything-But-Basic Avocado
You didn’t think we’d forget the recipe that started it all, right? Top your spuds with some sliced avocado, a hint of salt, some fresh ground pepper and a little lemon zest and you’re set. If you’re in the mood for a little spice, whip out that Sriracha!


Photo credit: Little Bits Of Blog

Like what you see? Watch the video below to find out why cooking with sweet potatoes is not only healthy, but simple. Plus, be sure to share photos of your sweet potato creations on Instagram with the #SweetPotatoToast hashtag!

This article was produced by NC Sweet Potatoes in collaboration with Endless Simmer.

Rib-tato Salad with Smithfield Pork Spareribs

Rib-tato Salad to the Rescue!

Rescuing what, you ask? Rescuing you from getting stuck in a boring recipe rut for your next picnic or BBQ.

Rib-tato Salad with Smithfield Pork Spareribs

I was recently hosting a big birthday cookout for Rob in our backyard and obviously meat was the #1 priority on the menu. Fortunately I had two racks of succulent dry seasoned pork spareribs from Smithfield on hand and I couldn’t wait to show off their deliciousness to all our friends. We smoked ’em on the grill for a couple hours and the smell had everyone at the party drooling.

Smithfield Pork Spareribs

We devoured some of the ribs as-is, straight off the serving board, but I wanted to do something a little more creative with the rest of the meat. I knew these smoky, sweet ribs would be such a great complement to traditional picnic sides…

Rib-tato Salad with Smithfield Pork Spareribs

A thought dawned on me. I was about to throw together a potato salad. What if I just mixed the rib meat into the potato salad itself? A little sweet, a little salty, a little smoky, a little chewy…. yeah, it was basically the best idea ever. To really play up the sweet and smoky, I added some sweet potatoes into the mix and garnished with BBQ sauce. It was a hit and I have an inkling I’ll be making this dish for plenty of upcoming potluck parties.

Smithfield Pork Spareribs


Rib-tato (Rib + Potato) Salad

Read More
Baileys Almande Mai Tai

Cocktail O’ Clock: A Healthier Mai-Tai

Baileys Almande Mai Tai

Bailey’s has a new addition to its line of liqueurs: Almande, a creamy, non-dairy drink made with almond milk. Not sure if you know this about me, but I love Bailey’s but I avoid drinking dairy milk because it does not get along well with my stomach… so this is fantastic news to me! The packaging is obviously very girly, and I am In. To. It.

This smooth spirit blends the luscious, nutty flavors of real almondmilk and real vanilla to create a versatile drink. Serve over crushed ice or mix with coconut water for a delicious summer cocktail.

YES PLEASE, love you, Bailey’s! While you can definitely sip this sweet drink on its own or over ice, Bailey’s also shared some delicious tropical recipes for this summer… so, I’m passing them along to you! This Mai Tai caught my eye because it combines Almande with two of my favorite summer flavors: coconut and watermelon. I can feel the island breezes blowing now!

You’ll have to forgive this ultra punny name (or just embrace it, like I did)…


Mai-Tai Interest You In Some Almande?

Read More
Texas Beef Council Western Burger

Say Yee Haw to National Burger Month

Texas Beef Council Western Burger

Did you know that May is National Burger Month?! Well, it is. As a human living in Austin, Texas, I eat my fair share of beef, and my Austin born & raised fiance eats a TON of it. It’s safe to say that burgers are his #1 favorite food in the world. So I feel like I’m somewhat qualified, even if it’s through transference, to tell you about good beef and burgers. And yes, if you haven’t been to Texas and had our beef, it’s good. Really, really good. (May I recommend ALC if you’re ever in the neighborhood?)

The lovely people at the Texas Beef Council sent over their latest recipe for celebrating National Burger Month: the Western Burger. This burger keeps it simple… no crazy sauces or deep-fried mischief here, just solid beef with a slight twist… jalapeños right in the patty! Because Texans also like it spicy. Texas Beef Council says, “This Western Burgeris a perfect, guilt-free way to celebrate the month-long holiday and gives a nutritious spin on one of Texans’ summertime staples fit for any backyard gathering.” Works for me! So if you want this bad boy healthy, you can serve him in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, but follow your heart/stomach.

Texas Beef Council’s Western Burger

Read More

Cocktail O’Clock: A Better Bloody Mary


There’s no better way to brunch-bust a hangover than with a nice, tall bloody Mary. But as the weather gets warm, I often find a dark-red glass of tomato juice just doesn’t sound appealing in the morning. Fortunately, we have options, courtesy Supper @ Hotel Emma in San Antonio. Housed within the original Pearl Brewery brewhouse, Emma serves a unique lineup of clear cocktails that puts a unique spin on classic drinks. Their “Pearl” bloody Mary starts with a housemade tomato water, mixed up with lemon juice and mineral water for a lighter, fizzy BM experience. (And vodka, of course!)

“The Pearl” Bloody Mary

1 1/2 oz Vodka
2 1/2 oz tomato water ( See below for recipe)
.25 oz lemon juice
.25 oz mineral water
Read More
« Previous
Next »