4.22.2015

YES YOU CAN MAKE: SPRING CROSTINIS


I am lucky enough to live close by a farmer's market. Each Sunday they set up their stands at a truly decent hour for a farmers market, 9:30 and unload trucks full of local produce. I have my go-to spots like the flower stand, the stand with the perfect veggies and, try as I might to avoid it, the French bakery stand.

I had something similar to these croistins in a restaurant once and their fresh flavor inspiration stayed with me. These are wonderful to pull together for a vegetarian appetizer option or forgo the bread and add pasta instead for a full meal. I wish you could smell the fresh mint through the screen. It was so fragrant. Enjoy whipping up these seasonal treats.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 10)

6-7 stalks of asparagus (the skinnier they are, the more tender)
8-10 snap pea pods
2-3 Sprigs of mint
1 Tsp of Lemon zest
15 Tbsp of ricotta (resist using non-fat, the whole kind is SO much better)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
French bread

Step No. 1

Turn oven on broil. Thinly slice french bread and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the broiler for about 5 mins until toasted golden.

Step No. 2

Slice pea pods and asparagus on the diagonal in thin slices. I used the mandolin for the pea pods ut make sure to be careful and keep your fingers out of the way.

Step No. 3

Chiffonade mint leaves. Add them to pea pods and asparagus. Add in lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to tast.

Step No. 4

Using the back of a spoon, spread ricotta onto crostinis. Then place a spoonful of the pea/asparagus/mint/lemon mixture. Enjoy immediately!










4.21.2015

LASTING IMPRESSION


There are serious business cards, the kind that you have to have at work but then there are fun business cards. I obviously love the fun ones sooooo much more (because how could you not?!)

A few years ago, when I was first growing my blog I made a set of business cards. Being able to give new contacts a card was an important part of networking with the blogging community. A lot of times, when I meet someone new, I'm in such a hurry to get my name out that I barely remember theirs. Giving someone a fun card increases the chances they will look you up later and actually remember the name of your blog.

I partnered with Minted to print this adorable set of cards for my blog. They have such cute designs that I had a hard time choosing. I love the gold embossed option because it makes your card especially memorable and oh-so-chic! I was going to do black and gold, but I thought, "why not do pink?" Because when else can you have hot pink business cards?







This post was sponsored by Minted. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.


4.20.2015

FOR THE MOST SPECIAL LADY


Finding a gift for your mom is hard. It is tough to find a)something she doesn't already have and b)something she will actually like. Instead of trying to find a luxurious gift, I have always steered more in the direction of a meaningful gift. I love the idea of framing a picture of the two of you or monogramming cozy PJs. If you are looking for something a little luxurious go for things she might not splurge on herself like a spa-quality face treatment or a dainty gold necklace. The most important thing is that she knows you love her and value all of her guidance and support but a little gift doesn't hurt.




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Use livehappyinspiredxoxo for your Mom's first Rocksbox month free! 

4.15.2015

POPSICLES TO THE RESCUE


Summer is just around the corner. The days are thankfully getting longer and the temperatures are rising. Today, we are mixing up strawberry limeade popsicles with a splash of Hangar 1 Vodka. These popsicles are the perfect way to cool down on the hot days ahead.

Strawberries are in their peak season from April to June. You will find them piled high at farmer’s markets this time of year. I just can’t get enough of them in my oatmeal, thrown in a salad, as a snack and, of course, in my drinks. I had to take advantage of this juicy in-season fruit in my latest cocktail recipe.

This recipe is incredibly easy but just requires a little bit of prep because the popsicles have to freeze. You could also switch out the fruit as the seasons change—watermelon or peaches would also be delicious.

Ingredients (makes 6 popsicles)

10 parts limeade (I used the store bought kind but feel free to mix up your own)
5 Strawberries with the tops removed

Place strawberries in a food processor or blender. Don’t over blend. I like the strawberries to be in pretty good size chunks.

Mix limeade and vodka in a bowl. Resist the temptation to add more vodka, it will not freeze :-) Add strawberries.

Pour into popsicles molds. Freeze at least 3 hours or until popsicles are solid. 







I highly recommend packing these popsicles up and enjoying them outside. They make the perfect treat to bring to a picnic. Here we are goofing around while enjoying our popsicles al fresco.








This post was sponsored by Hangar 1 Vodka. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.


4.14.2015

SUMMER IS COMING


If you are any thing like me, you have been devouring all of the sneak peek images from Target's new collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer. The collection launches this weekend and I cannot wait. I have my wish list ready and am praying to the tech gods that the site doesn't crash come Sunday morning. This collection is the perfect kick-start to warmer weather. How can you not love these cheery prints mixed with mod white and gold?!






4.13.2015

4.10.2015

4 THINGS FOR YOUR WEEKEND 4.10


Doing a little dance because we made it through the week. Here are a few favorites...

No. 1 Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins


Healthy muffins? Count me in. I'll be whipping up a batch of these for next week's breakfast.

No. 2 Coming Soon Everlane

I haven't yet pulled the trigger on any of Everlane's new spring collection but I've been eagerly watching as each of their new items have launched online. Such a great strategy for a retailer!

No. 3 Chef Jacques La Merde

This literally translates to Chef Jack Shit in French (speaking of, pardon my French) This chef takes mass market packaged food (think corndogs, peeps, chips) and plates them to four star status. I so appreciate a good plating so this is right up my alley.

No. 4 Glam Bohemian House Tour

This loft in Chicago has me inspired in all sorts of ways. I love the monochromatic color scheme with the brilliant pops of brass and the myriad of textures.

Have a lovely weekend folks!