Patriotic Summer Fruit Salad with Honey, Lime, & Mint


July is here and summer is officially in full swing! Our weekends are jam-packed with family get-togethers and BBQs with friends. Plus, it’s almost my birthday, and I love birthdays (and birthday cake).

Yesterday, we celebrated a friend receiving his American citizenship. And what better way to celebrate than with food and beer? There were various meats – smoked, fried, and grilled. Laura made her famous bacon-cheddar meatloaf. Tina made homemade apple pie and vanilla ice cream. We went through three cheese and cracker platters – how frickin’ American is that?

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Grilled Shrimp with Rosemary & Garlic


We had the BEST weather yesterday. 73° and sunny, a light breeze, blue skies and puffy white clouds.


Chris and I started the day with a bicycle ride around the lake and through the prairie at one of our local forest preserves with our friend Emily.

We followed that with a few hours working on our yard. We’ve taken on a pretty big project of re-doing the landscaping in the front of our house and we’ve been working on it for a few weeks, but we’re almost done! Yay!

For dinner, we grilled up some chili-lime chicken burgers from Trader Joe’s, zucchini, and my garlic and rosemary shrimp. Good weather, friends, and food make for a perfect summer day!

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life · recipes

Party Time, Excellent: Oscars 2017

Each year the nominations for the Academy Awards are announced, and each year I have only seen, like, one of the films. Not this year, my friends. This year I have seen five of the films nominated for Best Film (La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Lion, Arrival, and Hidden Figures), as well as three of the films nominated for Best Animated Film (Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, and Zootopia), plus a couple other miscellaneous films (Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond). And I’m hoping I can squeeze in a couple more before February 26th.

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Homemade Maki Sushi Rolls


Hi, my name is Melissa, and I’m addicted to sushi.

Sushi is so. freakin’. delicious My favorites are avocado rolls and sake (salmon) sashimi or nigiri, served with a touch of wasabi. And practically anything with jalapeño or spicy mayo.

Mayonnaise mixed with sriracha… who thought that up? Somebody give them a medal.

Unfortunately, sushi can be expensive. Especially if you’re like me and you like to order the $15 specialty rolls. Even my favorite avocado roll can cost $5, and I’d probably be broke if I ate sushi as often as I wanted. Making sushi at home seems intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy and less expensive. Plus, you can customize the ingredients to your liking.

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