I was listening to NPR one morning earlier this summer and a news story about fish consumption came on. The story was about how pregnant women and children have long been discouraged from eating large amounts of fish and how this has led to a lot of women avoiding eating and serving fish to their children all together. However, current recommendations actually suggest eating 2-3 servings of low-mercury fish per week. I was surprised to hear how much fish was recommended, but more surprised to realize that I probably eat fish 2-3 times a month! I hadn't been avoiding fish for health concerns, but I did avoid it due to my mentality that it was too difficult to cook and that it was too expensive to experiment with. But after this news story, I made an effort to start eating more fish and I realized that 1. it's not that hard too cook! and 2. it CAN be expensive, but it doesn't HAVE to be expensive. I've only ever bought fresh fillets until this week, but I decided to give frozen tilapia fillets a try and I'm just as pleased as far as quality is concerned and very pleased as far as pricing is concerned!

These tacos are super simple to make, really healthy, and very tasty! Since they are made with fish, they leave you feeling happy and satisfied but not lethargic like some hearty beef or chicken tacos can. Plus, they pair really nicely with many of the treats you'd find in your summer garden. Top with cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado.. whatever you have on hand and sounds good at the time! Oh and the cilantro-lime sour cream? Well worth the extra 30 seconds!

blackened fish tacos with cilantro-lime sour cream

4 tilapia fillets (if frozen, thaw before cooking)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Red cabbage, shredded
Cilantro leaves
Avocado slices
Sautéed yellow pepper
Tortillas, corn or flour- your choice! 

1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
Juice from one lime

Combine the paprika, cumin, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, thyme, and cayenne in a small dish and mix well. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the tilapia and rub into the fillets. Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Making sure not to crowd the pan, cook each fillet for about 5 minutes on one side, flip, and then about 4 minutes on the other. The fillet should be nicely charred. Meanwhile, make the cilantro-lime sour cream. I used a blender, but feel free to use whatever works best for you. Just combine the cilantro, sour cream, and lime juice and you're good! You could even chop the cilantro if you don't have a blender or food processor. Once the fillets are done, assemble your tacos by placing the blackened fish on the tortilla, garnishing with your desired toppings, and dolloping with the cilantro-lime sour cream!


We've been soaking up the last few weeks of summer and no way to do it better than to enjoy it's finest fruits and vegetables that are still in season. We always swoon over the sweet and savory combination so naturally loved this twist on your traditional caprese salad. 

Here's what you'll need:

peach + heirloom tomato caprese

1 ripe heirloom tomato
1 ripe yellow peach
1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
handful of fresh basil
drizzle balsamic vinegar
drizzle olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

Start by cutting your heirloom tomato and peach. Some people like smaller pieces, some like larger. It's up to your preference.

Add the cheese and basil. Top with a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil. Let sit for 10 minutes so the liquid can really settle into the fruits.

When you're ready to dive in, add salt and pepper to taste. Voila! Another super easy and healthy recipe, perfect for any end of summer dinner. Make sure to try a bit with all of the elements stacked - it'll be a party for your tastebuds!


This time I was craving mango. And coconut. And I had some heavy whipping cream and limes to use up... So, another kitchen adventure it was! A successful one too, I might add:) This is basically a jazzed-up lemon bar that's mango-flavored and slightly sour, paired with a coconut crust, and topped with mango-flavored whipped cream! It's definitely one of my favorite desserts I've made this summer!

mango cream tart

1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 cup sweetened flaked coconut, plus a little extra for toasting at the end to use as a garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 large ripe mangoes
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1/4 cup cold pureed mango (details in recipe)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Tart shell:

Pulse the flour, coconut, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse to a fine crumb. Add the egg yolks and cream, then pulse until a nice dough is formed. Shape into a disk, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour, until the dough is hard enough to work with. When you're ready to assemble the tart, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and press the dough into a tart pan or shallow pie dish. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown.


While the tart shell is baking, prepare the mango-lime filling. First, puree the mango fruit in a blender. Reserve 1/4 cup of pureed mango for the whipped cream. If you want to keep things easy, you can just add the remaining ingredients for the filling to the blender once you've removed 1/4 cup and use that to mix. Alternatively, you can combine the eggs, sugar, lime juice, flour, baking powder, and salt in a standing mixer. Either way, mix your filling well. Pour into the prepared tart shell and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

When the tart is completely cooled, you can start to make the whipped cream. Whip the heavy cream on high until it is thick and billowy. Then add the reserved 1/4 cup of mango cream, powdered sugar, and salt. Whip until soft peaks form. Spread over your baked tart and top with toasted coconut.


We spent the week in Colorado enjoying good times with family and friends. Here are a few highlights from the trip via our instagram feed.

1. the sweetest stems on my sister in-law's kitchen table / 2. the smallest strawberry found on the garden floor / 3. raspberry sorbet + chocolate brownie ice cream from little man ice cream shop in denver /  4. a surprise baby shower for little baby d coming this october.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Lately I've been quite enamored by the high end gift boxes found around the internet. There's no better way to say, "Thank you", or "I love you", or "Happy Birthday" than with a customized box of goodies.

One of my favorite finds has been the gift boxes from ValleyBrink Road. This LA local creates boxes with the best of goodies and the very best of flowers (You mean ALL of my favorite things in one box?!).  Her gift boxes range from X-small for $100 to Large for $350-$450 and are totally customizable. Below are some of my favorite images of her work.

(photos sourced here)


It's been a few months since I've moved to Baltimore now, but it wasn't until last weekend that I made things official: I picked crabs! It was messy but so much fun! We bought 4 dozen crabs (seasoned with Old Bay, of course), set up a picnic table lined with butcher paper, and picked away for about two hours!

I was lucky and got sent home with the leftover crab, so I decided to make some crab cakes. Mmmm such a good decision!

baltimore crab cakes

1 pound lump crab meat (I wouldn't blame you for buying it rather than picking it yourself!)
20 saltine crackers, crushed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Toss the crabmeat with the crushed saltine crackers in a medium sized bowl. In another bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Once smooth, fold this mayonnaise mixture into the crabmeat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to make the cakes easier to shape. When ready to cook the crab cakes, set your broiler to high, scoop the crab mixture into ~1/4 cup mounds, lightly pack into 12 patties, and place on a cookie sheet. Broil for 6-8 minutes, flip, and then broil for another 6-8 minutes more on the other side. The patties should be nicely toasted on each side. Top with your remoulade of choice (I added some basil leaves to mine!) and serve warm.


I was honored to stand up next to my best high school friend in her beautiful, eclectic wedding this past June just outside of Kansas City. My friend is very DIY and almost every element from her big day highlighted her creativity and unique design aesthetic.

The day before the wedding, all of the bridesmaids went on a wildflower hunt on her soon to be mother in-law's farm. We found the most gorgeous stems and then got to work on the bouquets, boutineers and centerpieces. Putting together these arrangements was one of my favorite aspects of the weekend. The colors were so bright and fun. Each arrangement so different from the next.

The images capture the feel of the day perfectly thanks to Samantha Levi Photography. I think I'll spend the rest of the day reliving the weekend in my day dreams.