Summer isn't over in California! Caroline and I got to have some fun a couple of weeks ago at the Torrance farmers market! We were on our way out of the market when we tried a salad out for sample. Oh my goodness was it delicious! So fresh, so healthy, so simple! It was almost hard to believe that a salad could taste so good! We ended up buying all of the ingredients from the farmer and going home to make it for ourselves for dinner! Since there are no greens, this will keep well overnight for lunch tomorrow, too!

easy summer pepper salad

1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 sweet Italian peppers
2 sweet Hungarian peppers
2 jalapeño peppers
2 tomatoes
2 handfuls cilantro leaves, chopped
1 red onion (if desired)
3 lemons
3 teaspoons kosher salt

Chop all peppers (except the jalapeños- you can thinly slice those!) and tomatoes into 1 1/2-inch squares and combine with the cilantro in a large bowl. If you'd like onions, slice these into bite size pieces as well. Squeeze the lemons and toss the pepper mix with lemons and kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for an hour or so until the tomatoes release their juices and the peppers can marinade in the lemon juice. Serve or store in the refrigerator overnight and bring back to room temperature before serving!


The end of summer is always a bittersweet time for me. I love sunshine and warmth, but there's something nice about being able to snuggle up in a cozy sweater in the fall. I think one of the greatest things about summer I miss is being able to cook outside. It's hard to beat the taste of grilled food! But if you're missing barbecue specifically, you can still have that slow-cooked, smoky meat all year round. It's easy too- just leave it in the crock pot while you head to work, pick up some buns on your way home, load up your sandwich, and you're good to go! If you want to get fancy and make your own sauce, I'll give you some starters. But if you've got a go-to bottled favorite already, just pour it over the roast and it's easy as that!

crockpot bbq pork

3-4 pound pork shoulder
2 cloves garlic, minced

either your favorite bottled barbecue sauce (use about 12 ounces to start, and you can add more later once the meet has cooked) or:

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon pepper

buns for serving

Trim the fat off of your pork shoulder, then place in a crock pot. If you are using a bottled barbecue sauce, coat the meat with the minced garlic and barbecue sauce. If you're making your own sauce, combine the garlic with the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine, then pour over the meat. Turn on the crock pot to its lowest setting and let cook for 6-8 hours until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily. Remove the meat from the crock pot and shred using two forks. This part is optional, but it's what I do so I'll give you the option, otherwise you can just take the drippings from the crockpot and add some back to the pulled pork until the meat is coated as much as you'd like. My way, is to remove the drippings from the crock pot and place in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the fat to separate out and leave with a rich dripping that has a lower fat content but great flavor. It may seem a little jelly-like which is gross at first thought, but I take this jelly/liquid and simmer it on the stove for about 20 minutes until it thickens, and then mix it back in with the shredded pork before serving. You can do this if you use a bottled barbecue sauce too- just remove the meat, shred it, put the barbecue sauce drippings in the fridge overnight, and then pour back over the meat. You could also just pour the remaining bottled barbecue sauce you have left as an alternative. Either way, the meat will be flavorful and tender, which is all we could ask for a barbecue, right?! Serve on buns! I like to go for the super cheap, soft buns, but feel free to class it up if you want something more substantial!


We have been some serious slackers in our Stems department lately and have to apologize. While Alyssa is over there in Baltimore just killin the cooking game, we've found ourselves stuck in a rut over in LA. And why did it take us this long to realize that when you're stuck in a rut, the perfect medicine ..... a giant bundle of flowers?! We've got some exciting projects in the work and can't wait to share them. Until then... feel free to follow this inspo and enjoy your day!


I think tomatillos might be one of the most beautiful fruits. With their diaphanous husks, tender green skin, and juicy interiors, what's not to admire? I've thought about experimenting with them for so long, why didn't I sooner?! I guess I was a little stubborn. I'd been eyeing a carton of them at the Farmer's market all summer, unwilling to make the purchase until I'd planned a proper use. I had seen them listed as ingredients in a variety of salsas and sauces at restaurants, but since I hadn't actually tried them before I wasn't sure what to make with them. A couple of weeks ago I tasted the most amazing roasted tomatillo dip and it was meant to be! I bought tomatillos that next morning at the farmers market and tried to recreate the dip. It's so simple and sooooo tasty. I had also never tried making homemade tortilla chips before and gave that a try. Also so simple and sooooo tasty. Give it a try!

roasted tomatillo dip

5 tomatillos
3 jalapeños
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese
1/2 t salt
6 corn tortillas

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. De-husk the tomatillos and place on a baking sheet with the jalapeños. Lightly coat with olive oil so that they don't stick to the pan, and then bake for 25 minutes until soft. Then turn on the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes until nicely charred. Remove from the oven and let cool enough to touch, then cut off the stems of the jalapeños and place into a food processor. Slice the cream cheese block into smaller chunks and add to the processor. Add the salt, then pulse until smooth. Once smooth, transfer to a serving bowl. To make the tortilla chips, turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Cut each tortilla in half, and then cut each half in half again. Spread the tortillas out on a baking sheet in a single layer, spray lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, and then bake for 6 minutes. Once they start to turn golden brown and curl a bit, use tongs to turn them over. Then spray this side with a light coat of cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, and then bake for 6 more minutes. Serve right away with your yummy tomatillo dip!