Peach Cake with Peach Cream Cheese Frosting and Burnt Sugar Shards

As you know by now, I recently threw a birthday party and went slightly overboard with dessert (think two cakes as well as cupcakes). This was one of the cakes that I made – and if I say so myself, by far the best one. Sometimes fruit cakes tend to lose the flavor of the fruit they’re supposed to embody, but this one absolutely does not. You can taste the peach in both the cake and the frosting, and the cake is even topped with a few peaches that you cook down. I highly recommend this cake for a summer birthday or party.

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My Favorite Meal of the Week – Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad on a Stick

In the summers, I live for watermelon. When I can, I eat half a mini-watermelon every day. I literally cut it in half, and then sit with the half I’m going to eat, using a melon baller to scoop out bites (which immediately go into my mouth, no need to get a bowl dirty). It’s so refreshing and is the perfect palate cleanser after dinner. But sometimes, I need to class it up, and you know, serve it to people. Recently, I’ve started serving a watermelon, feta, and mint salad. The first time I did it as a traditional salad for a dinner party. The second time, I did mini ones on toothpicks for a birthday party. Both were delicious.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Last year I did a post on the basic pie and crumble/crisp/cobbler recipe. But I just realized, I never actually told you how to make my favorite – the strawberry rhubarb cobbler (not that there’s much to know, pretty simple). As you know, I love anything with strawberry and rhubarb (see here). And in the summer, when you can find rhubarb, I just can’t get enough of this cobbler. So, go buy some rhubarb today before the season ends (mid-spring through the end of July).

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Strawberry Lemonade Bars

There are certain foods that just instantly make you think of summer – watermelon, peaches, strawberries, anything bbq’ed, corn on the cob, and the list goes on. After making these strawberry lemonade bars, I’m definitely adding them to the list. They are absolutely amazing. There’s something about the sour combo of the traditional lemon bar with the sweetness of the strawberry that just makes you want to never stop eating these treats.
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My Favorite Meal of the Week – Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad

Continuing from my post last Sunday, here is another great recipe for a Fourth of July BBQ! I used to think I didn’t like pasta salad, but turns out, I just don’t like the traditional mayonnaise based ones. But if you take out the mayonnaise, I’m a big pasta salad fan. A friend had made one last year for the Fourth that I loved, and after a lot of research I think I found a similar one.

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My Favorite Meal of the Week – Popsicle Edition

So I’ve been eyeing those Zoku quick pop makers for over a year, but had so far convinced myself that it was just an extra kitchen gadget that I didn’t need. Well that is until last week, when I found one at a small kitchen boutique store in DC and decided that I had to have one. And while I have to say it is totally unnecessary because there’s nothing wrong with the old school popsicle makers, it is kinda fun. Last night I decided to make some last minute popsicles for dessert and they were ready in 10 minutes. Pretty fantastic. I plan to try out lots of fun recipes over the course of the summer, so you’ll likely see some more posts like this. But here’s the first.

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Shortcake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

If you read my post from a few weeks ago, you know that I have been very excited about starting to bake with strawberries. I had plans to make regular strawberry shortcake this week for a dinner with a friend, but after seeing the world’s most beautiful rhubarb at Whole Foods, I had to spice up my plans.

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In addition to adding in some rhubarb, I also tried serving the dish in two different ways, both shown below.

The traditional tower:

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The less traditional (but also less messy) parfait:

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And I have to say, even though the traditional strawberry shortcake has been my personal favorite dessert for a long time, I think I prefer it with both of the changes I tried this week (the rhubarb and serving it as a parfait).

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My Favorite Meal of the Week – Mixed Green Salad with Grapefruit Wedges, Goat Cheese, and Candied Pecans

This week’s favorite meal of the week post is all about the grapefruit. I have always liked grapefruits, but I’ve recently remembered why they are so great. They seem to be the only sweet (and relatively inexpensive fruit) right now. In college, they were sometimes the best fruit in the dining hall at this time of year. And right now, they seem to be the best fruit at TJ’s (the berries are too expensive, the apples and oranges are bad, and it’s too early for a lot of other good things).

Today’s meal is a mixed green salad with grapefruit wedges, goat cheese, and candied pecans with a honey dressing. Pretty simple, and nice and light for the summer.

It Is Almost Summer Time…

With each season, I get excited for certain things I get to start making. With summer, I get excited for strawberries. My absolute, hands down favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. I have loved this dessert for a very long time. Anything strawberry rhubarb is a close second as well.

So now that we’re starting to get good strawberries, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer desserts. And over the course of the summer, I’ll try to get a bunch of step by step recipes of my own up on the blog.

1) Strawberry Rhubarb Bars – My version is pictured below

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2) Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and Strawberries (see my post here) – Dave’s version for my birthday last year is pictured below, as well as one I just made today for a friend’s birthday

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My Favorite Meal of the week – BBQ Chicken, Arugula Salad, and Baked Zucchini

On week nights, I love finding meals that you can quickly pull together when you get home that are healthy and also filling. This meal was something random we just threw together, but for some reason it really hit the spot.