live & laugh: memorial day weekend hot dogs

Hot Dogs 3 Ways

With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, and with some impending weather that actually resembles the appropriate time of year, I think we are all looking forward to grilling some delicious eats!

Now, while I love a traditional cheeseburger or hot dog, I wanted to have some fun with different ingredients and bring you some variety for something new! Focusing in on grilled hot dogs, I came up with these three varieties:

  • Bacon Hawaiian
  • Banh Mi Style
  • Cheddar BBQ Crunch

I was extremely satisfied with all three combinations; so, if you’re looking to impress family and friends (or just try some new flavors), I highly recommend any or all of these hot dog creations!

Bacon Hawaiian Hot Dog

Bacon Hawaiian IngredientsI absolutely love Hawaiian pizza, so when I was thinking of different flavor combinations, the salty and sweet Hawaiian inspired dog seemed like a no-brainer.

The crispy bacon offered great texture, while the swipe of mayo added some good richness. Without a doubt, the pineapple was the star of this dog and I was not disappointed! If you are a fan of Hawaiian pizza, or sweet and savory dishes — this is the hot dog for you!
Hawaiian Style Hot Dog

Banh Mi Hot DogBanh Mi IngredientsAsian inspired cuisine is something I am craving on a regular basis. Recently, I made a Korean-style shredded beef and pickled my own vegetables (cucumber, onion and carrot) and had a lot of the veggies leftover in my fridge. Since the work was already done, a banh mi style dog felt like another natural choice.

I love how fresh this hot dog tasted! The sriracha mayo and drizzle definitely provide a little bit of a kick, but that was balanced nicely with the acidic pickle and fresh cilantro. Choose this style if you love Asian flavors or are looking for a bright and fresh flavor combination.Banh Mi Hot Dog

Cheddar BBQ Crunch Hot DogCheddar BBQ IngredientsFor the final hot dog style, I wanted to go a more traditional ‘bbq’ inspired flavor combination, but with a twist. While the shredded cheddar and bbq sauce, maybe even the dill pickle, are not all too surprising; the crushed bbq chips topping the dog were my favorite addition.

This hot dog was probably my favorite of the three, but it was definitely a tough decision. It had the best balance of flavors and textures. With the crunch from the pickles and chips, the gooey, melty cheese, and the smokey bbq flavor, it was the hot dog I had to finish. This would be the style for you if you want to go the more traditional route.
Cheddar BBQ Crunch Hot Dog

Overall, I really enjoyed and recommend all three of these style hot dogs and think they would be a great additional to anyone’s Memorial Day Weekend menu!

I’m headed to DC to enjoy the weekend and look forward to all the expected sunshine and spending time by the pool with friends. Have a safe, fun and delicious weekend!

Hot Dogs 3 Ways MDW Hot Dogs

foodie finds

Foodie Finds October


  1. Sweet and easy halloween-inspired almond meringue ghost cookies are on this month’s to-do list | via |
  2. Lettuce learn about these 14 common greens that make great substitutes for your go-to salads | via | 
  3. This weekend felt like the chilliest one in a long time and lasagna stuffed shells would have been great for a warming bite | via |
  4. Ever go and reach for some bread and find it rock-hard and stale? Before throwing it away, try this easy revival trick to bring your bread back to life  | via |
  5. Nine fun nail designs inspired by the flavors and colors of fall | via |

cantaloupe soup & crisped prosciutto

Cantaloupe Soup

My social media newsfeeds the last 24 hours have more or less consisted of people “peacing out” Summer 2015 — but, um… what about the next two weeks?!?

Every year I feel bad for these lowly couple of weeks following Labor Day that are still technically Summer, but get forgotten/dismissed and over-layed with discussion of pumpkin spice everything.

I mean — it was 92 degrees here in Philly today!! Just because your pool is closed and kids are back in school does not have to signify the end!!!

It ain’t over till it’s over, and that’s why today I bring to you: cantaloupe soup & crisped prosciutto!

Cantaloupe Soup Ingredients


If you’ve ever enjoyed melon wrapped in prosciutto, then you will definitely love this soup!

Plus, it takes less than 15 minutes to make. Woot.
Cantaloupe Soup Prep

The cucumber, apple and lemon help with both the texture and balancing of flavor. If this soup were to be straight cantaloupe then it would likely have been a little bit sweet and played more like a drink than a savory soup.

When deciding how I wanted to serve the finished product, I was all sorts of indecisive. So, I figured I would share each of my ideas with you, rather than trying to hone in on one.

That said, if I had to pick one, I probably would have gone with the soup served as a shooter. 1. Because they’re super cool looking/fun to eat and 2. Because serving someone a bowl of cantaloupe soup may be a bit overwhelming (depending on whether or not you’re serving it with something else).

My other options were:

  1. Going straight soup-to-bowl. Pretty standard. Pretty Safe.
  2. Leveraging the hollowed cantaloupe rind as the bowl!! Kinda fun. Kinda Messy.

Regardless of how you decide to serve/eat it though, this is definitely a must try!

What better way to give a nod to both Summer AND Fall than to use an ingredient of Summer in a Fall dish?! Keep the dream alive and try this soup in the next week or two…because it’s not Fall until September 23rd.

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live & laugh: homemade french vanilla ice cream

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream

It’s time to get patriotic. July 4th is upon us!

This weekend I am going to have my brother and a couple of his friends over to watch the fireworks and I really wanted to make something red, white & blue for the occasion and I wanted to make it ahead of time.

Enter, white ice cream, red sorbet and blueberries.

I have owned the ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer for about seven years now and have probably made ice cream only two other times before this. I’m not sure why that’s the case though, because it is so easy to make different ice cream and sorbet bases.

I decided to go with a classic and make this homemade french vanilla ice cream to pair with a fruity raspberry sorbet that would be somewhat of a play on a creamsicle.

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream

I keep my ice cream attachment in my freezer at all times so when I do decide to make ice cream (about once every two years apparently) I can do so without hesitation.

This ice cream is considered french vanilla because of the egg-custard base, which I’m all about because it makes the ice cream so much more rich and delicious — in my opinion. I also went with using a vanilla bean as opposed to vanilla extract to have those brown flecks running through the ice cream, which is how I picture french vanilla ice cream.

To tie the patriotic vibe of this dessert together, I scooped my homemade ice cream with some raspberry sorbet and topped it all with some fresh blueberries. I liked having the light, fruity sorbet paired with the rich, creamy ice cream — perfect for a hot summer day. And aside from the blue color, the blueberries add nice little pops of texture to the dish.

So good!!

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I’m not going to lie, I have been dipping into the ice cream all week since I made it…hopefully I have enough left for everyone to enjoy this weekend. What foods do you plan to indulge in??

Have a safe and fun Independence Day!!

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peach, avocado & watercress salad

Peach, avocado & watercress salad

It’s peach season — hello summer!!

Unlike a good amount of other fruit produce (i.e. berries, bananas, apples) peaches are not something that are available all year round in the store — unless you’re buying them frozen, which is totally cool too! But whenever the fresh peaches and other stone fruits arrive, my mind races on all the different ways to enjoy them before they disappear again.

I was in the mood for something savory and looking to make a yummy side dish for my lunch, so ended up with this peach, avocado & watercress salad.

Peach, avocado & watercress salad ingredients

Now, I know I have made a couple simple recipes in the past — but this has to be the easiest one ever! It’s literally chop everything, combine in a bowl, mix and consume:

Peach, avocado & watercress salad prep


The different ingredients in this salad struck a really nice balance…the sweet peach, peppery watercress, spicy jalapeño, cool avocado, acidic lime juice…all of it, it was SO good! I will note that because I bought and used the peach in the same day, it wasn’t as sweet/ripe as it could have been, but I somehow think that may have worked out for the better in this particular situation…

I enjoyed this as a side for lunch with my roast beef sandwich, but there was a lot leftover! So, I stored it in the fridge and enjoyed it as a cooling, refreshing side to a spicy omelette I made the next morning. It’s really such a versatile side that you have to try, especially because it’s almost no work at all!

Here’s the recipe for you to do just that.

And if you’re interested in another savory peach salad, give my peach, bacon and arugula salad a try!

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