staying hungry : mango tilapia with watermelon feta salad

Let’s cut to the chase here:

You can probably skip the mango tilapia. It’s just parchment-paper baked tilapia with a dollop of mango butter, some parsley and scallions, and a few spices. Good in theory, not terribly exciting in reality.

What is terribly exciting, though, is the salad that accompanies it.

Oh my word. I honestly don’t want to eat anything else for the rest of the summer except for this salad.

I take that back. It’s almost nectarine season. And, hello, we’re right smack dab in the peak of ice cream season.

So, basically, I’ll be eating nectarines and ice cream and watermelon feta salad until the leaves start to change.


The journey to this salad began with this pin, which I found in, like, January.

Tabbouleh with Watermelon: Watermelon replaces the traditional tomato in this Middle Eastern salad, giving it bursts of sweetness. Goat cheese, another new add-in, provides creamy contrast, #healthylunches

pinned here via here

Having to wait a whole 6 months for it to be seasonably appropriate to make was cruel and unusual punishment.

I made a mental note to make it as soon as the temperature rose above freezing (so, yesterday), and had intended to make it sometime in the next few weeks, but luckily Annie of Annie Eats was kind enough to take this salad to a new level of supremacy. When she posted a recipe last week using quinoa instead of barley I had no choice but to make it immediately if not sooner.

I made it as a side to the fish…but it totally stole the show. So much so that I made a big batch it all by itself for dinner one night this week.

People: make this. Immediately if not sooner.

Quinoa Salad with Watermelon and Feta

slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Serves 4 (hypothetically…)


1 cup quinoa

For the dressing:
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly lemon juice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the salad:
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 cup watermelon, diced
3-4 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
3-4 tbsp. sliced scallions
Lemon zest, to taste


Rinse and boil the quinoa (add about 1 and 1/2 cups water to quinoa and simmer for about 15 minutes, letting sit, covered, for 5 additional minutes to soak up remaining water). Whisk together the dressing and chop salad ingredients while the quinoa is boiling. I like to fluff the quinoa with a fork, add the dressing to the quinoa (once cooled slightly), and then add the salad ingredients to the quinoa. It’s best when served chilled.

Rating: 4.5/5. A small deduction for the fact that it’s only a summer dish and I’ll spend 9 months pining for it once September comes. Other than that, this one’s a home run!

inspired : 6.24.12

first, two videos that I’m so in love with:

this is such a fun shop! just look at this 4th of july party!

I love good dads

seriously, every idea you’ve ever needed for summer

LOVE this fabulous kitchen remodel! great work, emily!

my new slogan : TGIW

oh my goodness…these mini s’mores cheesecakes look AMAZING

instagram sunglasses. can you even begin to imagine?!

scroll down to the bottom to see the inside of these gooey cinnamon muffins. oh my word.

pin of the week:

pinned here via here

staying hungry : cake box cookies

Let me show you something that will make you want to hug me:

Let me tell you something that will make you want to rise up and call everything and everyone blessed:

There are 4 ingredients in these cookies…and one of them is boxed cake mix.


I’m not even kidding. These rank among the best cookies I’ve ever had. They are perfectly textured – soft yet chewy – rich, and decadent. And they’re definitely the easiest I’ve ever made. I think I’m bringing a version of these to any and every social event I attend from now until eternity. Amen.

Thanks to Cookies and Cups (and Lovin’ from the Oven) for originally posting this recipe!

Cake Box Cookies


  • 1 box cake mix (I used Pillsbury Dark Chocolate with Pudding)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • Mix-ins (I used the mini Reese’s because on Fridays I don’t have the patience to unwrap 30 bite size Reese’s)


Preheat the oven to 350. Empty the cake mix into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and the oil (I skipped this step…don’t do that). Stir the wet mixture into the cake mix until just combined (it will be thicker than thick), then add in the Reese’s or add-in of your choice.

I made 12 big cookies and baked them for about 10 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through because my oven hails from earlier times (think covered wagons) and tends to heat unevenly (think Pisa).


My brain is exploding with other ideas. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies! Vanilla Candy Bar Cookies! Marble Chocolate Chunk with Rainbow Sprinkle Birthday Cookies!

I think I might have to steal the corner market on cake box cookies because oh my word…I’m in love.

Happy baking! Let me know what you discover!

good things : summer bucket list

Happy 1st day of summer, friends!!! I haven’t done any bucket-listing for awhile, but summer just begs to be bucket-listed. There are so many fun things to do and plenty of time in which to do them! Here are my top 10:

Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Pops

pinned here via here

1 :: get ice cream at Lugia’s

2 :: go to Hamlin Beach

3 :: make my own greek frozen yogurt pops

4 :: spend a FULL WEEK at home

5 :: have corn on the cob, watermelon, and chicken on the grill

6 :: go for a long, hot run on the canal and/or Genesee River

7 :: take a day trip, complete with packed picnic lunch (Canandaigua? Pennsylvania???)

8 :: have strawberry lemonade

9 :: make s’mores

10 :: go to an outdoor concert/drive-in movie/summer festival on a warm night

and bonus!

11 :: have dinner outside with friends by the water

via martha stewart

What’s on your bucket list?! If you need any ideas…look no further than Martha Stewart’s definitive guide to all things summer. We’re talking 60 ice cream desserts, no-cook recipes, party ideas galore, and an index that makes it unbelievably easy to lose a few hours in summer planning. Have fun! And happy summer!!!

inspired : 6.10.12

going to the national stationary show is absolutely on my bucket list

love this new healthy living blog by the food network!

i need to go to this place : watts for dessert. i mean, really!

love this stargazing party

the heart of sports : community

the heart of sports : fandom

i can’t stop thinking about blue doors!

one year anniversary shoot/party. this is such a sweet idea!

so much to love about joy’s hope

one of the weirdest, saddest cultural phenomenons in america : real food deficit

i’m always up for a new banana bread recipe. two? even better! : chocolate chip and low fat blueberry

roost. beautiful.

printing this greek yogurt conversion chart out for future reference!

awesome is as awesome does

seriously. this is such a good idea : toasted marshmallow squares

love this interview from the happy family project

pin of the week:

oh, Lord, do I ever need to embrace this...

can i get an amen?

pinned here via here

wedding wednesdays : 6.6.12



I’m about to go into full-fledged gushing mode. We’re going for quality over quantity this week and let me tell you…there is some fabulous quality up ahead!

I was a little surprised to see a Rochester wedding featured on Style Me Pretty. I was a lot surprised when I began to scroll through the post and realized that I knew the bride!!! I was NOT AT ALL surprised that her wedding turned out as it did: a beautifully coordinated day full of vintage charm and meaningful details. Congratulations, Jenna!!! I’m so happy for you!

image credit : t & s hughes photography

post credit : style me pretty new york

The one starts out with a bang: just take a look at those invitations! And then that bouquet! And then the flowered arch! And seriously…I can’t even talk about the cake. (But if you want to spend the rest of your day in sugar-themed dreams, just check out the bakery’s website.)

San Juan Capistrano wedding

San Juan Capistrano wedding

illustrated wedding menuSweet and Saucy Shop wedding cake

image credit : KLK photography

post credit : 100 layer cake

This wedding…OH, this wedding! From start to finish it makes me jump up and down and squeal in delight. If I could put every single picture in this post I would, but since I can’t I have to implore you to go check it out for yourselves in full detail right now. It’s absolutely one of my favorite weddings EVER!

image credit : the reason

post credit : southern weddings

inspired 5.27.12

photographers, here’s a great new resource!

there is SO much goodness in this post (and in the whole blog!)

mason jar meals!

fellow MTH alum Amy Paulson’s new website is BEAUTIFUL – just like her photos!

I’m so excited the Brighton market is open again for the season

dear Bobbi, I’m a fan of your life

if you have a vehicle and live anywhere near Rochester, you need to take it to Sam Lovetro. these guys are the BEST.

pin of the week:

Banana & peanut butter dipped in chocolate then frozen...YUM!

I can’t wait to try this…

pinned here via here

inspired 5.20.12

I see another trip to Green Bay in my future…

beautiful paper heart tutorial

love, love, love this Texas BBQ dessert party!

and a mason jar dessert party?! two of my favorite things!

hot or cold…this blueberry tea is amazing

free printable that is absolutely worth printing

what a gorgeous engagement session

I agree…I want everything that minted sells

pin of the week:

fun eggs

pinned here via here

wedding wednesdays : 5.16.12

Oh. My. Goodness. This wedding is a beauty! That citrus trellis arch is going to be making an appearance in my dreams.

image credit : troy grover

post credit : style me pretty

I want to be friends with this couple. They look like so much fun!!! The hitchhiking pic is classic.

Ben Sheriff Photography featured on I Love Farm Weddings blog - real barn wedding in California

Ben Sheriff Photography featured on I Love Farm Weddings blog - real barn wedding in California

Ben Sheriff Photography featured on I Love Farm Weddings blog - real barn wedding in California

Ben Sheriff Photography featured on I Love Farm Weddings blog - real barn wedding in California

image credit : ben sheriff photography

post credit : I love farm weddings

The dress, the flowers, the venue…all of it is just so elegant. Gorgeous!

Claire Pettibone Dress Veil Ivory Bouquet Ribbons

Claire Pettibone Dress Veil Spanish Moss Oaks

image credit : jose villa

post credit : once wed

Bold and beautiful with eye-catching details, what more can you ask for?!

love balloons

rose and gold centerpiece

gold napkins

red and pink floral bouquet

image credit : ryan ray

post credit : 100 layer cake

inspired : 5.13.12

oh my goodness…I LOVE this website! great work, map & menu!

I picked up a copy of our state at whole foods in north carolina…and it may have been one of the best decisions I made while there. what a beautiful magazine!

a new spot on the to-go list : low country produce

well, I’m going to be using these mason jar cards for everything

oh, annie. oh, my. strawberry balsamic bacon pizza. yes.

can’t wait to try these high protein breads and bagels!

just gorgeous!

I always believe this lie. always.

but luckily, these three ladies speak truth so wonderfully well

pin of the week:

romans 8


pinned here via here