This time of year I become a bit of a zucchini freak. Luckily, B is on board with my obsession and is right there with me toting it home by the bagful from the market or little roadside veggie stands. We’re huge fans of grilling it on the charcoal grill with a bit of olive oil and garlic and eating it just like that, but I also love working it into dishes of all varieties. Pastas, pizzas, soups – zucchini makes everything taste summery and delicious! I used to be obsessed with my grandmother’s zucchini bread as a kid and can’t wait to make some soon.
Have a garden bursting with zucchini you don’t know what to do with? Or, like us, and can’t stop buying it every time you see it? Click through for 10 of the best zucchini recipes you absolutely want to try this summer!
This post was sponsored by Skinny Cow. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep on keepin’ on!
Remember last week when we talked about hosting a party for your best ladies? Well, recently I put that inspiration to work! This summer Skinny Cow is challenging me to take on three missions, all with the intention of helping inspire you to unplug, tap into your inner lady and define for yourself the ways you can introduce a little more you time into every day life. So as part of my first mission, I invited my best girls to join me for an evening of bubbly, ice cream and some of our favorite music for no other reason than just to hang out and have fun. It was such a great time to unwind and enjoy the evening. I have to say, you definitely need to get together with the girls for a ladies night! For me it was long overdue and such a blast. I can’t wait to do it again!
To keep things from being too much like work to put together, I simply set out all the fixings for cocktails along with bubbly, wine and a few sweet treats including cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches. The ladies were free to grab drinks and nibbles at will while we mingled. I used our dining table pushed up against the back wall of our dining room to create more room for moving around, and set the table with a paper table runner that’s actually a graphic gift wrap from Target. Add in a few handfuls of confetti, some rainbow-colored honeycomb tissue balls, and cupcakes topped with paper parasols and the whole look was crazy colorful and summery while literally only taking me about twenty minutes to pull together. This is the perfect example of how you can pull off an amazing ladies night without having to devote excessive time to planning or prepping. You know what that means? You officially have no excuse! Get your girls, fire up a playlist with your favorite summery music and get to partying.
Need a bit more inspiration? Here is our party playlist to help you get in the mood! Before everyone came over, I asked the ladies to chime in with their picks for the ultimate summer songs. The resulting playlist is so peppy and fun and wide ranging. We’re talking everything from The Beach Boys to Christina Aguilera to Queen. Yup, it’s good, in the most delightfully random way. Enjoy!
Gift wrap used as table runner from Target
Art print c/o of Minted
Bubbly c/o of Delicia
Ice cream sandwiches c/o of Skinny Cow
Honeycomb balls + confetti from Party City
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
This post was sponsored by Skinny Cow. Read more about our editorial policies.
[Photo by Anika London Photography from A Subtle Revelry. Styling by Carter & Cook Event Co.]
Have you guys had a chance to pop over and check out my work at Babble lately? It’s where I write about all things entertaining, DIY, craftiness, style and things I generally love. I just adore being a part of the Babble team and getting to share all of the inspiration that’s catching my eye. I’d love to have you take a little a peek at some of my recent babbling! xoxo
You know those dishes that you make excessively and could eat every single day? This is absolutely one of those dishes for me. We make it regularly at home where it serves equally as well as a meal unto itself as it does for a side dish. And for parties? Don’t even get me started. It literally flies out of the bowl as it did at the party we brought it to last weekend. Oh, and it’s about the easiest thing in the world to make. If you can cook barley, you can make this salad and you’ll be glad you did!
This salad is one of those awesome little concoctions that tastes just as yummy warm as it does chilled. In fact, I used to make it and eat it when freshly prepped and still warm, but discovered upon snacking on cold leftovers one day for lunch that it’s pretty brilliant cold, too. So make it and serve it right up or make it the night before for a party. You really can’t go wrong! I usually make it with farro actually, but discovered recently that it’s stupidly good made with barley when I was out of farro. Yup, stupidly good. It’s a really thing. So feel free to play with the grains and see what you like best. Either way, it’s some kind of delicious.
- 2 cups of uncooked barley
- 5 cups of veggie stock
- 16 oz of fresh mozzarella
- 2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 8 – 10 basil leaves
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Start by cooking the barley, using veggie stock instead of water to prepare. Veggie stock adds boatloads of flavor so I definitely prefer it, but if you’re without you can substitute water in a pinch. Add the veggie stock and barley to a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. When it’s mostly absorbed, turn off the heat and cover, allowing the barley to sit for another ten minutes or so before removing the lid.
While the barley is cooking, cut your mozzarella into bite-size chunks and cut your tomatoes in half. When the barley is all set to go, combine everything in a large mixing bowl, adding the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and stirring just until combined. Add more vinegar if you’d like as some will absorb into the barley as it cools. Add fresh cracked black pepper to taste and chop up your basil to add right at the end. And that’s it! Easy as easy gets.
I seriously hope you give this one a try! It’s one of my favorite dishes and I’ve been wanting to share it for a while now so I’m really excited for you to give it a whirl. If you do, make sure to let me know how you like it. Bon appetite!
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
Good morning and happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was fabulous and blew by in an instant, as seems to be the usual anymore these days. Not that I’m complaining! I love summer and working on soaking up every little bit. In fact, this morning’s color palette was entirely inspired by a fresh summery combination of yellow and thyme green, but with a slightly muted and romantic tone. You know I don’t even love yellow and I love this combination. What do you think? Who else is loving yellow this morning?
[Photos, from top: Jelly Toast for Oh The Lovely Things | Ciara Richardson Photography for Hair & Makeup By Steph | Mi Belle Photography from Style Me Pretty.]