Design to Dish: Crumb-Topped Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Blueberries are a summer staple at our house—my kids love to shove fistfuls of fresh ones into their mouths in July and August, when they’re the sweetest, and I love freezing them so we can use them September through June in smoothies, pies, muffins, and more. These blueberry cheesecake bars are a great way to showcase fresh blueberries, but you can also use frozen berries and get a burst of bright, summery blueberry flavor even in the depths of winter. And these bars are so easy to make, which is always a bonus when it comes to sweets. Sometimes I see “cheesecake” and think that means tons of work, but this recipe is ridiculously simple.

blueberry cheesecake cookie bars I was inspired to create a blueberry recipe after spotting these beautiful “Watercolor
” wedding invites by Yao Cheng, one of my favorite Minted artists (left).
Crumb-Topped Blueberry Cheesecake Bars (right; recipe below)

blueberry cheesecake cookie bars minted

Keep reading for this easy and delicious cookie recipe…


Roundup: 10 Summer Cocktails to Help You Stay Cool

Now that the temps are rising, beat the heat with these delicious, frosty, summer-inspired cocktails. Serve them ice-cold at your next alfresco dinner party—or even at your wedding reception!—and you might not need the A/C.

Summer Cocktail Ideas: Strawberry Smash

1. Strawberry Smash // via The Coveteur

2. Grapefruit Fennel Fizz // via Jojotastic

Click through for eight more summer cocktail ideas


Recipe: Blackberry, Cucumber, and Mint Popsicles

Looking for ways to beat the heat? Stay cool with these easy-to-make (and super hydrating!) popsicles infused with blackberries, cucumbers, and fresh mint. All you need to do is start with chilled cucumber-mint water (my favorite summertime drink!) and add a handful of your favorite berries to make this deliciously refreshing (and practically calorie-free!) icy treat.

Click through for this easy popsicle recipe

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How To: Pack a Picnic Basket Like a Pro

Once upon a time we owned a pricey picnic basket, but after an evening of bocce (and vodka!) on the beach, it ended up either lost or stolen (we’re still not sure what happened). Now, I’m all about simplicity when it comes to picnics—an easy, affordable basket I can quickly fill with boxed sandwiches and some basic outdoor-eating staples. Want to make your own portable spread? Take a peek at my tips on packing the perfect basket for your alfresco meals this summer.

Keep reading for my best picnic-packing tips


Design to Dish: Fresh Fruit Sugar Cookie Bars

red white and blue bars Melt” art print by Lindsay Megahed | Fresh Fruit Sugar Cookies Bars (recipe below)

The 4th of July is coming up this weekend, and we are knee-deep in cousins, BBQs, and family fun! My mom’s side of the family has a big get-together every year on Independence Day, so it was always a major holiday for us growing up, and is still one of my favorites as an adult. As a kid, the 4th of July meant swimming and eating popsicles all day, and sitting in lawn chairs (or more likely on the curb) to watch fireworks on the driveway. As an adult, it means getting to spend time catching up with family from far and near. And, of course, red, white, and blue!

I spotted this red, white, and blue art print from Minted (“Melt” by Lindsay Megahed) way back in March, and it has been on my mind ever since. It looks like bomb pops, one of my childhood 4th of July favorites! I wanted to make a sophisticated red, white, and blue dessert to go with it, and these fresh fruit-topped sugar cookie bars are easy, beautiful, and festive. And let’s not forget the most important thing: they’re delicious!

red white and blue 4th of july treats

Keep reading for this easy 4th of July dessert recipe…

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Recipe: Red, White, and Blueberry Pavlovas

Summer celebrations call for simple treats with minimal assembly. To make the most of berry season, I’m whipping up these red, white, and blueberry pavlovas—they’re miniature, light, and bite-sized. Bonus: They’re the perfect color scheme for celebrating the Fourth.

summer berry pavlova by kelli hall
summer berry pavlova by kelli hall

Click through for this easy summer recipe…

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Father’s Day BBQ Sauce Printable

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift? We’ve got a super simple one for you! All you need: mason jars, BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought), and our BBQ sauce label printable and you’re good to go. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also add some other grilling accessories and you have the perfect gift for Dad.


Design to Dish: Lavender Lemonade

Lemonade is the perfect summer drink—I plan on drinking it all summer long!—but add a little lavender and it skyrockets plain lemonade into a whole other dimension of ice-cold deliciousness. Lavender lemonade is one of those things that sounds fancy and sophisticated, and it tastes fancy and sophisticated! It’s too flavorful to chug; you have to serve it over lots of ice and take very refined sips. And the great thing is it takes exactly the same amount of work to make as plain lemonade. So make some this summer, you fancy, sophisticated person, you!

homemade lavender lemonade “Provincial Summer” fabric by Lulu and Isabelle | Lavender Lemonade (recipe below)

I really can’t get enough of the beautiful textiles Minted offers—my lavender lemonade recipe was actually inspired by this gorgeous “Provincial Summer” fabric by Lulu and Isabelle. Even though the climate where we live is far from Mediterranean, I still dream of planting endless fields of lavender. However, I might just have to settle for some pretty fabric and an ice-cold drink.

homemade lavender lemonade

Keep reading for this refreshing summer recipe…


Design to Dish: Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies teacher thank you gift Favorite Teacher notebooks by Jill Means | Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies (recipe below)

I’m usually really on top of things, but I completely spaced on Teacher Appreciation Week earlier this year (whoops!) and wanted to make up for it by giving my kids’ teachers some really great gifts at the end of the school year. So, I enlisted my kids to help me make a batch of good, old-fashioned oatmeal cookies—one of my favorites!—for their teachers, and packaging the cookies with a cute, personalized thank-you gift. These charming “Favorite Teacher” notebooks from Minted are darling, and I know our teachers this year will love them (hopefully enough to forgive me for forgetting Teacher Appreciation Week!).

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? A really good classic that’s always a crowd pleaser? My family loves this simple recipe for oatmeal cookies—we make them a lot for easy weeknight desserts and after-school snacks. They’re sweet and buttery, and the perfect balance between crisp and chewy.

classic oatmeal cookies

Keep reading for this family-favorite oatmeal cookie recipe…

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DIY: Edible-Gold Polka-Dot Cake

A little gold makes everything better (am I right?!), but add polka dots and you’ve got yourself a grade-A winner. Hence, this DIY edible-gold polka-dot cake—it’s just what your next birthday party or get-together needs! Plus, it won’t take you hardly anytime at all to make on your own.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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