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Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.

raw peaches in bowl

My younger brother Red turned 19 yesterday. I really can’t even believe he is a year off from being 20. I was 6 when Red was born and I remember the day so well, well kind of. What I really remember is the day after. It was a hot Ohio summer day and my dad took my brothers and me to a local waterpark. Afterward, we stopped at the hospital. I remember holding Red, he was the tiniest baby…I’m not joking, he was only 5 pounds! It’s just so crazy that next year he’ll be 20. I always think of Red as the little kid who lived life running around, never ever, ever sitting still, always with a smile on his face. He’s still that kid, still running around, still never sitting still, but he’s very much an adult now – crazy!

When Asher hits 20 I might just lose it. Can she please stay her cute little 10-year-old self forever and ever? Also, when Asher is 20, I will be 35 and this is freaking me out…

Since it’s Red’s birthday, that means it’s the end of June and the 4th of July is only days away. I am excited! We’re headed to Costa Rica the night of the 3rd and I could not be more ready for a little vacation. I can’t even remember the last time I took time away from my computer, or away from the kitchen, or even away from my phone for that matter. To be honest, I probably will not unplug completely, because I genuinely really love sharing what’s happening with you all. But it will be nice to take a break and some have time to chill with my family. So much to do before then, but excited for what’s to come.

What are you all up to for the 4th of July? Traveling anywhere fun? Hosting friends for a fun BBQ?

Coming up this week on HBH, it’s all things last minute 4th of July entertaining. I’ll be sharing new appetizers, side dishes, and even something sweet! To round it all up, we’ll be putting together a 4th of July menu mapping out my ideal summer eats. Oh, and some entertaining tips + tricks too.

Question: would you prefer to see a last-minute cocktail recipe or a last minute dessert this week?

Lastly, if you missed anything from the past week, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here. Hope you’re all having the best weekend, and enjoy this Sunday’s Nine Favorite Things!

1. Inspiring Me on Pinterest…4th of July Edition.

all photos via Pinterest.

2. The Most Popular Recipe of June.

Better Than Takeout Kung Pao Cauliflower | halfbakedharvest.com #vegan #healthyrecipes #easyrecipes #vegetables

Most popular: better than takeout kung pao cauliflower

Once again, a little surprised by the most popular recipe of the month, BUT I do understand. This Kung Pao Cauliflower is addictingly good and everyone I’ve made it for this month has loved it. It’s the perfect healthy, but still delicious, take-out style dinner at home. It has a quick 30 minute cooking time and uses pantry staple ingredients. It’s been fun to see everyone share photos of this dish on Instagram. So many of you have made it!

Bursting Blueberry Lemon Layer Cake | halfbakedharvest.com #bleberrycake #layercake #summerrecipes #dessert

Runner-up: bursting blueberry lemon layer cake

Yay!! I am so excited you all love this cake as much as I do!! I always worry that layer cakes are too complicated to share, but every time I share a new cake, you guys seem to love it! This makes me so happy! And man, this cake is SO GOOD. Every bite is layered with fresh berries, hints of lemon, sweet vanilla, and filled with creamy buttercream. Bonus? It’s so very pretty…with barely any added effort.

Basil Chicken Saltimbocca with Marinated Tomatoes and Burrata | halfbakedharvest.com #chicken #tomatoes #basil #summerrecipes

Also have to mention: basil chicken saltimbocca with marinated tomatoes and burrata

Personally, this one is probably my second favorite recipe I shared all month long…right behind the blueberry layer cake. It’s layered with all of my favorite summertime ingredients + crispy, salty, prosciutto wrapped, chicken + burrata. It’s simple, quick, and every last bite is delicious.

3. Best Clean Beauty Sunscreens…

4. Questions of the Week: 

q: What ingredient is inspiring you this season?
a:  stone fruits! I am really embracing using fruit in both sweet and savory ways right now. I can’t wait to share new recipes soon! My current favorites are my rosemary peach chicken, browned butter grilled peaches, and these peach thyme tarts.

q: Most versatile veggie? Or you go-to veggie?
a: I feel like everyone might think it is cauliflower, but personally my favorite is probably broccoli…or carrots…or bell peppers!! Love them raw, roasted, marinated, so many options!

That said, I think cauliflower can be heavily flavored with sauces and seasonings because of it pale color and mellow flavor. My 2 favorite recipes are my Indian coconut butter cauliflower or my Kung Pao cauliflower.

q: Do you style your food even when you are not making it for Instagram?
a: Um….yes I pretty much always style the food I make. BUT I don’t stress about it if I’m not photographing it. My favorite thing to do is create pretty things, so I can’t really stop. I at least try to make everything I cook pretty! People eat with their eyes so I think it’s important to make the food look its best – no matter what!

q: Do you have a go-to sauce for veggies or noodles when in a hurry?
a: for veggies, I simply roast them with olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I’ll also drizzle them with an herby tahini “goddess” sauce.

My go-to noodles are saucy coconut curry noodles, 20-minute spicy Udon noodles, and zucchini parmesan pasta.

5. Newest Videos: 

Greek Lemon Chicken Bowls with Sizzled Mint Goddess Sauce…my summer go-to.

Strawberry Shortcakes…the BEST. enjoy…all summer long.

No Fuss Lemon Tart…the easiest, the most delicious, and so pretty when topped with fresh berries.

6. Instagram Stories.

Have you guys been following along on Ig stories? I’ve been making a ton of recipes step-by-step, like my favorite garlic butter creamed corn chicken, sharing all my favorite beauty products, and so much more. It’s a really fun space for me to be able to connect with you guys!

7. A Few Links I Am Loving…

20 organizational tasks you can tackle in 5 minutes or less…if you need a good Sunday task.

how to be more a more creative self at 30…a good (inspiring) weekend read.

the prettiest block in New York…yes, it’s gorgeous and I want to visit in the fall.

Veronica Mars returns on Hulu, here’s everything you need to know…I am so excited.

the perfect wine pairings for all your favorite BBQ foods…good to know.

step inside Maria Sharapova’s sun-drenched L.A. home…so peaceful, light, and relaxed. it’s gorgeous.

how to correct your posture…I need this now more than ever.

a design lover’s guide to Montecito…or just a guide for me.

how to spend a big fat pride weekend in NYC…if you are in town.

the 6 prettiest celebrity wedding venues of 2019…Wyoming for me 100%.

chemical sunscreens go right into your bloodstream…here’s what to use instead.

here is why you should air dry your hair all summer long…I am all about this.

8. My Favorite Vacation Bags and Hats…

9. This Week’s Dinners:

Summer Niçoise Salad | halfbakedharvest.com #salad #summerrecipes #healthy

Monday: summer niçoise salad

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil | halfbakedharvest.com #peaches #porkchops #easydinner #skilletrecipe

Tuesday: skillet balsamic peach pork chops with feta and basil

20 Minute Honey Garlic Butter Scallops and Orzo | halfbakedharvest.com #quick #easy #spring #recipes

Wednesday: 20-minute honey garlic butter scallops and orzo

Greek Watermelon Feta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette | halfbakedharvest.com #watermelon #summerrecipes #easyrecipes #healthy

Thursday: Moroccan grilled chicken + greek watermelon feta salad + browned butter grilled peaches

One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #summerrecipes #onepot

Friday: one pot 30-minute creamy tomato basil pasta bake

Finally, check out all the past Favorite’s posts here.

Related PostsView All Nine Favorite Things

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Comments

  1. First, I vote last minute cocktail recipe!!
    Second – my brother is about 12 years younger than me and I totally relate to not wanting them to grow up! Also it makes you age which is never fun, haha. But it’s fun to see how our bond/relationship changes as time goes on. It’s awesome that you and your siblings are close 🙂

  2. I love reading your nine favourite things specially the links that you share!!! Enjoy your holiday 🙂
    By the way, you mentioned that you do video tutorials on insta stories and I follow them religiously! I saw that you did a video tutorial for pan fried feta but for some reason I can not find it in the highlights. Do you plan to post the video for the recipe? 🙂

    1. Hi there! You are so sweet!

      I must have forgot to add that to my highlights! I will do so now, but we will work on a video for that recipe soon and add it to this post 🙂 Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you! xTieghan