Dear Baby Brother

Dear Baby Brother

As your older sister, I feel it’s my duty to impart some of the wisdom that I’ve picked up in my extra 10 years here on earth. So, here is my unsolicited life advice for you as you enter college and adulthood:

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Mini Corn + Tomato Quiche with Bacon

I made these quiches with some of my favorite flavors of summer: tomatoes, corn, and basil, none of which require any pre-cooking. Bacon has to get cooked first, but it’s totally worth it. Gorgonzola rounds out the group with a big punch of flavor.

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Garden Resources

I’m not an expert gardener, but I ask my farmer friends a million questions and I’ve learned from trial and error over the years. Here are a few gardening resources that I love:

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Around the World, Around the Web

Around the World, Around the Web is a monthly list of travel-related links for wanderlust inspiration. This month’s theme is Christmas in July, because it’s time to start planning a Christmas trip!

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3 Summer Aguas Frescas

Aguas frescas are basically just fruit pureed with water, sweetener, and perhaps another flavor or two. They’re sweet, refreshing, and exactly what you want on a summer day.

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Chicago Travel Guide

I’ve heard it’s hard to beat Chicago on a sunny summer day, and if our recent trip is any indication, then I totally agree. A stroll along the Riverwalk, down the Lakefront Trail, or through Millennium Park shows the city’s masterful marriage of nature and architecture. There are activities suited for all ages and budgets, including pro sports games, boat tours, shopping, and my activity of choice: eating. From Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza to artful fine dining to trendy food halls, there’s something for everyone.

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How to Cut a Pineapple

If you’ve never tackled a whole pineapple, it can be intimidating. Oh, and choosing the perfect pineapple from a sea of prickly fruit? That’s scary. But fear no more! Here are some easy tips for selecting a pineapple and step-by-step instructions for cutting it up:

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When Love Transcends a Language Barrier

In March of this year, I traveled to the northeastern coast of Brazil with my husband’s family. We didn’t embark on nearly 20 hours of travel (each way) for an off-the-beaten-path, exotic vacation. We went because there were two church communities in Fortaleza, Brazil that loved my late mother-in-law so much that they wanted to honor her life; and they wanted us to be there.

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Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Truth be told, chicken tortilla soup was not something in my typical rotation. So I did what I usually do: I googled it. I was confronted with the typical (broad!) spectrum of recipes. I realized that most of the recipes were full of summer harvests: sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, corn, and onions. I set out to make it as “from scratch” as possible, which meant roasting my own tomatoes and toasting my own tortilla strips.

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SoCal Luxury at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is situated on a dramatic stretch of California coastline that reminds me of the Italian Riviera. The sprawling property is perched above a wide beach dotted with umbrellas. The landscape is lush, the weather is ideal, and thoughtful details abound.

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Berry Galette with Whole Wheat Pecan Crust

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like pie crust. Perhaps because I’ve had a few too many soggy-bottomed, storebought crusts. I hate wasting food, but luckily there is usually a willing recipient nearby who will take my crust after I’ve scraped out my pie filling. More recently, I’ve learned that I like a good, homemade, all-butter pie crust just fine. Better yet, I love a good tart crust or shortbread crust. And perhaps best of all, I love a crisp, nutty galette crust baked with a crunchy layer of sugar on top.

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