Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

If there’s one thing that I really love – it’s a super simple no-bake dessert. When I saved this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, it stuck with me in the back of my mind. It must have struck a chord with you guys too, as it got quite a few re-pins!

Just a few minutes to whip it together, some chilling time in the fridge, and we had a delectably fluffy and rich dessert – with a hefty dose of lemony flavor. I used lemon Jell-O as well as some fresh lemon juice and zest to really brighten up the one-note flavor that box gelatin often has. Worked like a charm.

Also, instead of the ubiquitous frozen tub of whipped topping that often is included in no-bake desserts, I opted for fresh homemade whipped cream – always a welcome change in a recipe as far as I’m concerned.

Topped off with some fresh berries and a sprig of bright green mint, it’s the ideal dessert to enjoy on the back porch as the weather warms up.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to announce that I’m now a Rodelle Brand Ambassador! I’ve long been a fan of their vanilla products, and look forward to working with them in my kitchen to create more sweet treats to share with you guys. Stay tuned!

2I don’t know if it’s the time shift, or the fact that I often fall asleep on the couch at 8 PM – but I find myself getting up before the sun these past couple months. Have been trying to be a little bit more productive with it. Getting up for a walk or run, snapping a few pictures of the sunrise along the way.

I thought that sharing my favorite photos I’ve snapped in the past month, along with a short blurb about what’s going on would be fun. I’m very fortunate to call such a magical place home, and I thought you guy might enjoy a little taste of that! So, we’ll see how it goes.

1Whiskey sours. This is a funny story! So, last summer I went to this fun blogger event sponsored by  the folks at Maryland Tourism. Local breweries and distillers were on site schmoozing with a variety  of local area bloggers. I got chatting with the folks at Louthan Distilling, who are out of Baltimore – but use grains harvested from the Eastern Shore. I mentioned that I lived on Chincoteague…would you believe the father of the distiller (who is the co-owner) literally have a vacation home one door down from me here on the island? It never ceases to amaze me how small of a world this is!

Naturally – we’ve become great friends. Len & Nancy have been over a couple of times for dinner, and drinks on the porch are quickly becoming a favorite pastime when they’re in town (who am I kidding, that’s always a favorite pastime around here!). The whiskey is phenomenal, wonderful to drink over a bit of ice or to use as a cocktail crafting agent. Santa brought the husband a nice collection of assorted bitters this year, so we’ve been fun experimenting with those!

3My morning walks I mentioned have been getting me a little more off the beaten path lately – which really says something for a girl who’s always got marsh mud stuck between her toes. Often, literally. I love to find a new perspective on things that I view on a daily basis!

4 Or, sometimes I’ll find myself more on the beaten path. Literally. For instance, this boat that’s on the side of the causeway (the long stretch of road over the marsh coming from the mainland to the island). I’ve driven by it a million times, always framing a shot in my mind – but never stopped to take the picture. Finally got around to it a couple weeks ago, and I love it. I need to get out there with my big girl camera soon and take some real photos!

5 Whenever we get a chance we love to take a drive up to the Dogfish Head Brewpub on a weekend for lunch.  It’s still the “off-season”, so they’re not quite as busy as they are in the summer months. The food and beer are always wonderful, and they’re very family friendly – which is a major plus with our crew!

Whenever we go, we always have to try a sampler of their brewpub exclusives – which are brewed in small batches right there at the brewpub. It’s always fun to see some of those brewpub exclusives materialize into beers that they then decide to bottle and distribute!

6 Speaking of good beer…guess who had a recipe in American Homebrewers Association’s Zymurgy this month? This girl! As a homebrewer and avid craft beer lover, this was a huge honor for me. And, if you haven’t made the Beer-Candied Bacon yet…stop reading this and go make it. Like, right now. We’ll wait.

7If you know me in my private life or through my Instagram feed – you’ll know that I’m obsessed with beachcombing – primarily for sea glass. While most of what I find is tumbled glass, which is beautiful – my favorite finds are pieces of pottery that have been broken and worn by the tumbling surf. I love finding something with a pattern or marking, and then tracing it back to what it was in the former life.

Most of  pieces I find are from the 1920’s – 1950’s. I drive about 30 minutes to the Chesapeake Bay side of the Eastern Shore, as I never have much luck here on the ocean side. You never know what the tide will bring in from day to day! On this particular morning I found quite a few blue & white pieces.

8This year during the off-season months our little movie theater has been showing classic films on Friday nights for $5. A couple of weeks ago it was Gone With The Wind. I saw it on the big screen back in 1999 for the 60th anniversary, but couldn’t resist seeing it again.

My girlfriend and I went (I may or may have not smuggled in a little bottle of rum to add to our Cokes) and had a great time. The perfect way to spend a small town Friday night!

9Spring has sprung and these little guys are hatching and crawling all over the island. They’re Diamondback Terrapins – once endangered due to over fishing (they’ll eat anything around here, guys!), and now facing daily dangers of getting caught in crab pots. I try to keep my eyes peeled for them on the road and avoid them when I can. I brake for turtles, y’all!

10The arrival of spring also means that all my favorite spots are opening back up! Sea Star Cafe opened a few weeks ago – my favorite spot for lunch. Always fresh and amazing! Ray’s Shanty – for all my seafood needs (heading there today – shrimp & grits on the menu tonight!). Poseiden’s Pantry – my go-to spot for specialty ingredients and craft beer. And, Saigon Village – a phenomenal little hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place right up the street. If you’re ever visiting Chincoteague, I highly recommend all of them!

broccolislaw

Have you guys hopped on board the spiralizer bandwagon yet? I hadn’t, but have wanted to for quite some time. So when OXO reached out to me to give their new Countertop Spiralizer model a try, I was happy to oblige.

I opted for the the standard zucchini noodle to get my “feet wet”, and then quickly found myself spiralizing everything I could get my hands on. It’s so much fun to use! Couldn’t be any easier to clean or store, and has three different blades for a plethora of slicing needs. spiralizer

Like curly fries! I’m trying to think on the healthy side – but it’s hard to deny the fact that for me this is groundbreaking. Curly fries. Sprinkled with Old Bay. From the comfort of my own home. Ya heard?

Of all the things I passed through this little gadget last week, I think I had the most fun with broccoli stems. I always felt so bad tossing them in the trash on the regular, so believe me when I say it felt so good to make this delicious, crunchy, and tangy slaw with those big green stalks!

What a great way to stretch a buck, and good for you to boot! I mixed with some shredded green and red cabbage, as well as some shredded carrot for a little additional crunch and pop of color. Would be the perfect addition to any potluck party table.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the good folks at OXO. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Garlic Herb Salt

Back at Christmas time I bought an insane amount of pre-peeled garlic due to poor grocery shopping planning, and needed something to do with it. I’d remembered a recipe they’d talked about on The Splendid Table a while back for homemade seasoned salt using fresh garlic, and decided that since I had a plethora of the stuff that I needed something to do with…this was the perfect opportunity to try out said recipe.

You guys, it’s been pretty much the only seasoning I’ve used since then – save chili powder and cumin. Not a meal goes by that I don’t find myself dipping into the stuff. I keep a mason jar curing of it at all times, just because it’s so perfect to use on everything – any protein under the sun, to any vegetable or starch you can throw at it! It really heightens the flavor of whatever it is you use it on, without overwhelming it…which many store-bought seasoning blends tend to do!

I roasted the garlic first – to intensify and deepen the flavors. Then, toss it into bunch of salt along with some freshly chopped herbs. Any mix of your favorite will do – I’ve been using rosemary and thyme recently, just because it’s been pretty readily available during the cold months.

However now that it’s warming up and I’m starting to think about my herb garden – I’m looking forward to experimenting with different blends of herbs this season. I also think that bit of citrus zest would also be a welcome addition to the party! Or maybe a smidge of lavender for an Herbes de Provance twist? Have fun with it, you can’t mess this one up!

Source: adapted from The Splendid Table