Cucumber Basil Gin and Tonic

I’m gonna be honest with you– I had a very tame weekend filled with tbs movie marathons, trying to get work done on my laptop, and fried foods.

Cucumber Basil Gin and Tonic.  I have never even liked gin but this summer cocktail is so refreshing and delicious that it's a new favorite of mine! | blog.hostthetoast.com

And even though I’m not leaving any crazy spree of excitement behind as I enter the work week, I’ve got to say, I have a serious case of the Mondays today.  A case of the Mondays that can and will only be cured by an after-work Cucumber Basil Gin and Tonic.

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Favorite Melty Mozzarella

You know what I love?  Some deliciously creamy, fresh mozzarella cheese.  You know what I don’t love?  Paying $8 for a pound of it.

Favorite Melty Mozzarella.  It's easy to make and costs way less!  Not to mention mozzarella this fresh is just amazing beyond words. | blog.hostthetoast.com

Every time I go to the grocery store and pick up a log of fresh mozzarella, my mouth salivates, but my wallet cries.  I’d been thinking a lot lately about attempting to make mozzarella myself, but it just seemed so hard.  There was no way I could make it without messing it up majorly and taking up my whole day, right?

Wrong.  So very wrong.

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Lemon Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I’m celebrating (or rather, cooking for Momma Bear) early just to make sure you’ve got this recipe in time.  I’ve heard that moms love breakfast in bed.

Lemon Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce.   If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, do it right.  | blog.hostthetoast.com

Well, everyone loves breakfast in bed, don’t they?  There’s nothing like showing someone how much you care by starting their day with a big, beautiful stack of ‘cakes.  Especially if those ‘cakes happen to be particularly light from ricotta, and vibrantly flavored from lemon juice and fresh blueberry sauce.  Oh, and if they’re studded with poppy seeds?  We’re talking pure breakfast bliss.

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How To Tell If Your Avocado Is Ripe

I know I’m not the only one who spends 25 minutes hovering over the avocado bin at the grocery store every time I’ve got a recipe in mind that requires some of that green goodness.

How to tell if an avocado is ripe or rotten!  More tips in the article! | blog.hostthetoast.com
“Is this one too soft?”  I wonder.  “Too green?”  “It looks good now, but how will it look in a few days?”
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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

There is not enough coffee in the world to save me today.

I woke up at the crack of dawn yesterday to get my cooking done (look out for the Carrot Cake Cheesecake recipe coming up– it should be illegal, it’s so sinfully good) and then took a long, hurried drive/train ride to Newark for the hockey game.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip.  It's not ice cream.  It's not cookie dough.  It's not JUST a dip.  It's one of the tastiest sweet treats you will ever whip together! | blog.hostthetoast.com

Don’t get me wrong, the whole experience was great– James, four of our close friends, and I got free tickets to the VIP suites and Platinum lounges at the Prudential Center with complimentary food and drink and a great view of the game.  The event organizers recognize James and I now, as this is our third (and technically fourth) Dream Seat Series win, and I think people are under the impression that I’m actually good at Hold ‘Em at this point.  As my friend Rachel says, “Morgan– Food Blogger by day, Poker Shark by night.”

Unfortunately, that’s not true.  I’m actually pretty mediocre (if that) and get really lucky every once in a while.  Either that or I’m really great and I get really unlucky A LOT.  I like to think it’s the latter, but who am I kidding?  It’s James who’s actually talented at the game, and I’m just adding it on to my long list of hobbies to hoard.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip.  It's not ice cream.  It's not cookie dough.  It's not JUST a dip.  It's one of the tastiest sweet treats you will ever whip together! | blog.hostthetoast.com

Speaking of luck, can we talk about this Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip for a second?
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