Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Pool Party

Favorite Pins – Pool Party – Floating in the pool // aidamollenkamp.com #pairswellwithfood

We’ve recently formed a summer hypothesis that boils down to this: the hotter and hotter it gets, the less and less effort we want to exert.

Goodness knows we love a good beach day, but that requires effort what with the travel, the sand, the snacks and drinks. When it comes to the most weekend fun for the least effort? Nothing beats the no-effort bliss of a backyard pool. Lately a little pool envy has been creeping up on us, so we’re throwing a pool party for ourselves, Pinterest-style.

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Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich

Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich | aidamollenkamp.com

I’m a romantic at heart so I have these swoon-worthy visions of summertime picnics. At the seaside, at sunset, or at a music performance, there’s something about the perfect picnic that just makes my culinary heart pitter patter. And, yes, the vision of my perfect picnic has cold lemonade, a more adult sipper, and a great salad, but it’s pretty much incomplete unless there’s a sandwich like this  Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich.

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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Ice Cream Sunday

Favorite Pins – Ice cream Sunday - jeni's ice cream // aidamollenkamp.com #pairswellwithfood

You know what can make these summer days a little cooler, and a little sweeter? Ice cream. Because ice cream is always a good idea.

Other good ideas? Keeping a healthy stock of options in the freezer at all times, and a well-maintained Pinterest board for when cravings (and inspiration) start to spike along with the temps. There’s nothing like a frozen cone when you need one! These days, that’s becoming a near-daily occurrence.

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Reverse Engineering The Perfect Roasted Tomato Salsa

Papalote Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

We did it — we cracked the code. True it was years ago but I still do a little victory dance everytime I think about it. Back when I moved to San Francisco and in the very first days of my life as a recipe tester, my then-boss was obsessed with figuring out how to make the Roasted Tomato Salsa from his favorite taqueria, Papalote.

We bought batch after batch after batch and, through trying to replicate it, I learned the ins and outs of timing, weighing, and all the other nitpicky stuff that makes up test kitchen life. It took countless batches, taste tests, and lots of chip dipping, but we cracked the code on a homemade version of our favorite Roasted Tomato Salsa.

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Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad with Marcona Almonds

Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad Recipe | aidamollenkmp.com

Can we talk about these so-called dog days? Does anyone know when they’re supposed to start? Or end? I always had August pegged as the dog days month — but, let’s be real, that’s solely based on the fact that Dog Day Afternoon takes place in August.

What I do know is that the dog days are here in Hollywood and have arrived with a vengeance. And that means we’re starting in on that time when two summertime truths emerge: a) it’s too hot to really cook and b) you somehow find yourself with have a bushel of zucchini to get through. Since I liken myself a problem solver, I thought I’d kill two culinary birds with one stone with this Marinated Zucchini Chicken Salad.

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Huli Huli Chicken Skewers

Huli Huli Chicken Skewers Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

Dating a Hawaiian means you bring the islands home sometimes, no matter how far from the islands home actually lies. In the name of combating homesick-ness, one might, say, turn a corner of the house into a Hawaiian enclave (Chris is from Hawaii Kai so our tropical patio scape has been nicknamed WehoKai because, well, you know, we live in WeHo).

It means that tailgates aren’t complete with boiled peanuts, that the go-to party appetizer is ahi poke, and that comfort food consists is defined as rice with shoyu chicken. And it means that, after six years together, you might come up with your own cravings like say how I drool at the thought of the huli huli chicken from Ray’s Kiawe Broiled Chicken.

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Steak Salad with Tomato-Sherry Vinaigrette

Steak Salad with Tomato Sherry Vinaigrette Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

It’s a summer of salads around here – Instagram will tell you that most of the time we keep our salads healthy, but, let’s be clear, that doesn’t mean every salad is 100% so. Sometimes we need the steak and potatoes version of a salad, which, well is when I do exactly that and make a salad of steak and potatoes like this Steak Salad with Tomato-Sherry Vinaigrette.
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Mixtape: July 4th Playlist

July 4th Music Playlist | aidamollenkamp.com | #pairswellwithfood

I’ll forever pledge allegiance to the red, white, and blue but that doesn’t mean that I want to host a sing-along to “God Bless America” today.

So, this holiday weekend, I’ve come up with my own style of july 4th playlist. They’re the 13 songs that I want to listen today — not because their patriotic or anything else special. They’re just the sort of easy-going, upbeat songs I could listen to all day, whether it’s spent at the beach,  a block party, or a traditional picnic and fireworks show. You know the drill – click through to play them right  here or join in the fun and follow along on Spotify along with all our other mixtapes.
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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Your Perfect Fourth of July

Favorite Pins - Fourth of July - USA Sparklers // aidamollenkamp.com #pairswellwith food

Do you feel as if the air is a little more electric lately? It might have something to do with the upcoming holiday, the most American of all days, the Fourth of July!

Now, normally in this column we share pins that inspire us, but this week we want to inspire you: we have in mind the ultimate July 4th celebration, and in preparation, we’ve put together a short list of must-haves that will take your party high and above the rest. Have a look and get the details below:
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