Tag Archives: Summer

Watermelon Lime Sherbet Float

Fresh watermelon and mint are combined with lemon lime soda and poured over lime sherbet in this delicious twist on an ice cream float, perfect for summer!

Watermelon Lime Sherbet Float Recipe

Did you know that August 3rd is National Watermelon Day? I know, I know, who comes up with these national food holidays? My boyfriend (and I’m sure a few other people) think they’re totally ridiculous, but as a foodie, I love any excuse to celebrate my favorite foods like National Ice Cream Day, yes, please!

Read the full post here!

Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria

Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria Recipe

This morning I went to visit my friends at CW 6 San Diego, to show them how to cook up a few of my favorite recipes for Valentine’s Day!

Read the full post here!

Peach Green Tea Lemonade Popsicles

Peach Green Tea Lemonade Popsicles

What’s more refreshing on a warm summer day than an iced green tea, a cup of lemonade, a fresh peach or a popsicle?  Well, luckily with this recipe, you don’t have to pick just one!

Read the full post here!

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Warm summer days deserve the perfect summer dessert, and that’s where these Frozen Cheesecake Bars come in! They’re super simple to make and a great cool treat to beat the heat!

Read the full post here!

Watermelon Tomato Salad

What says summer more than fresh watermelon?  We’ve hit the peak of summer and this little salad is the perfect side for a BBQ or a fresh and healthy lunch!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed (or balled) watermelon
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 5 oz feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint (chopped)
  • 1/2 red onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Start by slicing open a watermelon and cutting out cubes or use a watermelon baller (if you ball like that, haha) as my Dad so perfectly displays! He’s such a baller 😉

Place into a large bowl, then begin slicing the grape tomatoes in half and add to the watermelon.

Next, add the feta cheese, mint and onion.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Before serving drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and toss well.

This dish was a huge hit at my family BBQ last month, along with its friends the pulled pork, skillet potatoes, jicama slaw and smoked brisket!

… yeah, that’s a lot of food!  I ♥ BBQ’s!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

#44 Eat a Hot Dog at the Original Nathan’s on Coney Island

Although I do realize that you can get Nathan’s Hot Dogs virtually anywhere these days, it was important to me, as a hot dog connoisseur, to eat an original as part of my bucket list!

After two fabulous nights in NYC, it was time to get a little gritty and head out to Coney Island for this bucket list experience.

Upon arrival, I knew I was not on the Upper East Side anymore!

The first stop was obviously Nathan’s.

And of course I knew my order from the minute I stepped on to the Island.  One original hot dog, plain.

I felt that to get the true Nathan’s original experience, I had to enjoy the delicacy in its purest form, meat on a bun!

Just a couple of cuties ready to take down Nathan’s original!

The time had come to take my first bite and savour the dog in all its glory!

Juicy and delicious it was!

After chowing down on my original, we decided to take advantage of being away from the city and at the beach!

A little feet-in-the-water stroll was in order!

We then met up with my girl Katie from high school on the boardwalk for a couple New York brews at this cool little spot, Paul’s Daughter.

 

So fun to experience a different part of New York that most New Yorker’s themselves never even experience, and of course any day involving an original hot dog eating experience is a good day in my book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Peach Sangria

White Peach Sangria

After taking just one sip of the most perfect “tastes-like-you-stuck-a-straw-in-a-peach” Sangria at Hugo’s Mexican Restaurant in Houston, I knew I had to attempt a recreation of my own!

I found the perfect opportunity when I hosted a BBQ this Saturday. Nothing beats 101° temperatures better than a light, refreshing glass of Peach Sangria!

Watch this video on how to make the delicious Sangria and get the full recipe below.

White Peach Sangria Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 2 liters)

  • 1 lime (sliced thin)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 liter bottle chenin blanc
  • 1/2 cup apricot brandy
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • 1 cup peach nectar*
  • 3 nectarines (peeled, cored and pureed)
  • 2-3 peaches (peeled and cubed)

* I recommend purchasing at a specialty store such as Whole Foods which sells the nectar as 100% juice. I found traditional grocery stores only carried canned nectar which added sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Start by slicing the lime and placing in a large pitcher or beverage barrel. Top with the sugar and muddle well.

Next, add the wine, brandy, triple sec and peach nectar.

Then peel, core and puree the nectarines in a food processor.

Add the puree to the sangria and mix well.

Finally, chop the peaches, add to the sangria and the perfect summer cocktail is complete!

White Peach Sangria

I also chose to freeze watermelon balls to serve with the Sangria instead of using ice cubes 🙂

Melon Ballers are sold at Target, Walmart or specialty store such as Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table for around $10.

White Peach Sangria Recipe

I ended up making 3 batches for my BBQ, I’d say it was a hit!

White Peach Sangria Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: This Recipe is Vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This Recipe is Gluten-Free.

5 Ways to Summer Travel on a Budget

When I got the crazy idea to move everything I own into storage and take off on a “summer blogging tour”, I never realized the #1 question I would be asked is “How can you afford to do this?”

While at first I was a little caught off guard by the nosiness of people, I then realized that people were just curious how I was able to visit 3 countries and multiple states on a very limited budget.  And when I say limited, I mean less than most people make in a month!

My theory has always been experiences and relationships over money and possessions. For me, traveling on a budget and making sacrifices along the way is well worth the experiences I encounter and the relationships I make.

I will warn you that this is not super plush traveling on a budget.  This is like sleeping on couches, cooking for friends, spending days volunteering instead of trips to amusement parks and giving up things like shopping, kind of budget.

These are my 5 Ways to Summer Travel on a Budget:

1. Cash in those Frequent Flier Miles.  Try to fly the same airline for work or vacation throughout the year, that way you will start accumulating enough points to earn free flights.

No, this is not a road trip, I’m flying, train riding, subway taking or bussing it everywhere I go.  I do not own a car that would make it from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, so I can most definitely tell you it wouldn’t make it from Los Angeles to Canada!

I also love that mass transportation allows you to meet new and interesting people.  It would be a little difficult to strike up a conversation with someone new when sitting in a car by yourself!

2. Trade in your Debit Card for an American Express. An American Express is not a credit card, but rather a bank card in which you must pay off the balance each month. By using this instead of my debit card each month I’ve been able to earn hundreds of dollars in gift cards to restaurants, airlines, hotels and more in the past year!

I recommend this to all my friends because it will give you the points that lead to free stuff for your travels without getting you into debt!

 3. Call in your couch crashing favors for the year. This summer there’s no hotel, motel or Holiday Inn for the LLB, rather couches, air mattresses and twin beds at the parents house.

Hotels are an extremely expensive part of travel.  At over $100 a night (and well over that in some places) my entire summer travel budget would be used up in about 2 weeks if I were staying in hotels!

I am very fortunate to meet people who live all over the country and are willing to let me “crash their house” for a couple of days. But, the great thing with social media is that almost anyone can do the same! By putting out a simple status update, “does someone have a place I can crash in Boston for a couple of days?” may get a response from a second cousin or an old friend that you could stay with and take the opportunity to catch up with while you’re in town! That’s what I like to call a “Budget Travel BONUS!”

 4. Trade in a day at a theme park for a day of volunteering. It may not seem like the “fun” option, but in the end I promise you will remember that day you volunteered to help build a home in New Orleans or helped serve food to the homeless in NYC, over the memory of riding a couple of roller coasters and eating some funnel cakes and corn dogs.

 5. Cook dinner for the friends you are staying with instead of eating out.  This is a great way to save money and say “thank you” to your gracious hosts!

Some of my favorite budget friendly meals that can easily serve 4-6 and take less than an hour to make are:

Happy Travels Y’all!!!

#19 Fly on a Private Jet

This was one of those items on the Summer Bucket List that’s been on the life bucket list for years now. It took a random meeting with a pilot in Los Angeles that lived in Oklahoma to finally make it happen.  That pilot, my friend Chad, not only took me on the jet, he also took me to a OKC Thunder playoff game in San Antonio. Needless to say he is on the top of my “favorite people” list right now!

Boarding the plane, Texas bound!

I love the little GPS video tracker so we knew where we were in the air at all times!

Gotta sport my “Westbrook glasses” on the way to Thunder Up!

Landed in San Antonio after a perfect flight with my favorite pilot!

We headed down to the Riverwalk for a margarita, then over to the game!

Definitely a day I will never forget and will always be grateful to Chad for turning this bucket list item into a reality!

Pineapple Goat Cheese Prosciutto Wraps

While I loved “Meatless May”  I am very excited to re-introduce meat to the blog now that it is June!

The idea for this recipe came from a combination of my favorite pizza in Oklahoma and Pinterest.  I saw a pin for avocado with goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto, then the following day I had a slice of  “Maui Magic” from Hideaway Pizza in OKC which combines pineapple, mandarin oranges and Canadian bacon, and that’s how the Pineapple Goat Cheese Prosciutto wraps were born!

I decided to pair the delicious wraps with a Honey Lime Mint Glaze to give it that extra fresh, light, summer flavor!

Ingredients (makes 15 wraps)

  • 1/2 fresh pineapple (cubed)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 3 oz prosciutto (sliced)

Honey Lime Mint Glaze (makes app 3/4 cup)

  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint (finely chopped)

Start by slicing the prosciutto and cutting up the pineapple.  Next, take a small piece of goat cheese and place on a cube of pineapple.

Then wrap the prosciutto around the pineapple and goat cheese.

And repeat 14 times.

Next, make the glaze by whisking together the 4 ingredients.

Drizzle the glaze over the wraps or serve on the side for guests to pour on their own.

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute the prosciutto with Veggie Bacon.

  • Vegan Option:  The glaze can be made vegan by substituting the Honey with Agave Nectar and poured over pineapple cubes, omitting the cheese and prosciutto.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

90 in 90 Bucket List

What would a summer adventure be without a summer bucket list? How about a bucket list that includes 90 items to be completed in 90 days? Well that would be my list!

Included with my recipes, interviews and adventures from the summer, I’ll also be giving bucket list updates!

Let me know if you want to get involved and help me start crossing off my list!! (I’m gonna need it!)

  1. Complete the “food list challenge” (I’m at 68 66 of 100 right now!)
  2. Do a mud run (completed 5/26/12)
  3. Interview a chef in each of these ↑ cities
  4. Attend Taste of Chicago
  5. Surpass the 1000 follower mark on Twitter
  6. Host my own cooking show
  7. Meet Taylor Swift (don’t front, she’s awesome!)
  8. Go skydiving
  9. Attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (completed 7/8/12)
  10. Swim with dolphins
  11. Volunteer with WWOOF
  12. Cook with Giada De Laurentiis
  13. Appear on the Today Show
  14. Stomp grapes
  15. Have a pint at Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago
  16. See a live jazz band in New Orleans
  17. Fly on a Private Jet (completed 5/29/12)
  18. Visit a pig farm
  19. Meet the man, the myth, THE BOB STOOPS
  20. Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field
  21. Watch the Thunder become the NBA Champions ( saving this one for next year!)
  22. Take Mom Jet-skiing
  23. Go Zip-lining
  24. Make Someones Day
  25. Run across the Golden Gate Bridge
  26. Go to the top of the Space Needle
  27. Interview Jamie Oliver
  28. Eat deep dish in Chicago
  29. Donate toys to a children’s hospital
  30. Catch a fish
  31. Go horseback riding on the beach
  32. Spend a day with Giuliana Rancic
  33. Learn how to play the guitar
  34. Go to a Chicago Blues Bar
  35. Start a college fund for my “nephew” Eli
  36. Ride in a hot air balloon
  37. Participate in a flash mob
  38. Make homemade ricotta cheese
  39. Ride in a helicopter
  40. Go hiking in the rainforest
  41. Eat a hot dog at the original Nathan’s on Coney Island (completed 6/30/12)
  42. Publish a cookbook
  43. Participate in a food eating contest
  44. Go shopping at Pike Place Market in Seattle
  45. Take a photography class
  46. Become a contributing food writer
  47. Re-connect with someone I haven’t seen in years
  48. Get a menu item named after me
  49. Make it on Times “Top 100 Blog List”
  50.  (completed 5/21/12)
  51. Crash a Wedding
  52. Have a picnic in Central Park (does an iced coffee count??)
  53. Help a friend in need
  54. Go snorkeling
  55. Have a video on YouTube “go viral”
  56. Become a New York Times Best Seller
  57. Volunteer to help build a home
  58. Enter a recipe in a contest
  59. Run a race with all the members of my immediate family
  60. Start a dance party somewhere random
  61. Take my “Nephew Neighbor” Jake on a day of fun (completed 5/30/12)
  62. Meet someone new every day
  63. Inspire someone
  64. Play with a monkey
  65. Get a stamp in my passport
  66. See a moose
  67. Go white water rafting
  68. Actually finish a book I start reading
  69. Kiss someone in the rain
  70. Get an agent
  71. Send someone flowers for no reason at all
  72. Compliment a stranger
  73. Volunteer for Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign
  74. Send a dozen greeting cards out to random friends
  75. Ride a bull (a real one, not a mechanical… been there, done that!)
  76. Take Becca to Miami
  77. Create an app for food bloggers
  78. Play “slip cup” (completed 7/7/12)
  79. Go rock climbing
  80. Buy a Polaroid camera
  81. Meet Toby Keith (Boomer Sooner!)
  82. Have a food fight
  83. Be in a parade
  84. Be part of a big Italian family dinner
  85. Make my brother a gluten-free birthday cake (completed 6/1/12)

Following up from yesterdays post announcing my Summer Adventure Plan, this is my tentative summer schedule!  If I’m coming to a city near you, contact me!  If I should go somewhere that’s not on the schedule, let me know!  Tell me who to interview and what fun events are in your city, as well as where to eat and who to meet!

This post will be changing and evolving as I add new cities, events and interviews, so check back regularly to see what the LLB is up to!

May 19: Depart Los Angeles

May 19-20: San Diego, California

May 21-23: Edmond, Oklahoma

May 24-25: Dallas, Texas

May 26- June 7: Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Interviews: The stars of  YouTube video sensation “Beard Like Harden”
  • Events: June 1 – My Big Brothers 30th Birthday Celebration

June 8- June 10: Houston, Texas

June 11: Waco, Texas

  • Interviews: Caprino Royale Goat Farm

June 12 – 27: Edmond, Oklahoma

June 28- July 2: New York City, New York

July 3 – July 7: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts 

July 8- 11: Boston, Massachusetts

July 12-27: San Diego, California

  • Events: July 18 – Opening Day at the Races, Del Mar, CA

July 30-Aug 1: Los Angeles, California

Aug 2-19: San Diego, California

A Girl with a Plan, a Blog and a Craving for Adventure

“You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.” – Don Kel 

I’m jumping into a new social experiment in blogging that involves a summer of travel and I need your help, read below to find out just what this all means!

As I approached (and gracefully passed) my quarter life mark the usual life events began to occur, friends got married (Congratulations Marin!), friends had babies (Love you Eli!),

friends graduated college, friends got new jobs, friends advanced in their careers, friends moved away and friends moved closer and I…. made food!

My life is an ever-changing adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Growing up, my parents (the greatest in the world in my book!) always told me to go for it, to live my dreams and to never miss out on an opportunity. I took their advice, probably even further than they expected (and maybe wanted me to) sometimes!

When I was 21 I started my first business and I loved every minute of it, but at a certain point I realized that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That is when the crazy adventure that is, my life in LA, began.

I really had no plans in LA, but just to try something new. And something new is what I got.  I went back to school, I traveled, I made new friends and I began the ever amazing journey that is the Little Leopard Book.

The Little Leopard Book began as an actual notebook I wrote in when I first moved to LA. I wrote in the book about things that made me happy, what my goals were and what I was doing to achieve each of those goals.

Today’s post is a culmination of all those things. Over the last year I’ve realized that the things that make me the happiest and most fulfilled are:

  • People – meeting them, talking to them, being around them. I love fun people, people with interesting stories, adventurous people and my favorite, the positive people 🙂
  • Traveling –  “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustin
  • Adventures – Everything from half marathons in the mountains to hiking at the beach to camping in the woods, I’m always up for a new adventure!
  • Food – I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever read my blog before, you can pretty much figure this one out!
  • Cooking – This is my escape, when I’m in the kitchen I’m the most creative, the happiest and the most at peace than anywhere else!
  • Writing – What a release!  Writing for me is therapy. Everything from jotting down notes, to writing stories, writing recipes and writing about my adventures, I love the way the written word can resonate with people so uniquely and reach people on different levels!

I have combined all of these and come up with my latest plan for life.

The Plan:

I will be traveling to cities everywhere from the US, to Mexico, to Canada and anywhere else someone invites me!  I will be staying with friends, family, friends of friends and cooking for them.  Yup, you heard me right, I stay at your house = I cook for you! I would say the trade-off works pretty well right? In each city I want to experience a new adventure, whether it be sky diving, mud runs, swimming with dolphins or anything in between, I’m up for it!  I’ll be interviewing chefs, bloggers and interesting people in each city and trying the best and most intriguing restaurants each one has to offer!

Here’s where you come in:

  • Where should I go? Tell me where you live or where you’ve visited that I must go and see!
  • What should I do?  What adventure should I experience in this city? Do you all have the largest Jazz festival outside of New Orleans, do you have a beer festival that would put Oktoberfest to shame, do you have a secret adventure spot that only the locals know about?
  • Where should I eat? Who has the best pizza, most interesting menu, biggest pancake I’ve ever seen?
  • Who should I interview?  Are you a chef, do you know a chef, do you own a restaurant, are you a fellow blogger, are you “in” with the chef at your favorite restaurant or are you just an interesting person with a story to tell? Tell me who to talk to!

The good news:

I’ll be recording everything on the Little Leopard Book (not the original, this one, the virtual one 😉 ) and sharing my adventures, recipes, interviews and restaurant reviews with all of you!

The goal:

  • The book.  At the end of the summer I will publish my first “food and travel” book!
  • The people. I want to meet you!  You can view a calendar of my travel here! If I’m coming to a city near you, lets meet for coffee or a pint!  I’d love to hear your story!
  • The adventures. Adventures = Stories and “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself. They are the currency of human contact.” — Robert McKee                                                                                                                                                         Join in the adventure by helping me complete one of my Summer Bucket List items!
  • The food.  In the words of my girlfriends OBVI!

I need your help in this adventure!!! Comment below, message me on Facebook, tweet me on the Twitter, Instagram me (@whitneybond), tag me on Pinterest in a destination or adventure picture I have to try, befriend me on Yelp so I can see your reviews of places, share this with your friends, family, fellow bloggers, join the adventure with me!

In the end, my goal is to say this every day of the summer:

“Each day I am thankful for friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” – Unknown

Meme’s Pink Lemonade Pie

I spent the last few days trying to decide what I would write about for my 100th post on the the blog!  I wanted it to be a little more special and a little more unique than all the others, so I decided to write about a woman who inspired my life and my passion for cooking, my grandma Meme!

Meme (and Super Blonde Me) July 2005

Meme, Feb 2010

I was lucky enough to grow up across the street from my grandparents which meant lots of after school time together and weekend family dinners.  My grandma was a stay-at-home wife and mom who loved to cook and really loved to bake!

There was always something sweet and delicious to eat after dinner and her specialty was pies! Growing up, my brothers favorite pie was Chocolate Ice Box and mine was Pink Lemonade! In memory of Meme, who we lost in 2010, I dedicate my 100th post to her by making the Pink Lemonade Pie!

Ingredients (makes 1 pie)

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 6 oz frozen pink lemonade
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 8 oz cool whip

Start by making the graham cracker crust by combing the crumbs, sugar and butter.

Mix together well.

Press into a pie plate.

Place the curst in the refrigerator while making the pie filling.

Begin making the filling by combining the pink lemonade and condensed milk.

Add in the lemon juice and mix well.

Next, add in the cool whip.

Mix until creamy and no lumps appear.

Pour the filling into the crust.

Spread the filling evenly in the crust.

Now place in the refrigerator for 2 hours for the filling to firm.

I lined the edges of mine with 2 thinly sliced lemons to “pretty-up” the pie!  This is simply for looks and totally optional!

It tasted just how I remembered and I think Meme would be proud!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: The pie filling is gluten-free.  You would only need to substitute gluten-free graham cracker crumbs for the crust.  Whole Foods carries a graham style cracker by Kinnikinnick which can be crushed into crumbs and used. Yay for gluten-free dessert!