Lemon Sorbet

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Fresh lemon sorbet is a light and refreshing treat that is a terrific addition to any meal.

At first glance, a scoop of sorbet is unlikely to grab your attention and impress. However, at first taste, you’re certain to be won over immediately.

gold ice cream scoop with container of lemon sorbet

Lemon Sorbet

My sister and I often talk about that “unforgettable bite.” A special meal or fancy dinner out that you remember fondly often contains a certain food or combination of flavors that simply wows you.

It never fails to impress me when a small number of ingredients are combined to create something truly amazing. I tasted a lemon sorbet for the first time while on a cruise with my sister Jenny and we found ourselves talking about it repeatedly over the next few days.

I got back home from our trip on a Saturday night and on Sunday I was in the kitchen mixing this sorbet together. I simply had to recreate it for my family.

Sorbet Palate Cleanser

While I typically choose a rich ice cream, a fruit cobbler, or a chewy fudge brownie for dessert, believe it or not, there are times when I crave something lighter.

Whether you’re serving this sorbet as a palate cleanser, a light dessert, or a fancy after-dinner treat, I’m willing to bet that you’re going to love it every bit as much as we do.

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Friday Faves 12.1 and Arkansas fun

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Hi friends! Happy Friday! How was the week? I hope you’ve had a great one. Ours went by quickly — part of it was spent in Arkansas and then we flew back home to Tucson.

We had a wonderful time with family and enjoyed so many fun adventures.

Some highlights:

the alligator farm was a HUGE hit

a beautiful hike,

strolling around and shopping in Hot Springs,

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Pigeon Forge, TN (and our last 13th birthday trip!)

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Five years flew by in a little more than a heartbeat and we now have three teenagers in our home. My youngest son Nate turned 13 this year, which meant it was time for our family’s last “teen birthday trip.”

Sean and I have taken each of our boys on a special trip with just the three of us for their 13th birthdays. We visited San Francisco with our oldest son, Sam, and visited Denver with our middle son, Ben.

This time our destination was Pigeon Forge, TN and it did not disappoint. We found a great cabin to rent in Sevierville (complete with video game tables, air hockey, and a hot tub) and Nate declared it the best rental house ever.

We very much enjoyed exploring the area and thanks to your awesome suggestions via my newsletter request, we found a few unexpected things to do too. Hillbilly Golf in Gatlinburg was such a big win, we’d have gone back for another round if we’d had the time.

We stopped at the Tennessee visitor center as we crossed the state line and Nate picked up a bunch of brochures there for activities that caught his eye.

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Louisiana Crawfish Boil

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Step-by-step photos and instructions for a Louisiana-style Crawfish Boil loaded with vegetables and so much flavor!

So. Much. Fun. There are a whole lot of adjectives I could use to describe my introduction to a crawfish boil, but WOW sums it up nicely.

I’m laying out all the steps here so you can set up and cook a Louisiana seafood boil with shrimp or crawfish. Spoiler alert – doing a Louisiana-style seafood boil on the stove is much simpler than you might think. (I’ll be sharing directions specifically for a shrimp boil at home next week!)

Heads up – this is going to be a long one. If you are just here for the instructions, hit that handy “jump to recipe” button at the top of the post.

boiled crawfish in serving boat

Crawfish Boil

While in Louisiana for Sean’s family reunion, our cousin Rick volunteered to do a Louisiana-style crawfish boil for us. And oh, there really aren’t words for how excited I was to experience this for the first time.

As far as eating crawfish goes, if you aren’t familiar with them already, they taste like a cross between their crustacean cousins lobster and shrimp. What’s not to love about that?

I was thrilled we were able to be there from start to finish and learn from the master. And yeah, Rick is a legit master of the seafood boil. Don’t miss the custom skimmer, the crawfish on his belt and his hat, and the very cool stirring paddle in some of the photos for evidence of his passion for it all.

giant pot filled with a Louisiana style crawfish boil

Crawfish boils are a social event in Louisiana – and wherever else you might be lucky enough to enjoy one. This isn’t just a meal shared with friends or family. It’s an experience. (Have I stated that clearly enough?)

Ha, and here’s a pro tip for you: Don’t wear white, friends. That’s a rookie move and your Tide stick will be put to good use after the boil.

Spinach Orzo Salad with Cranberries and Goat Cheese

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This Spinach Orzo Salad is filled with cranberries, creamy goat cheese, tender pasta, and plenty of fresh spinach tossed in a tangy sweet dressing. The salad can be served immediately or kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days – making this an awesome make-ahead meal for lunch or dinner.

Spinach Orzo Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese in mixing bowl

Spinach Salad with Cranberries

The recipe was inspired by the Cranberry Orzo Salad that Princess Cruises serves in their International Cafe. It’s just so good! Tender pasta in a sweetly tangy dressing, with tart fresh cranberries and sliced almonds. Simple, fresh, and delicious.

I’ve included more cruise details at the bottom of the post here for anyone who is interested. As soon as I got home from our cruise through the British Isles, I immediately recreated the salad for my family.

As always, I loved the salad, but my guys? The kids decided that the fresh cranberries were too tart. (Crazy kids!)

So, the next time I made the salad, I went with dried cranberries and it was a win across the board. I like this salad every bit as much with dried cranberries as I do with fresh cranberries – and that’s an even bigger win, since fresh cranberries aren’t available more than a few weeks a year.

(And unless you’re lucky enough to have cranberries stashed in the freezer for this cake, you’ll be stuck waiting until the holidays to try this awesome salad.)

Spinach Orzo Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese - close up photo

Spinach Orzo Salad

I took our salad to the next level by adding a generous portion of fresh baby spinach and warm chicken. Both the chicken and the spinach made it a heartier meal for my family.

And as far as my guys are concer