This week is all about spring! I’m featuring a classic idea to accent your deck or patio and some great warm weather music. Be sure to join me for #PrepDay on Sunday. Scroll down for the menu and shopping list.


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This is my 6qt Dutch Oven. It can handle meals of all sizes.


Le Creuset – French Oven
So what that they call it a French oven. It will always be a Dutch oven to me. More than half of the recipes I prepare start off in a dutch oven. What’s not to like about them? They’re durable. Made of virtually indestructible cast iron, it can certainly take a beating. While there are a plethora of options when choosing a brand of dutch oven, Le Creuset makes the most beautiful pieces. They are available in every color of the rainbow. And before you say it, I already know. Yes, they are no cheap date. But when you consider the fact that your dutch oven will last forever, it’s well worth the investment. Choose at least a six quart Dutch oven to start out with. Not quite ready to splurge? Check out other really good brands like Staub and Lodge.



Photo Credit: Pottery Barn


Pottery Barn – Malta Lanterns
Break out the power washer and start cleaning off the deck. Spring is here. These lanterns add the right amount of rustic and sexy to any outdoor space. Pick the small ones for a tabletop or arrange varying sizes of large ones on the ground. Don’t forget to get candles to go inside. Find the lanterns here.







Photo Credit: Atlantic Records


Various Artists – Rio 2: Music from the Motion Picture
Can you tell I’m in a hurry for warm weather? If you thought the soundtrack for an animated movie would only be for kids, think again. I think I played the soundtrack for the first Rio for myself more than for the kids. Expect to hear some pop sounds mixed in with Brazilian rhythms. The Rio 2 soundtrack features songs from Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae, B.o.B. and more. Preview it here.







Sunday – Beef Short Ribs and Brussels Sprouts w/Bacon
Monday – Buttermilk Fried Chicken w/Firecracker Green Beans
Tuesday – Italian Sausage w/Pesto Fettuccine
Wednesday – Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass w/Jasmine Rice and Sauteed Broccoli
Thursday – Chicken Florentine
Friday – Date Night Surf and Turf (Send the kids away or order them a pizza!)
Saturday – DAY OFF! Order from your favorite takeout spot or take a trip to a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try!

Download the menu and shopping list here.