Peachy Arugula Salad Recipe

Oh, friends. This salad. It’s what Billy refers to as my “showstopper salad.” I can’t say I disagree!

The combination of the peppery arugula, the salty salami, the sweetness of the peach, and the tartness of the lemon is a flavor explosion. Gourmet, yet simple. Just the way I like it.

When I first was developing this recipe, I didn’t put any peach in it.  It was still absolutely delicious, but the peach undoubtedly takes this salad to the next level. Most certainly, you can substitute with whatever fruit is in season. I imagine this salad would be scrumptious with pear!

Furthermore, it’s safe to say this peachy salad tastes just like summertime!

peach-salami-arugula-salad

Peachy Arugula Salad Recipe

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Arugula
  • Genoa Salami, Sliced
  • 1 15 oz. Can of Northern Beans
  • Croutons
  • 1 Peach, Sliced. (White or Yellow)
  • Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Raspberry Blush Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Start with desired amount of arugula in a bowl.
  2. Layer on salami, northern beans, croutons, and peach.
  3. Season with pepper. (Add salt if you are not using salami.)
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over the salad.
  5. Drizzle with EVOO and vinegar.

 

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Watermelon Crostini Recipe

Hey there, friends. I hope you all are staying well. It’s an interesting time in history we are all walking through. Amidst all the crazy and chaos, I do find a sense of normalcy in my kitchen. I think it’s little things like our morning cup of coffee or cooking up something delectable, that keeps us afloat. A sprinkle of hope.

I haven’t worked on the craft of recipe production in quite some time. However, sometimes you get inspired and these things write themselves.

Awhile back, I had the most delicious appetizer at a restaurant. One of those that has you snapping a pic to post to your Instagram stories. It was so delicious, that I decided to recreate its deliciousness to enjoy at home.

Enter, Watermelon Crostini.

Mind you, the version of this appetizer was slightly different at the restaurant I first had it at. I tweaked it and made it quick and easy to whip up on a humid summer night.

I’ll stop the rambling and present you with this ridiculously easy recipe, in all of its impressive, gourmet glory!

Watermelon Crostini Recipe

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • French bread, sliced thin
  • 1 cup watermelon, petite diced
  • Fresh basil, sliced
  • 3 TBS balsamic reduction

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice French bread or a baguette the desired amount of crostini.
  2. Brush with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees till crispy and golden.
  4. Dice watermelon and spoon onto toasted bread.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Note: You can either make your own balsamic reduction/glaze or you can buy it pre-made at the grocery store. I buy mine already made to keep this recipe quick and simple for hosting guests.

I hope you find this recipe delightfully refreshing, for both body and soul. If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me! Happy cooking!

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Summertime Pizza Recipe

pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

“What’s for dinner?”

“Pizza!”

Always music to my ears growing up. But let’s be honest, pizza for dinner still puts a pep in my step.  I suppose that’s the “youthfulness” in me. There’s just something about homemade pizza. It’s so much fun to make and to get the whole family involved.

Today I want to share with you my summertime pizza recipe.

But first, I want to share how I get my crust crisped to perfection. I shared this method with someone once, and they were so excited! I remember them saying, “This is a game changer! I’ve always struggled with soggy pizza! I’m learning how to make pizza from a real Italian!” Haha.


The Secret to Crispy Pizza:

pizza, pizza dough, recipe
Pizza dough prepped for the oven!

I purchase my pizza dough from the bakery at my grocery store.  When you’re ready to start cookin’, let the dough rest outside of the fridge for a little while.  This will help the dough become more pliable. Roll the dough out or stretch it with your hands until it is the size and thickness of your preference. Brush it with olive oil and season it with oregano.  Take a fork and prick a few holes in the dough to prevent huge bubbles in the dough. Then, put the dough in the oven WITHOUT any toppings.  This is when you want to fully cook the dough and get it nice and golden. If you’re using a pizza pan with holes in the bottom you can leave it on the pan.  But, if you’re using a cookie sheet, you’ll want to shimmy the crust off the pan halfway through the cook time (this allows the bottom of the crust to brown).  Cook time will depend on your dough and the thickness, as well as your preference. Once your crust is crispy and fully cooked (should take 15 to 20 minutes), put your toppings on your pizza. Once the pizza is topped and ready to go, put back in the oven for ONLY 3 minutes.  This is simply to melt the cheese and heat the toppings through.

Using the above method will keep your pizza toppings from losing their freshness and crisp, and will prevent a soggy pizza crust!


So now for the summertime pizza recipe! This recipe has become a staple in the Brown Abode! Billy and I made it for our family the other night, and they’re already asking for us to make it again.

I created this recipe to be a light pizza that is perfect for warm summer evenings by the pool.  With peaches, fresh sweet basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, it’s very gourmet and feels very southern.  Soul food for sure!

pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

Summertime Pizza Recipe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oregano
  • Shredded Italian Cheese
  • 1 Peach, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salami, sliced into thin pieces
  • Fresh Basil
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven according to the directions of your chosen pizza dough.
  2. Brush with olive oil, season with oregano, and prick with a fork.
  3. Cook dough until golden and crispy. The crust should be fully cooked. Babysit the dough to prevent overcooking.
  4. Add cheese, peaches, and salami.
  5. Put back into the oven and bake for 3 minutes.
  6. In a small skillet, simmer balsamic vinegar til it thickens and forms a glaze. Set aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  7. When the pizza is done, top with fresh basil and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

-From the kitchen of Julia Brown

http://www.theyouthful.me


pizza, pizza recipe, summer, recipe

Get in the kitchen this summer. Have some family or friends over, have a record spinning, and blow them away with this tasty pizza that looks straight out of a restaurant. If you make this recipe, comment below! I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it!

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Happy Summer in a Happy Dress

sundress, dress, fashion

Shop: DRESS


Oh, Summer. You’ve never been my favorite season. Fall is a tough one to compete with. But I will say, this is my favorite summer yet. It is off to such a beautiful, joyous start. And honestly I’m starting to fall in love with this season!

Bright. Flourishing. Evening storms. The most marvelous sunsets that look good enough to eat. Pool days that make me feel like a kid again. Peaches and watermelon. That feeling when you leave the grocery and thaw out in the Florida humidity.

Summer, you’re so sweet and I like you.

Recently, I celebrated my 25th birthday! It was a day of much needed joy and family.  It started with a few surprises, brunch at a favorite restaurant, pool time with the fam, and ended with homemade pizza (recipe coming soon!).

The past few birthdays, Billy gets me a “birthday dress” and I absolutely adore this one!

I seriously enjoy a dress that feels like a nightgown. You feel?  The pattern on this cream dress is so rich and colorful! Its so comfortable, yet makes an eye-catching statement.  Loving mid-length dresses lately with buttons down the front. A summertime staple I’ll be wearing year after year.

This summer, I want to encourage you to read more books, spend more time outside, and hug your loved ones a little tighter.  Bask in the summer joy that rises with each morning.

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Summer ’17 Recap

This was the post I was dreading all summer.

Because writing this post means summer is coming to a close and school is about to begin. (Any teachers/aides out there? #wereallinthistogether)

All jokes aside, this summer has honestly been the best of my life.

It wasn’t overly extravagant. In fact, it was rather simple and modest. Yet, it was a darling time of rest, reflection, growth, and gratitude. I am overwhelmingly thankful for this time spent off from work, and the time spent with Jesus, my hubby, and my sweet family.

There were many a quiet mornings that began with oatmeal and a cup of tea. Followed by afternoon sun showers that turned the sky into arrogant sunsets. Peaceful evenings accompanied by popcorn and a movie. This summer wasn’t without flaw, but it was precious and appreciated.

At the start of the summer, I shared a few Summer Priorities I had. Goals, if you will. Here’s a little recap of how that went:

1. Quiet time with the Lord

This is an area that needs constant cultivation. Time spent with the Lord can never reach a point of arrival. We can always grow more. And that’s beautiful. With that being said, I have been working on dedicating more devotional time with God. One of Billy’s friends told us about a Bible app called “Read Scripture”. It’s designed to help guide you through reading the Bible from start to finish– and understand it more. Look up the free app!

2. Fitness

I’ve enjoyed being a little more active this summer. Working out has become more habitual and less of a dread. For me personally, I’ve come to find that fitness is less about looking a certain way, and more about feeling a certain way. Focus less on physical goals, and more on simply making long term healthy habits. 

3. A Little Bit of Everything

Among my two larger goals, were a series of smaller goals. Like read more, floss more, etc. I conquered those as well! Although, I must say, having the accountability of this blog certainly helped.

In closing, here are a few snapshots from this summer. I can’t wait to order prints of these photographs. What were you thankful for this summer?

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Gingham Style

| Shop dress here and shoes here. |

This feminine summer beauty was a birthday gift from my hubby this past June. I think it’s truly adorable and it’s so fun wearing a dress he surprised me with! It has affectionately been named “My Birthday Dress.” 

I love gingham. I think it’s so classic. I especially love the cut of this dress. The square neckline gives it that extra timeless look. It’s lightweight, yet fully lined. Since it’s very breathable, I’ve been really enjoying wearing it on these hot summer days!

I truly adore a lovely little summer dress. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this dress for many summers to come. This one reminds me of my birthday, iced coffee dates downtown, and the 4th of July spent in Georgia. It’s fun to make memories in certain outfits. It brings those memories back when you wear it. ❤️

If you like this dress, you can view it here and see the other colors it comes in!

For the Love of Wood: Featuring JORD Watches

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch

Disclosure: The watch featured in this post was gifted to me by JORD. I only partner with brands I truly love. All opinions are my own. Thank you, JORD!

I love wood. So much, in fact, I would live in a cabin if I could.

Upon discovering JORD wood watches, it was really a love at first sight kind of situation. After seeing the unique watch in person–opening it’s beautifully crafted wood box, feeling its quality, admiring its details–I’m smitten. Positively smitten.

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch
I’m a nature lover. I love me some lofty mountains, tall grassy fields, thick forests you can get lost in…funny thing is: I live in Florida…In the city. This watch not only tells the time, it takes me to another time. The wood material brings me straight back to my happy place: the mountains and the forest.

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch
JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch
Here I am, sipping my iced mocha, enjoying my favorite local park. Surrounded by city sounds and the summer heat, it just takes a glance at my wrist to remind me of what lies close to my heart. Perhaps I could pretend I’m drinking hot cocoa and enjoying the Smoky Mountain National Park instead…😉

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne WatchJORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch

I am wearing the stunning Frankie Series in Zebrawood and Champagne. Head on over to their website to swoon over their men’s watches and women’s watches. (Giveaway: To enter to win a $100 code to their shop, click here. All entrants will receive a $25 code! Contest ends 7/16/17.)

JORD has created a timepiece that fuses class and elegance, with simplicity and an earthy rawness. There’s a lot to love about JORD Watches. The best part is, to each person, their JORD wood watch represents something different. Maybe it was a Father’s Day present, an engraved anniversary gift, or a gift to yourself just because. Whatever it may be, JORD Watches are a beautiful reminder. And they do it so well.

JORD Frankie Series Zebrawood Champagne Watch

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Luxury Wooden Watch

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream Recipe

It’s no secret I love my fruits and veggies. But if I had to choose between the two, I’d hands down pick fruit. I’m obsessed. Even as a little girl, I would turn down a cupcake for a handful of grapes. That is true love, my friend.

I love finding new ways to enjoy my favorite fruits. Since peaches are in season in the summer, I’ve been buying them a lot lately.

The other night, I decided to pull out my little George Foreman grill (#apartmentliving) and grill up some peaches. Then, I topped them with some ice cream. It was delicious. However, the next time I made it, I took it to the next level by marinating the peaches in some dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Um WOW. So good. Billy literally said, “This the best dessert I’ve had in a long time!”

What’s funny is, this recipe is so easy. Like, it’s such a fake out. It’s all like, “I’m so fancy.” Yet, it’s not. Gotta love it.

Because of its delicious simplicity, this is the perfect dessert to make when you have guests over. You won’t be slaving away for hours in the kitchen, and your guests will be impressed.



The warmth of the grilled, marinated peaches with the coldness of the rich ice cream, is an unbeatable combination. I guarantee you I will be making this on many summer nights to come! My new favorite little recipe has me feeling just peachy! (I had to! 😉)  🍑🍨

Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter pecan ice cream

Directions:

  1. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit.
  2. On a plate, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Massage sugar and cinnamon mixture all over peaches.
  4. Place peaches flesh down and allow to marinate in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Grill the peaches. If you do not have a grill, use a grill pan or George Foreman grill.
  6. Once grilled, top with butter pecan or vanilla ice cream. I recommend butter pecan, because peaches and pecans are a delightful combination! Enjoy!

Grilled Zucchini Open Faced Sandwich Recipe

I’ve heard it said before, “Food is memories.”

Isn’t that so true? We remember meals we’ve shared with people. We remember that amazing entree we had on a vacation. We remember when someone cooks for you. I think that’s one of my favorite things about food. One bite can take you back to another time and place.

The recipe I am sharing today has a memory. It’s a small memory. It wasn’t from a holiday or big party. This memory is a simple one. One that always stuck with me.

Growing up, I went to my Nonna and Nonno’s house a lot. I remember going there one afternoon, and they were in the kitchen. Of course. This time, they were grilling zucchini on the stove together.

“Julia, you need to try this,” my Nonno said as he drizzled some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the grilled zucchini. He toasted some crusty, Italian bread for me and put the zucchini on top. As I bit into, I’ll never forget the burst of flavor in my mouth. But the best part was the memory of my Nonno excitedly preparing this snack for me. It was special. There was love in it. He loved good food and he loved me.

So today, I’m sharing with you this easy grilled zucchini open faced sandwich recipe. Maybe one day you’ll make it for someone, and they’ll never forget it. Isn’t it neat how we never know when we are going to impact someone? 💗

Grilled Zucchini Open Faced Sandwich

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut the zucchini in half. Then thinly slice the long way.
  2. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Grill the zucchini either on a grill, or a grill pan.
  4. When cooked through, remove from the grill. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  5. Slice a baguette and toast it till crisp and brown on the edges.
  6. Serve the zucchini on top of the bread to create an open faced sandwich. Enjoy!

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Breezy Striped Jumpsuit

| Shop jumpsuit here, shoes here (sponsored), and similar purse here. |

Rain. It seems to have made its grand entrance for the summer. While it does hinder what can be done outside, I quite enjoy a cozy, rainy day spent with a blanket and a good book.

Yet, one must venture out eventually.

A few afternoons ago, the rain had finally ceased. Humidity filled its place. Perfect opportunity to go get a popsicle.

This lovely jumpsuit was the perfect outfit for a humid afternoon. With its light weight, breathable material, and slits down the side, it makes for a breezy outfit. I find it to be very chic, in an effortless kind of way.

I quite enjoy the nautical vibes this jumpsuit is giving me. With navy stripes, this outfit would make itself right at home in Nantucket, wouldn’t it?
As the days grow hotter, I can only imagine how many times I’ll be reaching for this lovely (and affordable) outfit.