Strawberry-Rhubarb Summer Jam

Strawberries + rhubarb are two things that really mark the beginning of summer for me. My rhubarb comes in the earliest, yielding nice big stalks that are ready just in time for strawberry season. Each June I look forward to making a nice big batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam and usually a juicy pie (I’ll share that recipe later!). I use the small 4 oz. jars, which are perfect as a hostess gift or party favors for summer BBQ’s. Pretty them up with a bit of fabric and/or twine and your good to go! Keep reading for the recipe and simple instructions on how to can.



4 cups diced rhubarb
4 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbsp lemon juice
3½ tbsp powdered fruit pectin
4 cups sugar
12 quarter-pint (4 oz.) or 6 half-pint (8 oz.) jars with lids and rings


Combine rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice and fruit pectin into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, stirring to get the juices flowing. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until jam is thickened and surface bubbles, 10–15 minutes. In the meantime, sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. You can also wash your jars, lids and rings in the dishwasher prior to canning and keep them warm in there until you’re ready to fill with jam.


You’ll need a large stock pot (like the one we use for cooking lobsters). To make things a whole lot easier, I bought the Ball® Canning Utensil Set (at your local grocery store in the baking aisle) which includes a jar lifter, magnetic lid and ring lifter, jar funnel and bubble remover stick. These simple tools were SO helpful.

When your jam is done cooking, fill your jars using the jar funnel, remove any excess bubbles with the bubble remover stick and seal with lids and rings.

Depending on your jar size, you’re going to fill your pot with water high enough to sit about 1 inch above the top of your jars. Once water is brought to a boil, place your jars one at a time into the pot with a jar lifter. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove jars with jar lifter and place onto a dish towel for cooling. Within a few hours of cooling, your jars will go through the sealing process and you may hear them ‘ping’ as they seal. I usually wait until the jars have completely cooled before I press on the lids to make sure they have sealed properly.

That’s it! Now wrap with twine or top with some fabric and hand these babies out to your family, friends and neighbors as a sweet summer treat!

*Photo and recipe by Melissa

Paper to Party: Lobster Dinner Date Night

I love lobster, absolutely love it. But I didn’t eat it and really enjoy it until I was 20. That’s when I met the love of my life who happened to grow up right on the ocean, diving for lobsters every summer and having a family tradition of steamed lobsters every Christmas. So, naturally, for one of our first stay-in date nights, Shawn cooked me a fancy steamed lobster meal and taught me the ropes. Ever since, I’ve been in love with lobster (and Shawn too, of course!). Now, I am a certified diver too and we dive together for lobsters (he calls them ‘bugs’ of the ocean) and our favorite thing to do is enjoy a delicious steamed lobster dinner on our boat or back at our house with friends and family. For a fancier lobster dinner date night or get together, here’s my round up of must-haves. Keep reading for our classic steamed lobster recipe!

lobster_roundupHow to Steam a Lobster

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 lobsters (more if you’re hungry or having a larger crowd!)
  • Large lobster pot or stock pot with lid (shown above)
  • 1 stick of butter

Place your lobster pot on the stovetop or grill (we use our grill on the boat sometimes) and fill with about two inches of water. Add salt, cover with lid and bring to a boil. Next, place your lobsters in the hot tub! Cover again with lid, reduce heat a tad and steam for about 10–15 minutes depending on the size of your lobster, or until bright red. Meanwhile, slowly heat butter in a small saucepan until melted and serve in small bowls for dipping your lobster meat.

Get crackin’. This is the fun part but most people wonder where to start. Shawn and I like to de-shell the entire lobster first, and add the meat to our butter dish as we go, ending with a rich buttery bowl of lobster. Or, some people like to eat as they go. Either way, here are a few pointers on how to do it.

  • First, hold the body in one hand and twist off the tail with the other, set tail aside.
  • Next, twist and separate the claws where they meet the body. Discard the body into your shell bowl.
  • Grab your tail again and snap off the tail fins. Then, with a fork or your thumb, push the tail meat through the shell. Discard the shell and tail fins.
  • Move onto the claws. First, snap the pincher part off the claws and use a small seafood fork to remove the small pieces of meat. Then use your claw cracker to crack the claws in half, removing the meat and discarding all shells.
  • Lastly, don’t forget the knuckle meat! Crack the arm part of the claw for any remaining meat.

As you retrieve your meat from the lobster, have a hot water rinse dish handy for the meat to clean off before you place the meat into your butter dish.

After all that hard work, belly up to your buttery dish of lobster with an ice cold glass of bubbly or vino and enjoy!

Lobster Dinner Must-Haves:

Fish Platter – You’ll need a nice big platter to serve your lobsters on.

Red Butter Bowls – For dipping your meat!

Citronella Candle – Cracking lobsters gets messy, and during summer we love to eat outside. Throw down some newspaper as a tablecloth and light up a citronella candle, so the pesty bugs won’t bug you!

Lobster Card – This is a really fun dinner idea for a date night, celebrating your sweethearts birthday or your anniversary and this card is a completely adorable match.

Champagne Flute and bubbly – In my opinion, nothing pairs better with lobster than a glass of bubbly, white wine or rose.

Lobster Claw Cracker and Lobster Fork – I found these a couple of years ago and they’re not only beyond cute but super durable and great for cracking those claws!

Navy Stripe Napkin – Like I said, it gets messy. If you’d rather not wear a silly plastic lobster bib, then invest in some of these. You might even want a roll of paper towels too.

Terracotta Bowl – Don’t forget a large dish or bowl for discarding your lobster shells.

Lobster Pot – You can find these anywhere and you’ll have it forever. Great for canning too!

Lobster! – After you try your hands at steaming lobster, you might want to dive into a few other tasty lobster recipes.


Happy Hour: Cococabana Cocktail


Warm summertime evenings are my favorite. It’s so nice to finish up a work day, put Shawn on grill duty and mix up a couple of tasty cocktails for us. And as much as I love my margaritas or an ice cold beer, I like to treat myself with a little something sweet every now and then. Enter, the Cococabana Cocktail. A delicious, summery, tropical treat that makes you want to throw on Mr. Marley and pretend like you’re on vacation for a few hours. What better way to welcome the summer season? Thanks to SMP Living for featuring the recipe!

The Cococabana Cocktail

Delicious, coconut-y and perfect for summer!

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  1. 1 ounce black spiced rum (we used The Kraken)
  2. 1 ounce coconut milk
  3. 1 ounce whole milk
  4. 1 tablespoon coco lopez
  5. Shredded coconut for sprinkling
  1. 1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. 2. Add all of your ingredients
  3. 3. Shake vigorously
  4. 4. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  5. 5. Sprinkle with coconut for extra points!
Bisou Style

*Photos by Yours Truly

A Gorg New Makeover


Morning, darlings! Did you notice our gorg new makeover?! I was planning on launching the new site at the start of next week but I just couldn’t wait any longer. A couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to make the switch to WordPress. After using it for SMP over the last few months, I’ve found that it’s super user friendly and much cleaner. Eventually, I would love to create a completely custom site for Yours Truly but for now I went with a basic theme from Bluchic and customized on top of that.

My #1 goal was to create an easy to use navigation bar with drop down menus so that y’all can peruse the site easier and also to manage the expanding topics I’m writing about. I’ll be playing around with the little details but for now I’m happy with the new look. Oh, and if you have a full time job like moi and your blog is a part-time gig, using a theme is the way to go! It’s so so easy, and quick. You’ll have to put in a few good hours of work and know a tad bit of coding to customize it but if your passionate about giving your blog or website a pretty place to live, then it’s totally worth it.

Take a peek around, I would really love to hear what you guys think! I never officially celebrated my recent 3 year blogiversary, but for those of you who’ve been reading along, I’m so appreciative, thank you!

Stay tuned for cocktail recipe later today… I’m kicking off the weekend with a little something I call the Cococabana!

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