Friday Favorites

Plans this weekend revolve around keeping cool in this summer heat wave. Ways to stay cool:  go to the pool and stay IN the pool; staying home and cooking epic summer meals; or going out to lunch where the AC is blasting and cool drinks are flowing.

So while I’m trying to not think about the heat – here are my favorites from the week!

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Favorite Sunday:  Strawberry Pizza with Bacon and Caramelized Onions.  We don’t have many plans set in stone this weekend (see above) however, “pizza Sunday” hasn’t happened in a couple of weeks so I’m thinking that needs to happen.

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Favorite Craving:  Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These would be worth turning on the oven.  Salty. Sweet.  CHIPS IN COOKIES!

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Favorite Dream House:  Katie Lee’s Hampton House is For Sale.  Rarely do I find a home in which I like everything.  Until now.  Everything about this house is perfection.  Except the price tag.

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Favorite Dinner Party:  Go To Summer Menu – Bo Ssam Dinner Party.  Don’t let the name turn you away – it’s basically slow roasted pork that gets turned into lettuce wraps with ALL the toppings.  Delicious, right?
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Favorite Appetizer: Skillet Cheesy Corn Dip.  Would it be bad to eat this as diner?  Asking for a friend.

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Favorite Summer:  Loaded Caprese Grilled Cheese.  Thick sourdough bread, melted mozzarella, fresh tomato and garlic sauce, and herbaceous pesto.  I can’t deal.

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Favorite Food for Thought:  Marriage Isn’t About Your Happiness.  Because the more we give, the better we become. Real love is not self-seeking, and it will always cost you.

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Favorite Weeknight Dinner:  Chipotle Black Bean Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole.  I need some Mexican-inspired food in my life.  This could do the trick.

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Favorite Tips and Tricks:  How to Print Mix in Your Home.    I’m obsessed with Gray Malin’s photography and I dream of owning one of his prints.

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Favorite Cocktail:  Rosé and Watermelon Sunshine Spritzers.  The best thing on a hot day is an ice cold drink.

CHEERS!

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Friday Favorites

FRI-YAY!  For some reason this week has felt incredibly long. I thought Sunday was Monday and that just continued all.week.long.  But it’s finally Friday and the weekend is within sight.  Our weekend plans include a date night, lunch with Big Guy’s sisters, perhaps some pool time and simply relaxing.  I hope you have something fun planned for this warm, summer weekend.  Here are my favorites from the week:

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Favorite Summer:  Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad with Chimichurri.  I’m pretty sure I could live off salads similar to this on during the warm months of summer.

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Favorite Lightened-Up:  Healthy Gluten-Free Lemon Bars. These are happening ASAP.  I’m obsessing over the almond flour crust.

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Favorite Tip:  How to Freeze Zucchini.  I can never, ever use all the zucchini that comes out of our garden.  I love giving some away but I hate when I have so much it goes bad.  This is my new solution!

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Favorite In Season:  Easy Cheesy Zucchini Roll-Ups.  Speaking of zucchini, here’s another way to use up all the garden bounty.  That cheese, though.

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Favorite Round-Up:  7 Affordable Beach Cruisers.  WANT!  I’m really loving the coral bike with the basket.   

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Favorite Salty and Sweet:  Saltine Cracker-Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches.  Don’t twist my arm.  I absolutely adore this combo.

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Favorite Toppings:  Grilled Burrata Pizza with Crispy Prosciutto and Fried Basil.   Y’all – I love burrata.  The creaminess is unreal.  That paired with crispy, salty prosciutto and crunchy basil sounds insane.  Simple but insane.

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Favorite Unexpected:  Summery Chipotle Corn Chowder.  I know, I know.  HOT SOUP?  I get it.  It’s 90 degrees outside and the last thing you probably want is soup.  But this one sounds so good I might have to make a sacrifice and eat dinner in my bathing suit.

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Favorite Ice Cold:  Frozen Mint Lemonade.  How refreshing!  I think I’d add a little gin or vodka for a kick.

Cheers!

Friday Favorites

Good morning, friends!  I’m sure many of you are incredibly excited for this upcoming weekend because 4th of July on a Tuesday = looooonnnnggggg weekend.  We’re considering next week our “summer vacation” and I’m excited to unplug (so I won’t be blogging!) and relax.  I bought two new books and I plan on getting through them both.  Stay safe and I’ll see you back here soon.

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Favorite Red, White and Blue:  No Bake Frozen Cheesecake.  Not only does this look easy but it looks delicious.  Bonus:  no need to turn on the oven.

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Favorite Round-up:  4th of July Menu.  Need ideas for long weekend celebrations?  Gaby’s got you covered.  I’m eyeing that cherry and peach panzanella like WHOA.

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Favorite “Did You Know?”:  Why do jeans have that tiny pocket?  There is a reason. Spoiler alert:  a watch!

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Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Lemon Feta Dip with Garlic Tomato Vinaigrette.  I could make dinner out of this platter.

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Favorite Online Shopping:  J. Crew Factory.  I want it all.  But I’m especially liking all the comfy cotton dresses, some of the shorts, and simple tops.

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Favorite Drool:  Animal Style Cheeseburger Pizza.  Holy deliciousness.

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Favorite Summer:  Best S’mores Bars.  Let’s be honest, it’s a little too warm to start the fire pit in July around here.  But these bars give you ALL the flavor and look amazing.

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Favorite Makeover:  5 Tips for Creating a Beautifully Organized Pantry.  Hey Big Guy, you up for a trip to the Container Store????

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Favorite Lunch or Dinner:  BLT Lettuce Wraps with Avocado Ranch.  NEED this in my life.    So flavorful, so crunchy, so, dare I say it, healthy.

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Favorite Cool Down:  Watermelon Frosé.  This happened last Sunday and you need it in your life.

Cheers!  And Happy 4th of July!

Creamy Goat Cheese and Arugula Pasta Salad

Happy Monday, friends.  Can you believe it’s the last week of June?  This past weekend we spent some time at the pool, went on a couple of long walks, enjoyed sushi, and cooked some epic summer dinners.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I made a pasta salad but this goat cheese pasta salad has been on my brain since Memorial Day weekend and I finally made it last night for dinner.  The verdict:  my new favorite pasta salad.

The goat cheese adds so much creaminess and tang to the entire salad and the olive oil + lemon juice “dressing” adds a little zip that I adored.  The salad is studded with sweet, homegrown tomatoes as well as briny olives (perhaps my favorite part).  Peppery arugula adds just the right amount of spice and green to the dish.  This dish is best served warm or at room temperature but you can totally reheat in the microwave.

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Big Guy and I both adored this summery pasta salad.

Friday Favorites

I have two requirements for this weekend:  sun and fun.  Should be pretty easy to check those off the list.  I’m also thinking there’s a pizza night in our near future.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  p.s. Be sure to put SUN and FUN on your weekend list, too.

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Favorite Round-Up:  18 Grilled Pizzas That Bring Pizza Night Outside.  YES to Grilled Lobster and Corn Pizza with Goat Cheese and Fresh Tomatoes.

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Favorite Top:  Moon River Yellow Madeline Top.  How cute is this?  And it would be absolutely perfect for football season (sadly that will be here before we know it).

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Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Caprese Burrata Garlic Bread.  This is happening as soon as our tomatoes are ready to come off the vine.

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Favorite Sweet and Simple:  Cheesecake for Two.  Only five ingredients.  This would be perfect for date night in.

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Favorite Reads:  2017 Summer Reading List.  Jessica and I (yes, we’re on a first name basis) have the same taste in books.  I can’t wait to get my hands on “The Identicals,” “Secrets in Summer,” and “The Sunshine Sisters.”

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Favorite Cheese, Please:  Spicy Mexican Mac and Cheese.  I’ve been talking about “trashed up” mac and cheese for MONTHS now.  It’s about time I make it happen.

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Favorite Lightened Up:  Turkey Enchilada Stuffed Poblanos Rellenos.  All I can say is “YUM.”  Going on the menu ASAP.

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Favorite DIY:  Small Space Vertical Herb Garden.  If we were ever to have a smaller yard space, I could totally see myself wanting to make one of these.  How cute!

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Favorite Obsessed:  Greek Nachos.  These look absolutely incredible.  I want it all.

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Favorite Vacation:  Piña Colada Punch.  Perhaps I need to add this to my list for the weekend.  Fun. Sun. Vacation in a glass.

Cheers!

 

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End-of-Summer Cheeseburger Salad

Oh, it feels like Monday.  Thankfully the stars aligned and what I thought was going to be a crazy, disjointed day just became a little more relaxed.

Last night’s dinner was a nod to the end of summer.  While the weather will continue to be hot and summer-like, we’ve officially left the summer months.  Last night we threw together a salad with all the flavors of a cheeseburger:  shredded cheese, ground beef burger, lettuce, tomato, a ketchup & mustard inspired dressing and some crunched up potato chips.

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The salad starts with a base of lettuce.  Then comes a sprinkle of chopped tomatoes.  The burger patty is simply two burgers that were seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled until your desired doneness.  Then chop up the burgers and add that to the pile of lettuce.  Then a little cheese – we used fontina and the dressing.  The dressing is a mix of mayo, tomato sauce, mustard and a sprinkle of salt.  And finally the entire salad is amped up with some crushed potato chips for the ultimate crunch.

Such a fun twist on a classic summer favorite.

A Letter to Summer

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Dear Summer,

I can’t lie, Summer of 2016, you were not what I was expecting when you arrived in May. You’ve been a summer of laughs and memories but you’ve also been a summer of heartache and tears.

Technically you don’t end for a couple more weeks but you’re officially over after Labor Day weekend in my world.  There are a lot of things I’m going to miss about you, Summer.  Some of those loves are my summer tan, long evenings, zucchini and tomatoes and watermelon, Cajun Shrimp painted nails and the return of my love for white wine.  But there are a few things I won’t miss:  gnats, flies and HOT, HUMID days.  Mostly gnats and flies.

Summer of 2016, you passed by way too quickly.  The quickest summer of my life.  I feel like April was just weeks ago.  Not months.  But I know you’ll be back in 2017 ready for me to make more memories.

Love,

Your Summer-Loving Girl