Make This Now

It’s summer and all I want to do is grill and eat every meal al fresco.

This maybe has something to do with living in a house without air conditioning (though we did finally get a window unit for our living room and it’s been life-changing), but even if turning on the oven/stove didn’t cause the temperature in our house to skyrocket to 90°, I’d still want to eat every meal outside.  Something about eating without the distraction of the TV, under a perfectly blue summer sky, AT AN ACTUAL TABLE (I’m so sad to say we are normally couch eaters) is just perfection to me.


Spinach Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers

I’ve made these twice now, but the first time, I grilled them up all by myself and um can we just talk about the confidence boost you get from successfully manning womanning the grill?  Aside from that, these burgers are just phenomenal.  Moist (sorry), juicy, flavorful and is there anything better than biting into a goat cheese pocket?  Answer: NO.  I straight up declared this the best burger I’d ever made, so there you go.


Roasted Carrots and Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

Butter…milk makes everything better!  And I wish I had a picture that did this salad justice but it was 8 PM and Joey was on the couch, waiting to press play on Zoolander (so much better but also way way worse than I remembered it being…) so I was short on natural lighting and time.  Just know the carrots were perfectly caramelized, the mix-ins were on point and the buttermilk-herb dressing was straight up drinkable.


Not a picture of the recipe I’m talking about but let me distract you with this avocado.

California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo

A lettuce wrap?  Ugh, I know, but just hear me out.  I was mesmerized by this recipe less because it was low-carb (so not into that) and more because: BACON!  And BASIL-MAYO!  And also that part where making it didn’t require turning the oven OR the stove on.  WIN!  I thought it was just gonna be okay, but I was shocked by how good it was and how much we loved the flavors.  New summertime staple!


Grilled Lamb

Not going to pretend this is the cheapest cut of meat but also not going to pretend it’s not 110% worth it because this recipe was SO EASY (I was kind of terrified I’d ruin a $40 piece of lamb!) and SO DELICIOUS.  Beyond impressed/excited with how well this turned out.  Definitely a showstopper meal, even if it was just for Joey and I.


Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

I still remember making this for the first time because it was August 2014 and we were soclose to our wedding day and it felt like the sweetest summer to ever exist.  Now, every time we remake this zucchini pie, I’m brought back to that time and it just makes me feel so happy.  Even if you don’t have a wedding-memory connection with it, this pie is the best.  Fresh and summery but also delightfully cheesy.


Tequila-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs

Apparently we made these last summer.  I don’t remember it, yet there it is in my “Repeat Recipe” folder and there’s my review on the recipe page.  After tasting it for a… second?? time, I have NO IDEA how I could forget something so good!  The sauce is tropically sweet but surprisingly well balanced and you guys know how much I love chicken thighs.  Also, Joey grilled these in the rain.  My hero ♥


Banana Cream with Raw Chocolate Fudge

Guys…blended frozen bananas is NOT ice cream.  But…it’s still really good.  And I hadn’t made any in what I’m pretty sure was years, but I felt inspired this week and also I just really wanted to make that fudge sauce to drizzle over.  It went all Magic Shell on us when it hit the cold banana cream, except thicker and fudgier.  So so good and so so easy!  Totally gonna make more next week!

In other news, it’s Friday, it’s summer, we’re going to the Rockies game tonight, I’m having a pre-Shakespeare Festival picnic with my mom and sister tomorrow and right this very minute I’m off to read this week’s Grub Street Diet.  Happiness abound!

Have a good weekend!

ADELE & Other Weekend Things

So it’s Monday, and that sucks, but you know what?  I totally don’t even mind because I’m still riding a weekend high that has a lot to do with brewery patios, family time, the Farmers’ Market, firefighters holding puppies, R&R, the most fun dinner EVER, coffee shop breakfast dates, shopping success, yoga, grilled pizza and last but not least… ADELE!


The weekend came early when Lori took me out to celebrate my birthday on Thursday night.  She gave me a Rockies jacket and now I can’t wait for cooler weather?!  It takes something really great to make me think that!  Also, we went to Vine Street Pub and gosh, I love that place with all my heart.



We met my family for dinner in Boulder on Friday but we had some time to kill beforehand so we figured we’d use it wisely and check out a new brewery/patio.  Wild Woods Brewery gets four thumbs up because Joey and I both loved it!  They’ve got a “beer inspired by the outdoors” thing going on that makes for some really unique flavors.  I got an Oaked Sorachi Ace IPA and Joey got a Campfire Red and we were both happy campers (pun totally intended).


My dad’s cousin was in town and since I’m all about meeting family members, I was totally excited for dinner.  Well — actually I was being a major brat about actual dinner because we were going to a gluten-free restaurant that had menu descriptions like “infused with Rose Quartz Essence, a homemade infusion of the energies of compassion, harmony & Unconditional Love” and I was like COULD THIS PLACE BE ANY MORE BOULDER??  But dinner ended up being really good and our server was awesome so what do I know?

After dinner, we strolled Pearl Street and popped into a bookstore where I almost bought a pocket version of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and a Hillary Clinton paper doll but I refrained 🙂  In all seriousness, it was great to A) Fit in our annual trip to Boulder B) See family and C) Eat good food.



Saturday morning we woke up and headed to the Farmers’ Market, where my life’s happiness was granted by a bike, a bell and a basket.  Yep, that’s all it takes.  We loaded up on market goodies — shishitos, yellow squash, tomatoes, peaches — almost picked up a puppy.  Just kidding, but the puppy rescue was at the market and there were Denver firemen walking around holding those puppies and it was all too much!

Free Noosa on our way out and you better believe I took them up on their offer to “take more than one!”


I got a facial later than afternoon and it was great and all but who cares because let’s get to the main event of the evening!  But first, let me tell you about how my mother is the only female in the history of females that had to be DRAGGED to an Adele concert.  WHAT IS THAT EVEN?!  She kept insisting that I take Joey and I was like “oh yes it’s ladies night and the feeling’s right I’M TAKING YOU!!!!”  She eventually gave in and also eventually admitted she was glad I made her go.  In other words, I won!

We all (plus Joey) went to dinner beforehand and OH MY GOD, it ended up being the most fun dinner!  I’m not even sure I can talk about it without writing a short novel.  We went There and it was INCREDIBLE!  And not just because of the food — though that was pretty killer too — but because the staff was THE BEST WE’VE EVER HAD.  Not even joking.  They were so fun and lively and at one point, a server stood on the bar and explained the menu to the entire restaurant and another server was playing a trombone?!  I don’t even know but I DO know we were all raving and had the best time.  Also, when you discover the table behind you is also going to the Adele concert you obviously celebrate with a shotski.  Please note that “Rolling in the Deep” is playing in the background.  Way too much fun.




(Don’t even ask where my sister and I are looking in that first picture…)

Adele was nothing short of amazing.  Honestly, I think I had goosebumps through the entire show.  I think we’ve all seen her perform so many times that we’re almost desensitized to just how incredible her voice is but seeing her live made me realize it all over again.  And she makes it look so easy.  It is just mind-blowing.  Apart from her voice, she is just so fun.  She’s chatty and real and just so comfortable in front of a giant crowd.  I loved every single second.  Me and my mama grooved to “Rolling in the Deep” and then she gave me a giant hug and thanked me for bringing her and I thanked her for giving me the tickets and that’s a moment (and an entire night) that I’ll never ever forget.


Sunday morning, Joey and I walked to Black Eye Coffee for breakfast, spotted this tour bus on the way home and then I decided to quit my job and become a roadie for Tuna and the Rock Cats.




I spent the rest of the day trying to rush around and do too many things with a quick car breakdown in the grocery store parking lot mixed in for fun.  But I made it to Sunday afternoon yoga and felt so much better afterwards.  Plus our first grilled pizza of the summer — only kind of burnt the crust — salad prep, Sunday night TV and because it was National Ice Cream Day and all we had was frozen bananas, I made some banana cream and topped it with a quick fudge sauce and some salted peanuts.  Gotta make due with what you got, right?

Looking back, this weekend was even better than I knew 🙂  Happy Monday!