Make This Now

Even though it is the end of July and I’m already (sort of) jokingly lamenting that “summer is over,” temperatures in the upper 90s, nightly dinners in the backyard and the pain I suffered when I wore black pants outside earlier this week means we are truly in the thick of it now, friends!  Please enjoy some of our very favorite recipes from this summer, and just remember there are plenty of tomatoes, corn and peaches and eggplant to come.

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BBQ Salmon Cobb Salad

Katie Lee does not mess around with a good salad and neither do I!  Perfectly cooked flaky salmon, salty bacon, egg that is boiled to my liking (help, I recently developed an aversion to soft egg yolks), in season corn and tomatoes, a creamy avocado and most importantly: homemade croutons!  We really dug this meal.

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Juicy Grass-Fed Beef Burgers

What’s summer without a really good burger, though?  Get this, these ones have mayo MIXED INTO THE PATTY!  Why have I never thought to do this??  These were SO GOOD.  So juicy that they were dripping everywhere and I was sad because I wanted those flavors in my mouth and not on my plate but what can you do?  Also, Joey claimed these were better than the BA Burger Deluxe which had previously been our go-to classic burger recipe.  Reader, I gasped when he said this but… he’s right!  P.S. Please season the outside of your patty with salt and pepper, regardless of whether this recipe tells you to or not.

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Loaded Summer Chili Fries

Switching gears entirely, we now enter the vegan portion of this post.  I make this cashew cheese sauce often and always have so much left over — I’ve tried halving it and my blender says NO — so I have to find ways to use it up.  Enter these chili fries, which already called for a similarly-made cashew sour cream, so it seemed like an easy substitution to make.  I was not prepared for how delicious this meal would be!  It was light and fresh but still hearty and satisfying?  I was FULLY in my happy place.  Plus, even though it seems like a lot of components, it was pretty quick to whip up.

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Peach Crisp for Two

Okay, this actually served four but that means two nights of dessert for each of us, instead of one, so I’m calling it a win!  A gluten-free vegan peach crisp is, in fact, NOT Betty Crocker’s peach cobbler but I just can’t make it like Mom, so why even try?  I actually don’t know how this tasted as good as it did considering there was no butter or white flour involved but IT DID.  I would 100% make this again!  And that’s the end of the vegan portion of this post 😛

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Grilled Salmon with Whole Lemon-Sesame Sauce

I made Joey watch a video of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen making this recipe then said “I don’t care what you think, I’m making this!”  He’s maybe not quite as into lemon as I, a person who will eat the lemon slice that comes in a glass of water, am but don’t let the idea of cutting up a lemon skin scare you because when mixed with shallot, olive oil and honey, it’s really mellow and lovely.  I really love the easy salmon grilling technique used in this recipe too and scattering basil over anything just feels so fresh and summery, doesn’t it??

Please tell me what delicious things you are whipping up this summer!

Weekend Things: Mom’s Birthday!

Hi!  This weekend was really really good and I guess the best way to explain it is by saying I have THREE canker sores in my mouth and still managed to be in a good mood.  It’s probably because I got to see the new Quentin Tarantino on Friday, celebrate Mom’s birthday on Saturday and somehow manage to fit in family time, chore time and yoga time on Sunday.  The best!

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Guys, I’ve had Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood written down as a movie to anticipate for like two years and it’s finally here!  We bought tickets to see it in 35mm (as Quentin intended) at the Sie on Friday, but first, spicy chicken at Q House!  Ugh, so good.

As for the movie, I LOVED it and the more I think about it, the more in I am.  Our theater was packed and we were all laughing together through the whole thing.  I’m not here to debate Brad vs. Leo because they are both EXCELLENT but I would like to watch the scene of Leo yelling at himself in his trailer on loop, please.  Also, Margot Robbie gives such a non-showy but intimately beautiful performance that I found so compelling.

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Saturday started with breakfast at Hoja!  Turns out they have a little patio out back that is shady and quiet and just a lovely place to spend some time.  Um I did not make it through that gargantuan (see what I did there?) burrito but I tried my best.  Afterward, I briefly contemplated going to the grocery but decided to do some backyard clean up by way of making a bigger mess instead.  Our tomato bush is trimmed, our strawberries have been thinned out, the weeds in our flower bed are pulled and I finally spread out the bag of red bark we bought like a month ago.  Plus I had granola baking inside!

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At 2, I walked over to Base Coat for a pedicure, but the real event of the day was my mom’s birthday dinner!  We got her an Apple Watch and my favorite moment of the entire day was when we told her she could talk to it and she whispered “I love you!” to it, HA HA!!  We had a tapas spread at The Med before walking the Pearl Street Mall and whoa, I think it’d been years since I’d done either of those things.  We had perfect weather for a stroll.  We all headed back to my parents’ afterward for cake/sorbet and to play with the Apple Watch.

P.S. Please know my dad had also seen Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood earlier that day and I don’t think the three that hadn’t seen it appreciated constant references by the three of us who had 🙂

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We had Sunday morning family breakfast plans but when I woke up Joey was already awake and making coffee plans for us.  (Side Note: I could get used to this thing where Joey wakes up before me and has already thought up a fun thing for us to do!) We hit up Downpours and though it was a million degrees inside the coffee shop, they also had a shady backyard patio area, where we drank our iced coffee and ordered our groceries online.

We celebrated July birthdays at Cathy & Todd’s with a breakfast burrito bar and what a genius idea that was!  I maybe had a headache over my left eye (from my ONE glass of sangria, seriously??) but we got to sit out on the deck and visit with everyone for a couple of hours and it felt so nice.

Back at home we tag-teamed salads (this one but with this dressing) for lunches this week and I finally got around to cleaning our bathroom and still had time to make it to Sunday yoga for the first time in three weeks!!!  Came home and took some glamour shots of our garden and deck.  Our backyard, just like our kitchen/fridge, is always in flux and I’m learning to back okay with it being messy at times because I know it’ll be back in order eventually.  By Sunday is was all spic-and-span!

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Dinner was Loaded Summer Chili Fries and I was blown away by how good and simple and fresh they tasted.  Truly a wonderful recipe ♥  Eaten in the backyard and I just want to remember how happy I felt in that summer moment.  We headed inside to watch Big Brother afterward and I pretty much hate everyone except Tommy.  Please tell me how your weekend was.  It was the last one of July, you know!