Make This Now: Summer Favorites

We only have a few weeks left of summer and I’ve noticed that “oh my god, time’s running out!!!” mentality creeping into my daily thoughts.  I try to combat these freak outs by remembering there’s still a few summer days left, plus a whole lot of summers to come in this life.  Oh and taking a deep breath, because that always helps🙂

Still, I’m doing my best to suss out the priority summer recipes.  Oldies but goodies that I meant to make all summer but just now got around to and new recipes that I was SO EXCITED about when I originally came across them but then left on the back burner almost to the point of forgetting them altogether.  Here’s the best from both categories!

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Grilled Corn with Sriracha Aioli

Would you even believe that creamy deliciousness is vegan?  I know, it doesn’t even seem possible!  I made a half batch of this and ended up having to add a bit more oil and water to get it to blend up, so my advice to you is to make the entire batch.  After tasting it, I totally wish I had!  It was the best grilled corn we’ve had this summer.

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Creamy Kale and Mushroom Quesadillas

Never underestimate the power of a quesadilla!  Especially this one that involves double cheese, mushrooms and kale.  It’s mega-creamy and utterly delicious.  Also, there’s vegetables in there so: healthy.  It’s science.  I’m only kinda kidding when I say I spend all day thinking about this recipe when I know I’m going home to make it for dinner.

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Lightened Up Summer Granola

I don’t know what makes this “summer granola,” but I know I’m taking it all the way back to 2011 with this one.  It’s almost always in my pantry!  The best part is that there are no hard and fast rules here.  Sometimes I use a tablespoon more applesauce or a tablespoon less maple syrup and I always always always switch up the nut butter/chopped nuts I use.  Whatever I have on hand!  And I’ve never ended up with a bad batch, which can only mean this recipe is magic.

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Spaghetti with Tomato and Walnut Pesto

Universal Truth: Food cooked for you always tastes better.  Here I was, watching the Olympics, thinking I was the happiest I could be, when Joey set this bowl of beauty down in front of me.  WHOA!!!  Not only did he plate this to perfection but it tasted SO INCREDIBLE.  Don’t be put off by the anchovies, they make the pesto.  This is the epitome of fresh.

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Pistachio-Yogurt Sauce

First, you make your own falafel but then you really up your game by making a delicious yogurt dip to go along with them.  My marbling skills could still use some work, but that pistachio paste was better than I had even imagined when I was drooling over the recipe photo.  I want to dip EVERYTHING in this stuff!

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California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo

This recipe mostly caught my eye because it was the dead of summer and it didn’t involve turning on the oven but then it ended up blowing me away!  I mean what’s not to like about bacon, avocado, turkey and fresh tomatoes?  That basil mayo pulls the whole thing together so well.  We just made these again last week and the second impression was just as good as the first.

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Cobb Salad in a Jar with Buttermilk Ranch

This is our lunch this week and I know we’re only two days in, but this thing is majorly good!  There’s a reason Cobb and Caesar are on most restaurant menus and it’s because their tastiness stands the test of time.  The dressing is really easy to make and since this came from a website called “Skinnylicious” I’m going to assume it’s good for me.  Mostly it’s just really delicious though.

Weekend Things

This weekend was unexpectedly perfect.  It started with post-work patio beers and ended with a twinkle light backyard dinner and sandwiched in between was Hannah and Her Sisters, a Saturday morning run, THE BEST NIGHT at the Denver Mart Drive-In, donuts, a day date to the museum and lots of time for just chilling out and reading a book.  Like I said, unexpectedly perfect!

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We skipped out of work early on Friday in favor of a beer on the patio at Epic Brewing.  My Hopulent IPA was magical and Joey’s Imperial Red Ale was pretty good too!  It was sunny but sprinkling at the same time?  We don’t know about you, Colorado weather, but it was okay because the patio had big umbrellas.  We went home afterwards and cooked ourselves a steak dinner.  Still “hmm”-ing over the flavor of green tomatoes but Joey cooked that steak to pure perfection.

Did you see that #Fave7Films thing on Twitter a few weeks ago?  I saw a few lists that included Hannah and Her Sisters and felt like I needed to see it.  We couldn’t find it on Netflix but Joey surprised me by ordering it online.  Then he made me this dessert that I’d been hinting at all week and I was like WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS PERSON?! ♥♥♥

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Saturday morning, we went for a run then hung out for most of the day (though we did fit in some yard clean-up and a trip to the grocery store) before heading out to the main event… THE DRIVE-IN!  I was totally going to be a financially responsible adult and eat the leftovers we had in the fridge but then Illegal Pete’s sounded just so much better.  And it was!

Also, our guest room mattress fit perfectly in the back of the truck.  It’s a double feature, so we got to Kubo and the Two Strings and Ghostbusters.  Guys, I think a giant animated beetle is my favorite role ever for Matthew McConaughey and GB wasn’t terrible.  I kind of loved Melissa McCarthy in it.  But mostly, I loved this perfect summer night🙂

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Joey was out running 8 miles on Sunday morning and I felt like the least I could do was make the donuts he mentioned he was craving.  But really, going from pajamas to apron isn’t a terrible way to start the day and neither is a donut as a breakfast appetizer.  Later on, we biked over to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which I seriously adore.  It’s small enough to make your way through before museum fatigue sets in, crowd-free and the rooftop café is Denver’s best kept secret.  But let’s keep it that way okay?  The views are A+++ and how is it that a place without an actual kitchen can produce food that good?!

Post-museum, Joey napped, I read, all was good.  I also took a nightmare trip to the Cherry Creek Whole Foods and I will NEVER go there on a Sunday evening ever again.  Apart from that, this weekend was just too good.  The weather, the food, the activities.  Felt so good to let August go out on such a good note.  TELL ME WHAT YOU DID!