Weekend Things

It’s the end of August and fall is coming, but joke’s on us because it was so hot this weekend!  I tried to sit outside and read in the shade on Sunday and I only made it five minutes before giving up and heading back into the air conditioning.  But aside from being really hot, this weekend was wonderful and I am doing my best to live it up while we still have summer weather.  Which means brewery patio hanging, backyard movie night and grilling.  I love it all so much!

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Joey has wanted to go to Briar Common for so long and I’ve been… resisting.  Their menu is never calling my name, but on Friday, it was!  We headed over and grabbed a spot on the rooftop patio then had beers and dinner and I really liked both, but the best part is just being able to hang out together outside on a Friday night ♥  Afterward, we went home and watched this movie Adam loaned us and it was quite the stacked cast!  I was not prepared for the ending, but up until then I had found a lot of it really funny?  Where has Christina Ricci disappeared to anyway??

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Joey has been doing this thing where he wakes up too early on the weekend, so I woke up to him asking “wanna go to Snooze??” on Saturday morning, but I had a headache from my one beer the night before (WHY THOUGH?) and politely declined.  I did eventually get up and make us both yogurt bowls though.  We had an engagement party to attend at noon and don’t worry, we were first in line when the taco bar opened up 😛

Afterward, we hit up Best Buy so we could improve our outdoor movie sound system (success!) and then spent some time trying to get our projector hooked up to a streaming system, which involved Joey projecting the picture onto our ceiling.  When we finally got it all working, we maybe watching an episode of Friends up there.  Post-dinner (Loaded Summer Chili Fries is the new Spicy Black Bean Burrito Bowl, meaning it’s the summer dinner I can’t stop repeating), my sister and Wayne came over for movie night.  At the beginning of the summer, Joey said he wanted to watch The Mighty Ducks in our backyard and we finally made it happen.  I thought I’d seen it in bits and pieces, but after watching it all the way through, I realized I definitely hadn’t.  I kept waiting for Kenan to show up and that apparently doesn’t happen until the second movie.  Also, I thought all the regret over his failed career as a hockey player meant Gordon Bombay had been in the NHL and quit, but then it turns he had only played till he was 10 years old??  Wow, and I thought I held onto things too long!

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Standard Sunday Content: two food pictures and nothing in between.  We really did go to Snooze this time!  I got my hair cut a few hours later and she was like “how do you go to Snooze and not wait for hours??” but the answer is that we never go unless we’re up early!  We were sat right away and despite my attempts to order a regular sized pancake for us to share, we always end up with the giant one.  After my hair cut, I hit up the mall and it was actually extremely successful but even so, I don’t understand how anyone enjoys shopping.  I feel like it sucks the life out of me!

Back at home, my outdoor reading attempt followed by Joey finally making it home for a loooooong fantasy football draft and then we made a fun summer dinner of a Grilled Onion Blossom (we made this last year too and it’s really good and easy!) + Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Cherry Tomato Panzanella that I thought was really good but Joey seemed stressed out by because the chicken took longer to cook than the recipe said it would.  Wait, am I the laid-back cook in the house now??  Please tell me what you’re doing to live out these last few moments of summer!

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!