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.

10 Reasons To Be Glad It’s Spring

Did you know yesterday was the first day of spring?

I did and if I had been planning ahead, I would have posted this yesterday.  Planning ahead instead of say, Googling chronic tiredness and then trying to convince everyone that I have a rare condition where I dream too much and all the energy my brain is using to create such vivid dreams is making me tired instead of allowing sleep to be restorative.  Oh dear, I’ve said too much.

Anyways.  It’s now spring!  And I don’t know if it was my trip to the sunny and eternally summer-like state of Arizona or the two days of 70 degree weather we had a couple of weeks ago, but I am ready for spring and here’s 10 reasons why.

1. The return of hiking season.

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My sister and I were just lamenting about the fact that last St. Patrick’s Day we were out on a hike in Boulder.  This year, it’s a week past St. Patrick’s Day and there’s snow in the forecast.  I’m ready to feel the pain and exhaustion of a good hike, which always feels like I’ve never exercised in my life.  I want that feeling.

2. Baseball!

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Rockies Opening Day is so soon.  They put out their new commercials yesterday and they just made me want to be friends with the whole team.  Fingers crossed for a better season than last year.

3. Spring birthdays.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I love other peoples’ birthdays!  All the celebrating but none of the center of attention-ness.

4. Fresh spring flavors and meals.

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And by that I specifically mean tacos.  Oh so many tacos.  But also fresh asparagus, light salads and sweet fruit.  Warm hearty comfort foods make winter taste oh so delicious, but I’m so ready for something a little brighter.

5. Trips to the Farmers’ Market.

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And all the expensive produce that I am suddenly convinced I need when I am there.  In similar but not-exactly-related news, I really want to sign up for a spring/summer/early autumn CSA this year!  I spent some time yesterday doing some farm research and have a few picked out that I need to debate over and then that part where I convince Joey to shell out a big lump sum for vegetables.

6. Spring blossoms.

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Apart from turning leaves, is there anything more breathtaking than freshly blossoming trees?  Not to mention that sweet delicious smell they produce.  The white ones are beautiful but the pinkish purple ones?  My favorite!

7. Easter.

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And all the brunching, family bonding and Easter egg hunting that comes with it.

8. The arrival of the Bolder Boulder. 

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Actually I am terrified for “America’s Best 10K” because I feel I might die every time I’m done running 3 miles, which is in fact only half the distance of a 10K.  Thank goodness it’s a race where walking, keg-standing and slip-n-sliding is highly encouraged.

9. Our family trip to Vegas. 

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This is not a picture of Vegas.  This is a picture of alcohol, which we will consume in Vegas.  And my sister will finally be able to do this legally.  Because she’s turning 21 in April.  Yay!

10. It’s not winter! 

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And I will celebrate any season that isn’t winter.

Happy 2nd Day of Spring!

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What part of spring are you most excited about?

What’s your favorite spring meal?

Have you ever self-diagnosed yourself with a rare condition after doing too much Googling?  Still just me on that one?