Labor Day Weekend 2020

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I love Labor Day Weekend! I knew this one would be different — no in-person Rockies games, no social gatherings, no going out to dinner, no bike rides anywhere (Joey will barely let me do the dishes, let alone ride a bike!) — but I thought it could still be good and it truly was ❤

Friday night, we tag-teamed dinner, so Joey made grilled salmon and I made those WAY OVERSAUCED green beans (oops!) but it was all really good! And then we watched I’m Thinking of Ending Things. My sister texted me halfway through and said “We’re watching the worst movie!” and I definitely knew she was watching the same thing we were. Not going to lie, we were confused about what was happening and had to look it up afterward (when it made much more sense!) but I still liked the creepy/weird vibe and I thought all the performances were just so good! Toni Collette forever ❤

I got a Saturday morning snuggle from this sweet pup! 95% of the time, if Joey gets up before me, Andi will go downstairs with him and never return, so I was elated when he bounded back into our room after Joey left for a run. He didn’t even wake up when Joey came back inside!

Undercooked eggs (and just undercooked things in general) are a no when you’re pregnant but I asked my OB and she said eggs were fine just as long as they were pasteurized and thank god because Eggs Benedict sounded so good! We ordered from Snooze and it HIT THE SPOT! Plus that sweet potato pancake is just my favorite.

Joey was on a roll after his run and was cleaning the bathroom at 8 AM?? Then post-breakfast, he mowed the lawn, hung some hooks in the nursery/baby’s bathroom and mounted our baby monitor while I read in the rocking chair (the best!) and then who knows what we did the rest of the day! I think I made some cookies to stash in the freezer and Joey was getting prepped for his fantasy football drafts the next day.

I should mention my back has been killing me for the past week! I blame my father-in-law who asked me how my back was feeling and at the time, it felt so random because my back had been totally fine and it’s hurt since that day 😑 I can’t tell if it’s doing things or if it’s sitting still and not doing things that makes it hurt but the heating pad/lying down has helped.

We made an eggplant (with Japanese eggplant from our garden!) and tomato pasta bake for dinner, then decided to take a walk to get ice cream. We brought Andi and he only minorly panicked over being in a new place. They had Space Junkie (!!!) and I got Joey a femur-sized waffle cone of Buttermilk Cupcake and German Chocolate Cake and it was comically huge! Back at home, we watched The King of Staten Island (which is finally available to rent for $6) and it was about what we thought it would be. Which is to say Pete Davidson was funny albeit immature and the movie was unnecessarily long. I mostly liked it but I’m not sure it really had any narrative arc. Oh well!

Happy Golden Anniversary to us! That’s six years! On Saturday Joey asked me if I’d gotten him a present and I don’t know if it’s a brag or an embarrassment to say it hadn’t even crossed my mind to get a card, let alone a present 😬 Luckily, we were on the same page 😋 We lost our anniversary photo photographer (Chris and Amanda moved back to Illinois last year ☹), so we had to rig it up ourselves but good enough! We obviously had to take a masked one as well 😂

I made us pancakes and bacon for breakfast and then we sat outside until it got too hot. Andi even got a little brush, then gave me this moody pose when I tried to snap a pic. Did I mention it was HOT all weekend? We hit 100 degrees on Saturday and Sunday wasn’t much cooler. So once it started to heat up on Sunday, I hid inside for the entire rest of the day.

I’m trying to get a few things in the freezer for when baby comes but not too much because A) our freezer isn’t so big, B) we have plenty of good take out options here in Denver and C) my mom can cook (as she keeps reminding me ❤). Plus, who knows, maybe we’ll still manage to cook! But I did want us to have a quick breakfast option, so I threw these egg sandwiches together and I think they’ll be really good!

After that, Joey had two fantasy football drafts that took up basically the rest of the day, so I hid upstairs and read/took a nap, then at 7, I left to pick us up an anniversary dinner from Cart-Driver. We hadn’t had that clam pizza in so long, so it tasted extra good. It was also literally raining ash outside (Colorado has a bunch of fires going on ☹), so it was an indoor celebration and I totally forgot to take a picture but I think you’ve seen enough photos of that clam pizza 😋

Labor Day! We had a small list of things we wanted to get done and except for packing our hospital bag (which I’m hoping to still do this week), we got it all taken care of. First, we grabbed coffee at Black Eye (which is finally back open!) then ate breakfast and watched The Kitchen before installing both car seats in our cars. Please don’t judge our fake baby because Joey kept making jokes about getting one until I finally actually got one 😂 Andi was acting like a total weirdo and just sitting straight forward next to the car seat and we thought it was really funny! Hopefully the car seats pass inspection 🤞

The rest of the day, we sort of alternated between relaxing on the couch and getting stuff done. I made us some graham crackers for dessert later and Joey cleaned the bathrooms and covered up our garden/flowers because no joke, it was supposed to go from 90 degrees to 37 degrees with a chance of snow!!!! I’ve seen some whacky weather in Colorado but this tops the cake. Those fires sure could use some moisture though, so I’ll allow it. I took a quick photo of the planter my sister got me just in case it didn’t survive, so I could see just how much it’s grown since she first gave it to us!

Then we tag-teamed dinner again. Joey made us these killer Honey Bourbon Chicken Pops and I made this Sesame Corn and Basil Saute for the second time in a week because it’s so so good and easy and altogether this meal made me so happy!

It was already sort of windy and the air quality was not great, but we sat outside just long enough to roast some marshmallows and toast our S’mores to a wonderful Labor Day Weekend ❤

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!