Weekend Things

August is such a confusing time.  Even though we’re still in the 90s during the day, there is that unmistakable chill in the morning air and I can never decide if I’m excited for fall or devastated that summer might end.  I did my best to just enjoy the fleeting summer moments this weekend and what better way than by going to a Rockies game, finally finally having a backyard movie night and enjoying a patio lunch on Sunday?


I’m starting to realize I probably won’t make it through every dog at Biker Jim’s by the end of this baseball season.  Unless, of course, I start doubling up!  Joey and I are going to go halfsies from here on out.  There was a very weird lightning delay at the beginning of the game, even though the sun was fully shining?  But, even with the delay, it was a really fast game AND we won!  Can’t argue with any of that.


Woke up (too early) and made a mountain of whole wheat pancakes before grabbing our bikes to head to the Farmers’ Market, only to discover Joey had a flat.  Look, he’s not quite as fast changing a bike tire as a car tire, but I was still impressed.  My usual peach selling stand was MIA (WHY??) but I bought some from another farmer and felt such relief.  Also, you guys know how much I LOVE going to the FM on Saturday morning, but… I could be done with the biking part.  Or at least done with the biking in the heat part.

Back at home, OUR PATIO FURNITURE WAS DELIVERED!!!!  We sort of wish we had shelled out for a second chair and side table, plus two ottomans but we love how it looks and even better, how it feels!  We ate steak dinner (that Joey grilled to perfection!) out there, then set up our new projector to watch a movie.  Joey has wanted to watch The Mighty Ducks all summer but there were technical difficulties and we ended up having to watch something we own on DVD, so The Mask it was.  When’s the last time you watched this movie??  I was mostly focused on how he wears a zoot suit?  Also, my favorite part was that cameo by Ben Stein 😛  Oh and I made us this Freezer Caramel Slice for dessert and it sure was decadent!


Sort of slept in on Sunday then had breakfast before splitting up to do some chores.  I harvested our basil and made the best pesto for pizza later, assembled salads for lunches this week (we hadn’t made this one in too long!) and then my mom and sister stopped by to see our new patio furniture and to join us for lunch.  We hit up Avanti and managed to snag seats on the outdoor but covered patio (hallelujah!).  My sister and I tried the new spot, Street Feud and I approve!  My mom got an order of truffle fries and seemed to find particular joy in dipping a fry in mayo, then using it to get the truffle-herb mixture to stick to her fry.  What a goof!  

I went to 4 PM yoga and even just walking from the car to the studio had my black pants feeling like they were on fire.  Back at home (and on the deck, of course), we did some transportation logistics research for our trip to Italy and bought a train ticket from Varenna to Venice.  Then we made that pizza!  We’ve made this ricotta-tomato pizza a handful of times, but never on the grill.  Seemed like the right thing to do though.  Also, I don’t know if we got a different brand of ricotta or maybe we usually get part-skim and bought whole milk instead but it was SO CREAMY and SO GOOD.  Whoa!  After, we watched Big Brother and my fantasy team is screwed.  Oh well!  How was your weekend?

Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

So much to say about this one.

Like how I was in a horrible mood on Monday night before we made this. Or how Joey’s mom gifted us with the bouquet of fresh homegrown basil we used for it. Or how paying over $4 for pine nuts when macadamia nuts are only $2 is plain stupid. But let’s start at the beginning.

When we were in Vail a few weekends ago, I had an amazing gnocchi dish at Bol. Crispy gnocchi, spicy arugula, toasty pine nuts and perfectly sautéed zucchini slices. Ohhhhh. I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. So even though I was in a bad mood and it was already kind of late and I didn’t really have a concrete plan for recreating my amazing dinner, I just kind of went with it. And here’s the thing. It turned out amazing.

Like, “this is better than the original” amazing.

Like instant mood lifter amazing.

Like write about it immediately after putting my fork down amazing.

Macadamia Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini & Arugula

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I just used those little bags from the baking aisle)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (+ more to sauté zucchini and brown gnocchi)
  • 1 package gnocchi
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 3-4 cups arugula
  1. To make pesto, combine basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and macadamia nuts (reserve 1-2 tablespoons nuts) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add cheese and pulse to combine, then drizzle in olive oil and process until it all comes together.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add gnocchi and cook until gnocchi pieces float to the surface then drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  4. Slice zucchini, then heat a drizzle of olive oil and add zucchini slices to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until soft and slightly browned.
  5. Remove zucchini, add another drizzle of olive oil and place gnocchi in the pan in a single layer. Add remaining macadamia nut pieces to toast with gnocchi. Once gnocchi are browned, flip and repeat on the other side.
  6. Add in arugula, cook for 1 minute or until just barely wilted.
  7. Add gnocchi mixture to zucchini in a large bowl. Thin pesto out by mixing 2-3 tablespoons pesto with 3-4 tablespoons reserved water.
  8. Mix pesto into gnocchi mixture, serve and be astounded by how good everything is.

Serves 3-4

Total Time: 30 minutes

Guaranteed to erase bad moods and give swanky upscale restaurants a run for their money.