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!

Weekend Things

It’s July!!!  But before we jump into my favorite, birthday-filled, peak summer month, let’s give some recognition to the end of June because it was truly a perfect end of the month weekend ♥

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A Friday night Rockies game that starts with Biker Jim’s and ends with a Dodgers defeat?!  Yes please!  I’m still making my way through the BJ’s menu and ordered the Southwest Buffalo this time around.  Also, they no longer carry my favorite Alaskan Reindeer and I felt personally to blame when they told me it was because it’s on the endangered species list… We maybe skipped out of the game early (I swear it’s always Joey who wants to leave lately!) because it was raining but we got to watch the Rox officially win back at home and YAY!

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Saturday!  And what a good day it was!  We started with a quick bike tune-up (thanks, Joey!) while our pup took in some morning sunshine and then we made our way to the Farmer’s Market ♥  We maybe didn’t even discuss our breakfast plan (which is VERY unlike me) but realized we were starving when we got there so after grabbing two iced coffees we split up to find food.  Joey got a burrito and reported that it was not good but I got a bagel from Woodgrain Bagels (a new fixture at the Union Station FM) and loved it!  I still need to look up what a Montreal-style bagel is though.  Back at home, I harvested a bunch of heads of lettuce (that I made a lunch salad with later on!) and Joey gave Andi a lil haircut (I completed his beauty routine later on by giving him a bath).  Then we hit up the cheese shop for picnic supplies!

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We had tickets to the Shakespeare Festival that night!  We checked and Joey and I hadn’t been together since 2013!  Thankfully, we had perfect pre-show picnic weather and the cheeses we got were really good!  I think my favorite combo is just cheese and dates?  We were maybe already full but pulled out the macarons for dessert.  Joey’s face when he bit into the salted caramel one though!

As for the show — Twelfth Night — we loved it!!!  Yeah yeah with the main characters, but the supporting characters, namely a drunken uncle named Sir Toby Belch and his companion in debauchery, Sir Andrew Aguecheek were a true riot.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Shakespeare Fest??  Gosh, SO much!

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We started Sunday at Thump Coffee with toasts (Joey gave me a bite of his avo-cream cheese-dill toast and whoa, I need to recreate that at home!), talk of July and maybe some Italian vacation plans?  We’re pretty serious about it, I think!  Back at home, we knocked out salads for the week in something like half an hour then Joey headed outside for yard work and I made a pie!!!  I’d been wanting to make this strawberry pie for MONTHS but was waiting for real strawberry season and it looked pretty good, if I do say so myself!

I also read for like an hour and a half outside and it felt too good to be true.  Followed it up with Sunday yoga and between that and this little arm workout Joey and I have been doing, my shoulders are actually dead today…

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Guys, we started watching Deadwood and even though I’m so into this Wild West stuff, we had to pause like 10 times and say “wait, what just happened?” so hopefully we become less dumb in the very near future and can understand the plot.  We also made one of our favorite dinners (with radishes from our garden, no less!) and followed it all up with Big Brother and two slices of pie!  Not going to lie, the structural integrity of this pie is extremely questionable.  As in, I cut a piece and basically all the strawberries slid off but no matter, it still tasted good!

July is already off to a good start because we’re headed to Film on the Rocks to watch Top Gun with the family tonight and I could not be more excited!  Hope your July is the best!