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

If you thought getting a new phone, with a much much better camera than my previous iPhone 7 (Portrait Mode, finally!!!), meant I’d have a slew of weekend photos, you thought wrong.  What I do have is a giant tree branch that fell in our yard, deck progress, a Rockies game and, you know, like five meals I ate.

Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in on the rest, but first I wanted to do a quick summer check in.  How has yours been so far?  As we were biking home from the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, I was thinking that I’ve already, without much planning or effort or stress, checked off a lot of things that we usually like to do in the summer.  It’s making me feel extremely chill and I like it a lot!  Hope you’re feeling chill too 🙂

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It rained overnight on Thursday, so we woke up to this giant tree branch hanging between our hammock and, shudder, our string lights.  Thankfully, it didn’t damage either one, but whoa!

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In other Friday news, we took a trip to Verizon, followed by a trip to Home Depot and when we finally got home, all we had energy for was takeout pizza, dinner in the backyard and a movie on the couch.  It was 9:30 when we started Spiderman: Homecoming so we only made it about halfway through, but don’t worry, we finished it up last night.  Look, Tom Holland is extremely charismatic and definitely more age-appropriate but I always loved Toby McGuire as Spiderman (then again, I never saw Spiderman 3).  Plus, that Stark-made suit just felt way too tech-y for me.  Still excited to see Spideman: Far From Home though!

Also maybe used my new vacuum while Joey was out picking up our pizza so, hi I’m 30 now.

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We woke up too early on Saturday, so I had time to make us pancakes before we headed over to the Farmers’ Market.  I am still on the lookout for shishitos but happy to report we are fully in peach season, plus I love this little stand that will sell you a single sprig of herbs for 25-50 cents.  We saw so many fluffy pups on our bike ride there and back too!

The rest of the day involved a little bit of garden clean up, a trip to the grocery, lunch, reading and making a BBQ side dish for me and major deck progress by Joey.  He has the upper arm sunburn and backache to prove it!  But really, it’s coming along so well, and I don’t take having a handy husband for granted AT ALL.  We picked a color and ordered the deck composite so that should be here this week and I can’t wait to see it!

We hit up the  annual Summer Bash at the Zehnder’s later on and, as luck would have it, a giant storm rolled through not long after we got there and we all had to seek shelter inside.  Oh well, there was good BBQ, a carefully curated playlist and we got to see our friends Grant, Kelsey and their son Peyton, who just moved (back?) here from Florida!

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We slept in on Sunday, then got up and did a few chores before making the semi-spontaneous decision to head to the game early so we could grab lunch at Biker Jim’s.  Back to back bike riding days maybe doesn’t feel that great today, but gosh I love that ride to Coors.  I tried the Chicken Peach Chipotle dog and let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite but all BJ’s dogs are good dogs and sidewinder fries are always the very best.  We had shade seats but then the whole game was blissfully cloudy and we were able to sit with a group of friends that were there to celebrate (another) Lauren’s birthday.  We won!

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Back at home, we finished our previously discussed movie, made a summer salad for dinner, walked our dog and watched Big Brother.  Just a good weekend all around.  Please tell me about yours!