Ahhh Summer

I am currently in upstate New York in a rather secluded area where it is easy to forget that we are in the midst of summer. With rain storms every other day, and all of my meals being prepared for me, I miss the farmers markets, garden fresh tomatoes and zucchinis, and hot summer days in California Now that it is almost mid August, while I am sad to leave my awesome summer job, I am excited to get back and soak up the last bits of my California summer and then head into the wonderful fall.

 

Until I make it back to Cali, let me just share my oh so fond memories of the first summer BLaTs we ate to celebrate our first crop of tomatoes…

 

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I am going to need a few more of these before the end of the season and then I will be able to welcome back pumpkins and apples and cinnamon and all things fall.

 

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We made our BLTs with this fully cooked bacon from Trader Joes. (I just threw it on a grill pan for a few minutes and then dinner was ready!) Yum…and no nitrates!

Nailed it.

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Yesterday was my first day off (finally!) Myself and two of the girls I work with decided to take the bus to New York Citaaay.

Now I will be honest…I wasn’t too excited. I’ve been to NYC a few times and had my fair share of ups and downs there and I didn’t feel any need to visit again (I know…I am probably one of the few people that would say that.) It just sounded expensive and difficult to navigate.

Well I was wrong. The day ended up going almost too smoothly and it was packed with things I hadn’t done before and it was quite refreshing to go into the city (which I know makes no sense…I am living in the mountains…that is where you go to be refreshed…)

We took the bus at 8am and got into the city at about 10:30 and the bus station dropped us out right around the corner from times square…perfect. I had been craving a smoothie and it was on my list of to dos, but then we got to the city and it was overcast and on the verge of raining so that craving quickly started to fade. BUT..thank you hersheys…we went into the candy store and they were handing out samples of the new SMOOTHIE Jolly Ranchers. So I got my peach smoothie ;).

Next we headed over toward Rockerfeller Center where a farmers market was happening. SCORE! Samples galore, love it. The samples fueled us for our long walk to a Chinese Restaurant where the girls knew the owner. I got some lettuce wraps which were delish.

After that we headed to Central Park to rent bikes ($10 dollars on Groupon for 2 hrs) It was the perfect way to see the whole park and it was nice to go on a little bike ride.

 

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After the park we headed back to the famous Magnolia Bakery (which we happened to pass by quite conveniently!) I grabbed a cappuccino which was perfect in the cool weather and the girls each got mini cheesecakes. They both said they were life changing-ly good.

Next we hopped on the subway and took it to the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked across the bridge and I loved it. It was fun being surrounded by city and the water. I also love seeing the places your feet can take you.

 

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We headed into Brooklyn for one reason, and one reason only…PIZZA. The original plan was to go to Grimaldi’s which is supposed to be the oldest pizza place in the nation with an incredible wood fired oven. We were short on time and knew we couldn’t miss our bus and the line was out the door. So instead we went next door to Julianne’s which was supposed to be the original building. It was perfect. We also got a table right next to an outlet which was much needed (we all had dead phones after using them constantly for navigation) The pizza was WONDERFUL and so was the waitress, so sweet and helpful with the directions to the subway which were much needed. We got the tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula pizza.

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We grabbed the subway and headed back to the bus station with about 5 minutes to spare.

Great. Day.

Hopping on the Salad Wagon

 

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Gross…

 

 

 

 

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When it is hotter than h-e-double hockey sticks outside, all I crave is smoothies, watermelon and salad. After seeing all the delicious posts of salads that have been popping up lately, I decided to go for it and made a few rather delicious salads for myself. (And I figured it is often frowned upon to literally eat a whole watermelon by yourself in one day, so a salad would have to do.) The above salad topped out at numero uno for my all time favorite as of later. Here’s the list:

A bunch of romaine lettuce

1 hard boiled egg mashed up

2/3 cup green beans

2 slices salami (columbus Italian aged reduced sodium is what we have hanging out in the fridge)

1 small red potato

A little bit of red onion.

Topped with about 1 tbsp bbq sauce mixed with around 1 tsp of sour cream..

I added some olive oil to a saute pan and put the potatoes in until they got nice and golden brown. I then dropped a tablespoon or so of water in the pan and covered them to allow them to steam. I only had frozen green beans so I added those into the pan to cook with the potatoes, followed by all the other ingredients and then threw it all on top of the lettuce.

OMGSOGOOD.

oh ya.

Number two look like an everything but the kitchen sink kind of salad:

ImageCarrots, baby red bell peppers, red onion, marinated mushrooms, frozen meatballs from costco, a big dollop of hummus and some ORZO SALAD with a bunch of lemon juice and chamapgne vinegar thrown on top.

I know…I put a salad on top of another salad. So while the whole salad itself was rather tasty, this orzo salad is fabulous and is definitely a replacement for any pasta salad.

Oh and it’s really easy

All you have to do is boil a box of orzo. Once it is cooked mix in about a cup of your favorite vinaigrette (my mom loves champagne vinaigrette, but I have done a balsamic vinaigrette and loved it equally as much) Now you can let that marinate overnight to soak in all the goodness and cooooool down.

But for those of us who are a bitlesspatient

Just start adding everything else in

Chop some tomatoes (or sun dried tomatoes) and toss ‘em in

Slice some kalamata olives

Sprinkle some feta into the mix

Chiffonade some basil (roll it up and slice thinly) or be less fancy and chop the heck out of it (with, of course, the much earned respect this delicious herb deserves)

A little salt and a little pepper

And grab a spoon.

Maybe go into your room and put up the “do not disturb sign”

Just kidding…

kind of.

SLEEPOVER!

I have been non-stop partying the past couple days…

 

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So I went over to my nephew’s house bright and early yesterday and while the parents were away, the kids played and played and played.

When I got their, Dad was already at work and we quickly pushed mom out the door so that our day together could begin.

We played with all our toys.

Made Granola bars

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Played inside some more.

Stopped for many needed snacks.

Built train tracks. This is when things got crazy, the ambulance had to come because a car got stuck on the train tracks…

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Played in the backyard

Packed lunches and headed to the park for a picnic

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(oh yes….we are definitely related)

Played in the sandbox

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Came home and read books.

And finally…NAPPED!

This is when mommy got home and then round two of sister/nephew fun began, which included…

The beginning of an amazing soccer career/just a good time out on the field kicking some balls with some kids!

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More park play time with mom and dad

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Caleb and Luka drove the fire truck while somehow Hol, Mike and I all ended up in the back…

SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

Baths

Bed

Running, shopping, smoothies

POOL TIME

and this all made for two tuckered out little boys

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Overall, I would say it was a successful sleepover!