August feels a bit like a blur. It was too hot for me but our beach vacation was fantastic and I really appreciated having a full week off…something I haven’t done in 1.5 years! I didn’t cook much but I was really happy to whip up quick meals meaning easy family evenings without stress. That also means not as much to blog but throwing something onto the grill and adding an easy side seems like a no-brainer. I cooked a bit this weekend to make up for it (get ready for a really fun burger)!
My fav food I made this month was a Shrimp Scampi Flatbread
I jumped on board the train for overnight oats with a blueberry sauce and I was a fan! I’m sure I’ll make another kind.
For a brunch party I made these biscuit cups with sausage gravy. Adorable and perfectly portioned!
The Little One:
He loved the beach! It was really fun and just. so. easy. I loooove this tiny town we go to because the beach is huuuuge and being able to walk to the beach allows us to come and go. We pretty much went in the morning, popped back to the cottage for lunch & naps and then back to the beach until dinner. After the little one was asleep, it was time for Olympic viewings and ice cream runs. The best.
He’s been eating up a storm and loving to be outside, especially on the swing set. He loves having his own bowl and spoon. He got his very own ice cream cone on vacation and he ate corn on the cob. So fun! He’s talking even more.
This Year’s Goals:
The Year of the: Seasonal Decor: ehh, I missed this month
do something a different way: no, I probably didn’t
drink more water: I need to do better outside of work, at my desk I do well.
make more interesting side dishes: these Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus were fun
cook more soups & sauces: Does jazzed up gravy fit?
watch more movies: none this month it was all Olympics, all the time.
make working out a higher priority: I ran a 5K! That was HUGE for me.
I didn’t really mean to disappear but ohh well. It happens. I had visions of returning from vacation, making one quick thing the weekend after vacay which I’d blog. It just didn’t happen.
Then, I did make something to blog the other night but it wasn’t amazing and it “crisped” too much in the oven so it really wasn’t photogenic. There goes the 2nd thing I had planned for the blog this week! It was a roasted tomato/basil/mozzarella/garlic/truffle oil calzone. Tasty, but not so pretty.
In other news, the beach vacay was so wonderful. The Little One was so happy in the sand, being able to walk right into the ocean, and finding hermit crabs. He thought the crabs were turtles (which is our fav word he says) so “turt-tle” they were. The little one got his very own ice cream cone for the first time and ate corn on the cob. We ate nightly ice cream and watched a lot of Olympics…complete with Olympic bingo I found!
I didn’t cook anything during vacation but brought some lunch things like Mexican Street Corn & quesadilla stuff as well as Sesame Peanut Noodles. Both were easy to prep the sauce in advance and bring the rest to just assemble onsite. I like them as leftovers too.
Then, we got back Friday evening and had the whole weekend at home which totally got us back into the normal groove before returning to work/daycare. I’ll say, how much rest do you need when you’re 1.5 years old and returning to days of water-play, snacktimes, naps, and stories?
Saturday morning I ran a 5K. Cra-zy. I wasn’t sure I’d be ready but I did and I’m so proud of myself. It was hot, I was definitely struggling, but I ran the whole time and wasn’t last…my two goals! 10am mid-August is hottt. My ap said 3.6 miles but whatev. Seeing Mr. J and the little one by the end got me there. I have more work to do before attempting another but it was good.
Now I’m on a mission to eat all the summer things before labor day. Go!
I’m jumping on board the over-night oats bandwagon- it might have been pulling out of the station but I caught it just in time. I saw some tips to make better overnight oats and was thinking I should give them a go. Who doesn’t need a fool-proof healthy breakfast? Also, this is all about the toppings which I can totally get on board with- despite never getting jazzed about oatmeal.
It has to be Old Fashioned Oats and you need 2x the liquid as the oats. I made 2 servings to see how it was. Spoiler: loved it. I foresee all the possibilities. I also might mix up some mini ones to be dessert for when I’m craving that sweet-treat.
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons flax seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup yogurt
1 cup coconut almond milk (or any milk you like)
1 cup blueberries (+more for topping)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Toppings: a few blueberries, chopped fresh pineapple, coconut, nuts, or whatever you like.
Mix together the oats, flax seeds, honey, brown sugar, yogurt, almond milk, and divide into 2 bowls/jars/containers and cover.
Let sit overnight.
In a small saucepan, cook blueberries, honey, and cornstarch over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes. Cool and store until serving.
Top with blueberry sauce, blueberries, pineapple & enjoy!
I loved these! I think 2 was a good start. I don’t always want a million servings to eat the same thing every day. I was very into the alternating textures of the oats vs the blueberry sauce vs the fresh blueberries vs the acidic pineapple. I think my next one might be more nut/toasted coconut/nutella.
I know mason jars are cute, but bowls or containers seem way easier to eat out of. I also fully endorse mixing it all up and then letting it sit. The mason jar & the layers would be more instagram-able but the ratio and texture is better when mixed.
See ya after vacay!
Every veggie can benefit from some prosciutto! I loved the hands-off-ness of this side for a fresh & salty side. They’re just so easy and could easily pop onto the grill. I baked them since they were going with some seared scallops which were cooking inside anyway.
Asparagus spears (I doubled them per prosciutto slice)
Trim the ends of the asparagus and preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Wrap the asparagus in prosciutto at an angle. (I doubled the asparagus per prosciutto slice).
Bring the balsamic to a low boil in a small pan for about 5-8 minutes until it gets thicker.
Bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway. Cook until the asparagus gets tender and the prosciutto crisps.
Remove the balsamic from the heat and allow to cool to room temp where it will become syrupy.
Drizzle with balsamic reduction & enjoy!
It isn’t really asparagus season but I was wanting this and it was great. The little one gobbled some and had scallops for the first time!
There are so many breakfasts to share with you! This one is a few weeks old but I was trying to spread them out (there’s still another to post!)! For Dad’s bday I made sausage gravy with biscuit cups. They were so fun and there’s very little cooking involved! I made mini ones to join the many other brunch items being served. They were tasty and just so cute! Make the biscuits in advance and the sausage can be made ahead too!
Ingredients: Makes 20 mini biscuit cups
1 package of 10 biscuit Juniors
1 package of breakfast sausage, with the casing removed
1 package country gravy
(milk according to the gravy)
1 cup coffee
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Flip a mini muffin tin upside down and spray with non-stick spray.
Pop the biscuits open and carefully divide each in half. Lay each half of a raw biscuit onto an inverted muffin well and skip every-other one so they don’t run together.
Bake for 4-5 minutes in two batches.
Pan fry the sausage. Cook through and drain the grease.
Prepare the gravy according to the package in the pan from the sausage. Reduce the milk called for by 1/4 and substitute with coffee. Add in lots of cracked black pepper then the sausage.
Serve and enjoy!
They were really cute! I liked the gravy to get spiced up a bit since I didn’t make it from scratch. Keep an eye on those biscuits! As halfsies they cook quickly. They’d work well with jumbo ones on a regular size muffin pan too.
I was home to make lunch and was thinking about Shrimp Scampi but it seemed a bit much for lunch so I made it into a flatbread with a scampi-like sauce. I loved it and it was the perfect fit for a surprisingly quick lunch with the flavors without messing with dough or even boiling water. Cooking the shrimp and making the sauce in that same pan makes for a lot of flavor and was just so easy.
1 garlic naan
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup clam juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic
cracked black pepper & salt
1 teaspoon chopped chives
~2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon thyme
Toast the flatbread.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook and flip once and cook for a few minutes per side.
Remove the shrimp and add in the clam juice, lemon juice, mustard, & garlic.
Whisk and bring to a low simmer. Add in more black pepper and chives.
Spread the sauce onto the naan and top with Parmesan and shrimp.
Sprinkle with the thyme and return to the oven for another few minutes.
The sauce was veryyy flavorful. The clam juice, lemon juice, dijon, and garlic are fo-real. For pasta I’d probably save a bit of the starchy water to thin it out a little. I was so glad I made this one & got the flavor I was thinking about. It was easy to make a single serving and was a great reminder how quickly some classic flavors can take shape.
I took my Mom for a birthday breakfast at a spot between us and knew I couldn’t turn down their breakfast sandwich special. It was on Texas toast which seemed so fun! I kept these quite simple as egg & cheese for a meat-less weeknight dinner with some tots in the toaster oven. I’d totally make these bfast sandwiches again and load them up with tomato, bacon, spinach, or whatever.
Ingredients: (per sandwich)
2 pieces of Texas toast
1 slice cheddar
(add in bacon/sausage/spinach/sliced tomato/etc)
Toast the Texas toast according to the package.
Fry and egg. Flip it and add the cheese. Reduce the heat and cover with a pot cover to melt.
I like the yolk to run and this doughy toast is perfect to soak it all up. Tots in the toaster oven meant dinner was QUICK and didn’t heat up the whole house. The little one gobbled some up for his 2nd dinner. The babe is a carb-lover so he’d be happy with bites of Texas Toast the next time I toast up the remaining pieces. One would be plenty so an open-faced one would be nice too.
All of a sudden it was Independence Day. Now all of a sudden it is August. I’m so ready for the heat to be over but I hate to rush through any season. I truly didn’t cook much.
One of my fav’s this month was this peanut sesame sauce for noodles
And the little one would definitely agree. He was slurping them up while we were eating after already having dinner.
Also, summer means fresh sides and this pineapple, cucumber, and mint salad was sooo refreshing.
Also, don’t miss the Californian Burger with In-N-Out Sauce, avocado, and lots of herbs.
The Little One:
He is speaking so much more! He has so many thoughts and feelings. He eats sooo much! His favorites are fruit, cheese, and whatever I’m eating. He was really into pulled pork I made and he loooves long spaghetti. In August we’ll have a trip to the beach and he’s going to have a blast.
This Year’s Goals:
The Year of the: Seasonal Decor: I got an awesome watermelon welcome mat. love it.
do something a different way:
drink more water: yes, that might be the only good thing about this heat
make more interesting side dishes: yes, I made maple bacon creamed corn which was delectable.
cook more soups & sauces: Ehh. Maybe the condiment for In-N-Out sauce counts?
watch more movies: we watched Room
make working out a higher priority: Running has been going pretty well a few times a week. I’m up to 2 miles.
This salad served to clients at work made me want to make it ASAP. I love fresh pineapple and since the little one will always eat cucumbers, it means we always have some around. My mint plants are going gang-busters so poof! This salad was born. I planned to make pulled pork int he crockpot so this was perfect alongside it! I also would definitely chop it up more and use it as a relish. Yum!
1/2 cucumber, mostly pealed
1 cup fresh pineapple
8-10 mint leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
Chop the cucumber & seed, if necessary. Chop pineapple, shallot, and mint. Add it all to a bowl.
Add in the lime juice & olive oil. Toss well.
Refrigerate until serving, or serve immediately.
I thought this was perfect with the pork. I was so glad to have something zippy and fresh. This salad was so fast to throw together. The pork cooked all day in the crockpot and it was the fastest dinner to get together. Uhh it was just. so. ideal on a hot hot hot night. The leftover pork will be frozen and probably will go inside tacos. I’d really love this cuke & pineapple all diced up as a relish on a taco or sandwich.
Seriously, make this for your next BBQ and everyone will appreciate this cool, sweet, light, refreshing salad.
I road tested this pasta salad out and turned it into a meal by making it a vehicle for taco salads. It features flavors of a margarita, lime, with a touch of salt. I heard a tip of tossing the pasta in vinegar while it cools so I wanted to try it out. I think it works a bit, I don’t know that is changes the pasta salad to out of this world, but it totally has more flavor than many run-of-the-mill pasta salads.
1/2 pound rotini pasta
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup margarita mix
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tomato chopped
1 cup roasted corn
Green onions, chopped
fresh lime squeezed & zested (optional)
Boil the pasta and drain then toss with the apple cider vinegar. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before dressing it.
Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, margarita mix, chili powder, and salt.
If the pasta hasn’t completely chilled, then cover the dressing and mix later. If the pasta has already been chilled, then toss in the dressing.
Add in the veggies and herbs.
I think this would be great at a BBQ. I think it could have had more lime-ness. Next time I’ll juice a lime and zest it up. We topped them with taco-salad toppings like taco meat, avocado, and salsa. It was great for a bit of change from the usual taco salad. I used up some taco meat from the freezer and it involved very minimal cooking…many birds, one stone!