I have some September recipes in the works – a lemon one and something corny.
The Little Girl: She’s 4! She loved her birthday of swimming, a unicorn cake, and fun presents. A cold worked it’s way through her (and some of us) a few times but wasn’t Covid so that’s all we can ask for. She’s in her Elsa costume all the time and had her last ballet class. She loved corn on the cob.
The Big Guy: He loved all the summer camps and wrapped up the summer with 2 weeks of time with the grandparents and home. August had one camp at Mass Audubon Society where he spent all day in the woods or making art – he came home sweaty, dirty, and happy. He’s ready for 2nd grade and for soccer to start. Packing camp lunches was only moderately successful so we’ll all be glad for school lunch again.
Goals: Year of nail polish! I got a pale pink one More international food inspiration: do lettuce cups served with sesame noodles count? More soups/salads: maybe one salad bar night More apps: Yes! Phyllo cups were fun as the rest of dinner came together More fun drinks: Yes x2: cherry lime refreshers & peach tea cocktail. Updating photos: nope What I’m reading: I read Portrait of a Thief which was ok- kind of a bumbling college student art heist. I was totally enchanted by The Reading List. I listened to A Long Petal of the Sea for bookclub – I learned a ton about the Spanish Civil War, and Cover Story was such a fun non-murdery mystery that left me with lots of questions. What I’m watching: Renovation Island is back, America’s Got Talent What I’m listening to: Sounds Like a Cult
These waffles have everything: sausage, eggs, cheese, hash browns, and everything bagel seasoning- all wafflized! They’re fluffy and filling with a nice crunch. I wake up first wanting coffee, then ready for a savory breakfast. I don’t usually want pastries … Continue reading →
This one is summer in a glass – refreshing tea, sweet peach, and a little spike. Also, when I say peach- I always am using nectarines but if fuzz is OK with you, go for it!
I usually only drink tea hot and exclusively in the fall and winter but this summer while I was home I embraced (iced) tea time, in the afternoons to have something fun to look forward to. I was surprised to love mint tea iced and blackberry/elderberry tea was a great treat too.
Directions: Brew the tea and let cool. It should be very strong for iced tea as it will get watered down.
Add ice to a cocktail shaker with the tea, peach, alcohol, and sugar/simple syrup (if using).
Shake well and serve over ice. Enjoy!
This was so so good. The tea makes it really light and refreshing and gives you the chance to make it as sweet or not as you’d like with simple syrup or sugar. You could amp up the peach flavor by tossing some peach and the pit into the pot when making the simple syrup (and removing when it cooled). Herbal tea isn’t caffeinated so this is ideal for something fun to sip on a hot night. Cheers!
June was confusing but July was exciting! I got and started my new job! I was grateful to be so so so far in the process when my role was eliminated. I was in weird limbo and unsure what would be next so I was glad to move right into this one! I’m glad to work through this and be in a routine before school starts.
This month I made the most summery dessert snack: s’mores cheeseball! The kids didn’t care that much about this one either way but maybe that’s because they’d be happy to roast a marshmallow in any weather.
Strawberry Lemonade & Basil Cocktail was such a highlight. Cocktails (or mocktails) are such a fun way to liven up any regular day. I tested these babies and tweaked it before blogging them to have lots of strawberry!
Turmeric Couscous Salad was nice to give a side dish some love. I tend to go more basic on the sides but a little splash of orange juice was a great dressing for this one and it is great the next day too. The little girl and I ate leftovers by the pool!
August blog posts will be some more summery things – a burger, some prime-time produce (peaches- I’m looking at you!), another cocktail, and maybe some no-cook dinner ideas in case it is just so hot. We’ll celebrate a 4th birthday and have time at the beach.
The Little Girl: She’s very very into swimming now and it is so fun to see. She keeps discovering things that she can do now that she’s “big”. She told her teachers she didn’t have goggles “when she was a little girl” and now she has some. Like always, she could eat her weight in cheese.
The Big Guy: He’s loved camps this summer. We found much better ones this year and he loves swimming and archery at one and was into the classes the teachers have at another camp held at school. His motion sickness has been off the charts, and being physically tired and hot doesn’t help.
Goals: Year of nail polish! I got this aqua one in the very end of June but didn’t use it until July but I didn’t love it. More international food inspiration: nope. More soups/salads: we had caesar a few times, does that count? More apps: nope. More fun drinks: Yes! Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail with Basil, and I had (iced) tea time most days while I was home. Updating photos: not this month What I’m reading: Sure did! I read Counterfeit which was very fun and fast paced. Bookclub read The Underground Railroad and I loved it – so creative. I read a YA book, The Henna Wars, that I didn’t love, but maybe the YAs would? What I’m watching: Great Food Truck Race What I’m listening to: I blew through Land of the Giants and have listened to most seasons – the food delivery season was the best.
Heat like this calls for no-cook treats- plus all the AC/pool trips/popsicles you can find. This cheeseball dip is all the flavors of s’mores that you love, without sitting by a hot fire while it is 90-something degrees around here.
S’mores Dip Ingredients: 8 oz cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup confectioners sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 5 graham crackers crushed into crumbs + ~8-10 graham crackers broken into quarters 1 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips 1 cup mini marshmallow bits
Directions: When cream cheese is softened, add in confectioners sugar, vanilla, most of the graham cracker crumbs, and 1/3 of the mini chocolate chips.
Mix well together with a spatula or hand mixer. Spoon onto plastic wrap and wrap it up to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Before serving, cover the outside in the remaining graham cracker crumbles, remaining mini chips, and the marshmallows.
Use a spoon to pack the “crust” around the cheeseball. Serve with graham crackers to dip. Enjoy!
This was fun – and addicting. The dip is soft and creamy with a tang of the cream cheese but with the sweet and crunch. Mix it up and bring out a cool dessert that appeals to all ages.
These mini freeze-dried marshmallows are perfect here, BUT, skip the marshmallows and swap the cream cheese with ricotta and poof! You’ve got cannoli dip! We used the mini marshmallows in hot chocolate bombs and in some trail mix and in Hot Chocolate Muddy Buddies.
Cheers! Starting with lemonade, these cocktails get some muddled strawberries and basil and a splash of lemon vodka. They’re sweet and fresh. Make one or these would be great as a pitcher batch to spike as desired.
I love love love the herbs in a cocktail. I’ve been adding our boatloads of mint to my water and to iced tea so the basil flavor was a welcome change.
Strawberry Lemonade & Basil Cocktails: Ingredients (for 2): ~6 strawberries, halved or quartered 1 teaspoon of sugar (or simple syrup) 3-4 basil leaves 2 cups lemonade 1-2 oz lemon vodka
Directions: Split the strawberries into 2 glasses and add a sprinkle of sugar (or simple syrup) and muddle a few times to crush them. Use a cocktail muddle or the handle of a spoon. Then add in the basil and gently muddle once or twice.
Pour in the lemonade and the vodka and stir well. Top off with ice and another strawberry or basil leaf to garnish. Add in ice and stir again. Cheers!
I loved this. I made it first and was too aggressive muddling the basil (thus, why they’re best done separately) and I wanted more strawberry. We had just gone strawberry picking so these were the best of the best BUT muddling would really bring even grocery store ones to life!
This couscous has chewy cranberries, fresh mint, and a citrus dressing. Side dishes are tricky to have energy for or coordination for, but this has just a few ingredients and is great made ahead of time – who doesn’t need a dinner head start?!
Turmeric Couscous Salad Ingredients (for 4): 1 cup Israeli couscous 1/2 cup dried cranberries 3/4 cup orange juice (mine was orange tangerine) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon turmeric fresh mint
Directions: Cook the couscous and allow it to cool.
Mix in the juice, olive oil, cranberries, turmeric, and fresh mint. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.
Add another splash of juice before serving, if needed.
We have so so much mint so I could have added even more. The orange juice dressing and the fresh mint are really the dominant flavors here.
This was nice for variety since the kids will eat any form of pasta anytime but the turmeric added a pop of color we don’t see all the time. One kid ate tons, one ate some without strong feelings either way but overall I’d say it’s a winner and something I’d make again. The sweetness goes well with sausages or grilled chicken or falafel, or would definitely be of interest at your next BBQ!