Life vs. Blogging

It’s been forever it seems since I’ve posted! Forever since I’ve even read blogs, but sometimes life is just more important. The past few weeks has been jam packed with work, class assignments, and time with friends. As you can see I just LOVE summer, and welp I’ve been enjoying it! Sometimes living life and having fun is far more important than blogging about life. I am sure you all feel that way! I haven’t even had time to read blogs as of late, let alone post!

 

What have I been up to?!

 

I went home for a family picnic!

 

Taking lots of foodie pics πŸ™‚

 

 

And naturally… hanging out with the boy, and laughing πŸ™‚

 

 

Now I am currently in sunny Florida for a mother daughter trip πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Be back soon with a recipe that just SCREAMS summer!!!!

❀

Summer Loving

I LOVE summer! Have I mentioned that before, or if I haven’t mentioned it I hope you have realized this! Not only do I love the warm sunny weather a million times more than the windy, cold weather but I LOVE summer food! I love fresh food and how much more fresh can you get than walking into the backyard and pulling a tomato off the vine or cutting off some basil for dinner? Not much.

 

A looooong time ago I told you all Andrew and I were planting a garden for the summer, well we just got our first tomato!!!!! Here is an update at what it is looking like these days:

 

We have sooo many tomatoes waiting for more sunshine πŸ™‚

 

The corn is getting ready πŸ™‚

 

The whole garden!

 

I don’t know about you, but during the summer I like to eat fresh and simple meals. I really find myself craving TONS of salads, burgers, and grilled anything! I’m not much for cooking a hot meal, not because I don’t AC because I do but because its hot out and a cool refreshing meal, just tastes good! Especially when you know where the food is coming from!

This past week I made a few delicious meals that SCREAM summer!

 

Deeeliicous!!!

 

This is my all time favorite summer meal! Salmon, strawberries, blueberries, feta, and sliced almonds on a bed of greens! With some toasted bread on the side of course! I cannot get enough bread lately, Italy totally wore off on me!!!!! Though you wouldn’t find this bread in Italy, its amazing though! Wegman’s Sourdough Seven grain!

 

Goat Burgers with provolone cheese, fresh tomato, and melon!

Last time I left you with this darling picture. These are goat burgers. Andrew and I found goat meat at the local farmers market and decided to give it a try. It wasn’t bad at all. I think what made it though was the burger recipe I used! I promised I would share, so here you go!

 

 

 

Goat Burgers (or other meat)

 

1 lb lean ground meat

1/2 medium onion, sauteed

1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

A tiny sprinkling of garlic powder

 

Directions: Mix all together in a bowl, form into patties, and grill!! I think it is the fresh basil that does it! Enjoy!

 

And although it is nearly the next weekend I will share with you a small re-cap from last weekend! The perfect summer weekend, if you ask me πŸ™‚

 

Andrew and I went to the local winery for a tasting

 

And to check out the military museum!

 

This weekend we are hanging around town again and checking out the local arts festival, it’s HUGE! Perhaps some hiking will be on the agenda too!

 

What are your weekend plans?

What is your favorite summer meal?

Cucumber Blueberry Salad

 

It sounds like an odd combination right? Well it kind of is, but trust me you won’t regret pairing them together! I saw this salad in the latest Wegman’s Menus and it intrigued me, so I obviously had to try it. Not to mention the cucumber that was quickly fading into a pile of mush in my crisper…..

 

Best. Decision. Ever! I couldn’t get enough of this salad this week, it was greatΒ  a top some greens with cherry tomatoes. Words cannot describe the deliciousness!!! It is also incredibly refreshing and has the perfect flavor combination, a little sweet, a little savory, a little fruit, a little veg, a little cheese, a bit of something for everyone!

Not to mention it is incredibly easy and fast to make!!!

Have I convinced you yet?

 

See, it's simple!

 

I changed it up from the original recipe quite a bit. It originally called or feta cheese, but I had goat cheese in the fridge, so I went with it. I think it was a nice change, but I’ll let you decide what cheese you want to use πŸ™‚

I also used a prepared red wine vinaigrette with a touch of white wine vinegar, but it calls for a prepared white wine vinaigrette. Again, I enjoyed the red wine vinaigrette, but you make the call!

 

Peel, slice, and seed the cucumbers

 

Cut them thinly in a half moon shape

 

Add the blueberries

Add the vinaigrette

Crumble the goat cheese

Serve at your next summer meal πŸ™‚

 

Cucumber Blueberry Salad

Adapted from Wegmans

2 Cucumbers, peeled, sliced, and seeded

1/2 pint of blueberries, washed and picked over

1/2 log of goat cheese

Red Wine Vinaigrette, until lightly covered

 

 

Looking for some other summer meals? This is what I’ve been chomping on lately πŸ™‚

Cedar plank grilled salmon and tuna with greens and the cucumber salad!

 

Goat Burgers with provolone cheese, fresh tomato, and melon!

Yep goat burgers… I was intrigued when I saw goat at the farmers market for sale, so Andrew and I decided to pick some up and try it! It is VERY lean, I don’t think there was a bit of grease on this burger! Not to mention I made the best burgers yet, that recipe is to come πŸ™‚

 

Have a good weekend everyone! I am off the a local winery with the boy and perhaps some hiking tomorrow! I love summer and all the time spent outdoors!

 

What is your favorite summer meal?

 

Back in the Kitchen!

I’m back! πŸ™‚

 

Wow this week has been non-stop it seems. I guess American life compared to Italian life will feel that way for awhile! What have I been up to??? Well I spent a few days with the fam, I moved back into my apartment at school, so I’ve been unpacking my life and enjoying time with friends over the last few days! It has been wonderful to catch up with people! O yea… and I started class, but it’s only one class so it should be ok!

I’ve also been able to get back in the kitchen and make a few things! I have to say I missed cooking and baking while I was in Italy! I did a bit of cooking, for dinners and such but I didn’t have all my usual kitchen things and ingredients. So I’ve been trying a few recipes I’ve wanted to try and enjoying the delicious flavors of summer!!!! And I’ll let the pictures and the rest of the post do the talking πŸ™‚

 

Enjoying this White bean and Basil Hummus from TJ!

 

I seriously love this stuff, it is GREAT on everything. It probably doesn’t help that I LOVE basil more than any other herb!

See it's great on turkey sandwiches!

 

I made some of Jessica’s Strawberry Almond Granola! I’ve been wanting to make my own granola for awhile now and I happened to have the ingredients on hand for this one! I followed her recipe, but added some chia seeds instead of flax seeds and some Eziekel flax cereal with the oats for some crunch!

Check out her beautiful pictures for a better idea as to how delicious this is!

 

I’ve been enjoying some leftovers from when I was home. My mom always sends me back to school with some great stuff! This time the bundle included some blueberry pancakes! My favorite! πŸ™‚

 

May favorite pancake toppings πŸ™‚

 

I’ve also been hanging out with the boy, a lot! 8 weeks apart was a looong time! We’ve been enjoying the beautiful summer weather by hiking, biking, cooking out, and eating ice cream!

 

Sorry for the recycled photo from last summer, I didn't take my camera

 

I’ve also been taking care of the boy… he got his wisdom teeth out on Friday so I’ve been making a lot of mushy foods that he can eat!Β  Its been hot so I’ve been joining him in eating lots of water ice and ice cream! Last night I whipped up some of Jessica’s Watermelon soda floats!

We used chocolate ice cream too!

 

And last but not least, I made the most delicious post-workout recovery smoothie!!!!

 

Banana, Mocha, Peanut Butter

 

What you’ll need:

 

 

The peanut flour was an after thought, but def worth it!!!

A splash of milk (I used skim)

1 Banana

1Β  (5oz) Mocha yogurt ( I used TJ’s)

1 scoop Vanilla Protein powder

1 TB Peanut flour

Ice cubes

 

Blend and ENJOY!!!!

 

 

Such complete randomness!!!! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!