I don't know about where you all live, but here in Colorado we've been blessed with a couple of cool days that make you believe that fall is right around the corner.
Personally, I'm hoping for just a couple of more hot days to spend at the pool. Call me crazy.
We have made it through the busiest week of our summer with just a little bit of exhaustion to go along with it.
My whole family was in town for a week, the church picnic came and went without a hitch, my crazy training week at work is finally over, and the colds that magically came at the same time are finally almost over.
Now onto re-landscaping our patio
Summer only lasts so long, people.
Then. After that. We are escaping for a weekend to the mountains to celebrate some birthdays. My birthday came and went sometime last week with all the craziness.And yes. These all need to be separate sentences. Just imagine how crazy you would be if you actually had to listen to me talk like this on a regular basis. Major pity points to the husband.
I think I got home from work at 7 and was in bed by 7:30. We decided we can celebrate my birthday any day we want and the actual day wasn't cutting it. :)
In the midst of summer grilling, we decided to try our hand at salmon. Since we made this on a Friday night after work, I wanted some seasoning that wasn't necessarily a marinade but would add a touch of flavor. Also, I was craving some guacamole so I was hoping I could find something that wasn't too spice but fit the flavor of the evening. Not that I don't like spicy, but I've made a blackened salmon before and wanted to try something a bit more sensitive taste bud style.
I found this recipe form Alaska from Scratch
. It fit the bill perfectly and even tasted quite well with my subtractions from the original recipe. Still working on looking at recipes before
I never took Home Ec. Just in case you were wondering.
Anyways. The salmon. Perfect with grilled shrimp and guacamole.
Sugar Crusted SalmonFound at: Alaska From Scratch (minus just a couple of ingredients :) )Ingredients:1 tbsp sugar1/2 tbsp chili powder1 tsp cumin1 tsp paprikaPinch of cinnamon, salt & pepper
Directions:Rub the salmon (flesh only) with above mixture. Turn grill on hot, place flesh side down and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip salmon over, turn down heat, and grill until desired level of doneness. Please note that neither my husband or I claim to be expert fish grillers but we just do what works for us. You probably have a much better method and I fully encourage you to go with that.. and pass your tricks on.
As always, I change almost all the recipes I view to fit what we have at home and our tastebuds but always encourage you to try the original!
Wow! The whole month of July is gone! I started a whole post on the most delicious salmon and shrimp that Cale and I made and then ran out of time.
And now it's late Friday and we're about to start a movie before seeing my whole family tomorrow! My sister is finally done studying spiders and is heading home from Kansas and my baby brother flew back from Louisiana for a short family weekend.
This summer has been crazy and to have my family back will be a nice break from everything!
In other news, we've been trying to dominate a couple of last minute summer projects [how can it be that summer is nearing an end?] including finally getting our bikes back in working order (that was a pretty penny!), making our own Corn Hole games/ bean bag games/ whatever you all call them, patio re-design, planning the church picnic extravaganza...
You get the point. Plus lots of overtime at work. Which we used to be used to. Now we're out of practice. That made no sense.
I could use more days off like this...
Popcorn for breakfast? Please!
New fave. Peach green tea lemonade. Venti size only.
Dinner in the crockpot before 9.
Afternoon run. In climate controlled air conditioning + fan.
I was almost positive that I found this recipe on Pinterest or maybe a blog but couldn't pin it at the time but it was so easy that I decided I could remember it on my own. And then when I sat down to make it I decided that I should look it up again, couldn't find in on Pinterest but then something similar ended up being on the back of the Pillsbury sugar cookie roll? But I can't find it on their website either. Sigh.
What I'm trying to say is this definitely isn't my recipe and if you know a good source let me know and I'll link up and give credit.
Either way, these were so fast and easy to make.
Bonus.. they also look nice and even taste good.
It's really the ultimate trifecta when all three of those come together in a recipe.
Anyways, I was trying to remember to take pictures at every step but of course I only got the first step and then a picture of the leftovers.
I thought this was a little piece of magic (I just tried to spell that 'majic'. True story. And I went to college.) The sugar cookie dough automatically cooks into the shape of a cup without any forming necessary. Amazing. And so easy.Easy Fruit TartsIngredients
- 1 roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 1 small box of vanilla pudding
- Milk (to make the pudding with)
- Favorite fruit cut into small bite sized pieces
Roll sugar cookie dough into approximate 1 inch balls and place in the cup of a small muffin in. Continue filling entire tin (I think I had a 24 count mini muffin tin and had extra dough at the end). Bake according to package directions or until the edges turn slightly brown. (My directions said at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.)
While the fruit cups are cooling, make the pudding according to package directions.I made my fruit cups the night before and adding the pudding and fruit right before people came because I hate that 'layer' that forms on pudding. Does that make sense?
Remove the sugar cookie cups from the muffin tin using a sharp knife tip around the edges if they get a little stuck. Fill each cup with vanilla pudding (I cut a corner off the bottom of a Ziploc bag and filled them this way). Place cut fruit in the cups.
It was Cale's birthday on Saturday and we tried our hardest to jam as much fun into 2 days as possible.
Happy Birthday babe! I was going to list 28 things I love about him but I couldn't choose [aw!] so I decided to do a weekend recap instead.
We had all of our favorite people over on Friday and the rain held off juuuussst long enough to grill food and play some quick lawn games. We ended up getting a cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory which was a great idea.
Of course the picture I tried to take of him blowing out the candles turned out blurry but I assure you, he blew them out beautifully.
On Saturday [after work] our best friends came over for the evening and night. This was especially awesome because they live in Hong Kong and just happened to be in town this weekend. Our visits are always way to short and we're thinking we're going to have to fund a trip to Hong Kong sometime really soon. We miss them so much!
Yesterday we went to a Blues and BBQ fest and ate enough kettle corn and funnel cake to tide us over until next year.
Today my dad got cast #2 and we're going over and watching the Bachelorette with some friends. Definitely Cale's choice. :)
They actually lured him over with the promise of elk brats. Man and his meat. Works as a motivator every time.
We've been pulling some 6 day work weeks around these parts including working the good ol' 4th of July but we're trying our best to make the most of our 1 day off per week. Which leaves us exhausted for the week ahead.
And thus the cycle continues.
But we're pretending that we're still young and fun and can survive with little sleep.
Yesterday we headed up to the mountains to spend the morning and early afternoon there. If you're ever in Breckenridge and you're looking for a really good sandwich stop by Duggan's Deli. We've been there 2 or 3 times and the sandwiches are good enough to make you forget about the somewhat awful service.
Most people think of the mountains as winter vacation destinations but they're a fabulous place to visit during the summer months as well.
Think mid 70's, fishing, biking, hiking, etc.
Really quite lovely. (Please read that with a British accent.)
Then we got home, went swimming, saw this awesome van...
Wasted our entire paychecks in Target, MADE DINNER AT HOME (!), and went to bed.
Celebrate the small things people.
Dinner will be its own post because we made some delicious Indian spiced marinated chicken. Left Cale sweating his face off but delicious all the same.
It's Cale's birthday week which means we get to turn every night into a celebration. Those are the rules of this house.
Wow. Last week was a crazy week in our house that was filled with long work hours, hospital visits, super hot days, more working on weekends, and new puppies.
My dad had a slight health scare early last week all related to that darn Achille's tendon but he is finally home, his leg is in a cast, and we're praying all health scares are a thing of the past.
Also known as last week.
We're also grateful that we've been blessed with families of general good health and aren't regular visitors of hospitals.
In other news, we have a new puppy nephew.
Please. Cutest things ever!
We were going to have a surprise puppy shower for them complete with puppy chow, pup-peronni pizza, Mad Dog beer.. you get the picture. Then the health scare happened.
Then Cale and I ate 2 huge bowls full of puppy chow all by ourselves.
We really wanted to make it to the pool because we've only been once this year. Once.
So we had a free day today and it was a high of 70. Not warm enough, people.
Thankfully we have gorgeous mountains around and 70 degrees is perfect weather for some hiking.
After some slight miscues, including but not limited to, driving to the trailhead 20 minutes outside of town to realize that we needed 5 dollars for parking, driving back into town... almost dying because we were laughing so hard and then misjudged a turn nearly falling to our death.
THEN we found a bag of pretzels for less than $2 at Whole Foods (seriously!), used their bathrooms, got cash back, finally making it back up to the mountain and enjoying some awesome views before the afternoon thunderstorms.
Why do we never carry cash?!
Have a lovely week everyone!
My husband and I each had the distinct delight of being incredibly poor in college. Have no fear, we are still alive so obviously we didn't starve but the meals that were created to fit in our food budget might make the average person cringe.
If you never went through this phase in your life, you may have missed out on the most creative culinary experiences you will ever have. Maybe.
Anyways, one of my husband's specialities was a strange potato, baked bean, and corn foil packet boat. That was also strangely delicious. Therefore, after vacation a couple of weeks ago he brought up a craving for some good 'Hobo D'. I didn't want to dash all hopes of college reminiscing, so 'Hobo D' it was. Complete with the world's cheapest beer.
I think he was in heaven.
But seriously, if you can bear the sight and it still looks edible, you should make it camping. Or if you super classy, you can make it for regular dinner.
Bush's Grilling Beans
2 Regular Potatoes, sliced thinly
1 Sweet Potato, sliced thinly
2 cobs of corn, kernels cut off
Layer the potatoes on the bottom of a large piece of foil. Make sure you have foil that is twice as large as you need because this will form a packet. Top with onion and corn. Pour the can of beans over the top. Wrap tightly in tin foil and put on grill on medium. Cook until the potatoes are soft, approximately 20-30 minutes.
Speaking of camping, please tell me you've made Jiffy Pop over the campfire. If you have not, this needs to be a necessity on your next trip. And if you don't camp but have kids, make this over a hot grill or stove? Maybe? I have no idea if that would work. But it's lots of fun.
Just make sure to keep shaking!
P.S. Camping trip was before forest fires. Promise.
After taking weeks off our kitchen is back in action. I really love to cook most of the time but then there will be periods when you couldn't pay me to cook.
And then there's times called the beginning of summer and the general knowledge that cooking on the grill wins every time.
I really love to cook when I decide to try to make something new. But I have to make sure that I have the proper amount of patience for when things like this happen...
Wah. wha. Major kitchen fail
It's times like this that I'm glad I live at a high altitude... it can always be blamed for kitchen fails.
Anyways, I actually do have a recipe to share. My task for Father's Day was to make a salad. For some reason whenever I need to bring food somewhere I will stick with something boring and safe.
So I decided to branch out a little bit and make the safest version of quinoa salad that I could think of.
This is a really fast, healthy, and quick salad that chicken can easily be added to to make it to a complete meal. Or it's great left plain as a side dish. I added whatever ingredients I had in my house and could think of that would make a southwestern style salad and knew that I wanted to make a cilantro lime dressing but looked up a recipe for that so I didn't completely screw up the Father's Day salad. [Note: I have no idea where I got the recipe for the dressing and I just tried to search for it again... I will try to add this as soon as I find it, or if you find it first let me know so I can add it!]
Also, I made the quinoa the night before and then added all of the mix-ins the day of. Easy- peasy.Southwest Quinoa SaladIngredientsSalad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup fresh, uncooked sweet corn [1 or 2 ears] (or you can use frozen)
- 1/4 cup green onions, green part only
- 1-2 avocados (whatever you want)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- juice of 3 limes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp honey
Cook quinoa according to directions (I add 1 part quinoa, 2 parts water; bring to boil, reduce to simmer- cover and cook for 30-45 min). Add all salad ingredients together. (I made that part at home and added the avocado once I got to my parent's house.) To make the dressing, place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until mixed. Mix everything together and enjoy!
We try to take a trip somewhere around our anniversary every year. Mostly because we love to travel and it's a good excuse for a vacation plus we decided even when we were dating that we'd rather not do gifts.
Gifts were really stressful for us to try to find something that was going to be a surprise to the other person, something that they hadn't already gotten for themselves, and something that was really meaningful.
Plus we're cheap and we justify lots of fun trips this way.
A-n-yways, in case you were all wondering, Moab is in Utah and we think it's about 5 1/2 to 6 hours away from where we live. We don't exactly know since we stopped for an overnight stay in-between on both the way out and the way back. Also, telling you where Moab is wasn't meant to insult anyone's intelligence but as we were talking to people, many didn't know the actual location.
Moab is probably most known for hiking, biking, and off-roading. Oh, and for something that looks like this...
It's a quiet little town on the Colorado River and is surrounded by the most beautiful and unique scenery. Other than Arches National Park there is also Canyonlands National Park- the views from there are truly indescribable.
We stayed at the Sunflower Hill Inn, a quiet bed and breakfast in the middle of Moab. Since the temperature was insane while we were there we tried to get up early every morning to hike, spend the afternoon at the pool, and hike again when it was cooler in the evening.
Anyways, if you ever get the chance, you should take visit. It was one of the most beautiful desert landscapes we've ever seen and we realize now why it's such a famous location!