Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Dinner Sampler

Holy cow, it's August!

This picture is from 6 weeks ago when Liza Love was about 3.5 months old. 

I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden I am not so sure how I feel about summer.

I knowwww. It's basically blasphemy to even suggest that summer is less than the best. This is coming from the girl who would live at the pool with an endless supply of books and LaCroix and not move until her tan was strong enough to last through December, or the world ended -- whichever came first. 

I will now bury this dream and not re-awaken it for about 15 years. My friend Courtney recently sent me this hilarious article about the difference between a trip and vacation. It's well worth a glance. After reading it, I said that I guess we are going on trips for the next two decades.... but then changed my mind and said just one decade since teenagers can handle themselves. She replied and said teens just add a whole new level of chaos:

"No you cannot bring your boyfriend on our family vacation."

"No you cannot have alcohol with those strangers on the beach." 

So much to look forward to. Liza Love and I will be going to the beach next week so we'll see how that goes. 

I actually do know what happened about my changing summer feelings: baby girl came along. It takes about 3 minutes for us to be outside in the roasting North Carolina heat before Liza Love turns beat red and starts going comatose. AKA not what you want to have happen to your baby. Even at the pool, we are in the water for maybe 15 minutes before she gets bored, and then I sunbathe in the sun and put her in the shade, but then, like I said, after 3 minutes she's not looking so good. So we go home. 

My 2 shade loungers

Anyway.... with this roasting North Carolina heat, I've been wanting some cool summer dinners. So I made one this week. It was delicious. And I want to share it with you. I titled this post "Summer Dinner Sampler" but I don't really know what that means. What is a "sampler?" As in, you're just supposed to "sample" and not eat a full meal? If that's the case, disregard the title. We definitely eat over here.

We had this White Bean and Roasted Chicken SaladMy friend Brandi texted this recipe to me from her beach vacation, and it is the best. She and I both used cherry tomatoes instead of whole. Note: I thought the dressing was super vinegary so I added a bit more olive oil than it calls for.

We also had Kale Salad. I chopped up some kale, threw in some cooked edamame and chopped almonds, and then did everything that this salad recipe tells you to do. Shredded parmesan, salt, pepper, and a simple lemony dressing. Healthy and awesome. Another note: I thought this dressing was not lemony enough so I used more fresh lemon juice. 

This is the ugliest picture. And not at all indicative of how good this dish tastes.

In Charlottesville this past weekend, my friend Carrie made roasted sweet potato rounds. Ok actually, I made them, at her house, under her direction.... but I went a bit overboard with the salt so watch out for that. But they were great and I think will be a new staple for me. All you do is slice up the potatoes, season with olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, and bake on a baking sheet at 400 for about 20 minutes.

We drank this wine. This is the third bottle I've purchased of it because we think it's pretty dang good for hot summer evenings. 

For dessert, which I forgot to photograph, we had fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. Light and heavenly! 

Homemade Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whip the whipping cream with a standing mixer or hand blender at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Chill. 

This is the whole spread with our dear friend George who came over for dinner last night.

And Michael brought home the prettiest wildflowers from Sassafrass Fork Farm. Love love love. Wouldn't it be wonderful to work at a flower farm?? 

And then Wrinkle Butt had a bath! 

Go and make someone happy and cook them this summer dinner.

The end.

(This has nothing to do with this post, but seeing that I mentioned four friends who enriched my life in the past few days by telling me about funny articles and good recipes and eating my food, it goes without saying that I love the people in my life. My people are good people.)


  1. I made the blog?!! I love summer salads - so fun to share them with you. LL's smile is the best. Missing you all!!

  2. CB! I totally agree on the trip vs. vacation shift with the babes, BUT this is one of my tannest summers in years because little miss loves being outside as much as possible now that she is running around everywhere. Your year round tan will return! Much love to all three of you! Jo

    1. Jo, so glad to hear that! Yes, I am sure next summer will be much different with LL! Hope the move to DC went well and you are feeling good with baby #2 on the way!


  3. nice this blog.
    You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. I’m looking to reading your next post.