I cannot believe that August begins tomorrow. Having only graduated a year ago (and having gone straight from high school to college to law school), it still feels VERY strange to me that it’s “back to school” time and I’m not going back to school. I’m hoping that feeling will fade once I have a job (prayers for my search are much appreciated by the way), but for now it just feels weird. But I have made the most of this summer, and I plan to keep doing that until the minute the leaves start falling! Here’s the food we shared together this month.
In the spirit of returning to “lifestyle blogging”, I have to share part of my awesome weekend with you. Saturday was quite the full day, and it started with a trip to the farmers market with Emily!
The Piedmont Park (Atlanta’s version of Central Park) market has been on my list for a while, so I was glad we finally got to go! It’s pretty small (compared to the markets I’ve been to in Virginia and DC), but bigger than the other ones I’ve visited in Atlanta. There’s enough stalls to feel like you’re getting some variety, which is nice.
LOTS and lots of beautiful tomatoes were out! I guess it’s peak season here in Georgia! No complaints here.
One stand had quite the impressive variety of hot peppers, so of course I had to snag a bunch for Jason.
Emily and I really enjoyed it! The only thing about this market is that it’s so inconvenient to drive and park in that area for a market that’s not huge. Emily noted that we spent more time looking for a parking spot than we did actually shopping, which is definitely true. Haha! But Piedmont is always a nice trip, so I would probably return to this market despite that.
I snagged some good stuff while we were there! A few different kinds of hot peppers for the hubby and some huge okra:
Organic potatoes and blueberries:
And Georgia peaches and lemon basil:
It was a nice and toasty day so Ashley and my dad decided to come over for a dip in our pool later that afternoon. Our place has a really great pool and we’re definitely paying for it with pretty steep rent, so we try to use it as much as possible. The water was especially nice that day!
After swimming Jason and I got cleaned up and ready for dinner with friends. I totally spaced on taking a photo of us but we had a great time! We went to this tapas place called Eclipse di Luna, which had a ton of vegetarian options. I got the fried green beans and quinoa salad for my main dishes and some fried sweet plantains for dessert!
The day ended back at home with a beer and an episode of The Good Wife (our newest tv show obsession). I love summertime!
It’s PIE time again, friends! In my opinion, it should pretty much always be pie time.
Summer is going by SO quickly! Berry season is already waning here in Georgia! But it’s not over yet. Local blueberries are still readily available and they’ve been sweet and delicious lately. It seemed like a perfect time to feature them!
This tart starts with a simple and delicious shortbread crust. The crust needs to be “blind baked”, meaning baked on its own without the filling inside. You can use dried beans to hold the crust’s shape for blind baking but this time mom decided to use rice. Pretty much you can use whatever you have.
Once the crust is baked and completely cooled, it gets filled with a sweet, silky cream cheese mixture.
Then a beautiful heap of fresh berries get glazed and poured right on top! Perfectly summery.
Cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for a few minutes until the mixture is very well creamed.
Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, and salt.
Add the flour and mix on low just until the mixture is combined and forms a dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit over your 9″ tart pan.
Press the dough into the pan, cutting away any excess dough that hangs over the edges.
Poke the surface of the dough with a fork and cover with aluminum foil. Pour in enough dried beans or rice over the foil to fill to the rim.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove the foil and rice/beans from the crust.
Let the crust cool completely to room temperature.
Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, sour cream, and ¼ c. sugar with a mixer on high speed until it’s completely smooth and silky.
Pour the cream filling into the cooled pie crust and smooth out with a spatula.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 c. of the blueberries to a boil with the water, ¼ c. sugar and cornstarch mixture. Simmer until the berries have burst and the mixture is thick and shiny, like a glaze.
In a large bowl, stir together the glaze in the pot and the remaining 4 c. of blueberries until all the berries are coated.
Pour the blueberry mixture over the cream filling in the tart crust. Spread with a spatula to even it out if necessary.
Chill the tart until it is completely set then serve!
We’re having a lot of fun sharing all of these summer dessert recipes with you! It’s been great to have my mom and all her expertise involved in posts regularly. In case you missed them, here are the other pies we’ve done so far in the series:
We still have a couple more fruits (do I hear PEACHES, anyone??) and types of pies that we want to share that will be awesome. Also with the next installment I’m going to do an ‘Ask the Baker’ Q&A where ALL of you will have the chance to ask my mom any questions you might have about baking, food, working in professional kitchens, anything you like! So get your questions geared up! And thanks for reading!
I distinctly remember times where a season would pass and I would feel like I hadn’t taken full advantage of the foods that had been at peak. Like one spring where I didn’t eat a single spear of asparagus! Or one year when September rolled around and I realized I hadn’t had a single caprese salad all summer! The HORROR! Nowadays I make it my aim to center all my food around what’s in peak season at that time. Not only does it help me enjoy every season more, but it also means that my food is better quality! Here’s snippets of what I’ve been eating these last couple weeks.
Yes, I’m still eating hot oatmeal in the middle of summer! Oatmeal is so healthy and it just works for me. I always cook it with almond milk and a mashed banana and then top it with fruit. Since berries are amazing right now, a huge cold heap of them on top of my bowl is my go-to. I even found some beautiful turkish figs to have on my oatmeal this morning.
I’m still eating hot oats, but I did switch to iced coffee! Much more refreshing on warm mornings.
I try to eat a vegan breakfast every morning, so another thing I’ve been enjoying is this Silk yogurt. I was hesitant to try it because I haven’t liked other non-dairy yogurts I’ve tried, but this one is delicious! I’ll definitely be buying more.
You guys know how much I love fruit, and so that’s often what I snack on during the day. I treated myself to a bag of Rainier cherries last week (which I only do once a summer because they’re soo expensive), which were amazing along with some strawberries.
Since I’m still looking for a job, I’m at home during the day while Jason is at work. This means I’ve had to get very creative with making lunch at home! Cheese is my weakness so I really enjoy having a grilled cheese sandwich with some type of salad. Last week I enjoyed leftovers of this cherry tomato salad with basil and garlic buttermilk dressing for lunch a few days.
Side note, muenster makes a DELICIOUS grilled cheese. A little of this cheese goes a long way, which I really like!
Another thing I’m loving is sandwiches with tempeh bacon. I’m not a huge lover of tempeh, but I am obsessed with tempeh bacon. So good with big juicy slices of beefsteak tomato!
I’ve been having fun coming up with ways to use seasonal ingredients in dinners also! I still meal plan on Sundays, grocery shop on Mondays, and cook every weeknight except Friday. I really like having the time to cook this much! Last week we had some quick pad thai (mine with tofu, Jason’s with shrimp), an old favorite from when we were in law school.
Last night we had a particularly awesome dinner!
I cut some really thick slices of organic heirloom tomatoes and topped them with freshly seared haloumi. The sweet, juicy tomatoes were incredible alongside the melty, salty cheese! Jason and I both savored it. I also made fusili with a yummy spinach pesto to get our greens in. Perfect summer meal!
And of course with every meal I have an adorable sidekick close by. It’s been storming a lot and he developed a phobia of storms a few months ago (so strange, it was one of the few things he wasn’t afraid of!) so he’s been spending a lot of time in the Thundershirt. It doesn’t calm him completely, but along with his anxiety medication it does keep him from totally freaking out. I might be doing a post on his progress and our experience with dog anxiety, we’ll see!
I hope you enjoyed this! I’m trying to ease myself back into this type of blogging. Next time I’ll try to get a picture of a human in there somewhere.
The next post in the pie series is a few days late, but it’ll be worth the wait! Coming tomorrow.
I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t shared a healthy dinner recipe in a long time! Contrary my posts (and Pinterest boards…) lately, I don’t actually eat dessert all day. I have gotten more lenient with allowing myself to indulge, but I still try to stick to an 80/20 rule when it comes to clean eating. This is an awesome dinner for when you need something fast and healthy!
To make this a 30 minute meal, I put some rice into my rice cooker before I do anything else. Then it’s warm and ready when everything else is!
2 c. fresh bok choy (or sub your favorite green vegetable)
6 c. cooked rice
2 green onions, sliced
1 T. sesame seeds (optional)
Heat the soy sauce, water, sugar, and mirin in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is simmering.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cool water until the mixture forms a smooth slurry.
Pour the slurry into the sauce on the stove, stirring quickly to combine.
Let the teriyaki sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is shiny and very thick. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Slice the tofu into ½” steaks and press a clean towel over the pieces to drain excess water.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add in as many tofu steaks will fit into the bottom of the pan (laying flat).
Cook until the tofu is crispy and deep brown on both sides. Repeat until all the tofu is seared. Set aside.
In the same pan, add in the bok choy and saute over medium heat until the bok choy is tender and bright green. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble each bowl, start with a bed of cooked rice. Top with tofu steaks, cooked bok choy, and teriyaki sauce. Top each bowl with green onions and sesame seeds.
This recipe makes a lot of teriyaki sauce! You will have leftover and it’s delicious as a marinade or dipping sauce for lots of things.
It took me a lot of tries to perfect an easy teriyaki sauce, but I’ve FINALLY done it! I like my sauce thick and sweet, just like it would be at a restaurant. And that’s exactly what this is! If you find restaurant-style teriyaki sauces a bit too sweet, feel free to lower the amount of sugar. But I totally love it this way, and it’s thick enough to beautifully coat these crispy seared tofu steaks. Add some fluffy rice and your favorite green vegetable and you’ve got an awesome vegetarian dinner!
I know I’ve been knee deep in pie over here, but I cannot let the other desserts go neglected! It has been far too long since I posted an ice cream recipe.
There are a lot of different ways to make ice cream, but I decided to go the easiest route with this first ice cream of the summer. No eggs, no cooking, no custard making, no fuss. It literally takes about 2 minutes to put together and then you just freeze it and forget it. The liquor in this ice cream means that it will be nice and scoopable and not rock hard like homemade ice creams often are, but it also means that it takes longer to freeze. For that reason I’d recommend making this at least 24 hours before you plan to eat it. Then grab a spoon and be ready to be sent to heaven.
Heat the pecans and the butter in a skillet over medium heat until the nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Whisk together the sugar, milk, cream, vanilla, and irish cream in a bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions (usually this means letting the freezer bowl spin for 20-30 minutes until the ice cream is thick and frozen). At the end of the churning time, pour in the chopped pecans.
Transfer ice cream to a shallow container and smooth out with a spatula.
Cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap and then cover the container with a lid or tight aluminum foil. Freeze for at least 24 hours before scooping and serving.
This is normally the part where I talk about how delicious this recipe is. But I mean, this one feels self-explanatory. Butter+nuts+Bailey’s= can’t really go wrong.
We need to catch up, friends. I don’t share as much of my day-to-day as I used to! I never even told you about the triple birthday that we celebrated on the first of June!
June 1st is my brother David’s birthday AND Jason’s birthday! It’s also the day we adopted Cynewulf a year ago so it also became his birthday. Yes, I bought him a birthday outfit. In my defense, he’s a dog and will therefore never grow out of it. It will be his birthday outfit every year! We bought him a toy and wrapped it up and everything to see if he would unwrap it himself. He’s a big boy (8-years-old this year), but too trained to rip something to shreds while everyone is watching. So he sniffed it and patiently waited for Ashley to do it for him.
But once the paper was off he went for it!
We love this little guy to bits and pieces. He still struggles a lot with anxiety, and we’ve actually had to start him on medication just to keep his stress levels down enough to function. He’s made a lot of progress since we got him from the shelter though, and I have hope that he’ll eventually adjust and we’ll be able to take him off the meds. He used to be a wreck at my parent’s house but now he’s totally comfortable and well behaved there! So he had a great time at the birthday celebration there, especially when we brought out his cake!
And for the humans, a GIANT Reese’s cake!
Here are the birthday boys looking adorable! David turned 19 and Jason turned 25.
Otherwise life has been fairly boring. I spend my days tidying up the house, doing laundry, planning meals, watching YouTube, and emailing an infinite number of attorneys and law firms looking for work. It has been a LOT harder than I expected to find a job. Emphasis on A LOT. The legal market here is so saturated and I don’t feel like I’ve made progress in months. But I know that everything happens in God’s timing, and I trust that His timing is perfect. So I just keep working at it and try to enjoy my free time! Jason and I have been having a lot of fun on the weekends just discovering Atlanta (there’s so much to see and do!) and making the most of the warm weather.
This past weekend a couple of my old friends (we were all raised in Atlanta but they live in DC now) came into town! Emily is in town too (all summer) for an internship, so it was like an old fashioned girls weekend! We used to have them all the time when they all lived in DC and we were in Virginia!
That amazing view behind us is from our building’s rooftop! We’re situated in a spot that has great skyline views so I suggested that everyone come to our place to watch fireworks on the 4th. Turned out to be a great idea! We got a gorgeous sunset show, too!
We lit sparklers and enjoyed an amazing view of all the fireworks shows in the city! At one point we could see 5 shows going on at the same time!!! It was such a fun night.
I would really like to shift back into lifestyle blogging instead of just doing recipe posts, but I’m really out of the swing of it. I feel like there was a lot more reader engagement when I was sharing about my everyday life, so I’m going to give it another shot. I think I might even start doing videos again! We shall see.
In case you’re late to the party, that’s my mom in the picture above and she’s helping me with a delicious series of pies throughout the summer. Since we’re coming off July 4th weekend it seemed appropriate that we continue our series with the most American of all summer pies!
This recipe has fully converted me to the awesomeness that is a hand pie. Not only does it cut down on a lot of the mess of slicing and eating the pie itself, but hand pies just look so darn adorable! They are also really easy to make when you use a handy tool like this one.
This mini pie cutter (<– affiliate link!) does all the work for you. One side cuts your pie dough into discs with scalloped edges and a lattice top, and the other side holds the bottom crust together while you fill your pie and crimps the edges together perfectly once you put the top crust on. It’s genius! The whole thing takes about a minute per hand pie.
Combine that with a simple recipe using delicious morello cherries and you’ve got a winner on your hands!
Despite our recent and agonizing World Cup defeat (was anybody else stuffing their face with chocolate chip cookies whilst screaming “Noooooooo” for 20 minutes?), we’re definitely still American and we’re still proud. And best of all, we still know how to eat. Perhaps too well…but that’s neither here nor there. We all love to eat and the 4th of July is mainly meant for that anyway, right? Here’s some of my favorite DOS recipes that would be perfect for this holiday weekend!
It’s officially official! Your friend the foodie is now also your friend the attorney.
I got sworn in today, which is essentially the last step in the very long process that got me here. I had to pop in and let you know because I know that some of you have been reading since the beginning of this blog when I was complaining about the woes of being a first year law student. It’s hard to believe that I’ve finally arrived here. It took a lot of work, a lot of struggle, a lot of prayer. But we did it! Here’s the first ever photo of the double lawyer couple:
Now that I’m legit I’m thinking of a bunch of law related posts that I’ve been wanting to write! Things like the ins and outs of copyright in blogging, a rundown of the laws behind food labeling…man there’s all sorts of things! The future is bright, my friends.