I try and fix whole food, healthy, nutritious meals as much as possible when I'm home so that I can give myself some grace when I eat out at a restaurant. It's all about balance. Am I right? That doesn't mean that there aren't times when I have to rely on short cuts like frozen vegetables and precooked rice to get dinner on the table and believe me when I tell you that not every meal that I serve is a full-on culinary event.
In the summer we eat a lot of big salads and grilled chicken for dinner. Summer also means super simple side dishes - ripe tomatoes with basil, fresh green beans from the garden and sliced vegetables with hummus. Freshly sliced watermelon and strawberries qualify as perfectly acceptable dessert options during the hottest months of the year too.
Different rules apply for summer meals as opposed to Fall and Winter meals. Things that are normally served as side dishes in the Fall become the main courses for our lighter summertime meals. This prosciutto wrapped asparagus is a perfect example of that. I serve grilled asparagus alongside baked ham, grilled chicken breast or even a beef tenderloin in November and December but I eat it as an entree in the summer. Believe it or not, a plate of prosciutto wrapped asparagus is a super satisfying summertime meal.
Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
16 asparagus spears
8 this slices prosciutto
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Grill asparagus bundles 6-8 minutes until spotty brown.
Transfer to a platter and serve with lemon wedges.
I'm the only asparagus eater in the house, so when I bring it home from the grocery store, I have to eat ALL of it. I've had to come up with some new and creative ways to prepare asparagus so that I don't get tired of eating it - four days in a row. Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus is one of my new favorite ways to enjoy this delicious vegetable. This recipe didn't turn my family into asparagus fans like I had hoped but don't let that discourage you from trying it. What can I say? They don't even eat cauliflower.
You had me at FRIES -- Am I right? It doesn't even matter if you're not a fan of asparagus - if you're a fan of FRIES - this recipe is for you. Swapping out a starchy potato with this deliciously green spring vegetable really makes these a healthy alternative to traditional french fries.
Spring is the perfect time to give these Asparagus fries a try. This is the season when supermarkets are stocking fresh spears of this sweet and snappy vegetable. Pick some up on your next trip to the store and give these healthy FRIES a shot. (Oh and this sauce is ridiculous so don't even think about skipping it.)
Baked Asparagus Fries
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup + 3 Tablespoons flour
4 slices bread
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed
I'm not sure whether it was because I wet the asparagus before dipping it in flour or because I made my own bread crumb mixture but this delicious coating really adhered to the asparagus much better than it had in my previous attempts. I loved these "fries" so much that I gobbled up this entire batch of them for dinner. Lucky for me - I'm the only asparagus eater in the house. ;)
My normal breakfast routine lately involves grabbing a cup of tea and a granola bar just before I head down to the basement to start my morning workout. (Pretty sure I do this half asleep most mornings.) Some days I eat a yogurt after my workout but I hardly ever treat myself to a proper breakfast.
I tend to change up my breakfast routines with the changing seasons too. Sometimes I get into an oatmeal routine, sometimes I make myself an egg in the morning, but this winter - I'm in a granola bar and yogurt pattern. (Honestly, it seems more like a summertime breakfast but, whatever.)
Even though it didn't fit into my current breakfast routine, when I saw the picture of this Lemon Blueberry Bread in my new Vera Bradley cookbook, I knew I had to give it a try . I just have to say that this bread was awesome and it didn't last long in this house.
Consider my morning routine changed. I am going to have to keep a loaf of this bread on hand to add to my usual granola bar breakfast.
Lemon Blueberry Bread
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup blueberries, tossed with 2 teaspoons flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake 55 minutes at 350.
Pierce warm bread with a skewer. Pour lemon glaze over bread. Cool in pan 30 minutes.
Move to a wire rack or cutting board to cool completely.
Slice and Serve.
I do recognize that this recipe is probably better suited for a Springtime blog post but I certainly didn't want to wait a couple more months before making it and I'm sure that wont want to wait either. This bread is delicious.
I officially have Fall fever. The weather in Boston last weekend was perfect. The cool, crisp air and cloudless blue sky was perfect for boating, walking around town and even strolling along the beach. I have officially been launched into full blown pumpkin carving, apple picking, leaf raking cravings.
Coming home to 90 degree weather wasn't easy but I am still hopeful that Fall-like temperatures will reach Atlanta soon.
As a farewell to summer - I've decided to post one final summertime recipe.
I'm not sure why I categorize lemon squares into the "Summertime" recipe category except that their sunny yellow color just reminds me of a warm summer day. The crispy, buttery crust and delicate lemon filling with its bright flavor is the perfect treat for any day.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
12 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pour filling over warm crust. Reduce oven to 325. Bake 20 minutes.
Cut into squares. (I made 24 roughly 2 inch squares.)
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve. I like to eat my lemon squares with a glass of ice cold lemonade.
I'ts a little known fact that I'm not a big fan of hanging out on the beach in the summer. It's not that I don't LIKE the beach - it's more of an aversion to sand in my bathing suit and prolonged sun exposure that I don't enjoy. I actually really enjoy hearing the sound of the ocean, searching for sea shells and walking along the shoreline.
We completely enjoyed the beach last weekend - even if we were in sweatshirts. (My kind of beach trip for sure.)
What's on your bucket list? I've been asking people this question to people that I meet lately and it turns out - you can find out a whole lot about a person with just that one simple question. Where are the places that they dream about visiting and what are the things that they long to achieve?
One of the places on MY bucket list is ALASKA. And I'm super happy to announce that we are going to make that bucket list trip this summer! (I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.) Consider this your warning that the blog WILL be bombarded with Alaska pictures the minute that we return. :)
Maybe it's just because I love to bake but I also have a baking bucket list. What's a baking bucket list you ask? A list of things that I want to bake but I'm afraid to try because I'm afraid that they're too complicated or simply because I don't feel qualified. One of the things on my baking bucket list is macaroons.
I've had a fascination with macaroons for a long time. They're just the most perfect, delicate and delicious little treat. It's mostly a lack of confidence that's kept me from tackling this delicate treat. The list of ingredients isn't long and the instructions are fairly straightforward but for whatever reason - I was completely intimidated by the macaroon.
Well, today is the day that I stepped up, made my first macaroon and crossed this tasty little treat off my baking bucket list. No more excuses. Spoiler alert - they turned out great!!
Strawberry Shortcake Macaroons
Combine almond flour and powdered sugar. Fold into sugar mixture.
Pipe filling into each of the circles on the parchment paper. Let sit on counter for 2 hours to dry.
Bake 15-17 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Let cool completely.
Fill with a dollop of whipped cream and some freshly sliced strawberries for the cutest strawberry shortcake macaroon ever.
So, I want to know - what is on YOUR bucket list? Leave me a comment and tell me about the places that you dream of visiting or the crazy things that you want to accomplish.
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