Eat

Simplify Your Summer

This post is sponsored by Red Baron, but all opinions are my own. 

Remember when summer was relaxing? I do! It was seven years ago, before my first child was born, and subsequently removed from my life even the vaguest whisper of calm. Now what summer means is that I have to do all the stuff I have to do the rest of the year, except now I have two people right there with me all day, and they need me to not do anything except for devote all of my attention to them all of the time. 

And usually it’s more than just two kids, because we are The People With the Pool. I like this fact a whole lot, because it means that I don’t have to leave my house in order to socialize - when it’s 105 degrees out, humans have a tendency to go wherever the water is - but it also means that I have a LOT of children running around my house preeeeetty much every day during the summer. And sometimes the children get overstimulated and crazy and their parents drag them home around midafternoon, but other times they are wonderful and playing together so well that we agree that sure, let’s all have dinner together.

ENTREES

Reader Recipe: Four-Ingredient Chili Chicken Tacos

Which one do you want? That one. And that one. And that one.

Noritake China Blue Hammock Serving Dish

I do not eat tacos. I will, on occasion, eat a burrito (and only "on occasion" because if I were to eat burritos as often as I would like to, I would become a burrito myself), but hard-shell tacos aren't something that's ever appealed to me. Don't they, like, break apart into tiny, shard-like pieces which then a) hurt you and b) result in the deliciousness inside getting out, which, as I gather, is not the point?

ENTREES

Reader Recipe: Salmon & Spinach Fettuccine

When it came to comfort foods, I was an odd kid. I'd come home from school and dump a can of French-style green beans into a bowl, microwave it, and eat the whole thing (yes, just a bowl of French-style canned green beans. Delish). I'd stop at the deli across the street and buy a whole pickle - you know, the ones that you get from the big jars behind the counter - and then settle down in front of Duck Tales with a bowl of salt, into which I would dip the pickle.

And then there was my favorite dinner: a recipe that I'm going to credit to my mother that involved...wait for it...

Microwaved salmon.

ENTREES

Gnocchi with Simple Marinara Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

four ingredient gnocchi with marinara sauce and fresh basil

love it when it's 5pm and I realize that I have to feed my beasts, then poke around in my refrigerator and discover that I have everything I need to whip up a dinner that they'll be thrilled about with just about zero effort.

This sauce - which is thrown over fresh store-bought gnocchi and finished by a quick run through the broiler with some fresh mozzarella on top - is the Platonic ideal of marinara sauce, I swear: it's light, but super flavorful, and 80% of the process of making it involves ignoring it.

(Did I mention my kids love it?)

Recipes

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Apples & Feta

In this post: Noritake Blue Hammock Dinnerware; Hearth & Hand Table Runner

While I was in the Caymans with my parents, I developed a burning desire for salads. I know: weird. But I couldn't get enough of them; I ordered salad a minimum of once a day while I was there, and usually twice. (Granted, it was usually Caesar salad that I was ordering, so please try not to be too impressed by my virtuousness. But still: salad!)

This sudden craving for leaves - which continued after I returned home, and continues still - is bizarre enough that I should probably consider the possibility that it results from a hormonal imbalance or some other shift in my biological makeup. I mean, yesterday I made this quinoa salad from a reader-submitted recipe (thank you, Anya!) and I'd already eaten lunch, so I planned to photograph it, take a bite or two so I'd have something to say about it, and put the rest into the refrigerator for the next day...but then I couldn't stop eating it.