Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Lovin'

When the temperature hovers around 100 for days on end and you're scratching your mosquito bites and dreaming of butternut squash and fall knitwear, it is a good time to remind yourself of what makes summer so delicious (and my personal favorite season).  Lovelies, here is my heat wave pep talk of things to love about summer in list form...

1) Grilled everything
It's a good thing the husband loves to grill so much, because every meal plan I create these days has him out there slaving over the hot coals at least three nights a week.  I appreciate not adding to the heat in the house by turning on the stove or oven, and I love ending the day by putting little J down, then standing around in the backyard with the hubs and an icy beverage while he plays with fire.  One of my favorite finds this summer has been grilled leeks (pictured above).  You just cut the leek lengthwise, rinse out the sand, brush on some olive oil, salt and pepper and fan it on the grill.  The result is akin to what many a shmancy restaurant calls "melted leeks" and it takes about 7 minutes of grill-time.  The trick is to turn the leek often so it doesn't burn.  When you get it right, you come out with the most fabulously silky, sweet, salty side dish.  Last night I tossed chopped grilled leeks with orzo and the grilled tomatoes and orange peppers pictured above.  I dressed this with balsamic, honey, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika, and sprinkled feta over the top.  SO. GOOD.  A shout out to my grillmaster, who makes summer the most delicious time of year around here.

2) Iced Green Tea
Thanks to Magical Iced Coffee, I recently found myself going down a slippery slope of over-caffeination most mornings, yet again.  I realized I needed another equally delicious and refreshing yet less caffeinated option to switch to after my first cup (okay, cup and a half!) of iced coffee.  I had impluse-bought a box of Yogi Super Antioxidant Green Tea on sale at Whole Foods last week, and decided to try icing some.  I boiled a soup pot of water, tied six bags in a knot and threw them in with about a quarter cup of honey and let the whole thing cool before pouring it into a Rubbermaid pitcher to store in the fridge.  YUM.  This is now my go-to summer daytime drink.  Jasmine-scented, perfectly energizing, slightly sweet and full of free-radical killing goodness, I can't get enough. 

3) Sporty Skirts
Picture via
I love wearing skirts and dresses in the summer, but when your day revolves around chasing a very speedy two-year-old daredevil, not just any skirt will do.  I need workhorse pieces that I can still climb a jungle gym and go down a slide in, and that won't slip off or tear on a bike or at the playground.  I'm finding that I love pieces from some of my favorite sportswear companies -- Prana, Patagonia, and Horny Toad -- more than ever.  All the ones in my closet are at least two or three years old, and still (more or less) good as new, which is why I love the durability of these sportswear designs.  I'm constantly grabbing a paisley-print Prana skirt of mine that is about five years old, but also love their Shiloh Skirt (pictured above) from this season.  They represent the best of both worlds in feminine and rugged.  Yay.

4) Friday Night Lights
Image via
This has nothing to do with summer except for the fact that when it is still 85 degrees at 8pm, sometimes all one can reasonably do is sit by a fan and try to be entertained by the television.  In that case, why not watch the best show ever?  We're just wrapping up season 1 on Netflix, and I really do think that this could be my favorite show of all time.  So much heart!  So much soul!  And, note to self, should I ever have a daughter: be sure to rent and watch season 1, episode 17 when it is time to have The Talk.  Tami Taylor delivers what has to be the most well-executed Talk a mom could ever give her daughter, in my opinion.  Those Taylors, I tell you.  As I texted the husband at the end of the day yesterday, "I'm having the kind of day that only Coach Taylor can fix."  If you haven't been hooked in already, get ye to Netflix and get ordering.  Buy a box of Kleenex and thank me later. 
Oh hi, Tim Riggins.
5) JP Licks Frozen Yogurt
Peanut butter.  Oreo.  Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Mint Chip.  Each low-fat and better than the last, tasting like decadent full-fat ice cream, yet being much healthier.  I am developing a problem, and knew it was getting serious when I considered how many times I could send the husband in to donate blood in their pint for a pint program (Just kidding.  Kind of.  And I can't donate blood in public, passing out ensues).  I can't help it, it is that good.  With apologies to our dear friends, dare I say it is the best part of living in Boston?  Okay, I do have a problem.
What are your favorite things this summer?


  1. Hi Sugar, I just finished watching the first season of Glee and was pouting that Netflix didn't have Season 2 for me and I popped over to your blog, as I often do for a pick-me-up/quick fix/escape from life/reality check. And right as I was rolling my eyes at you East Coasters complaining about all this SUMMER you are having, I get to #4 and BAM, I'm back on Netflix with a new show. :) I've seen most of season 1, I think, and I love the Coach & his wife's relationship. It's been so long since I've seen it though, I may just need to start at the Pilot.

    Mike's out in his studio "working," so I'm in my command center (the Kitchen) where I cook, clean, plan, run our lives and I love having an audiobook or Netflix playing on my laptop. The luxuries of the childless duo, I know. At least you have Summer. We are pushing 75 degrees and battling daily rainfall. "Partly cloudy" my ass.

    Love checking in with you via your blog. Looking forward to connecting (in real time) next week.

  2. I too love a good green iced tea! A favorite, Trader Joe's Jasmine Green Tea....try it iced, it's life changing!

  3. Per your blog post, we started Friday Night Lights and I am in love and Jason likes it too. I mean I love high school drama and football and then add in coach Raylor and his sweet wife and their southern accents. What could be better. And I love that it is on streaming Netflix! Thanks for the suggestion. Hope all is well and that we can chat soon!