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Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

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Summer is in full swing here and, so far, it has been superb.

The days have been hot, the evenings have been warm, especially within the walls of our non-air conditioned home.

Bed time has been pushed way back, making mornings a little hard to wake up for.

Faces are sticky with ice cream and melted s’mores.

Jack’s skin constantly smells of sunscreen.

The backyard smells of charcoal mixed with the aroma wafting from a lightly brushed basil plant. And, you will be hard-pressed to find us eating a meal indoors.

I often struggle with life in Seattle. The endless gray and drizzle for much of the year can feel very monotonous.

But in the summer, all of that goes away.

Summer shines in Seattle like nowhere else; there is no place I’d rather be.

We are extending our days with the sun, excited to soak it all up.

Hope you are doing the same.

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Jack played t-ball for the first time last month. In fact, it was his first team sports experience outside of school. I won’t say it was all fun and games…there was one night where we both left crying after a long and completely frustrating protest of t-ball playing. It was one of those moments that leaves you, as a parent, wondering why you are even doing said activity in the first place. It drove me to read parenting articles and blogs, which led me to a clearer perspective of my goals and a plan to use in navigating this obstacle moving forward.

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And, I’m relieved to say that, aside from that one night, we all 3 had a blast meeting new friends and Jack loved being part of a team and learning something new. He was quite serious about it at times- check out that look of pure determination when he’s running the bases with his tongue sticking out, just as his Auntie used to do- and there were moments where he was completely the opposite of serious- when he twirled around in the field with his glove atop his head or when he sat on the base cones and pretended they were horses. In other words, he acted just a t-ball player should.
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This week Jack starts a new t-ball league, with actual games, that lasts through August. We are looking forward to more fun, more new friends, and more mastery of skills. And, of course, the most exciting things- trophies and end of the season parties (with baseball cupcakes)!

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Blue skies, moderately warm temperatures, endless sun, ice cream (more on this addiction later…let’s just say it’s a bit out of control!), beach days, wading pools, flip flops, skirts, shorts, picnics…and BERRIES! So many plump, delicious berries growing in fields all over the northwest right now just waiting to be plucked from their bushes.

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My absolute favorite fruit is raspberries (in actuality, it’s probably in my top five favorite foods list if I were to create one) so I was one very happy girl yesterday when we went berry picking with some friends at Biringer Farms and discovered that the raspberries were at their peak! We only spent an hour or so in the fields, only picking from a few rows, but we got such a wonderful bounty of huge, red, juicy raspberries!

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We are trying to enjoy them in their pure form as quickly as possible since no amount of sugar or even buttery crust could possibly make them better, but I do plan to make at least one berry crumble pie later this week with some of the smashed ones.

Summer is just delightful, no?!!

P.S. Our berry picking adventure 2 years ago, just a few months after moving here— look how little Jack was!!!…sigh.

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Just wanted to stop by and say hello! I haven’t forgotten about this space (on the contrary, I actually have many ideas for new posts), but summer life takes on a direction of its own and before I know it, our calendars are overbooked with activities that have us playing in the sun, visiting more with friends, and lingering longer over meals since the sun doesn’t disappear from the clear Seattle sky until after 10pm. It’s a glorious time of the year!
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I plan to pop back in soon with some recipes and to share photos of our summer time fun, but right now I’m just going to kick my feet up and sip an iced coffee on my sun-drenched deck.

PS I just chopped about 9 or 10 inches off my hair (you can see it in the bottoms photo)! It feels good to have shorter, bouncier locks for summer!

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This past weekend, we rode our bikes down to South Lake Union to indulge in some tasty lunch served from the window of some rad food trucks at Seattle’s Second Annual Mobile Food Rodeo.

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There were 45 food trucks in attendance, some of the most talked about among the Northwest foodie scene. Out of all the choices, we opted for two crepes- a pork and a mushroom- from Caravan Crepes and they were super delicious. Full of fresh ingredients, a ricotta/manchego cheese blend, and served with a side of organic salad greens, it was a perfect food truck choice!

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And, we couldn’t pass on our first chance to taste the food raved about from Skillet Street Food. The chicken sammy which features a piece of fennel crusted fried chicken topped with kale slaw and pickled jalapeƱo aioli on a potato roll and served with hand-cut fries was amazing…AMAZING. I will certainly be making a trip to their Diner location in Capitol Hill…I already cannot wait to try the pork belly and cornmeal waffle topped with a fried egg!

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I was glad we had the long bike ride to burn off those indulgent calories…I even pulled Jack in the bike trailer! It was a lovely and yummy Saturday afternoon!

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Blackberry Slab Pie

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Today’s goals: Find and pick blackberries without being eaten alive by the blackberry vines! Make pie during nap time.

Tonight’s dinner menu: Ravioli with Arugula and Olives, Blackberry Slab Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Red Wine

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Simply stated, blackberries are amazing! Their enormous vines with their scarily creepy thorns that seem to lunge for your arms and hands are less so. But, in Seattle we learn to put up with the scary vines that invade our yards and strangle our trees so we can indulge a few weeks every summer on the delicious little delicate berries.

We’ve been driving around the neighborhood seeking out blackberries a few days out of the last few weeks and when we pick enough, I’ve made this yummy little rustic slab pie as our reward. The pie crust is sugar-sparkled and pinched around the heap of fresh, gorgeous blackberries that are piled in its center. It’s quite delicious and very easy to assemble and bake during nap time. Topped with a generous scoop of French Vanilla ice cream, it makes a perfect dessert!

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Blackberry Slab Pie
minimally adapted from babble.com
Ingredients:
3-4 cups blackberries
Pie crust (I buy them at Trader Joe’s where they are sold in the freezer section and come in a circle wrapped in wax paper.)
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg white
1/8 – 1/4 cup of sugar, depends on how sparkly/sugary you like it

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Directions:
Wash the berries and let dry in a strainer. Place the round of pie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Heap the berries into a mound right in the center of the pie dough. Carefully fold the edges of the pie dough around the berries, overlapping and pinching it together to keep the edges in place. It will resemble a King Cake shape for those of you familiar with the Mardi Gras dessert.

Melt the butter and drizzle half of it over the berries. Whisk the egg white into the remaining butter. With a basting brush, spread the butter/egg white mixture all over the edges of the pie crust, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with giant scoops of vanilla ice cream.

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