food

Summer Meals We’ve Been Loving

I think I mentioned before that I was in a meal rut this summer. I’m not sure why, but summers always prove a little hard for me to make a meal plan and stick to it. Maybe it’s the more spontaneous nature of summer? I’m more likely to say yes to something that comes up last minute around dinner time. The sun is still up, it feels like it’s still time to play. I think one of the other issues is wanting my food to be a little lighter. Heavy foods that cook all day in the crock pot just don’t seem appealing to me. And usually if I don’t plan ahead, there’s not a lot of hope for dinner time. BUT, we have made some things (often repeatedly) that we really love this summer! I thought I’d share a few of the very best with you.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

Budget Bytes Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger

Sarah Peters told me about this recipe. It took me a long time to actually try it out for some reason, and I’m kind of sad I waited. They are amazing! My husband who would take a beef burger over a veggie burger any day, raved about it AND went back for seconds. That is a success in my book. This recipe is quick and the ingredients are super cheap. It also works well if you prep the ingredients beforehand and then form the patties right before you’re ready to cook them. Even easier! I love it :).

Green Goddess Sandwiches

Bojon Gourmet Green Goddess Sandwiches

When I initially read this recipe, it seemed like these sandwiches required a lot of prep work. And if I’m going to eat a sandwich, I want it to be quick and easy. Making the sauce, and I suppose slicing the veggies take some time, but I promise you it’s worth it. Especially because once those steps are completed, you can keep making these sandwiches all week. Which you will want to do, because these sandwiches are so good.

Cheesecake Factory Avocado Rolls

Cheesecake Factory Avocado Egg Rolls - It's so much cheaper to make right at home and it tastes a million times better too!

Damn Delicious Cheesecake Facotry Avocado Egg Rolls

Holy moly, these are good! The first time I tried them out, I made them as a side dish to some veggie enchiladas. When Corey and I started eating them, we totally ditched the enchiladas and polished these off. The second time I made them, they were the entree for our movie night :). They are that incredible, I promise. Instead of the cilantro dipping sauce, I finely minced a jalapeno and mixed it with some homemade ranch. Amazing! Seriously, give these a try.

Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Corn and Monterey Jack Cheese

Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Corn and Monterey Jack Cheese

Martha Stewart Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Corn and Monterey Jack Cheese

Ok, these have a special place in my heart. The day after Corey and I got married, we headed out of town on our honeymoon to Jamaica. Corey kept the trip a surprise from me until after our wedding, so I hadn’t packed any reading material for a flight. We walked into one of those shops in the airport and I picked up a Martha Stewart magazine. During our trip, I flagged this recipe and Spicy Three Cheese Dip. The poblanos were one of the very first dinner recipes I tried when we got back. Every time I make them, I think about our honeymoon and that first summer together in this house. They always feel special, and they’re always delicious.

When I’m in a meal rut, these are just a couple of my quick and easy summer meals. Do you have any easy summer favs? Let me know if you try any of these!

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{To Eat} Chipotle Pimento Cheese

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I moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania over eight years ago. It was a pretty big adjustment moving to a new area, and one with a very different culture. While some things took a long time to get used to, one thing I embraced right off the bat was the food. Durham has such a wide variety of food, and tons of vegetarian options (which makes me very happy), and one of the dishes they love here in Durham is pimento cheese. I thought this was a Southern thing, but my sister-in-law, who is from Louisiana, claims that it’s a North Carolina thing. Regardless of its origins, this spreadable appetizer is almost addictive. I’ve had it out a plenty of restaurants around Durham, but it’s so super easy to make at home, and it’s a guaranteed hit! Swapping out pimentos (red peppers) for chipotles in adobo sauce is my take on this NC favorite.

Chipotle Pimento Cheese

1 10oz block cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T chipotle in adobo (or 2 chipotles, diced with about 1 tsp adobo)

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Grate cheddar cheese and place in medium-sized bowl. Add in sour cream, mayonnaise, and chipotle. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix ingredients.

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If you’re able, refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Serve with sliced and toasted baguette, crackers, celery, and/or tortilla chips.

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Bonus tip: If you really want to Southern-it-up, stir some of this into grits. Soooo delicious!

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Where We Are. What We’re Doing.

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I’m in a meal rut. Like, I never know what to cook, I don’t even want to cook, really. But I want to eat. Which poses a real problem. Is it because it’s summer? I have no idea. I do know that I went to the grocery store last week without planning a single meal (always a bad idea) and came back with a bunch of fruit. And avocados. I don’t know if you know this, but it’s not super easy to make meals with fruit and avocados. Finding something in the house for dinner every night was challenging. By the end of the week Corey took things into his own hands and made an entire dinner ;). Which brings me to my next point…Corey wants to try Whole30 to revamp our diet. Have you heard of this? I’m a little intimidated. Mostly because it’s pretty meat-heavy and I’m not a big meat eater. The goal is to eliminate all grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar for 30 days. I think it’s a little drastic, but people who have tried it say it makes them feel better. There doesn’t seem to be much research to back up the claims that dairy and grains are all that terrible for you (something the Whole30 creators maintain), so I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my daily yogurt or whole grain toast. Or oatmeal for that matter. Has anyone tried this and had a positive experience? Let me know, I’d love to hear!

Earlier this month Corey and I went to a bed and breakfast in the Outer Banks to celebrate our anniversary. I’m going to do a post on the trip, but it was so much fun. I’ve never stayed in a b&b before, and now I feel like it’s the only way to go! This one in particular was so nice. The owners were so hospitable and accomodating to whatever we needed. It was such a relaxing and refreshing time away. We seriously have already started talking about when we can go back.

In other news, the progress on our adoption seems to have stopped completely. Without going in to much detail, things don’t look good right now and it seems like everything could fall apart. We’re worried, but trying to be hopeful. And praying a lot. Will you pray with us? Right now we just just need all our paperwork to be submitted to the court (not something we do), if you could pray that this happens within the next couple of weeks, we would so appreciate it. I’ll update as soon as we have more conclusive information.

Until next time….

 

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