off to vacationland


10 points to Maine for scoring a great slogan. I do love Maine and I do love vacation.

I'm headed out today for a few days in Maine and realizing that this is my 4th Labor Day that I've spent in this particular little heaven. It's hard to believe at times. I'm not sure what else I've done 4 years in a row.

I haven't looked at the weather report once and I'm not quite sure what I've put in my bag. But, this is how I do it every year. Throw a lot of stripes in a bag and just know that it'll work out...

While 2010 went undocumented, I didn't hold back in 2011 [linklinklink] and 2012 [link]. I'm sure 2013 will be a great remix of all the previous adventures and include my favorite things ... breakfast in the diner, fleece in bars, and pillow chat with my ladies.

While I'm gone ... I am hoping that this year my fridge doesn't fake its own death and that my baby tomatoes keep growing.

last beach weekend?


I'm not sure if this was the last beach weekend of the summer. It might have been. I certainly behaved like it was the end of wearing bathing suits all day.

There was no cooking. Just a fair amount of eating anything I wanted ... which oddly didn't include a single BLT. I got ice cream from my favorite place twice and had bagels every morning. I had plans to run each morning but instead took walks with Ruby May. Despite being at the beach most weekends this summer, it was the first time in a few weeks that all the "kids" were home and it was pretty great.

I'm not quite ready to give up on summer but it feels like the end is near. I guess the upside is that I can transition to fleeces and leggings.

Urban Gardening

Earlier this Spring I picked up a few little baby San Marzano tomato plants. I got really excited about "harvesting the crops" from my urban dwelling ... and then very quickly lowered my expectations. I decided I would be happy if I got just 1 ... maybe 3 of my favorite tomatoes.

As the summer has gone on, I've adjusted to life as an urban gardener. My tomato plant quickly outgrew my kitchen sill. It battled several heatwaves while I ran away to the burbs. There was even an incident with some size-able hail in May. There were incidents where it rained for days ... and most recently when it hasn't even rained at all.

weekend in review


It's Monday morning and the weather man told me that today would be a perfect beach day. Sadly, I'll be sitting in a swivel desk chair for most of the day instead of smelling like sunblock and cruising through magazines.

That being said, the weekend was pretty dreamy and including lots of quality time with my baby brother. I managed to get a run in both weekend days, eat Everything bagels with chive cream cheese, do a little cooking, and coax the sun into naturally lightening my hair a bit more.

Until next weekend when I probably try to put something else from the garden into a galette dough ...

galette season!


Ever since I made the first galette, I've been dying to make another one.

While it would have been easy to just make the same-ish version I had already made (I'm still loaded with ice cream), I figured I should take advantage of the seemingly endless supply of tomatoes from my parents garden. While some days I'm not sure what to do with all of the inventory, I know that I'll be sad in September when I'm back to paying $3.99 for a pint of grape tomatoes at Whole Foods.

The benefit of tomato season is that I often see whole articles about how to use all the tomatoes we are getting from gardens. In the past, I've stuck to tomato jam, roasted tomatoes, salads, etc but this tomato galette will become part of the rotation for sure. It feels like the type of dish/recipe you could make in just about any season ... but obviously is better in the summer fresh from the garden.

Roasted tomatoes with goat cheese on naan


It takes a fair amount to get me to turn on the oven in the summer.

I don't have one of those fancy apartments where the heat tends to stay inside the oven. If I set the oven to 375 F, my apartment tends to turn into 375 F. But, when summer calls for heat in the oven ... as opposed to just storing an overflow of pans ... it results in extreme strategizing like waking up at 7 am to make donut muffins or grilling chicken 7 hours before my guests show up or just turning on the AC to make this galette.

But, yesterday I found myself with a plethora of tomatoes that needed some love (or just to be used) and I knew that roasted tomatoes would be just magical. Apparently they are good in the fridge for about 5 days (or 6 months frozen), so they'd be just fine if I couldn't resist a beach weekend... which I rarely can.

Berry Galette with Salted Caramel Ice Cream


I had dinner with someone this past weekend who continued to mispronounce quinoa repeatedly over the course of 3 hours. He pronounced it "QWIN-O-WAH" and I pronounced it "KEEN-WAH". I'm too much of a lady - and fundamentally it made me feel awkward - to confront the situation so we both just continued to reference the grain per our pronunciation. All the while I wondered if it made me an ass to keep saying it my way.

This appropriately brings us to the dessert I made for my Bachelorette Finale watch. I'm still not quite sure how to pronounce "galette" but I do know that it is very easy and very tasty.

This past New Years in Vermont my adorable friend Sarah made an apple tart that was just perfect for the occasion. She made the crust with her own little hands at the kitchen island.... no food processor, no stand mixer, just hands. Color me impressed. I can't say that I took the same route for this recipe (I opted for a food processor) but I had Sarah in my mind the entire time.

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