Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Happy Birthday, Kev | PepperDesignBlog.com

To a handsome, considerate and loving husband and father – happy birthday! We love you so much. Thanks for being my sweetie and my partner in life. xoxo

Happy Birthday, Kev | PepperDesignBlog.com P

Photos: a date at the Del Mar racetracks, celebrating our 7th anniversary this past June, napping with daddy

Keeping Up With the Summer Harvest, Part 2

Summer Harvest Recipes | Summer Tomato Tart | PepperDesignBlog.com

We still have squash coming out of our eyeballs! I thought I’d share a few more ways we are creatively using up summer vegetables at their peak. It’s amazing how delicious and fresh in-season fruits and veggies are – and when they’re grown from your own garden, added bonus (though the farmer’s market and CSA box and I are best friends, too). Part 1 (with ideas on soup, frittatas and more) over here.

My favorite go-to vegetable solution is roasting (I sung its praise and offered my favorite tips here) but, oh man, I cannot emphasize how much I love a good roasted carrot or string bean or piece of squash. All of that carmel-y goodness that comes out of the oven? Gah.

So, with that roasted goodness in mind I have a few favorite dinner ideas:

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Bruschetta. I love to take roasted squash (or zucchini, bell peppers) and mix it with fresh tomatoes and grated parmesan. Toss back into the oven on sliced baguettes and broil for a few minutes to create a super simple and delicious bruschetta. Fresh herbs optional, but I love a little course sea salt sprinkled on top at the end.

Here’s an easy one, too: toss those roasted veggies into a blender with hum drum canned tomato sauce and a little cream.

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Reheat on the stove for possibly one of the tastiest and most flavorful pasta sauces you can dream up (something about that roasting…).

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Finally, if I have any of that amazing pasta sauce left over, I’ll often throw it back into the blender and mix it with broth (veggie or chicken) to make a really rich soup.

Summer Harvest Recipes | EASY Roasted Squash & Tomato Soup | PepperDesignBlog.com

So easy! Really, you’ll get all of the flavor of a soup that has been simmering all day from roasted veggies + broth + cream in a blender. I heat up the mixture on the stove just before serving, though I’ll admit that a gazpacho version of this with more chunky tomato and served cold is equally delectable.

You could try the above with any roasted veggies. Of course, you can also just slice up that day’s harvest, roast and serve a la carte or on top of a salad. Mmmm.

Summer Harvest Recipes | EASY Roasted Squash & Tomato Soup | PepperDesignBlog.com

Squash! Who loves squash!

Summer Harvest Recipes | PepperDesignBlog.com

Liv is trying so hard to keep those squash slices on her eyes that you’re missing all of her adorable giggles. :-)

Psst jump over to a recipe index here, and part one to this little series here.

If You Have Some Extra Time…

Awkward Family Photo | PepperDesignBlog.com

Above is our family’s submission this year to Awkward Family Photos. What can I say, there’s just something about Sedona and that mountain spirit…

But I digress. Today, if you have some extra time (and you’re able to pull your eyes away from the mesmerizing wolf shirts), a few links to take you into your weekend! (don’t worry, we are not a fierce clan in person.)

I’m ready for apple picking season :). This recipe looks delicious.

I am notoriously (and always) late. I am actually grateful when others are late when meeting me because it makes me feel like the universe is balancing itself out somehow. Considering all of that, I thought that this was pretty funny.

Developing a capsule wardrobe. Genius.

Three natural fall decor decorating ideas. (Here’s my version from a couple of years ago.)

How do you brainstorm? A list of do’s and don’ts from Fast Company. Favorite: “Introduce the problem and distribute Post-it pads. During five minutes of silence, participants fast and furiously fill in their pads with as many ideas as possible. Place the notes on a wall, briefly reading and organizing ideas. Then shift into brainstorming. If your team is like most, you’ll enjoy a much more energetic and productive session.” PS there’s no room for ‘splats’.

A really perfect fall wool hat. And a really awesome fall knit shawl. I’m feeling on a fall roll here, so let’s add these ankle boots (that Would look great with knitted tights and a skirt when the weather gets cool) because the color is so perfect (don’t you think?).

Hexagon brass wall hooks.

A sneak peak at a beautiful home.

MIT is holding a Breast Pump Hackathon (first learned about this here, bravo!) Shouldn’t a breast pump be ‘as elegant as an iPhone and as quiet as a Prius’ by now? (yes, yes please!)

Have you thought about a special spot for half-filled, in-use cups? (more time-saving tips to be found.) On that note, 40 ways to save an hour in a day (do you schedule automatic deliveries? I do for things like travel baby wipes and dog food.)

Pudding cookies.

The entire Lou & Grey line is 40% off over at Loft (that’s dangerous news). I would like a waist right now if for no other reason than this skirt.

Of the roundup of maternity dresses that I shared or invested in this summer, this one in blue and black is by far my favorite! (Especially when it comes to expanding belly, chest and everything else…)

True story about the photo above: Kevin’s family has a timeshare in Sedona and we make a family vacation of it almost every year. It’s relaxing and peaceful. Just to mix it up a bit, Kev bought everyone a ‘mountain shirt’ in the color and spirit that he though best portrayed their personality. Mine (or was it his?) had an Indian princess peering into a large dreamcatcher at 4 bright-eyed wolves. Kev assured me that these were surely our future children ;).

And I’m sure you’ve seen some of the amazing family photo roundups that have traveled around the internet? Here’s a good one, and one here, too!

Awkward Family Photo | PepperDesignBlog.com

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