Keeping Up With the Summer Harvest, Part 2

Summer Harvest Recipes | Summer Tomato Tart |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

Squash! Who loves squash!

Summer Harvest Recipes |

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 |

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 |

Library Dates

Growing up, we went to the library often enough that I knew the place was awesome. I was very big into kid, then pre-teen, then young adult novels (Boxcar Children, Babysitter’s Club, Nancy Drew, anyone?) and still love to pick up a book just for the sake of a really good read.

When Liv was about a year old, I discovered our neighborhood library. It’s such a treat. Now that we visit once or twice a week, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to move out of our little nook of San Diego because this little library is so special. We can walk (that has made all of the difference), it’s next to a park (though often rivals it for where the girls want to spend time) and a coffee shop (hey, momma!).

Library Dates |

They have a great little children’s section that’s sort of partitioned off from the rest of the library stacks. I don’t feel as guilty as the girls wander, pull books and flip through pages on the floor.

Library Dates |

Library Dates |

Finding books to bring home is sort of like a treasure hunt. These become our bedtime stories and it’s interesting to see which ones Liv clings to and which ones she’s ready to return the next day.

Library Dates |

On especially hot days when we just need to get out of that house during our lunch hour, the library is always our destination! On cooler evenings, sometimes we’ll stop for a hot cocoa on our way.

Library Dates |

I’ve mentioned before that our days get so very busy… our little library dates where we can slip away together for 30 minutes are so special.

Library Dates |

Library Dates |

I hope that these trips will instill in the girls a love of reading that even my best night time character voices can’t keep up with. It brings me great joy when Liv has a stack of 10 new books and she’s just so excited to dive in (even if it means arguing on how many she really gets to bring home). Books transport, books inspire, books help us to grow.

For the young mind, how does the old saying go? ‘Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!’

Do you get to read? Sometimes my ‘reading’ comes in the form of a good audio book, Audible is my favorite for listening on my iPhone (makes car travel, cleaning and laundry kind of fun). I’ve been trying to read at night and lately air travel has afforded me a couple of solid hours of uninterrupted book time as well. I can’t complain!

PS as for my own reading, I shared with you all that I was struggling to get into Winter’s Tale. Well, I eventually skipped over it to start The Cuckoo’s Calling (mostly because I adore mysteries and JK Rowling), and I love it so far!

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