Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oooh, Heaven is a Place on Earth

Lovely little bundles of sunshine
Today was one of those just wonderful days.  Not like a "OMG I WON AN OSCAR" type wonderful - wonderful in its simplicity.  I'm not sure what transpired to bring such a fantastic set of waking hours after such a rough semester, but I am still reveling in it before I head to the Land of Nod.
First things first - HRH let me sleep in this morning.  All the way to 7:30.  Granted, she did wake me up screaming bloody murder at some point in the middle of the night, and when I raced in there to see if she was OK, she was in the throes of some night terror, hollering "I just want my grass to grow!"  Not sure what transpired to upset her about bare patches in the lawn, but I'm just glad that she was able to calm herself and return to a regular, peaceful sleep so that I was able to do the same.
After getting up, we made big plans.  In order to get a peaceful shower, I started her favorite, Beauty and the Beast.  Once I was clean, we slathered on sunscreen, got dressed, and got in the car.
First stop - Bergie's to pick up our CSA veggies.  And a lavender lemonade for me.

Makes 92° feel like a mere 85°.
Which ended up being for both of us.  Mmmmm.... I love lavender lemonade.  So much in fact that I want both a lemon tree and large lavender plant just so that I can indulge whenever the heck I want.
Once veggie-fied and quenched, we headed across the street to the Gilbert Farmer's Market, where I picked out a few purple and orange cherry tomatoes while HRH made friends with a gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback (who was only too happy to offer her a few kisses in return for her affection).  His owner and I discussed how much we love the market, especially for tomatoes.  His comment - "I hate buying them at the grocery store.  They're dry and taste like cardboard."  Amen, brother!
We also picked up a few peaches and some gorgeous squash blossoms.
Now, I've only had squash blossoms stuffed with cheese and deep fried.  Delicious; I can't lie.  But really, not the best option out there.  Surely there had to be another, healthier option.
Thank you, Tasty Kitchen, for not disappointing with your avocado salad stuffed squash blossoms!  You had me at avocado, and then I read that there was no frying involved.  The freshness stays in tact!
Ironically, another Gilbert Farmer's Market afficionado, Inspired RD, found the exact link I did and prepped them for lunch today and has already posted about how lovely the recipe is.
In other words, when you get your hands on some squash blossoms, make this recipe.  You will not be disappointed.
Since The Husband is out of town visiting his parents and baby brother (text: "Cracken rum and cream soda is amazing!" - glad you boys are having fun at the lake), I texted my girlfriend Danielle and asked her to come for dinner, which she gladly did, bearing wine (I love her) and a gift for HRH (HRH loves her, too).  Danielle follows a gluten-free diet, so I wanted to make sure that I didn't have anything that would have gluten in it but would feature those amazing tomatoes and the summer squash that I received in the CSA share for the week.
Basically a no-brainer: tostadas.
Before I prepped dinner, though, HRH and I had to test drive the new kiddie pool that I had promised her for ages.  Once re-slathered with sunblock, we spent about two hours splashing about, jumping into and out of the pool, and spraying Zooey down with the hose.  There is something magical about the combination of a preschooler and a basic plastic pool.  I think I had more fun in that 5-foot diameter pool today than I have in those pools that allow me a floating chaise with a drink holder.

"Splash, Momma!"
I think that Devil Dog probably drank about 8 gallons of water throughout the day, but at least she is sleeping hard after a day with no walk.  I can happily say the same about HRH, except sub nap where I wrote walk earlier.  I love it when I can have fun with both my girls at the same time.

So, about those tostadas....
I picked up some sprouted corn tortillas and toasted them before piling them with black beans and cheese.  This was placed under the broiler until the cheese melted.  Then I piled those tortillas high with some avocado creme (avocado and Greek yogurt with just a touch of salt, whipped in the food processor until smooth and creamy), lettuce, tomato pico de gallo (see below), and the rest of the avocado.
Hey, since this was a vegetarian meal, the least we could do is load up on the good fats in the avocado, right?

Can you see the goodness that is the colors of the rainbow,
in veggie form?????
I have to tell you.... there is nothing better in the heat of summer than fresh vegetables all over the plate.  All of the veggies were picked fresh this week and traveled mere miles to get to my plate.  The freshness came across on the plate; while I added some salt to the pico de gallo, there was no need for salt or other flavorings, since the freshness of the veggies gave us sweet and savory, which matched the different textures - crunchy, chewy, and more - so perfectly.
Just as a note, after I cleaned the squash blossoms, I left on the stems to serve as a "handle."  They were easier, in my opinion, to pick up and eat in one bite that way.
After a lovely dinner, my girl - who was SO tired after such a big day - and I talked with The Husband via video chat before a final snuggle.  She was asleep in two minutes.

So, to review... here is the list of veggies that were on our plate this evening but were still growing last weekend:

  • Orange cherry tomatoes
  • Purple cherry tomatoes
  • Yellow summer squash
  • Squash blossoms
  • Onion blossoms
  • White onions
  • Basil
  • Mint (from my own plant)
  • Red leaf lettuce

And in case you wanted to throw together a chunky pico de gallo that was more than tomatoes, onion, and cilantro....

Rainbow Pico de Gallo

  • 1 cup mixed color cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters (I used orange and purple)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow summer squash, cut into mini matches
  • 1 onion blossom
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp mint, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

Toss all ingredients gently in a bowl; let sit at least 30 minutes for flavors to mingle.  Serve over tostadas or use to dunk sturdy chips.

What is the best combination of fresh vegetables that you have had?  
What is one veggie dish that screams "summer" to you?
What was the last "perfect" day that you reveled in?


  1. OMFG. I absolutely ADORED our kiddie pools in their many incarnations. We had that kind, the one that was slightly deeper but with a pvc (?) type wall that was extremely thin. And then there was the heavy-duty one with the slide by Fisher Price.

    LOVED them all. And the best part is that when I was tiny enough, I would swim underwater in the pool. I still don't totally understand how I pulled THAT off.

    1. HRH has Disney princess goggles but doesn't quite get that "seeing underwater" requires the face IN the water. As someone who is terrified to put her own face in the water, I'm letting Daddy broach that subject, as I once again missed out on swim lessons this year.
      This year, the pool is big enough for me to lounge when I drink too much Prosecco. I call that Planning Ahead.

  2. Hands isn't summer until I've eaten my weight in corn & avocado salsa and pico de gallo. Can't. Get. Enough. I've never tried squash blossoms. They look delish! Two weekends ago we through all chores out the window and drove to one of our favorite beaches on Lake Michigan. Awesome doesn't even begin to cover it.

    1. So, the market where I got the squash blossoms made squash blossom PIZZA.
      Guess what I'm snapping up Saturday again?
      There is something about fresh corn that is addictive in the summer. I do not eat canned or frozen corn, and I don't really care for corn "things," (I mean, except chips, but those are CHIPS), but fresh corn on the cob or corn salsa. Just get me an earth mover to get into that stuff.
      The Husband spent this past weekend at South Haven. I'm not jealous at all. Especially because one of his texts to me was "Cracken rum and cream soda is amazing."