The ratio of pictures showcasing food to pictures showcasing life has, in recent days, leaned more towards the latter - a rare occurrence in my photo album, but one to cherish, nonetheless. And I have a summer jam-packed with memories as juicy as fresh, seasonal strawberries and peaches to thank for that. It’s just wonderful.
But, you want to see the food. I get that. Here ya’ go!
That guy in the background is a good friend of mine, so when he suggested the fish burrito from a local taqueria, I trusted him and went with it! I asked for veggies instead of rice in mine because rice in burritos, along with beans and a tortilla, just feels like too much for me. The crunch of the fajita veggies is just what such a satisfying meal needs. If you’re in the area, this is from Taqueria Santa Cruz on Monterey Street. Tell me your go-to order in the comments!
RX Bar gets lots of love in my pantry. I find them to be just the right size when I’m in need of a snack, and this PB & J flavor hits every spot. Paired with an iced coconut milk latte here, this bar kept me satisfied and sane through some of the stupidest Saturday LA traffic as I drove down to OC for my bff’s graduation party. A taco man catered dinner, so even though I was pretty hungry when I arrived, I knew I had a plate full of carne-asad-eliciousnes awaiting me (see what I did there?).
Bagels confuse me. How can they make me drool when sitting in front of me, all dressed up in rich cream cheese and buttery smoked salmon, but then let me forget all about them a week later? Then, I’m caught back up in the carb-induced bagel-obsession the minute I see one again. If I try to figure this dilemma out, though, will that erase the deep love I have for the oh-so-fluffy carbohydrate, undeserving of the neglect from carb-haters? Forever a bagel-and-carb-lover.
Grace and I wanted ice cream from the minute we woke up on this day. Okay, maybe not that exact minute, but I do remember it being quite early in the day when we scheduled an ice cream snack for later in the afternoon. I think this was from a place called Scoop Deck in Southern OC - she got mint chip and I got cookies n’ cream. Cravings were satisfied beyond imagination.
If my stomach weren’t bound by it’s own walls, I would devour plates upon plates upon plates of this meal - grilled chicken and sausage, baked beans, roasted corn, and mixed greens. Simple. Quick. Bursting with flavor. Nothing extravagant or trendy, but still one of my absolute favorites. And, to top it off, I enjoyed it all while relishing the soft summer breeze of Minnesota along with Mom, Dad, Ben (brother), and Natalie (sister in law). It would all still taste good if I ate it just by myself, but the family component takes the meal (any meal, actually) to a whole new level.
More ice cream! When I insisted on at least one trip to Dairy Queen during my Minnesota vacation, Dad replied with nothing but a link to the Nelson’s Ice Cream Instagram page and, though I’m still a devout fan of DQ, I couldn’t say no. Especially if my dad is recommending an ice cream place (he’s more of a pie-for-dessert kind of person). The five of us took what seemed like endless bites of several flavors - we ordered four of the kids size, which actually turned out to each be equal to about the size of my head. We rode our bikes home for a little movement and a chance to relish more of the soft summer breeze.
Speaking of a sugar-high, all these bad boys are from a famous bakery in my mom’s hometown, of which I would butcher the name if I tried, so don’t ask. Cinnamon rolls, croissants, classic glazed, and a couple maple bacon held us and our sweet cravings over for the next couple of days. We even brought some leftovers to my grandparents, who had never heard of a maple bacon donut, but upon first bite, became huge fans. To my surprise, the maple bacon was my favorite, too.
Natalie cooked dinner for us all one night - a roasted veggie dish she often cooks for my brother in England. She mentioned sweet potatoes and immediately I was in. We had this alongside some more grilled chicken, more roasted corn on the cob, and probably bread because Dad loves bread. Me too, Dad. Me too.
Lots of love for RX Bar - did I not tell you? If you haven’t yet tried their new nut butters, please please please do so. You’ll thank me for sharing the news, and you’ll thank RX Bar for being pure genius.
Lots of love for dinners like this - did I not tell you that, too? We had family over for a barbecue one night and everyone brought something to share. I went for my favorites (the chicken and the beans) along with a few others, like mom’s farro and greens salad, my aunt’s marinated tomatoes and mozzarella, and my uncle’s guacamole.
We hung out in Downtown Stillwater for a night and found a cool bar/restaurant for happy hour. I got a wine slushy (not the exact name, but that’s the gist of it) - a red wine blend with fresh blackberries and tons of other flavor to make it even sweeter and better than everyone else’s drink of choice… in my opinion :)
It’s just a tradition whenever I’m home to make Dad’s favorite waffles. It needs to happen. I’ve tried to teach Mom how to make them, but I don’t know - maybe it’s just one of those things when food tastes better when made by a specific person, ya’ know? I think I made, like, five batches total while I was there because we all just kept eating them. They’re that good. My favorite way to eat them (and I got a couple others on board with this, too) was slightly toasted and topped with Fage 2% yogurt, Mom’s homemade berry jam, and fruit. Unbeatable.
What prompted me to make overnight oats, I cannot recall. But I went with it and loved them. If you missed the last couple updates, I started working at a local cafe as one of the bakers. So, three days a week, I’m up and out the door by 4:15 AM, and finished and on my way home by 8:30 AM. It’s still an adjustment, but I’m loving the experience! For these oats, I combined 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats + 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tbsp. collagen peptides + maple syrup + a sprinkle of chia seeds + a dollop of peanut butter + sliced banana. As soon as I go through all the banana bread in my freezer, I will be making this again!
Approximately 97.9% of my lunches look like this. Mixed greens serve as the base of the bowl, skillet-roasted chicken thighs add hearty protein, chopped celery adds some juicy crunch, and a creamy hummus dressing made with hummus and the juices that cooked out of the chicken thighs (holy moly it’s amazing) dresses it all up with tons of flavor. I know, you’re probably where the carbs are in this meal (and if you’re not, I’ll tell you anyway) - they usually come in the form of toast on the side, or a couple bites of whatever leftover baked good I have laying around. Lemon chia seed oatmeal cookie sandwiches sound like a pretty dang delicious way to round out a solid lunch salad!
Welcome to one of my favorite places in San Luis Obispo - Old San Luis BBQ. Their pulled pork sliders have my heart, and now their new thick-cut sweet potatoes are stealing the show. My friends and I eat here pretty much every time we come downtown for the Thursday-night farmers market and always leave with happy tummies.
Alllllllllrighty my friends. There ya’ have it. I love sharing these fun and casual posts with you and I hope you enjoy reading them!