It seems too soon to be done with Fourth of July, school but a distant memory and berry picking, swimming and sunshine in full swing. Alas, I wave my white flag to the mercy of summer and submit willingly. However, before I go pouring another gin and tonic with grapefruit, let me recap you on June.
1. How We've Spent Our Time
V finished her last day of school just two days before the first day of summer. There was a mix of sadness and glee as she passed from kindergarten to first grade in one fell swoop. She has accomplished much and walked across thresholds of trepidation and fear. One being the rockwall on her school playground.
We began our summer with swim lessons, and I'm certain V is a dolphin, while Tay is a monkey wanting to jump in the pool any chance she can get.
We welcomed the first day of summer with our annual Strawberry Shortcake for breakfast.
Father's Day was a lovely day, where I made a roasted chicken with roasted baby carrots & a side of slightly sauteed asparagus in butter with dill & chives. To top it off we went on a hike. Glorious is an understatement friends.
Ben had a summer job in 2001 picking raspberries. He drove a combine, which went one mile an hour taking 30 minutes to go down one side of one row. He worked 12+ hours a day to save up to buy a certain lady a ring to marry him. The same lady is crazy about going berry picking every summer. Lucky for him, she doesn't ask him to go with her as they have two girls chopping at the bit.
Lastly, it was so nice & wonderful to meet a reader turned friend Kali this month. We were able to share a meal, laugh and talk about the ups & downs of life.
2. My Favorite Tunes
I've been into All Sons & Daughters Pandora station and Mumford & Sons Pandora station.
3. My Favorite Shows & Movies
We cut our cable and it has been pleasantly nice. We finished watching Arrested Development, but honestly haven't watched much. Oh wait, honest confession time, I watched the second to last season of Gossip Girl on Netflix. You know, keeping it real to see what's happening on the Upper East Side. I don't think we watched any movies this past month. We were too busy with doing pre-engagement class and finishing it up.
4. Bites and Food
This is the roasted chicken from Father's Day and it happens to be my new favorite way of roasting chicken. Basically, buy a 12 in cast iron pan, season it. Turn your oven to 500 degrees. Put the cast iron into the oven to get it to heat up nice and hot. Splay the thighs and legs using kitchen shears (the part where the thigh and leg meet the breast. Season with salt and pepper, inside and out. Put the bird on the hot cast iron pressing down on the legs to touch the pan.
What this does is cook the thighs and the breast at equal time. A 4 pound bird takes about 45 minutes to roast. When there is about 15 minutes left, I add in whatever veggie I want to roast with it.
I truly loved this blueberry crisp and I think you would too. So go on ahead and make it yourself.
I realized that I didn't take a whole lot of pictures of food this month. I have been taking stock in all types of lettuce from Joe's and you can even get my Strawberry-Pistachio Chicken Salad over at Mom Heart.
Mainly, I've been into pickling items, and have put a bit too many pickling, curing, preserving cookbooks on hold at the library. I am loving salads as a variety of lettuces have been plentiful of late, and it gives me an easy way to put veggies into mine and my family's body.
My main goal is to put together a stellar salad. We had friends over and I made a kale pulled pork salad with additional ingredients. When I think about building a salad, I like having some savory component, sweet, crunch, acid, fat. Sometimes the sweet comes in form of fruit, fresh or dried, while other times it's honey, candied nuts, or a good balsamic vinegar.
Another favorite is summer spritzers. This one is lime & cherry with club soda. I mashed cherries and added lime juice. I highly recommend club soda or tonic water with fresh summer fruit.
I made a half sheet of grain free brownies for my mother in law's birthday. I must say that it turned out fairly well, a bit dry; however, I added frosting and it didn't taste like a refined sugar free or grain free brownie. I want to try my hand at it again and see where it goes. I have hope.
I wasn't really able to read much this past month with all that was going on (remember, I'm not a fast reader). I did begin reading Charlotte's Web to the girls, so that is bringing me back to my childhood. It's exciting to re-read a book from when I was a kid as I am able to appreciate someone like E.B. White's descriptive imagery and word usage.
I have on my bookshelf, Ruth Reichel Tender at the Bone, The Intentional Family by William J. Doherty, and Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. It's also my birthday month, so that's pretty fun.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite passages from Bread for the Journey by Henri Nouwen.
What have you been into this month? Any books, music, favorite bites you've enjoyed? Was June busy for you?
I'm linking up with Leigh, so if you have a blog you've linked up, let me know about it.