Grilled Peach Salsa

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I couldn’t do a post about salsa without mentioning one of the best Seinfeld quotes of all time. Agree?

On to the salsa…I was soooo sick of eating plain old grilled pork chops so I was perusing the web for some sort of topping. We’ve had BBQ, various chutneys, even this delicious apple topping that is great for the Fall. But I wanted something light, fresh, healthy, summery! Then I came across this recipe for a Grilled Peach Salsa and I was sold.

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First, cut your peaches in half, take out the pit, brush with a little olive oil, and place cut-side down on a hot grill. Let grill for 8 minutes or until peaches have grill marks and are getting juicy.

 

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While your peaches cool, mince a small onion, a tomato, a garlic clove, 1/2 a jalapeno (or the whole thing if you like a kick), and as much cilantro as you like (we didn’t have cilantro and substituted parsley).

 

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Once your peaches cool to room temp, dice them and put them in the bowl with the rest of your ingredients.

 

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Squeeze the juice of one lime on top and salt to taste.

 

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Serve over pork like we did, or over swordfish maybe…or of course eat with chips. This is so good, so healthy – enjoy!

I Bought a Romper

I have been debating rompers for…I don’t know…a year maybe? The thought of wearing one is appealing – they’re so cute, perfectly coordinated, and you can dress them up or down. Problem is, they seem to be made for the very tall and the very thin – neither of which I am.  Hmph. So, I have just been admiring rompers from afar.

Until…Zara was having their annual sale and of course I poured through their website and spied quite a few cute rompers – all on sale! Well, this one:

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sat in my shopping cart for nearly 3 weeks (along with a couple other items) until one day I noticed items in the cart were disappearing one by one as they were selling out. So, I finally hit “buy now” and bought it! Well, it came in the mail late last week and I am in love! Why didn’t I go down Romper Road sooner?!

Ladies – you can have an actual behind and thighs and wear a romper and now I can tell you that with confidence and from experience. And if you’re seriously in the market, I contemplated this one in navy because it’s only $17 and the dark color would be flattering.

I wore mine out to dinner over the weekend…

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Love it! A few notes:

– the rumors are true – it’s a pain in the a** to go to the bathroom when you’re wearing a romper. I basically undressed every time I had to pee, which post-child, is often.
– I learned on our trip to London at the Churchill War Rooms that Winston Churchill in fact invented the romper. If you follow me on Twitter you know this fact already but here’s the full story: during WWII he was so busy that the didn’t have time to put on a proper suit in the morning when he got dressed.  So, he had his tailor design a one-piece suit-like outfit to wear every day. His family thought he looked comical “romping around” and  the romper was invented and named. Thanks Winston!

Couple Things…

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On Monday, we got the postcard we mailed Z from London (on June 24th, um exactly 2 weeks later!) and she is obsessed with it.

I tried and hated egg salad for the firs time. I don’t like yolks or mayo so I don’t know why I thought I’d like it.

More backyard blooms!

I got a new cute iPhone case from Society6.

3 Words: Giant-Heirloom-Tomato. This with shrimp and pasta was our dinner Wednesday when my husband went out with friends.

And – we’re headed to Assembled: The Handmade Market at Assembly Row in Somerville to check out the crafts…and food trucks – stay tuned for a recap next week!

Banh Mi

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We’ve all seen the food trucks around town selling Bahn Mi – Vietnamese-style sandwiches and they…are…yummy! We got home from London and were so food-inspired that we decided to tackle making our own version of a Bahn Mi. And let me tell you…it was easier than we thought…and they came out GREAT!

According to Wikipedia, Banh Mi is the Vietnamese term for bread. And in this area of the world Banh Mi has been used to refer to a meat-filled sandwich on bread. Meat on bread? That’ll work for me!

We used this recipe from Epicurious because we wanted to make chicken Bahn Mi’s instead of the usual pork. I was surprised to find that the ingredients were somewhat basic and definitely able to be found at your local grocery store.  Daikon is in season now and we had some from our weekly CSA, so that worked out too.

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First, cook your chicken, we baked ours, let it cool, shred with 2 forks, and set aside.

 

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Make your slaw using shredded carrot and daikon. Mix with combined vinegar, sugar, and salt. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

 

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Mix your oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and spread on your crusty baguette that has been warmed in the oven and then split.

 

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Now it’s time to assemble! Layer a piece of lettuce on the bottom, then pile your shredded chicken, top with a few cut white onions, then sprinkle your slaw on top. Last, spread a little mayonnaise on the top piece of bread. I was surprised by the mayo too, but it makes the sandwich.

 

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This is a messy one, but soooo good – enjoy!

…and Then We Went to Scotland!

Our trip to the UK didn’t just include taking in the sites and tastes of  cheery ‘ol London…we also made a trip up to Scotland at the end of the week. We have some friends living in Glasgow right now so we figured it was the perfect time for us to see this beautiful country. Is Scotland full of castles, sheep, and green land? Yes. And those three things are so amazing and beautiful when you see them in person, it made me so excited to be there.  Here’s how our 36-hours in Scotland went…

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We took the train (almost a 5-hour trip) from London to Edinburgh to see the famed castle. You walk out of the train station, walk up a little street called Castlehill (I kid you not) and then…it’s there. Notice the jackets…cold, windy, just damp…all the time. But not in a bad way, actually.

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You can guess who this tiny pink kilt is for…

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We really did see…sheep…everywhere!

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Kilchurn Castle…in the misty rain – is there anything more Scottish than a castle in the misty rain?!

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After this castle we drove to the Scottish Highlands where there are beautiful mountains and a very low population of people. We drove through and saw some amazing scenery.

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We stopped at Oban, an adorable and quaint seaside village.

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And on the drive home we dined at Drover’s Inn, a 300 year old pub! We went with Scottish classics – I got a steak and ale pie and my husband tried (and liked!) the haggis (our friends got the same).

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We had to see one last castle before the day ended…

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And then the next morning we hopped on our plane to come home. Goodbye UK, we had such an awesome visit.

DIY Jean Shorts

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I tend to buy all of my Z’s clothes at the end of the season when they’re on clearance for the following season – like right now I’m shopping size 2T for next summer because everything is on super sale. That said, I found that I didn’t have many coordinating shorts for the random assortment of tops I got Z last summer to wear this summer. I decided she needed a little pair of denim shorts – they go with everything and she can get as messy as she wants because hey, they’re jeans. I found a pair of little Joe’s jeans on clearance at Nordstrom Rack and went to work…

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I decided it would be cute for Z to have a pair that were slightly longer, skinny leg, with a rolled cuff. To make these for your toddler (or yourself!) you’ll need: Jeans, an iron, sharp scissors, and a needle and thread (not pictured).

 

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Measure how long you want the jeans to be, then add about 1 1/2 inches for the cuff. Measure from the bottom so you get the same length on each leg.

 

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Measure again. Then cut.

 

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Make the cuffed legs by folding and ironing each time. Fold…iron…fold…iron. Repeat on the other leg.

 

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Sew the side of the cuff so it stays in place and doesn’t unfold. This is especially necessary for baby/toddler/kids.

 

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Done. Cutey cute DIY denim shorts. Here is my Z testing hers out on the playground after our Baby Bootcamp class.

London Recap, part II – Dining Guide

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So enough about the sites of London – let’s talk about the FOOD!

I often hear from people that, especially when traveling internationally, they tend to frequent places that are familiar (US chains), end up being disappointed (crappy hotel restaurant), or end up spending way too much (concierge recommendation). We always make the effort to do some research before we leave to have a few reservations made for the trip.  Then, once you’re there fill in the rest of your nights with places you find yourself in travel guides, recommendations, or simply places you see on your journey. This trip, we ended up buying a 1-month phone and data plan from a UK provider and converting an old iPhone we brought with us so we could check in with Z and hear from my parents how she was doing. Having this was SO helpful to have the internet to get around the city and be able to research places to dine. Truth be told, it was only about $23 and we had unlimited data for the 8 days we were in the UK. Plus, we could then text with the friends we were visiting in Scotland.

All of that said…here’s how we ate our way through London (good thing we walked and walked ALL day!!):

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Our first night in London we hopped right over to Anchor & Hope in Waterloo, an authentic English gastropub with communal table seating and all sorts of English classics on the menu – it was great. To start, we split this goat cheese and beet salad with mint, an unexpected bite we will be sure to add to our homemade version.

 

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English breakfast of a scone with jam and cream at a French patisserie right near our hotel.

 

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The flavors of crisps (potato chips) were unbelievably unique…and odd. We tried the fish & chips in the middle photo and brought the beef burger home for our Z (hamburgers are her favorite).

 

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We had made a reservation for The Orange, but then decided to visit their sister restaurant The Grazing Goat on Sunday night for an English Sunday Roast – so many restaurants serve a traditional Sunday Roast menu on Sundays (of course) that we wanted to try it. I had the chicken and it was to die for!

 

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I mentioned in my first London Recap that we picnicked in Hyde Park. Well the full story is that we stayed around the corner from famed department store Selfridges – where they have the most fabulous food store with amazing prepared foods from around the globe, cheese counters, meat counters, bakeries, florists, everything you can imagine! It’s like a Whole Foods x10. So…we went there to grab some yummy treats for our picnic lunch. Notice we’re eating on my Turkish Towel – the perfect travel companion! Also – yes, we tried more crisps, these roast chicken crisps were not good. =(

 

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We used Yelp to figure out a well-liked Indian restaurant since Indian food is so big in London. We ended up at Salt Whiskey Bar – which from the appearance just seemed like a place to drink whiskey and smoke with a hookah, but when we got our food, we totally agreed with all the reviews. We started with the cheese balls, left (SO much better tasting than their name would lead you to believe) and then got the classic chicken tikka masala.  Yum…

 

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The nicest restaurant we dined at was Clos Maggiore, voted the most romantic restaurant in London! We were celebrating our wedding anniversary, so we figured, why not? We made this reservation before we left and mid-week at 6:30 was the only time left! Anyway…the food was amazing, I had the Scottish Monkfish pictured above.

A few notes:
– for lunch every day we ate on the go, usually a little sandwich from one of the “on the go” places.
– unfortunately we never had dessert so I never tried sticky toffee pudding!
– You’re probably wondering where fish and chips are on this guide!  Well, we did have fish and chips at a pretty nice place for lunch one day – it was a gourmet version and I didn’t take a photo because I thought we’d go to a try the dish again at a pub. I found this list helpful when trying to find a place. We had planned on going to Sutton & Sons, but…we ran out of time and meals. Next time!

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So there is my London dining guide – I hope you find it helpful the next time you cross the pond!

*top photo of some bar snacks at a hotel bar down the street from where we stayed.
*bottom photo of breakfast-on-the-go one morning at Selfridges Food Market.

Couple Things…

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Our Z sure did love the beef burger flavored chips we got her in London (hamburgers are her favorite food).

And what do I see the first time I go to the grocery store after we’re home from London? Steak flavored Ruffles…are meat chips taking over the world?

I got a sweatshirt from the new Feed for Target line. $25 and will provide 20 meals across America – great mission.

Z’s goal this week has been to get her shoes on all by herself…she’s almost there!

We celebrated the Fourth yesterday of course…with pinwheel straws…

…and another selfie of me in my niece’s Patriotic cap and wearing my Fourth of July outfit.

 

Have a great weekend!

What to Wear – Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July – here is what I’ll be wearing today to celebrate our freedom… all decked out in red, white, and blue!  And of course I’ll be eating ice cream from one of these yummy Patriotic cones!

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1. Ironically, I will be wearing a blue and white striped dress that I bought at Jaeger while in London. 2. Society 6 has the best prints for iPhone cases, of course you need the American flag for the Fourth! 3. For this Patriotic day, a red belt is perfect for this dress, like this one from Forever21 – only $5! 4. This navy straw Mar y Sol “Sydney” crocheted cross-body bag from Nordstrom is perfect with this outfit. 5. These red sandals from Zara are great – and on sale!

Fourth of July Ice Cream Cones

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The Fourth of July is this week?! In my excitement to share recaps of our UK Holiday with you, I almost forgot about the upcoming holiday. Then, I had a few ideas of something to wear and something to make…so I decided to put the second part of my recap on hold until next week and bring you some fun Independence Day ideas…

How will you be spending the Fourth of July this year? I bet with a little backyard BBQ with hamburgers and hot dogs perhaps? Followed by an ice cream cone? You don’t get much more American than that to celebrate our Nation’s Independence!! Well, I thought I’d share this idea I had to make your ice cream cone be a little more patriotic. And don’t worry, I know the Fourth is tomorrow – this DIY is super simple and comes out super cute in red, white, and blue.

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You will need: ice cream cones, white chocolate chips, colorful sprinkles in red, white, and blue, and a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or Martha Wrap.

 

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Melt your chocolate chips – white chocolate melts differently than regular chocolate, so I suggest melting it over a double boiler. If your white chocolate gets too hot, it will harden and become unworkable. Don’t fret (and don’t throw it away!) just add more chips and stir, the new chips will simultaneously melt and cool the chocolate.  Once the chocolate is melted, use a spatula to “paint” a thin layer around the top of the cone.

 

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Sprinkle with your red, white, and blue sprinkles.

 

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To make a flag that you see in the top photo: pour blue sprinkles in a pretty wide stripe. Then pour your red sprinkles as stripes on the rest of the chocolate. Use white star sprinkles with chocolate on the back to stick to the blue sprinkled area.

 

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Allow your cones to dry overnight before you use.  These would be especially good with homemade ice cream like this blueberry ice cream – enjoy!