Peach Cherry Salsa

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The plan was to have a pork roast for dinner last week (technically grilled, but the same concept). I think of roast pork as a fall/winter meal and I was totally dreading this for a summertime dinner, plus it was just. sounded. boring. I went about my way of seasoning the pork and tossing it on the grill all the while lamenting our dinner choice, why hadn’t we thought ahead and made our grilled peach salsa? When I came back inside to the kitchen with peaches on the brain a trifecta of ingredients were staring me down: peaches, cherries, cilantro. Hmmm, I think I’ll make a peach cherry salsa and rescue my boring pork! Let me tell you it was delicious, the pork was rescued and turned into a meal we actually enjoyed! Here’s what I did…

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1 small peach, chopped
10 cherries, pitted and chopped
small handful of cilantro chopped
1/4 of an onion finely chopped (red onion would work well here or a shallot)
small douse of olive oil
juice from 1/4 of a lemon or lime
s&p to taste

Mix together and serve.

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You have to try this one – would be great on any grilled meat for a refreshing summertime salsa! Enjoy!

Make Your Own Lobster Roll

Have you ever made your own lobster roll or wanted to try? Yes? Keep reading. Are you not sure what recipe to use and don’t want to waste your precious lobster on a not perfect recipe? Yes? Keep reading. Are you not sure if you want a mayonnaise-based lobster roll OR a butter-based lobster roll? Yes? Keep reading…

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It all started Saturday when we visited my Uncle Paul on his new boat and he generously shared some fresh caught lobster – that’s heaven on Earth right there! We feasted on them Sunday evening and actually had some left over. So, tonight, we made lobster rolls for dinner. We’d made them at home before but weren’t impressed with any recipe we’d followed in the past. We could never decide: butter OR mayo: an all butter lobster roll is too much and an all mayonnaise lobster roll takes away too much of the flavor of the lobster. So, why not both?

I came across this recipe from Food Network and it was a WINNER! I thought I’d snap some photos and share the link and our recipe edits. We mixed the meat from 2, 1 1/4 pound lobsters with just over a Tbs of mayo, 1 Tbs melted butter, dash of salt, dash of celery salt, and 1 Tbs finely chopped onion greens (we didn’t have celery greens on hand and this worked well. Note, we omitted the lemon). Incorporate thoroughly and stuff inside a buttered and grilled basic hot dog roll. We served with our homemade cole slaw on the side. YUM – ENJOY!

Fourth of July Watermelon

Maybe you do this already, but I had a fun brainstorm for patriotic Fourth of July watermelon today! Let me back up… this afternoon we were making some sugar cookies shaped as stars decorated with red, white, and blue sprinkles for a fairly simple afternoon activity in preparation for the Fourth of July weekend coming up. As we were setting the dough to chill in the fridge I saw our giant untouched watermelon waiting to be cut up for a play date tomorrow. Bing! Use the star cookie cutter to make a super festive fruit dessert! It almost doesn’t even warrant a dedicated blog post because there is so little effort involved here. But I decided to pull out the camera anyway, take a few shots, and share my simple idea with you. I mean, what easier way to bring something festive-looking to any Fourth of July soiree you’re attending this weekend, right?

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Cut watermelon in slices, at least an inch thick. Use star shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

4th-of-July-Watermelon-1Place on a white tray/plate/serving platter and sprinkle with blueberries for a pop of blue and voila – bringing this Fourth of July watermelon will make you star of the party (see what I did there?).

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Ps. You’ll have lots of random pieces leftover, perfect for snacking. Enjoy!

Summer Send-off

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What a summer! This was one for the books for our little family. Nothing huge happened, just a whole lotta fun – beach days, pool days, dinners out, play dates, adventures with friends, vacations with cousins, sleepovers with cousins, a couple date nights, and ice cream – a decent amount of ice cream. Anyway, we usually send off the summer Labor Day weekend with more of the above, but not this weekend, I was plagued by the flu! The dead-of-winter, sore joints, headache-inducing, appetite suppressing, high fever causing flu. What a bummer. So we didn’t do much but by Sunday I was ok enough to venture out and do some peach picking and by Monday I was ready for a big ‘ol summer send-off dinner, after the kids ran through the sprinkler once last time of course.

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We went for a southern theme of ribs, cole slaw (we used this recipe and added chopped tomatoes), corn….

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and homemade peach cobbler for dessert (I used this recipe and added a cinnamon/sugar sprinkle on top before baking).

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And it was awesome, just like our summer. I felt extra nostalgic this weekend, maybe I was delirious from the fever, but as much as I love LOVE the fall, I sure am sad to this summer end.

How to Cut A Watermelon

As summer comes to a close and we approach Labor Day Weekend, you must be acting like me and savoring every summer moment as you cram tons more summer activities in the next 2 weeks. That includes eating watermelon! I’ve been cutting my watermelon a special way all summer long that I finally snapped a few photos to finally share with you how to cut a watermelon. This is a particularly good way to serve watermelon to kids because it creates a bit of a handle for them AND allows them to eat most of what they’re holding with not much waste. I served watermelon this way at our recent flamingo party to rave reviews.

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Cut your watermelon into rounds and then triangles, as you usually would. Then, make 4 cuts into the rind to create a little stump/handle.

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It ends up resembling a little tree, right?

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Makes for easy watermelon eating at the beach, enjoy this little trick!

The Most Flattering Bathing Suit – EVER

I am known to exaggerate a tad for the benefit of a good story, but I promise you the title of this post is no exaggeration. I also must be up front and let you know that I did not discover this flattering bathing suit on my own, it was my friend Amelia who let me know. In fact, a couple weeks ago we were meeting for dinner and waiting at the bar for our third friend to arrive. We were lamenting that we are of a certain age and how I’ve had 2 children and finding a flattering bathing suit is just impossible these days when Amelia alerted me that the most flattering bathing suit ever is the mesh inset microgoddess bandeau one-piece from….TARGET, no less.

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I went online on my phone and bought the suit right then and there without even trying it on and let me tell you…this weekend I wore the suit to the beach for the first time and I felt like a million bucks. In fact, I was hit on (as witnessed by my mother) while at the beach with my 2 children, cute husband, and parents – that’s not a usual scenario for being hit on, am I right? It was the suit! You must order one immediately, it will change your summer.

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You can wear the suit strapless or with a thing around the neck and I went with the latter based on the fact that I’d be swimming with and chasing after my 2 small children. There’s something about the mesh part (the shape and the material) that is so flattering and a little sexy – which I don’t usually go for with bathing suits these days (aforementioned 2 small children) but hey, why not? Anyway, just thought I’d give you the heads up – think of this as a general PSA on flatting bathing suits – YOU’RE WELCOME!

All Good Things Must Come to an End…

So today is the day – the last day of the Summer of Us, my husband goes back to work tomorrow. We have had the best. summer. ever. Can imagine the luxury of 10 weeks off together as a family? And to start our sweet baby M’s life with such a bang? It’s been truly wonderful. You can click through all of the Summer of Us posts but I also wanted to share a few fun days that I just honestly ran out of time to make posts for…

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2 separate rides on the carousel where my husband and I got married in Newport, RI…

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…and a trip to the aquarium at the same beach. After a major Z meltdown we had fun (although the shark touch tank was a little scary as seen here).

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A day at the Franklin Park Zoo.

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Outdoor concerts and picnics (where we made Deviled Eggs and a Quinoa and Edamame Salad).

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A ride on the swan boats in Boston.

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Lots of playground time.

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Local long weekends.

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Countless beach days.

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and best of all – non-stop sister/brother bonding, she loves to help him with tummy time.

This summer was fun, it was stressful, and boy was it tiring (especially for me, our M still gets me up twice a night to eat!) but I wouldn’t change a minute of it. And thankfully we have about 5,000 photos to remember it by! I hope your summer was as kickass as ours!

Summer of Us – North Conway, NH

We were in North Conway, NH for 5 days last week and I just had to share some photos with you because we had such a great time! We go up there pretty frequently but this time was centered around something we had never done – go to Storyland (well, actually, I’ve been to Storyland quite a few times as a child but this was our first time as a family and more importantly Z and Baby M’s first time there)!!

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We weren’t quite sure how Z would do, if she’d like the rides or be nervous. So we arrived and started slow with the Storybook section of the park and she could not have been more disinterested. She didn’t seem to be having any fun so we stopped to get an ice cream with sprinkles and we thought that would perk her right up – it didn’t…

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Across the way was the Polar Coaster (Antarctica-themed roller coaster) and since she IS 36″ and that’s the minimum to ride, we brought her on. Let’s just say, a daredevil was born! Yes, that’s her in the last car with both of her tiny arms in the air (don’t worry, she has a lap belt on AND I am clutching her for dear life. We went on ride after ride and had the very best time!

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Baby M’s first ride and a family selfie!

 

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IMG_7686 Baby M’s view of Storyland…

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Taking a pumpkin coach to Cinderella’s Castle was. awesome! Baby M and I took the foot path, btw. A great thing about Storyland is if you go and buy your pass at 3pm or later one day, you can go the next day as part of the same ticket – a timeline that worked perfect for us with a napping toddler (we went after nap Sunday and were home for a late nap Monday afternoon). The other great thing is kids under 3 get in free!

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After all the excitement of Storyland, we had some pool time the next day.

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We also went on a hike because how can you be in the White Mountains and not do something outdoorsy?

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And now I have to share my favorite story of our trip. We pulled into the parking lot of the hiking trail we took and got the very last parking spot. All of a sudden this guy comes barreling out of the woods! I shouted “Holy SH*T that’s a MOOSE,” grabbed my phone, and ran out to grab some photos.

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I may have gotten a little too close, by the way – but it’s SO rare to see a moose in person I had to get some shots. I yelled for my husband to get out of the car (I don’t think he was understanding just how exciting this was) and he grabbed Z so she could see too. Mr. Moose never stopped trotting until he got across the highway to a small pond. We could see cars pulling over and droves of people stopping to see him. It was so fun and exciting! Technically I had seen a moose before as a child on the side of the road on the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire, but I really understood just how special it was this time around. It was a fun way to end our time in North Conway!

Assembled at Assembly Row

We had some errands to run on Saturday but also wanted to have some fun and eat lunch – “a pretty nice little Saturday” if you will. So, we hopped over to Assembly Row in Somerville and ran our errands.

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Then we spent some time at the new playground for our Z to have her fun, have you been? There’s a great spinning thing AND those frogs in both photos squirt water when turned on!

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Then it was time for lunch , so we walked by all the new shops at Assembly Row to go to Assembled: The Handmade Arts Market. You may recall we went last year, so we knew how much fun we would have.

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We love food trucks, so we were psyched to see them there – Bon Me, Clover, and the Chicken & Rice Guys are there every week.

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No surprise we all got something from the Bon Me truck – Z and I shared the noodles!

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Then it was time to shop! We saw great booths this year from jewelry to art to handmade bird houses to screened t-shirts. I always love looking through handmade crafts being a crafter myself and all.

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We couldn’t leave without visiting the Swiss Bakers for a little croissant…

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…and we found the most adorable headband that Z and I can both wear. Z was happy because one vendor gave her that sticker and a lollipop, too. Have you been to Assembled yet this summer? It runs every Saturday 11am to 4pm through September 13. Go, have fun and tell me what you think!

 

*Disclaimer: I received complimentary goods for this post, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own.

Summer of Us – Pick Your Own Fruit

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We are really big into picking our own fruit at local farms (peach picking) (strawberry picking), so you bet we added pick your own fruit for every fruit grown locally to our Summer of Us list! I thought I’d share our most recent trip to go blueberry and raspberry picking. Blueberries are pretty much the favorite food of most toddlers, including ours, so we had a blast picking and eating blueberries all morning long! Oh, and we picked raspberries too, which my husband and I really love but Z was more into holding the container than snacking on the raspberries. And don’t worry – baby M was there too and slept in my Ergo the entire time, very newborn of him. I think he’ll appreciate picking his own fruit next year, for sure.

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Her motto: pick one, eat a handful!

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These may have been the sweetest most perfect raspberries I’ve ever had.

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Family pick your own fruit #selfie complete with squinty faces, crooked sunglasses, and an overflowing pint of blueberries!

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You really ought to go fruit picking this summer, it’s a blast!

A few notes if you go this summer:
– If you live in MA – you still have  chance to strawberry pick if you go now! Blueberries and raspberries have just started now. Peaches will be the end of this month or early August. Blackberries are late August.
– I find pickyourown.org to be very helpful to know what fruit is ready for picking and when – click on your state on their homepage for more info.
– We love to pick at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, RI (which is where all of these photos are from) – but farmfresh.org is great to find farms close to your house (or whatever zip code your search from). This site also lists farm stands if you don’t feel like doing the picking yourself and just want buy fresh fruit someone else picked!..

 

Time for Mom