Sweltering Hot Weekend in Photos

Is it just me, or does Monday always feel like one giant hangover? Like, not an alcohol hangover…but a weekend hangover. I had too much weekend this weekend, and now I’m going through weekend withdrawals.

That’s totally a thing, right?

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On Friday evening, it got up to a sweltering 105 degrees. I went out to dinner with my parents, my great aunt Emmy visiting from New Jersey, and Emmy’s friend Karen to celebrate my mom’s birthday (which was the day before) and Emmy’s birthday (which was that day!)…we went to Ten22 in Old Sacramento. I had been there before about a year ago and was a little shocked because the menu had changed quite a bit and had a lot of super strange sounding stuff: lamb, elk, duck, you name it! Not one to order the “safe” item on the menu, I chose the Osso Bucco (lamb) with chorizo, dates & roasted tomatoes. My mom, however, scored the winning dish, which was housemade gnocchi with spring vegetables. And of course no birthday dinner is complete without cake! Chocolate mousse, ohhh my god.

Everyone found something that they liked and our dinner definitely solidified my love for this place!

Ten 22 on Urbanspoon

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It had cooled down to a modest 98 degrees by the time we finished, so walked around Old Sac and had a little family photo op by the river.

Karen’s daughter, who lives in SF, had visited Dive Bar on a trip to Sacramento and told Karen and Emmy they had to see the mermaids. Dive Bar has an aquarium above the bar and every hour or so, a mermaid plops into the tank and entertains the crowd. This was my first time ever frequenting a bar with my parents, and I had a great time watching them people watch and react to the scenery!

On Saturday morning, I found myself awake at 9am because my apartment was already so. damn. hot! I figured since I was already awake I might as well finally check out the Saturday morning Midtown Farmers Market. I picked up some mushrooms, beets, summer squash, amaaazing avocado-cilantro hummus, and this green juice from Peel’d. I actually have a friend who just did their 5-day juice cleanse, sounds interesting! Juice cleanses…so in right now…

After my little outing, I promptly sat in my apartment in the A/C the rest of the day, checking various things off my To-Do list (and watching sappy TV shows and crying my face off). The high on Saturday was 108 degrees. I eventually had to leave because:

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I had a surprise dinner to attend! My friend Alex is in town from New York and his birthday is tomorrow, so we strung together an elaborate chain of lies to get him to show up at his favorite restaurant, Chicago Fire, where we were all waiting for him with a cake. Good pizza and old friends…lovely!

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On Sunday, part of that same group of friends caravanned to Berkeley for another high school friend Ian’s birthday BBQ. We taught his 10 year old brother how to play flip cup with Pepsi…he was totally a pro. I arrived back to my apartment in the evening to find that my roomie had already planned an impromptu Wine & Snacks night with a couple of girlfriends! There was chips, dip, and girl-talk galore.

We get one day of respite before it jumps back into the 90s: the high temp is only 75 today. That’s a 30 degree difference, people!

Enjoy your week! I have something very cool to share with you all later this week, which I am very excited about!

PS. Don’t forget to RE-PIN my Muesli Protein Bars! I totally had one for breakfast this morning…mmm, chocolatey.

Hows the weather in your part of the world?

Have you ever been surprised or planned a surprise party? I think I prefer being the one who’s surprised…planning is not nearly as fun 😛

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Weekend in Photos

Oh Monday, you tricky tricky devil.

I’m actually in a pretty good mood this Monday morning, considering it’s Monday and all. I got a surprisingly good amount of sleep this weekend (though nowhere close to the 9-10 hours per night I desire. I really love my sleep, people!) and for every barbecued piece of meat I ate this weekend, I also got in some good exercise, despite high temperatures of 97 and 96 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. Not too shabby!

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Kicked things off on Friday with Concerts in the Park! Every Friday night during June-July, Cesar Chavez Plaza turns into a free mini music festival of sorts, complete with local bands, beer and food trucks. In the above picture is Lindsay Pavao, who was on The Voice a couple seasons back. She’s from Sacramento and apparently works for Radio 94.7 now! Fun fact. Another fun fact: I did not get sunburned this weekend! Major victory. Thanks to my team of sunscreens that come with me everywhere.

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The headliner on Friday was !!! (Chk Chk Chk). We saw them last fall at Launch Festival and they’re really fun to see live. Here’s an example of their music, super up beat and fun! There was a huuuuuge crowd there, since !!! is probably one of the most high profile bands they got to play this year.

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I woke up around 10:30 on Saturday morning and decided to go for a run…it was already 80 degrees outside. It was in the mid-80’s by the time I got out there. I was only going to run about 2.75 miles, but then I saw that they were setting up for the Womens Fitness Festival 5K at the Capitol. I immediately felt guilty for not signing up [the race ran right by my house on Sunday morning!], and for some reason decided I would be running my own 5K…….in the 88 degree heat. Thankfully, I survived.

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A few hours later, we went to our first BBQ of the weekend at Mikhail’s house. It was Mikhail’s birthday weekend (hi Mikhail!!) and T-Man found himself manning the grill, as per usual. Delicious!

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The rest of the evening was spent at the Xoso 5th Anniversary Pub Crawl. The dress code was to wear a Xoso shirt…I clearly have plenty to choose from. I ended up hacking one up into a crop top so I wouldn’t die of heat exhaustion.

Fun times as always! Not pictured are all the selfies I took of me wearing my friend’s stolen Raiders hat after I got home. It seemed like a good idea at the time…

There is this gem though:

Clearly we could use some practice on taking effective photo booth pictures.

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Sunday was barbecue day at Kickball! I opted for a hot dog this time. Also, upon lugging a 17 pound bag of charcoal while biking home from the store I think I finally realized, “Maybe I should get a basket for my bike”.

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After 6 grueling innings of kickball (we were shorthanded so everyone got plenty of at-bats), I called my parents and practically begged one of them to come pick me up so I could hop in their pool. Of course, no visit to my parents’ house is complete without some of my mom’s pasta and homemade sauce! I also spent some time admiring her yearbook (my mom is the yearbook advisor at my high school). When I got home, I prepped breakfast (overnight oats) and lunch (a veggie-loaded salad) for today.

What did you do this weekend?

Hot dog or hamburger? (or for vegetarians, tofu sausage or veggie burger? :-P)

Summer Recipe Ideas

The season of barbecues and grilling is upon us, friends!

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We are officially moving into the high 90’s, and there’s no end in sight. Such is life in Sacramento during the summer months! We get an average of 22 days of 100+ degree temps every year, according to the National Weather Service. That first day might be tomorrow!

And fortunately, I’ll actually be able to enjoy the weather this weekend: included in this weekend’s agenda are at least two barbeques, Concerts in the Park tonight, and a pub crawl tomorrow. All of a sudden, my social life has seemed to perk up! Funny how a little bit of sunshine will do that 🙂

If you’re curious whether I followed my “Getting Back on Track” meal/exercise plan for the week, I actually did pretty awesomely! All of my meals were more or less planned out [except last night I ended up having fries before dodgeball T-shirt pickup, and a salad after…I was supposed to have chicken, fries, and veggies. Not too bad, right?], and I stuck with the workouts. I surprisingly managed to run 2.7 miles on Wednesday at a 9:15 pace (my longest/fastest run since my 5K in March), and did a pretty killer arms & core workout yesterday. I’m definitely feeling like I’m back on track, though we’ll see if I can carry it over into the weekend full of food, booze, and fun!

In celebrating all of our social lives becoming active again, I decided to put together a little collection of summer recipes. Some are recipes I developed, and others are recipes I’ve pinned over the last year or so. Some are entrees that would be perfect for dinner tonight, others are sides that will make you the hero of any barbeque. I’ve got desserts and drinks too! Enjoy!

Main Dishes

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Fried Green Tomato BLTs with Spicy Ranch Spread – I made these on my birthday weekend this past year and they would be perfect for a summer meal on the balcony!

Chipotle-Mango BBQ Sauce Chicken Salad – That sauce sounds out of this world!

Salmon with Lemon, Capers & Rosemary – This Giada recipe is the first fish dish I ever made, and it’s been my go-to ever since! Cooking salmon in foil packets on the grill is foolproof and so delicious.

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Spicy Smoky Black Bean Burgers – My most popular recipe, and one of my favorites. Once you get the hang of it, making veggie burgers at home is really easy.

Grilled Veggie Tacos – The perfect summer meal. I made this so many times last summer!

Asian Turkey Burgers with Spicy Lime Mayo – This recipe has been pinned on one of my boards for over a year now. I think it might be time!

Side Dishes/Appetizers

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Southwestern Quinoa Salad – definitely a recipe that should be in everyone’s repertoire!

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Corn & Avocado – Finally I can make zucchini ribbons, now that I have a microplane!

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Roasted Garlic Hummus – Now that I’ve perfected my hummus recipe, I am totally going to make it all summer long!

Grilled Corn & Cheddar Quinoa – I couldn’t believe how delicious this was. Possibly my favorite quinoa dish ever.

Roasted Red Pepper, Artichoke and Olive Pasta Salad – Ashley has managed to develop my most perfect ideal pasta salad EVER!

Desserts

photo courtesy of Heather Christo Cooks

Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake – I’ve never made an icebox cake, but they sound so easy and perfect for warm weather…no oven required!

Orange Creamsicle Cookies – Quickly becoming my signature cookies! I am looking forward to revisiting this recipe this summer and updating my pictures.

Zucchini Almond Chocolate Bites – My favorite thing to do in the summer is sneak zucchini into everything. These bites are a perfect vehicle!

Coconut Shell Fruit Popsicles – What a cool idea. I might have to do this now that I got a huge amount of coconut oil in my Blend swag bag!

Drinks

photo courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Whiskey Lemonade with Honey – Whiskey and lemons is a favorite combo of mine. It’s like a warm weather hot toddy!

Watermelon G&T – It sounds a little labor intensive to make the watermelon syrup…but I have a feeling it’d be worth it.

Iced Green Tea Mojito – What a cool idea. The healthiness of the green tea totally cancels out the alcohol right? AND there’s green stuff in it. It’s healthy!

Raspberry Beer Cocktail – This sounds like a hangover waiting to happen…and a delicious one, at that.

Citrus-Strawberry Green Tea – So you all can’t say I only included alcoholic drinks 🙂 Though this does sound like it’d be great with a splash of vodka!

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What is your favorite thing to make in the summer?

What are your plans this weekend?