Summer Meals

summer foods

Now that it’s summer, I’ve had time to slow down and enjoy breakfast with BJ in the morning. Lately, we’ve been making acai bowls. I got hooked after having one a couple of years ago in NYC at Dimes, and now it’s become our regular stop whenever we visit. Sp far, after some experimenting, this is my favorite prep for acai bowls:

  • 1 frozen banana (pre sliced)
  • 1 frozen packet of acai (run under water for a minute and break it up)
  • 1 cup of  frozen berries (I get the antioxidant packet in the freezer aisle
  • 1/2 -1 cup of coconut water
  • a generous squeeze of honey

Blend all the ingredients together and top it with hemp seeds, sliced fruit (dried apricots are great if you have some around), chia seeds, flax seeds, granola, coconut chips or whatever you have around. It’s light, refreshing, and pretty easy! (Most recipes call for 2 packets of acai, but that can get a bit expensive and I found that one will do the job.)  During our last trip in June, I also tried Dime’s pitaya bowl, and I later found the recipe is posted on Vogue.

We have a habit of hoarding cookbooks, but we’ve been slow to fix up anything besides salads and stir fry. I’ve made it my goal to cook more this summer. In last couple of weeks, we’ve made blueberry and chocolate pancakes, meatloaf (combined recipes here & here), gumbo, and quinoa cakes. Tonight, we’re having friends over and making shaking beef and spring rolls from Charles Phan Vietnamese Home Cooking. All in all, a major big step forward for us! Ultimately, my hope is to be able to whip up dinner quickly and learn how to meal prep. Once the school year begins, I’m usually wiped out by the end of the day, and we tend to eat out more often. But after using Mint, and seeing how much we spent a month on food (it’s the little things that added up – drive thru cone, midnight french fries craving, etc.) we’ve been consciously trying to cut back. Next up we want to try our hand at french toast – BJ’s favorite.

Warrenton

Warrenton_Picks

What we picked up at the Warrenton Antique Fair this weekend. It was the second to last day, but we managed to find some gems!

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Yakima_12_14w

BJ_Multnomah_12_14w

Multnomah_Trail_12_14w

Photos from our trip to Washington and Oregon over Christmas. We stopped by Multnomah Falls after picking up our rental car. It’s a special place for us both. My first time here was around 5th grade, when I was visiting my mom’s side. I think it may have been the first time I’d ever seen a waterfall. And for BJ, it was a stop on the way to California or Oregon to see relatives. He also is a huge fan of their hot chocolate, but the cafe was closed Christmas day. I wonder if our younger selves crossed paths.

Summertime

houston_city_library houston_art

watercolor test

My summer break flew by and it’ll be over in a few days. Can’t believe it. Besides working on the store, and lesson-planning for school, I’ve been carving out time for personal projects. I’m not pleased with most of it, but it’s felt great to test things out and begin routines—to return to the habit of creating. Ideally, the creative misses will eventually lead to hits.

I also took my first dance class, in modern dance, at the Houston Metropolitan Dance center. Although I was nervous, my love for SYTYCD carried me through. Who knew pointing your toes could be so hard?!

Summer has also given BJ and I time to explore more of Houston—many for the first time. Last week, we stopped by the Central Library, got our cards, and checked out as many books as we could carry. We finally walked to the Sicardi Gallery literally around the corner from us. We enjoyed the shrimp egg rolls and lobster with our family at Tay Do restaurant. But we also stopped by old stand-bys: the Menil, where I got a little teary to see the same guard who was on duty in 2009 at the Twombly Gallery when BJ proposed; beating the lines with an early dinner at Tiger Den, where we tried the pandan custard donuts; and pizza and my favorite fries at Kenneally’s Pub.

 

BJ

What will survive of us is love. – Philip Larkin