July 15, 2014

Weekly Menu July 15

This week we have:
Sour Cherry Almond Jam
Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar Potatoes with Goat Cheese
Double Dark Chocolate Cake with Black Velvet Icing

For today, July 15...

Outside my window... Ohhh, it is SUCH a lovely day! The temperatures have all dropped about 10 degrees, plus more rain, this is the kind of summer I like! Yesterday was even better, and the day before that felt like Fall. There was even the tiniest bit of a chill in the breeze this morning! It warmed up plenty by the time we got home from the park, but this is just about the perfect summer temperature for me!

I am thankful...For cool, rainy days, friends and scooters and new parks, discovering yummy new restaurants and trying new foods, date nights and late nights and early mornings (when I drag myself out of bed!). I'm thankful for my gorgeous green backyard, that my rosebushes, big and teeny, are thriving, and most of my summer bulbs are coming up! I'll have to take some updated garden pictures soon...
In the kitchen... Creating a new banana muffin recipe (I think one more try, and I'll have it right!) testing out chocolate cake recipes, and I think it's about time for a batch of granola. Haven't made it for years, but my Joe adores the store stuff, so homemade will be even better! He really wants to help me make it, too, and it's the perfect thing to help with, lots of big, less perfectionist measuring. We'll bond... and stuff... Over food! :) Oh, and I'm making those short-rib tacos again, and I tweaked a bunch of things this time, just for fun, we'll see if it's worth re-blogging with the new ideas!

A peek into my day... Woke up, ate breakfast, packed up the boys and their scooters and set off for the skate park! Surprisingly, the people who use it the most are younger kids on scooters. And they really go for it! They get some serious speed and air going! I wasn't sure how the boys would take to it, especially Stephen. He's my more cautious boy. Joe was all in for the first second, and was in there for hours and hours, he loved it! Stephen took a little longer to build up his courage, but he was having a blast too! It was an awesome way to spend a few hours, great exercise and so much fun to watch! Afterwards we came home, had lunch and are being all calm and quiet now, cool and relaxed. The boys were playing their version of chess, I got those short ribs in the oven and the menfolk took Kate to REI to shop for backpacking food.

Source: Pinterest
I am looking forward to... JAAAAAAM!! My favorite part of summer. Hands-down. Homemade jam. First up, sour cherry jam, which reminded me yet again why I LOVE preserving and canning and jamming soooo much! Nothing tastes like homemade jams and preserves with perfect, sun-soaked in-season fruits and veggies! One of my tomato plants died, so I probably won't get enough tomatoes to can them this summer, but The Geologist will expect a new batch of salsa later this summer, I need some more peach jam, and raspberry jam, strawberry jam this year, and something new with plums. I love my spiced plum jam, but I want to create something new with them this year. Maybe something new AND spiced plum jam! Anyway. Lots and lots of jam through this summer!

I am thinking... I think I complained just a little too soon about my boys fighting, and this whole summer vacation thing. It must have just been a bad day, because they have been soooo good since then! Not perfect, of course, they're kids, but they've been playing like angels together, being helpful, being thankful and low-key and undemanding, I really am a lucky Mom. They are fantastic kids, and I am having a great summer vacation with them! I finally remembered to work on math facts flashcards with Stephen too, I want to make sure he's all caught up before starting third grade. Now to keep it going!

Source: Pinterest
I am learning... that crawfish are not as disgusting as I thought! I've always wanted to try them, so I had a crawfish etouffee last winter at an adorable Southern restaurant... and hated it. Like, took two bites and sat there miserable until the Geologist finished his dinner. They were so foul. So I thought crawfish were these super-strong-fishy-flavored things and wondered how so many people could like them so much!! Last night The Geologist and I found this really fun new restaurant that does a lot of seafood, and he wanted to try crawfish, but was afraid he wouldn't like them, so the server was nice enough to bring us two little steamed and seasoned critters, and I was thinking my husband was CRAZY, but he tried one and loved it, and talked me into trying the other one... And it was delicious! Like a tiny lobster! Soooo good! My first ones must have just been prepared wrong. *shudder* Anyway, I am thrilled that I now understand the deliciousness of crawfish! 

Around the house... My Dad just retired from the Air Force after 20+ years of service! Yay and congratulations, Dad! Over twenty years of showing up at work, of a job every single day... going from that to this perma-vacation, rambling around the country kind of summer, it's a bit of an adjustment! He still needs things to DO. Luckily for me, this means little things around my house that we just haven't gotten to yet are getting fixed up! Our screen door, hanging curtain rods, a tricky faucet... it's pretty fun! He and the Geologist have this handy-man thing in common, and love working on things together. And I get things fixed up around the house!

One of my favorite things... Sunsets and sunrises. Have you ever seen a sky like the picture above?? I am lucky enough to be able to say that I have! Colorado has some of the most beautiful skies and sunsets I've ever seen. Maybe it has something to do with reflection off the mountains, maybe there is something in the air, but I love it when the sky turns all gold and orange, pink and violet. Now if only I could capture them on film!

Try your own Daybook! Get ideas here!


  1. Hi April, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment on our bedroom! You are so right about homemade jam and preserves. My MIL sends us fig preserves and jams she makes and it doesn't get any better than that. Congrats to your dad on his retirement.

  2. I agree, homemade jam and jellies are such a great part about summer...the sunsets are quite wonderful too!! :)

    1. Olivia, I'm so happy to see your comment! Your blog is just plain adorable, I'm so thrilled you're here! If we were neighbors, I would bring you a jar of jam right now :)

  3. I need to make some jam this year I think. I did a single large jar of strawberry jam, but am thinking gooseberry jam would be good too. Love your day book as always. Congrats to your dad on his retirement! xxoo

    1. Gooseberry jam gets my vote!! Lots of these pectin-less recipes I have make just three small jars, and you can freeze them! I don't know if that would still be too much for you two, but you can always bake with it :)


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