Welcome to the summer of 2010! Since school got out Thursday morning I have been out and about doing all things summer: drinking fruity drinks, laying in the sun, reading trashy magazines, and being outside. It seemed to be an excruciatingly long school year (wouldn’t my fellow teachers agree?), and the planning and stress was pretty much non-stop, so this summer I am dedicating my time to relaxation, writing, running, and strength training. I’d like to try new foods, experiment with different recipes, and try a fun new activity or two.
My school year ended at 10:45 Thursday and at noon I was celebrating the end of the school year at Margaritas with my coworkers. Yes, that is twice in one week that I have had Mexican food, and you will be happy to know that I have had my fix for a while. I am not a margarita drinker by nature because tequila and I don’t really get along, but I did try a Lime in the Coconut Margarita. It was super sweet and the hint of lime really complimented the coconut flavor. Yum!
I also had quite a few chips dipped in salsa. I love the salt on the chips, it made my margarita taste even better!
We also had a ton of different appetizers to pick on. I had a couple cheese quesidillas, some guacamole, and a few spicy chicken wings throughout the lunch. Many of my coworkers have wonderful things going on this summer so it was good to catch up with everyone before we went our own ways. This summer I am teaching two weeks of summer school so I am right back to it this Monday 🙂
Yesterday Amy and I met Maureen at Carson Beach in Southie (Picture source). It was a hot, sunny day. Perfect beach weather. I learned from my previous experience at Nahant Beach that I need to SPF myself before sitting in the sun. I was told that after that weekend I had sun poisoning on my nose and I needed to stay out of the sun. Skin cancer is no joke and having a tan is not a good excuse to put myself at risk for it! I slathered myself up with Neutrogena’s sports sunscreen and parked my behind on a beach chair.
We didn’t stay at the beach too long, only for about 2 and a half hours, but it was enough time to chat, get some sun, enjoy the outdoors, and be thankful we weren’t working on such a beautiful day!
Last night I went to my parents house to hang out in their backyard, which we all fondly call Tar Beach. Tar Beach has evolved over the past few years from a long driveway where we would have to move the cars to sit outside on beach chairs to a great outdoor space where we grill, listen to music, swim, and hang out. The tall white fence that encloses the space makes it our own private oasis in the city 😉 My parents and aunt hung christmas lights to give it a cozy ambiance and there is a great little tent that covers a table and chairs to sit under. I love going to Tar Beach!
I had a couple of glasses of wine while I cooked and ate.
Then had a few pomegranate martinis..
(SIDE NOTE: turns out vodka is not my friend either! I was up at the crack of dawn with a huge headache! I knew there was a reason that I generally stuck with wine and beer!)
My auntie Erin provided some cheese, crackers, and grapes (see Tar Beach is pretty fancy!)
For dinner I grilled up some chicken that I marinated in an Island Teriyaki sauce I bought at Shaws. The ingredients listed fruits juices and spices and I was happy to see no high fructose corn syrup in it (that stuff is in EVERYTHING these days). The chicken was great though I would not consider myself a grill-master (yet?!). I also made some Trader Joe’s wild rice mix and steamed brocoli. It was a light dinner.
Dessert was somewhat of a let down. I found a quick and easy recipe for a blueberry cake that called for ingredients I had readily available. I decided, last-minute to sub in strawberries for the blueberries- which was not a smart decision! The strawberries have a higher water content so I ended up with a strawberry mush cake instead. Fail!
It actually had a texture similar to bread pudding, and when topped with vanilla ice cream wasn’t too bad. But I couldn’t even convince my mom to take a bite! I may even be crazy enough to try the recipe again, but maybe not putting in as much milk to balance out the water from the strawberries?
What is your favorite summer dessert (besides ice cream)?
On that note I am going to head back to Tar Beach to get my tan on, then head out for a run once the sun starts setting and it gets a little cooler!
Let the summer begin!