It's a short hike to the bottom of the jump, or you can go around to the top. Of course we wanted to go to the top and these girls are good little hikers so we started to head to the top to see where the buffalo actually jumped off. Mother Nature had other ideas and we only made it a few short feet past this sign...
Seeing their relationship blossom from baby and toddler to big sister and little sister has been truly amazing. They still have their fair share of fights, but this summer has mostly been lots of playing, giggles, secrets and love. Every morning they wake up and instantly are playing...lost in their world of make believe. They play for hours and even if I try, I can't quite seem to fit into this world of theirs. I love hearing them whisper something to one another and then laugh hysterically...and when I ask what's so funny I get big smiles and the word "nothing" It is for them alone to share and I love that they have that. When one is sad, the other (usually!) tries to make her smile. The bonds they are forming will be life long and I look forward to watching it grow. Having two of my own incredible sisters I know how precious these relationships are. I know there will continue to be moments when they don't get along. Fights will change from who gets to hold my hand to someone not sharing a new shirt, but none of that will matter...these moments and memories that are building now will keep them strong enough forever.
I'm not quite sure how to transition from the weekend into food, so I'll just do it randomly. Summer always inspires me to want to cook with lots of color and fresh vegetables. Food and seasons to me go hand in hand. Fall means apple pie and chili, Winter lots of soups and pastas, Spring marks the beginning of bar-b-q and Summer is all about fresh vegetables and beautiful, colorful food & often seafood. Our last two date night meals were the perfect summer meals, made even better by being eaten on our porch as the sun was setting. First...baked mozzarella and open face tuna sandwhiches...
-Drizzle a baking stone or dish with olive oil. Layer fresh sliced mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh sliced basil. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top, sprinkle with pepper and sea salt and some minced garlic. Cook for around 30 minutes at 400-degrees until bubbly.
-For this one I added some sliced potatoes (first I boiled the sliced potatoes for around 5 minutes, then drain) in the layering. We had some fresh ones so I thought I'd throw them in. Very nice addition.
Open Face Tuna Sandwich
-Drizzle olive oil on tuna, season with s&p and some dried herbs (basil & oregeno). Cook on a hot grill, just a few minutes on each side to rare to medium rare
-Slice some ciabbata, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, lay some sliced white cheddar cheese on top, then some spinach or arugula on top of that. Broil until cheese is melted. Tuna goes on top of that once it's cooked
-For the sauce: Mix 1 cup mayo with some salt and pepper and around 1/2 cup of diced sweet pickles. Dollop on top of the tuna sandwich
That was last week...this week I went in a totally different direction. Mediterranean nachos & quinoa stuffed peppers...
Matt LOVED the nachos, he said he gave them 5 stars...I didn't even know I had a rating system. I would have to agree with him though, they were fantastic. And the perfect companion to the quinoa stuffed peppers.
Layer a skillet with pita chips. Drop spoonfuls of hummus on top evenly. Toss sliced tomatoes, kalamata olives and peppercinis on top. Add some shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350-degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Enjoy...they are SO good!!
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
-Around 1 cup prepared quinoa (Prepared quinoa-Soak 1 cup quinoa for around 20 minutes, then drain. Mix it with a combination of fresh squeezed OJ and veggie broth...to make 1 and 1/4 cup total and around a tablespoon of orange zest. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool completely before adding to veggies)
-2 to 3 red or orange bell peppers...tops sliced off and remove seeds
-Chopped red onion (around 3/4 cup)
-1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup chopped snap peas, a couple handfuls of fresh spinach
-1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp cumin
-1/2 cup cashews, chopped
Heat some olive oil in a skillet and cook onion for around 5-7 minutes. Add carrots, peas and cook until soft (around 8 min). Add basil and spinach. When the spinach starts to wilt stir in cinnamon, cumin and quinoa until combined. Add some salt and pepper and the cashews...cook for a couple minutes, remove from heat and let cool slightly
-Stuff the mixture into the peppers, replace the top and place in an oven safe pan that has been slightly greased. Cover the pan/dish tightly with aluminum foil. Cook in a 350-degree oven for around 45 minutes.
Tomorrow we get our next vegetable share from our CSA so I'm sure to be inspired by more colors and flavors for food this upcoming week. There has also been very exciting news in my family with my little sis moving back to town with her hubby and baby. In fact...my nephew got to spend the night tonight and he, as well as the girls, are totally crashed out after an afternoon of playing in the pool. More to come on this for sure, but I am so happy to have them back here again. Now the littlest little can join the gang.
Have a happy week!