I was trying to come up with a clever name for this smoothie that would sound less, I dunno, intimidating or strange. But in brainstorming kitchy smoothie names I came to the realization, that I want the world to know how amazing zucchini is in smoothies. It provides a creaminess that is so conducive to a smoothie and it also gives me that green that I like to start my day off with – from something other than the same ‘ol greens like kale or spinach. Plus, it’s a really great way to use some of those HUGE over grown zucchini that just get all strange to cook with. I scoop out the seeds if they are big and seedy and I just chop up a cup or so. skin included and throw it in.
We have soo many figs coming from our tree and so many beautiful large heirloom zucchini from the garden, that this Zucchini and Fig Smoothie has become a regular around here. This smoothie is creamy, a little spicy, sweet, filling and sooo totally addicting. You gotta trust me on this one guys, just put some zucchini in your next smoothie!
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I have to be honest, I debated even sharing the recipe for these Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes. It is quite simple and really no frills. But, what it lacks in complexity and concept, it more than makes up for in flavor, ease and satisfaction. I can tell you that while there really is nothing extra special or innovative about this dish, for me lately with the craziness of life, when it comes to cooking, I am drawn to perfect summertime simplicity. As I was trying to decide on photographing this to share, I stepped back for a moment and realized how I actually live on dishes like this, in between all of the fun recipe development stuff. No frills, just classic flavors, easy, fresh, seasonal and light. Most days you will find me eating zucchini noodles, cucumber ribbons or a lettuce wrap of some sort for lunch. If these types of recipes and meals make me dance around my kitchen with joy and really satisfy me, surely I cannot be alone!
Stepping outside first thing in the morning, walking barefoot through the dew covered grass, making my way across the yard to my garden – has to be one of the highlights of my day. Many times this early morning stroll determines the rest of the meals for the day and I just adore that. Letting nature and the season decide for me.
While having a garden can at times feel like another job, most of the time it feels like pretty much THE most brilliant thing you could ever do. It legitimately feels like free food whenever I bring that morning’s bounty into the kitchen. Plus, I really love knowing exactly where my food is coming from and I enjoy connecting with my home and my surroundings in this way. Pulling weeds and looking for things ready to be picked, it is all quite therapeutic and meditative, in a way.
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For me one of the hardest things about blogging has been deciding how much of my personal life to share with my readers. As someone who seemingly only shares gluten-free recipes and the food I am eating, it is quite hard between this site and the various social media outlets, to not let my personal life seep in now and again. How could it not?
While having your life on display can be challenging at times, the incredible trade-off that I have found, both as a blogger and a regular reader of many blogs myself, are the many wonderful positive connections I have made with amazing people – all over the world. Especially through these bits of our personal lives being “out there”. Reading the words and stories of my fellow bloggers and the thoughtful comments of my own readers, have created so many beautiful and meaningful friendships – many with people whom I have never even met.
I met Danielle of Against All Grain several years ago through our blogs, after she had been commenting on my blog and vice versa. She has such a delightful, comforting and nurturing soul. I have always greatly admired the passion she has for sharing her story and her desire to help others gain control of their life and their health through eating.
When Danielle so bravely shared on her blog, her family’s news and journey with her recent pregnancy and then the loss of their daughter Aila Jane Walker, I wanted to reach through the screen, hold her in the tightest hug and cry with her. I wanted to help anyway I could, to show up at their doorstep with food, to comfort them and take care of them, the way Danielle has done for so many people, herself.
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For me, I really don’t think there can ever be too much of the good things in life. Whether that be the grapes growing on the vines in our yard or the incredible lady friends I have met through blogging. I just can’t get enough of either these days.
#SOLETSPIGOUT // Summer Potluck
When my girls Gina of So Let’s Hangout and Emily of The Pig and Quill invited me to be a part of #soletspigout, their virtual summer potluck – I just couldn’t say no! I mean what I would really love is to hang out with all of these fantastic bloggers in person, in the real life – stuffing our faces with food and chatting it up about blogging and all the weird things we do. But, I suppose this is the next best thing – virtual food with virtual friends. All of the fun, none of the calories?
In honor of #soletshangout, all week long these two adorably charming, witty gals have been serving up some tantalizing dishes for their weeklong fest! They’ve shared Sticky BBQ Korean Chicken Wings, Fizzy Herbed Pineapple Limeade, Grilled Thai Beef Salad With Sesame Lime Vinaigrette, Sinless Superfood Devil’s Food Donuts and Grain-Free Stone Fruit Cobbler with Lime Coconut Cream. Phew – are you drooling, yet?
Oh and to see all the fun surround this potluck, be sure to check out the hashtag #soletspigout on Instagram.
When it came time to decide what I would be bringing to this virtual get-together today, with 20+ other food-obsessed bloggers, I knew immediately I would have to bring something that included grapes! If you haven’t heard me mention already here on the blog or on my social media, I am literally overwhelmed by the amount of fresh grapes we are getting from the grape vines we have here at our house.
I have been picking them by the 5 and 10 pound bags. No joke. I’ve been forced to get super creative with all of these grapes, which I have actually been loving and I hope you have been, too! (Did you see this Red Grape and Goat Cheese Salad with Walnuts or the Bacon Roasted Grape Salad?) That said, I have also taken to literally giving them away by the several-pound bags, to anyone that will take them. So, please be warned, if you come within even 1 mile of our home or if you invite me to your place, I will send you away with grapes. Lots of them.
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