21 August 2012

My Summer To Do List

Summer weeks and weekends go so quick.  I usually attempt to make a list of things I want to do over the summer months so that the time doesn't slip away without enjoying certain moments.  I've only crossed off one thing so far this summer (sidebar opening a new business was not on this list).  It is now the third week of August, I'm going to guess that not much more is getting crossed off but I'm determined to give it a valiant effort and try for a few more before summer's end! 

My List: 

- drive in movie marathon
- go to Cedar Point 
- participate in a Trail Run 
- learn to wakeboard 
- make s'mores at campfire 
- spend time at a cottage in the woods 
- read 3 books in my stack 
- train for a fall 1/2 (technically I'm registered for a fall 1/2 but I have not been great at training!) 
- have a picnic in the park 

I guess it's really all about just living the moments and there have been many this summer that haven't been on my list that I've enjoyed so I need to be a little more lenient on myself lol.  Cedar Point has been planned for October and I'm heading to a cottage for labour day so I can probably cross of the s'mores and book reading.... Now to make my list for the next few months :)

Bounty of summer

So one of the benefits of where my new store is located is that we are attached to The Twisted Apron General Store & Market - an offshoot of one of my fav restaurants in the 'hood.  Local produce arrives daily along with other great organic and healthy food options. It reminds me of the little shops along Bloor West in my days of Toronto dwelling where I could pick up ingredients daily to make meals. Fresh, local, awesome.  We are lucky in that our area produces some awesome fruits & veggies.  Yesterday I grabbed a few ears of sweet corn, red onions, yellow tomatoes and cukes. Since it's been well documented on how chicken shit I am of turning on the BBQ, I rely heavily on my cast iron grill pan.  I grilled up the corn and slabs of red onion as I marinated my chicken breast in avocado & cilantro and put on the quinoa.  I chopped up the rest of the veggies, opened a can of black beans and threw together a lemon & cilantro vinaigrette to put on top.  As usual there is no recipe but the finished product was amazing though this photo doesn't do it justice.

Salad: 1 can of black beans drained & rinsed, quinoa, 2-3 mini cucumbers diced, 2-3 tomatoes diced, 1 grilled onion, 2 ears of sweet corn grilled & sliced off the cob.  
Dressing: 2 parts grapeseed oil, 1 part apple cider vinegar, juice of 1 lemon, teaspoon of cilantro paste, salt & pepper.  Shake well.  Top with grilled chicken and ENJOY!!

06 August 2012

Driving without a destination

Today being a holiday I made a concious decision to not work and have a day to myself.  I wanted more than anything to be away in the woods or on the water but only having one day off makes that a bit of a challenge!None the less, I cleaned house in the morning and then got in the car for the afternoon and just drove.  I had a general direction in mind (ie: near the water) but no real destination.  I wanted to be at the beach or by the water and just be by myself for the whole day.  I wanted to read and be quiet and not talk to anyone, not be on my computer and just chill.  It's been a crazy few months of work and getting this new business ready and off the ground.  There haven't been many days or nights where I haven't worked and admittedly, I'll likely do a bit of filing and my weekly deposits after I finish up this post.  But taking a few hours to just be by myself felt good.  

However while driving mindlessly through the county, what better than to stop at the local farms and buy fresh veggies to take home for dinner.  Over the past few weeks having the time to cook and post has also been few and far between so I am happy to be back in the swing of things cooking and baking and writing.  Tonight I enjoyed some organic chicken & gouda sausages from my last trip to Whole Foods accompanied by a fresh summer salad of  sweet onion, cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes from both the farm and my very own garden!! To dress the salad was a very simple mixture of grapeseed oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  

There have been a few nights this summer where I've convinced Soph to come down and bbq for me! We grilled corn in the husks and then coated in butter and cayenne pepper and ate off the cob! Another fresh tomato (from my garden) salad with chickpeas and feta cheese and then some delicious grilled shrimp.  For the shrimp I marinated them in lemon juice, garlic, hot peppers and cilantro and then we tossed them in the bbq stir fry pan.  There is something so great about things cooked on the open flame - I just wish I wasn't petrified of doing it myself!! It's one of the best parts of being away at the cottage and although this summer those days are fewer than other years, I have to resolve to find a few days over the next few weeks to get away being either by myself or with friends to take in the moments and the deliciousness of summer.  To take more rides without a destination and just see where the road takes you.