Summer Staycation

I love having time off from work to just be home. We had planned an overnight at Mohegan Sun, thanks to an awesome deal on Gilt City so I was taking the Monday of the already short week off. I decided that it wasn’t worth working just 3 short days and that I’d be grateful for some time at home. I’m so happy I did. I feel rested, recharged, and rejuvenated. Here’s a peek at how I spent my time.

Michael and I finally took our mountain bikes for a spin at Wompotuck State Park in Hingham. We brought my mountain bike back to MA from NY with us at least 2 years ago with the intention of going for rides. We never did. I’m happy we finally changed that. We rode around for about 2 hours. It was so fun to chat, get some exercise, and enjoy the scenery of the woods! We even got to pop in and see an old friend of Michael’s who lives in Hingham. It was a bit overcast and on the cool side that day so I feel like we planned the perfect activity for the weather.

Biking

Sunday morning we woke up to downpours. We decided to sleep in, have breakfast, watch CBS Sunday Morning (I love that show) before getting our day going. We had originally planned to head to RI for a beach day before heading to Mohegan Sun for dinner and some fun. Since the rain spoiled our plans we decided to stop in Providence for lunch. Michael took me to East Side Pockets since I was craving falafel. It was so good and I can’t wait to go back!!! We wandered around in Providence a bit before heading to the casino.

East Side Pocket

We had dinner at Todd English’s Tuscany and it was great. I’ve been wanting to eat there for awhile, and it was worth the wait. We shared a burrata salad, fettucine carbonara, and a proscuito flatbread. The cocktails were awesome too. I had my favorite, a St. Germain martini with a twist of lemon. After dinner we hit the casino for a bit and had some fun on the slots before heading to bed. Monday we slept in, had a lazy morning, had breakfast, and played some more slots before heading home. It was a fun little night away and felt so much longer than it really was.

Burrata Salad

I spent the rest of week enjoying time at home. I went for runs at Lake Quannapowitt- I love not having to cross a street for 3 miles and running by the water. It’s just so much better than running through town.

Lake Q

I took care of errands I kept putting off, like taking my wedding dress to the cleaners and getting the oil changed in my car. I baked. I baked so much. I made a batch of peanut butter cup cookies for the 4th of July. Lucky for you that recipe is coming soon. I took a stab at making homemade puff pastry dough and apple turnovers. They were delicious but there is so much more room for improvement. I already can’t wait to make them again- there is at least 10 things I’d do differently. I’ll share the recipe and tips once I perfect it but since they are loaded with butter that may take a bit. You can’t make those too often! I made a summer berry crisp that was so flavorful and good, and not terribly unhealthy.

I got to meet one of my best friends babies just hours after he was born. To see the excitement, happiness, and joy on my friend’s face was so special and I just loved holding that little peanut.

We spent time at the beach soaking in the sunshine. I finished a book I had been reading for months and took naps in the sun. I even swam, a lot. It was cold and so refreshing.

Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 7.58.31 PM

We saw fireworks and celebrated the 4th of July with friends. It was my first time in the 6 years I’ve lived here that I saw the Boston fireworks. They were gorgeous and worthy of all the hype they get.

Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 8.05.08 PM

And we closed out the week with a day trip to Maine to see our friends and spend one more day at the beach. We chatted, we swam, we ate, and we laughed. It was the perfect ending to the week.

Screen shot 2015-07-06 at 7.59.21 PM

Heading back to work wasn’t so bad today but I’m already looking forward to the weekend. We are headed to NY to see my family and spend time at our summer house!

How did you enjoy the week of the 4th?

A summer dinner and dessert

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market in Bedford, MA. 

When my friends over at Whole Foods Market asked me to put together a dinner and dessert featuring their fresh ingredients I couldn’t say no! Michael loves to cook and I love to bake so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to team up for a delicious summer dinner.

Sea scallops are on sale this week for $14.99/lb. so we definitely wanted to include those. I love scallops but they can be expensive so we tend to only get them when they are on sale. It’s awesome that they are on sale over the holiday weekend- they are great for grilling and scream summer to me! These were tender, and full of flavor.

Michael prepared scallops over pasta with grilled asparagus, peas, and a white wine sauce. We paired this with a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc a friend gave us. It was delicious. To round off the meal I made a healthy summer berry crisp for dessert. Serve it up with some vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt and you have a festive dessert for 4th of July!

Seared Scallops with asparagus, peas, and a white wine cream sauce

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. sea scallops sliced in half
  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 lb. fettucine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2/3 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Ingredients

Prep

Cook the fettucine in a pot of salted water for about 5 minutes, until almost al dente. Add the peas and cook for 2 more minutes until the pasta is al dente. Drain in a colander, then transfer to serving bowl, and cover with foil to keep warm.

While the pasta cooks, turn on the grill. Season the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for approximately 10 minutes until asparagus is tender. Then slice on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Add them to the serving bowl.

While noodles cook, pat scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then add scallops. Increase heat to high and sear scallops, turning over once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 2 minutes total. Transfer to serving bowl with noodles and keep covered.

Add wine to skillet and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in water and cream and boil until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chives and pour sauce over scallops and noodles.

Dinner and Wine

Dinner came together so quickly and was really tasty. You could substitute olive oil for butter, and use non-fat milk instead of half and half to make it a bit healthier. You’ll end up with a thinner sauce but the flavor will still be there. We often do this when making dishes like this.

scallops

Summer Berry Crisp

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 package of strawberries, stems removed and halved
  • 1 package of raspberries
  • 1 package of blueberries
  • 1 package of blackberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 lemon zested

For the topping

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

Berries

Prep

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Combine the ingredients with your fingers. Then drizzle the warm oil and fully incorporate it to make a crumble.

Next, wash all your berries in a colander. Then add to a large bowl and mix in the cinnamon, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon zest.

Spray a 9×12 pan with cooking spray. Pour in the berries. Next add the crumble to the top. Be sure to slightly press down on the crumble when covering the berries. Bake for 40 minutes.

Summer berry crisp

Serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

crisp and ice cream

I love crisps, especially when they include fresh summer berries! You could easily make this gluten-free by using gluten-free flour. You can also substitute stevia for the sugar as well.

Crisp

A big thanks to Whole Foods in Bedford, MA for providing all of the fresh ingredients for our summer dinner. Be sure to check out the sales and specials like the sea scallops!

Enjoy!