I find myself talking a lot about the seasons and weather here, but the fact is, I’m a little obsessed lately. I am so, so, so ready for summer to be here.
Here in Seattle, we have a little joke that summer doesn’t start until July 5. And sure enough, the temperature has steadfastly hovered in the low 60s and the sun has peeked out once, maybe twice, the past few days. Summer just can’t seem to take hold. So I decided to put a little summer in my glass instead.
This delicious twist on the popular green tea and lemonade combo swaps out the lemons for limes. The result is a sweet, slightly tart, and thirst-quenching drink that should really hit the spot once the sun comes out for good.
When I first started customizing my recipes to accommodate two diets, sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of which one had the meat and which one didn’t. Some of it, admittedly, has to do with the fact that I’m a little (okay, a lot) scatterbrained. But cooking is often a form of therapy for me; I’m in the kitchen so I don’t have to think much.
I’ve carved a “V” into the top crust of a vegetarian pot pie and a “C” in the chicken version. I sprinkle a bit of the meat on top of a meat-filled dish. I even try to keep the meatless version on the left at all times because I’m the left-handed vegetarian oddball of the family.
But far and away the best strategy I’ve found, so far, is to use different colored dishes.
It’s kind of a bummer that most comfort food is on the fattening side. Macaroni and cheese, vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce, yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting, and, yeah. Baked ziti. If it’s not loaded with sugar, it’s loaded with cheese. And don’t get me started on the carbs.
Ah well. Sometimes cheese-loaded carb-city is in order. An added bonus cheese-wise is that if something’s got a lot of it, there’s not really room for meat – thus, the meat-eaters in your life probably hardly notice it’s not there. As in this baked ziti, for instance.
Most baked ziti recipes call for ground beef or crumbled sausage, but you know what? I’m going to argue that it’s just not needed. Superfluous, even. When you start with a great Italian tomato sauce, layer it with al dente pasta and four different cheeses – melty provolone and mozzarella along with creamy gorgonzola and salty parmesan – then add sour cream and mushrooms, well … that’s just perfection right there.
When my guy really, really likes a recipe, he gives it grunts. Sometimes one, sometimes two, and on the very rare occasion, three.
I like when my guy gives my recipes grunts. What can I say – I get a certain sort of satisfaction out of it. One grunt makes me smile. Three and I practically jump into the air. Just call me a 50s housewife, I don’t care.
Wait. I just realized you guys might be imagining actual grunts. And now I’m imagining him making actual grunts over food too. And giggling.
No no. Metaphorical grunts. They’re sort of like giving a recipe stars, but in a manly way.
This recipe didn’t quite make it to the coveted three-grunt club, but! It was super, super close.
Some might argue that a true sangria is red.
Me, I don’t care either way. It’s sangria. When you’re drinking sangria – regardless of the hue – life is automatically good. Who would want to argue with that?
This sangria in particular has become a fast fave in our house. It’s sweet, but not sickeningly sweet. It’s just-right sweet. The strawberries lend their signature summery taste while the sour lemon keeps everything in check. Lemon-lime soda tops it off and, I think, makes this sangria particularly drinkable – in a bit of a dangerous way, actually.