Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Tastemakers. As always all opinions are my own.
Neil and I have always enjoyed entertaining whether it’s a pizza party, a potluck or our annual pumpkin beer tasting dinner. My favorite time to entertain however is during the summer when the days are longer, the sun is out and there is little need to do much cooking. I prefer to whip up some salads, grill veggie burgers and of course set out a few snack plates to start off any gathering.
I am particularly partial to antipasto platters because there is little work involved for me and they just look beautiful. I head to the grocery store pick up a few varieties of olives and various other antipasto bar items including peppers (hot and sweet), artichokes, roasted garlic, marinated tomatoes and basically anything else that looks good. I will finish off my platter with toasted bread, pita chips, crackers and hummus. Since I don’t like to do everything store bought I usually add in my own little treat and this time I made almond cheese stuffed peppadew peppers.
What you’ll need for the almond cheese:
- One 6oz tin of Whole Natural Blue Diamond Almonds, soaked in filtered water overnight
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (this provides the cheesy flavor)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons sweet white miso
- 1 tablespoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
Simply toss all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth and then stuff your peppers and enjoy!
Share you summer entertaining tips below! One of my top tips is to keep it fresh and simple so that you can also enjoy the party!
First off no I haven’t had the baby and second if you didn’t know we are expecting baby #2 anytime now (currently 38 weeks).
I know I haven’t been blogging as consistently as I once was/would like to and the reality is life is just a bit chaotic right now. Neil started a new job in June which has left him commuting anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours per day depending on traffic or if he takes public transit. This has been a bit of transition for us all since Neil is now leaving earlier in the morning and arriving home later in the evening. We have settled into a routine but I’ll be glad when we move to our new place and the commute is only 30-60 minutes per day.
That takes me to our next thing we are moving AGAIN. Once again just across town but moving nonetheless which has really taken over most of my days lately. We are trying to get as much as we can packed up before #2 arrives because we both know there will be little time to pack once they do. This process is also taking a whole lot longer because third trimester + toddler + heat + commuting husband + packing = slow process. I have a goal to pack 1-5 boxes per day and I’d say at this point we are 80-89% packed right now. If you stopped by you might not think that’s the case but our cupboards and closets are mostly filled with packed boxes and the items that we do have out are things we use on an almost daily basis.
We decided to get a storage unit this week so that we can move out the boxes so that (fingers crossed) our place rents more quickly without the box clutter so that we are not have to deal with too many viewings. Oh the joys of renting. Neil has been bringing boxes out with him every morning and dropping them off on the way to work. This also will help a little bit when it comes to moving in and hopefully not living in a land of boxes for too long. I am hoping to move a number of boxes in and then move less important/used items into the house overtime so that we can hopefully just get all moved and settled in <– our biggest moving problem. Seriously we never seem to get ourselves settled into a home and live out of boxes for months.
What’s next? Oh yeah, I’m 38 weeks pregnant this week and well I’m just ready. Ready for this baby to arrive and to start our life as a family of four. I won’t lie I’m pretty anxious for this baby to come and would like them to come ASAP so that we aren’t moving with a two week old. Alas babies come when they are ready and I don’t think this baby is ready to come yet. I have been getting out for walks, doing lots of squats and lunges, cat/cow, eating spicy food (umm I’m always eating spicy food), drinking raspberry leaf tea and today I’m getting a prenatal massage! I also want to get acupuncture but unfortunately with Neil’s work schedule it’s really hard (rather impossible) to find an appointment time that works, oh well.
Lastly, We have been spending a lot of time doing things as a family of three. Just trying to get out and enjoy the summer and as much time together as we can. We also have been trying to get together with friends because with baby #2 arriving, moving and my parents coming we know that it could be awhile before we are able to make time to get together.
So that’s life right now. What’s been going on in your life lately?
Disclaimer: Whole Foods Market provided me with my own $50 gift card to purchase ingredients for the recipe below. As always all opinions are my own.
Cherry season is here! I have seriously never been so excited for a fruit to be in season. I LOVE cherries and am lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest where a large portion of the cherries and North America are grown. When we lived in Vermont we hardly ever bought cherries, not because we didn’t enjoy them but because they were hard to come by and super expensive.
Currently our fridge is filled with cherries (although I bet most will be gone in the next day or two) because we took advantage of Whole Foods Cherry Fest and the $1.99/lb (!!!!) deal that happened this past Friday. We have been eating them by the handful but since we have so many I have been trying out some new recipes with them including the recipe I am sharing below for Fresh Cherry Limeade.
FRESH CHERRY LIMEADE
Recipe Provided by Whole Foods Market
- 1 1/2 pound cherries (about 6 cups), pitted, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup lime juice, plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
- Sparkling water
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Put 1 pound of the cherries, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water into a medium pot; cover and simmer over medium heat (reducing heat, as needed, to maintain a simmer) until cherries are very tender and have made a fragrant syrup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to let cool and then purée in a blender with lime juice and zest.
- To make each glass of limeade, pour about 1/2 cup of the cherry-lime syrup and 3/4 cup still or sparkling water over ice in a tall glass. Stir well and then top with a small handful of the remaining cherries, garnish with a lime wedge and serve.
Per Serving: Serving size: 1 drink, 150 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat,0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 35g sugar), 1g protein
I shared this with Edith after photographing and we both really enjoyed it (don’t worry I drank 80% of it). I am keeping the leftover syrup in the fridge to make up more Fresh Cherry Limeades this week because they were just well YUM!. With the remaining cherries I’m thinking of diving into a big bowl right now and also topping my bowl of oats with them tomorrow. I’m going to be sad when cherry season ends but until then I am going to eat all the cherries!
Giveaway // $50 Whole Foods Gift Card
Whole Foods has generously offered to provide one reader with a $50 gift card! If you win you might like to try the recipe above or one of these cherry recipes.
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