Summer, Summer, Wherefore Art Thou Summer?

11.5 days.

276 hours.

16,560 minutes.

This is how long I have until school is out for the 2014-15 year.

It can not come soon enough.

This year, for the first time since I started in this position, I am not buried in assessments.  Instead, I am managing the mental health needs for (it seems like) all the students, staff and people in my life.  I am pretty tapped out.

Over the weekends, the kids and I sit and make our summer lists- what we want to do, where we want to go, who we want to see.  Our big goal for this summer is to visit all of the playgrounds in our town that have “water features”- sometimes it’s a splash pad, other times a big fountain- and then go back to our favorites as often as possible.

To get myself ready, I’m moving into my summer cooking mode which always means increasing the fruit and vegetable intake and reducing the meat.  Something about the heat makes me prefer the crisp, cool veggies and acidic, sweet flavors.

Some of my summer favorites:

My HipstaPrint 931118145_1Sweet, red, ripe strawberries.  We eat so many of these in the summer.  I keep thinking I should plant strawberry bushes so that we can just go out the yard and pick them.  Someday….

My HipstaPrint 931118145_6Peach, fresh mozzarella and basil salad, dressed with a bit of olive oil and salt.  So very unexpectedly good.  The creamy mozzarella is offset by the sweet, tangy peaches.

My HipstaPrint 931118145_7Roasted broccoli with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.  Crisp, crunchy and salty.

My HipstaPrint 931118145_4A pedestrian version of ratatouille.  Chopped onion sautéed until soft in some olive oil.  Sliced zucchini, summer squash and red peppers mixed in with a can of diced tomatoes, a few spoonfuls of tomato paste and some crushed garlic.  Seasoned with salt and fresh basil.  Cooked until it’s all tender and the flavors have melded together.  So good over white rice or couscous.  Summer in a bowl.

My HipstaPrint 931118145Shredded brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon, red pepper and finished with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.  So delicious.

My HipstaPrint 931118145_3My husband’s favorite summer meal- corn cut off the cob and sautéed with butter, sautéed brussels sprouts and steak.

And of course the ever present ICE CREAM.  ALL THE ICE CREAM.

Everyone please cross your fingers for me as we countdown the days…..





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