June & July Favorites

It's a double helping of favorites this month since last month and the one that came before it seemed to be all consumed with our big move and some serious traveling. No sooner had I just started unpacking that it was time to jet off to Las Vegas and then Atlanta for work, and then off to Aruba for vacation. It's been a busy and exciting few months here at the Humiston household, but there has been plenty of fun and even more food along the way. So let's get down to what I've enjoyed the most over the last two summer months, shall we?

Farmer's Market Fare
Spring and summer mean the inevitable fresh fruit and vegetables that I crave so much. And getting them from a local farmer's market is just the icing on the cake. This summer, Shaun and I have indulged in everything from zucchini and Jersey corn to fresh strawberries, cherries and peaches.

Moka's Red Velvet Cake
I really could go on about this forever and ever until the end of time. Is it wrong that one of my major fears is that somehow it won't be there next July?

Iced Coffee & the Cold Cup
The extreme temps in New York and New Jersey have caused a virtual frenzy each morning for iced coffee. It's really the only way I've found to semi-combat the heat and keep myself from overheating before even getting to the office each morning. With iced coffee costing about $2.50 each day, my mom was wonderful enough to purchase a sweet Copco cold cup for me which should help cut some costs while looking super chic to boot.

BBQ Fare
Since our very first home purchase during our first weekend in the new joint, Shaun and I have taken just about every opportunity we could to use our beloved Mr. Weber for grilled burgers, juicy hot dogs, tender summer squash and crisped ears of corn. Nothing says summer like grilled meat and veggies. And bonus, I get a free pass from cooking after work since Shaun is always on grill duty.
Seaweed Salad
I discovered this wonderful concoction while dining at Deep Blue Sushi, a restaurant in the Jet Blue terminal at JFK (while waiting for my plane to Vegas, no less). I had heard the tales of seaweed salad but was admittedly a bit skeptical of its potential due to its seemingly gelatinous nature. My take? A resounding yum and I can't wait to try it again.
Truffled Mac & Cheese
Not since my trip to Otto and discovery of truffled honey have I really gotten the whole truffle thing. Sure, I enjoy dipping a bit of Amy's Bread into a bit of truffle oil. But added into macaroni, cheesy goodness? It doesn't get much better. I enjoyed this gluttonous plate at Knobhill at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Oysters
I know I already did the raving and most of you are probably wondering if I've been living under a rock. Even my own sister asked after reading my article, You've really never had oysters? Nope. But now that's basically all I want to eat.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
I could really make like I'm in third grade and bring a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch everyday of my life if I thought it was remotely healthy. Put it into a dessert bar and I'm pretty much set for life.

Almond Milk
Making your cereal better by the second, almond milk has fully replaced my love for soy milk. Vanilla flavored and sweet, this milk added to anything just screams YUM!

Banana Pudding
This banana pudding that I enjoyed during my trip to Atlanta was nothing short of fabulous. Creamy banana custard, real whipped cream (which can't really be beat in my book) and soft yet crunchy bits of pie crust come together in this out-of-this-world concoction that left no regrets on passing over some Georgia pecan pie.

So there you have it - a not so succinct round up of a few of my favorite Summer things from June and July. But what I really want to know is...what have you been enjoying over the last couple of months? Dish!

April Favorites: What I dug over the last month

I know. I'm like a week late. I'm sorry. But answer me this...how is it May already? I'm just not sure how it happened, but April flew by even more quickly than March did. So I won't spend any more time reflecting on the fact that life is passing by in an instant, and instead, why don't we just get down to the goods, shall we?

All things breakfast. This month I not only remastered my famous scrambled eggs, but I discovered the wonder of the Lemon Blueberry Pancake. All it took was a little lemon zest and some frozen blueberries to turn this ordinary cakes from eh to super duper mmmm. Crispy edges and cakey insides (really the only way to cook a pancake in my opinion), these pancakes single-handedly ruined me for boxed mixes forever.

Fruit. While we're on the subject of frozen blueberries, I should mention that April was a month of fruity concoctions. Though apples are out of style (even though I still give them a try every other day, only to find that they are just mealy and overall undelicious this time of year), I still enjoyed many a fruit this month. Bananas not only graced my lunch bag, but they also wormed their way into quite the scrumptious banana bread. Dried fruits like raisins and cranberries provided a quick in-between-meal filler along with a handful of almonds. Oh, and did I mention that raisins made their way into my Honey Bran Muffins? Which just so happened to look so delectable that they were featured on Photograzing?

Land O'Lakes Light Butter with Canola Oil. A nice, silky smooth alternative to the real thing, this version of butter is lightened up without becoming full blown margarine (because let's face it, that's just blasphemy). Don't get me wrong, I love butter as much as the next person (though perhaps not quite as much as Paula Deen), but on a day to day basis, this is one of the easiest ways to cut calories without really sacrificing flavor. Though I wouldn't necessarily substitute it in something like Mint Julep Brownies, to butter a skillet or to top off a whole wheat English muffin, it's the perfect butter substitute.

BLT Burger. I know I already raved about it to no end, but seriously, it's one restaurant that I have revisited multiple times and let me tell you...it's not because of its healthy options or cost-effectiveness. Nope. BLT Burger is pure decadence and when I look back over the super busy month I just had...well, decadence is certainly noteworthy. Especially when there's milkshakes involved.

The Clintons. Ok, I know it's not actually food related, but it's really just too exciting not to give it a mention. After all, it's not everyday that you see a former President and the Secretary of State walking down Fifth Avenue hand in hand. Especially when you get close enough to snap this photo...without being accosted by Secret Service agents. Politics aside...come on...does it get any cooler?

So there you have it...my slightly eclectic roundup of April Favorites. What did you go bananas over this month? What are you looking forward to in May?

Psst...if you missed any other monthly favorites, you can check out delights including gourmet pizza in January, gorgonzola fig crostini in February and Irish car bomb cupcakes in March...

March Favorites: What I dug over the last month

I'm a tad behind on my March Favorites...let's just say I've been a busy girl. But March was a fantastic month, especially foodwise. I tried out some new recipes and cooked with new ingredients...and I hope that you are all reaping the benefits of my kitchen testing!

Slow Cooker
Though slow cookers are traditionally known for their winter warming qualities, I used mine fairly sparingly this past winter, other than a couple of chili batches. Instead, I broke out the big guns twice in March for some slow cooked, tender meat. Between my Spring dinner party beef brisket cooked in V8 and post-St. Patty's Day corned beef braised in amber ale, the ol' Crockpot produced two fabulous meals that are heading over to the permanent collection.

All Things Irish
I know, I've raved about this a lot, but that's because both of these recipes were just that good. Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and Irish Soda Bread...two beyond fab recipes that I highly recommend you giving a whirl. In fact, TAA reader and friend Danielle, gave these cupcakes a whirl for a family birthday party a few weeks back and shared her awesome photo (above), which admittedly is making me hungry as we speak. Didn't she do an amazing job?

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap
You might call me a big dork, but I guess when you get to be a certain age, you can really learn to appreciate the value of a good cleaning product. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap in all of its glory is enough to make me actually enjoy washing dishes. It's all natural, and unlike a lot of all natural cleaners, it actually cleans! And once you get used to the delightful natural scent, it's really enough to make you never go back to amonia-filled cleaners again. In fact, we're in the process of switching over all cleaning products to be au natural...and yes, Mrs. Meyer's will be making major appearances in all rooms in the house. I like Lemon Verbena, but other natural scents like Basil and Gardenia are great too.

Soy milk
No, I'm not turning crunchy, but after Lauren (aka super friend and Pizza Tour pal) turned me on to the Starbucks Soy Misto (more to come on that next week from the turner on-er), I've just been hooked on the subtly sweet flavor of vanilla soy milk in my coffee. Though my heart still belongs to the Coffee-mate Italian Sweet Cream, Silk soy milk provides a nice flavor change up - and one that I just can't get enough of.

A&P's Greenway Line

I know, a lot of au naturals this month. I discovered the Greenway line of products at my local grocery store a few weeks ago. What is Greenway? It's A&P's private label brand of goods that includes no harmful pesticides, chemicals or artificial fertilizers. I had always noticed the chicken (which, btw, tastes way more delicious than regular old Perdue), but with an organic eye in mind lately, I realized that Greenway can be found in almost every food category in the store. From baby carrots and meats to low-sodium chicken broth and brown eggs, Greenway kicks organic into gear with affordable options for the seasoned grocery shopper.

So there you have it. A wrap up of my favorite foodie things in March. Did you discover any new treats over the last month? A new restaurant? A fun grocery store item? Please do share since TAA is always on the lookout for new and delicious things!

Psst...love the monthly faves? Check out Snickerdoodle Muffins, Gorgonzola Fig Crostini, Marscarpone Cheese and even more cupcakes from January and February!