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Summer is officially in full swing.  Vacations, camps, play dates, birthdays, swimming, baseball and BBQs.  Anyone else exhausted and constantly smell like sunscreen?  But we are having a great time and making fun memories.  We recently went on a trip to Park City, Utah, which was so beautiful!  My husband and 8 y/o white water rafted for the 1st time and had so much fun!  We visited the Cathedral of Junk when we went to Austin for our niece’s graduation.   It was an interesting experience for sure.

As much as I dislike the summer heat, there are lots of summer things I am loving right now.  Here are some of my current summer favorites:

Summer Fruit

IMG_7027My favorite fruit right now is blueberries and we love to pick them fresh from the blueberry patch! We discovered The Berry Patch  last summer and will definitely keep going back.  We usually go early in the morning during the week but last week we went around 7:00 in the evening and it was nice and quiet and beautiful out.  Follow them on Facebook or check their website before you go for the picking report.  The berries are so sweet we usually end up eating most of what we pick.  I made a few muffins as well.  Click here for a list of u-pick farms in the Kansas City area.  I am also loving some cherries and hogged all of them from my niece and nephew on vacation!  The sweet cherries are the dark and firm ones.

Summer drinks

My current favorite drink is a mix between a Moscow Mule and a vodka soda.  So maybe a lightened up Moscow Mule?  I don’t tend to use recipes when making drinks.  I’m a pour, stir, taste and repeat kind of bartender.  My recipe includes a good vodka like Tito’s or even a flavored Absolute vodka like citron, a few ounces of a good quality ginger beer (not one made with high-fructose corn syrup), club soda and lime juice.  Pour, mix, taste and enjoy!  This is a light and refreshing drink perfect for an outdoor BBQ or the pool.

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If I’m drinking wine, Rosé is my favorite in the Summer.  Here are a few that we really enjoy:

Summer Grilling

Who doesn’t love to grill in the summer?  Tasty food and it keeps your house a little cooler by leaving the oven off.  Our favorite thing to grill is cedar plank salmon.  OMG, it is to die for!  You know that meal where you make “mmmm” noises with every bite? Yeah, that’s this meal for us!   Get some cedar planks to use and make sure you follow the directions for soaking them before grilling.  If you belong to Costco or Sam’s Club, check there for a better deal than the grocery store.  Marinate your salmon. I like soy sauce or coconut aminos, fresh grated ginger, minced garlic and honey.  You could also use garlic and lime juice.  Grill your salmon on the cedar plank the way you like it.  The cedar plank gives it more of a smoky flavor and it is SO good!  I like to roast veggies to go with salmon, which defeats the purpose of leaving the oven off but it’s worth it.  I have been using snap peas, broccoli, peppers and onions with olive oil, garlic and sea salt.  Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

I hope you all are having a great summer as well.  Leave a comment with your summer favorites.  Cheers!