This is only my second summer living in Arizona, but I have to say this summer has been much more tolerable compared to last year…and that is even with me currently being almost 7 months pregnant! I heard about a monsoon season last year and don’t remember seeing really any rain. This summer though we have actually gotten some rain and with more rain, it’s mostly been in the low 100s! I mean, don’t get me wrong, 105 is still way too hot for my liking, but it’s better than a lot of the 118 days we saw last year!
Being pregnant does make it more difficult to be out and about on the hotter days though. I find after running just a couple of errands, I am usually ready to get back home, get a big glass of ice water, and put my feet up! Oh, and get a snack. Let’s not forget about the importance of snacking! I made these strawberry coconut popsicles a few weeks ago and they were my favorite afternoon treat! These are a great sub for a smoothie if you are looking to change things up a bit. The strawberries are sweetened with a touch of honey and pair so wonderfully with the creamy coconut milk! They do not contain any added sugars, dyes, or artificial flavors which make them the perfect treat for the whole family!
Today I am talking about one of my favorite online retailers, Uncommon Goods! I have been a fan of Uncommon Goods for many years now. If you have never been to their site, I suggest you check them out right this second! Uncommon Goods is one of the first places I go when I need to buy a special gift for someone. Whether it’s jewelry, art, decor, they have so many great choices!
So why do I love Uncommon Goods? Well, for starters, most of their products are handmade by hard-working artists right here in the USA. They also pride themselves on selling environmentally friendly products. For example, a lot of their jewelry is made from recycled materials. I like that they are so supportive of artists because I can find more unusual and unique gifts that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Recently, Uncommon Goods contacted me and asked if they could send me a special gift from their baby gifts! They were so sweet to send their fresh organic fruit basket of toys (click here)! I haven’t actually bought any baby gifts (click here) from them yet so it was super fun to look through all of the cute stuff they have! How adorable are these?
This weekend was pretty productive for us for getting things ready for baby. We ordered the crib and glider and bought the mattress too. Then we braved IKEA and bought and put together her dresser. Well, actually, my husband put together the dresser. I was of no help. Instead of helping, I stayed downstairs and cooked and photographed recipes. I have learned that when there is furniture to be assembled, I should stay as far away as possible! It’s so weird finally starting to get things together for this baby. It certainly makes it all feel more real and is also reminder that Baby Girl will be here before we know it!
I’ve been craving Greek food lately, but especially salads. They are nice and light and flavorful! So instead of just a boring salad, I made these cute little pastry bites instead. I used frozen mini pastry shells from the freezer section and then filled them with a mixture of diced tomatoes, cucumber, tomatoes, kalamta olives, and feta cheese tossed in a lemon vinaigrette!
These pastry bites are perfect for a light appetizer for a party or even a shower. I love the crunch of the pastry shell with the light and lemony veggies and then you also get that bite of saltiness from the feta cheese and the olives. So yummy!
The other day I had a wicked craving for bruschetta for dinner. I wanted a huge pile of it on top of delicious crusty bread. Except there were two problems: 1. I was fresh out of tomatoes and 2. I didn’t have delicious crusty bread handy. Womp Womp. And then I tried to convince myself that it was all for the best because it probably wasn’t great for me to eat a crap ton of crusty bread anyway. I just couldn’t get the thought of bruschetta out of my mind though so back to the kitchen I went to see what I could come up with. I had chicken and I had a lot of peaches.
So Peach Bruschetta Chicken. When I first thought about it, I was all like, “really? it seems weird. But it also sounds like it could be really good!” So there was only one way to find out, right?! And I was pleasantly surprised because this dish totally works. It’s really like you are just eating grilled chicken with peach salsa on top. I was actually more curious about how the peach topping would work with the cheese on top of the chicken, but again, it just works. I just think it’s so pretty with all of those luscious peaches on top! Make a big salad on the side and this is the perfect summer meal!
I’ve been on a frozen yogurt kick lately and while we love going out to our favorite frozen yogurt place, it can really add up! My ice cream maker has been begging for me to put it to use since the summer started and it was finally time to bust it out! I love making homemade ice creams, but I don’t always want to spend so much time prepping a custard base and all that jazz. This frozen yogurt is incredibly easy to prepare and doesn’t require any preparation on the stove top, you just simply mix a few ingredients in a bowl and it goes right into the ice cream maker! I went with vanilla because it’s the perfect vehicle for any topping from fruit to nuts, chocolate, caramel sauce, etc…Oh and I couldn’t forget a vanilla bean. Is there anything more gorgeous than those specks of vanilla bean?!
There are a number of things that my husband and I miss about living in Tallahassee. It’s a much smaller town compared to Phoenix obviously, but it had its charms. It was my home for 11 years while I completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees so obviously we miss being around so many crazy Seminole fans! We miss the weather with rainy summer days and cold winter nights. We miss how quick and easy it was to get around. And then there are the restaurants. Our favorite burger place? Monks. Everybody loves Monks and it’s mostly because of their burgers.
I guess if I had to say I had any pregnancy cravings, I would say burgers might be one of them. I definitely get cravings for red meat. It must be the iron. I learned early on in this pregnancy that I could not stand taking prenatal vitamins with iron as they were making me feel really sick so I had to find vitamins without it. Now all my iron has to come from food. Enter burgers!
My name is Stephanie. I started this blog because I like to cook and I wanted a place where I could share my recipes with family and friends and improve my cooking skills. Why the name Eat. Drink. Love.? Well, I think this is what life is all about!