The Emptiness at the End of Summer Vacation (I'm filling it with food and beads)

Today just seems like the end of summer; school is starting back (not that it affects me much) and our staycation has ended. It feels like a new start. . a perfect time to get back on the ball. While it unfortunately rained the last few days of our vacation, the bad weather gave me an opportunity to plan out this week. That planning especially included our meals. Here's what I'm looking forward to enjoying this week

Breakfasts: Oatmeal/cheese grits, Juice, Yogurt w/granola & fruit, Omelet w/fruit, Whole wheat waffles, English muffin with peanut butter & fruit
Baked Homemade Pizza Rolls from Back to Her Roots
Lunches: PB&J w/fruit & chips, Baked homemade pizza rolls, Soup w/grilled cheese, Bean burritos w/all the fixin's, Turkey sandwiches, Sesame noodles w/carrots, Leftovers

Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas from The Kitchn
BBQ Tofu Pizza
Chicken Parmesan casserole (1/2 recipe) w/pasta

Pad Thai Soup from Tasty Kitchen - recipe and photo via Jackie Dodd


Recipe Review

Since I didn't meal plan last week and thus didn't blog my recipe review, let me go ahead and review what we ate the week before last.

Spicy peanut butter tofu: I made these a little bit spicier than suggested with a tad more Sirracha and a touch of chili oil. It was yummy! I'll probably make this again.

Pasta and white beans with garlic rosemary oil (half recipe): I actually forgot that I was doing a half recipe of this, so I used the whole carrot, celery, onion, and garlic amounts but then adjusted most everything else down a bit. I also used some veg broth instead of water/cooked bean water in some cases. It was really pretty good. I may make this again.

Skinny baked broccoli mac and cheese: This was okay. . .I accidentally bought and used VANILLA almond milk in this recipe so I personally tasted a distinct sweetness to it. The hubs said he couldn't. Either way, I just didn't find this creamy enough for me. I couldn't taste cheese at all. I might make it again to see if it's just the almond milk that was the problem, but I'm not completely convinced that was it.

Honey balsamic carrots: I've made these before and we like them. I'll admit that I'm not a HUGE lover of cooked carrots anyway (I prefer them raw), but I like all the flavors that go into this recipe. I do have to adjust my amounts from the recipe as 2 pounds of carrots is WAY more than the two of us will eat. I'll probably make these again.

Garlic sesame snow peas:  These weren't listed on the menu two weeks ago, but I found this recipe at the last minute to cook the snow peas that I did plan (To clarify, I had snow peas on the menu but didn't specify what I would do with them.) I had everything on hand to make these and it came together very quickly! I'll make these again.

Also during the rainstorms, I had time to make sure my bead table was ready for a fresh start. I started vacation off by pulling out a bunch of beads that I only had a single pair of left. Earrings. . .pairs. . .it seemed a good start to me.

About the middle of vacation, the top of my desk looked something like this.

By the time yesterday rolled around, this is what I was dealing with! GAH!!!!

It only took a few minutes to straighten in back out, thank goodness.

I mean. . .who wants to come back from vacation to a mess? The 19 pairs of completed earrings were a definite plus to the whole situation.

That's all for today. I've got all kinds of other news and posts to share with you, but I figured I'd stick with routine for this Monday. Is it feeling like the end of summer for you too?


  1. Can you come cook for me. Your menu always sounds so delish!

  2. It certainly begining to smell autumnal in our part of the world, but I'm still very much in denial :-)
    I admire you for being able to see the first signs of autumn as a fresh start, I usually end up feeling a bit down. No matter how busy and exciting my summer was, I always end up feeling like I could have done more, seen more, absorbed more light and warmth...

    1. Ana, I can understand that denial. However, I'd rather look at most things as a fresh start than an end. It gives you more opportunity, more (do I have to say it?) hope, more optimism in general. I can appreciate the end of a good book or movie, but that gives me the chance to start another one. Same with the seasons...You may feel that you didn't appreciate it enough this go-round so Make Sure to next year. Easier said than done, I totally know. Our summer has been a bust mostly as well. There are tons I wanted to accomplish, but I just have to look forward to my next one. :) Here's hoping the coming Fall/Winter doesn't bring you down too much!


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