Monday, September 1, 2014

Bye, Bye Summer!

It's officially here.  Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. While we are expected to have a heat index of 106 today, autumn is quickly approaching. Football has started back (although with a disappointing opening game, Gamecocks!) and the countdowns until Christmas are all over Facebook.

Memorial Day to now has been a big blur. But I do have fond memories of seafood cookouts in Wilmington with family for July 4th, a little one who celebrated her 2nd birthday and loved her t-ball set present, a week at the beach with "all our kids" that included a rare treat of night walks on the beach and bike rides with my one and only, trips to the Farmer's Market, hot days spent cooling off at the pool, a first and last Blowfish baseball game, and a wonderful work trip to Minneapolis. I'm thankful that memories were made and I have the Instagram pics to remember them.

I recently heard someone with little children say "the days are long but the years are short."  It's a perfect description of life as the mom of a now 2 year old and our life this summer. It's hard not to get caught up in the day to day without remember that it's all so fleeting.

And it's a shame that I just created the most perfect summer salad just this past weekend and I've eaten it every day since. Because it's just that good!

The Crescent Olive is the most amazing store in Columbia that makes delicious oils and vinegars. I had a tasting there on Friday (not as gross as it might sound) and left with two fantastic items: Cilantro and Roasted Onion Olive Oil and Grapefruit White Vinegar Balsamic.

Which lead to this heavenly creation:

 The pork chop was covered in the olive oil and baked in the oven. While it was very good, I think I'll pan fry it next time. The salad is really where it's at. It's a combination of mixed greens, strawberries, and blueberry vanilla goat cheese from Trader Joe's with the grapefruit balsamic. I'm salivating now just thinking about it. It's the perfect combo of sweet and tangy. And bonus points, it's healthy.

I'll call closing out the summer with a handful of special memories and an original recipe creation a success.  Bring on the cooler days, pumpkin spice anything and scarves with boots!