Months to weeks, weeks to days, days to hours. When I was still in school, this was the method I used to gauge how soon the days of summer would come. I couldn't wait!
No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks.
You see, back then summer meant carefree days for me: sleeping in as late as I wanted and climbing out of my peaceful slumber at my leisure or staying in my pajamas inside to tinker around the house or get dressed in my play clothes and head outside to make some mud pies, run through (or sit on...summer days are hot after all...) a sprinkler and go camping. The possibilities seemed endless.
However, after I graduated from school, summer suddenly lost it's magic. There was no longer a three month gap of carefree summer. In place of the summer I knew, came work. I quickly found myself submerged in the "adult world." Instead, summer became nothing more than a stupid, hot, and sweaty trio of months that made me grumpy because I couldn't do all of the things I used to associate with summer. I wearily trudged through it in air-conditioned buildings and would jealously watch kids come and go through our doors and listen to them as they excitedly told us what plans lay ahead for them and their summers. As far as I could see, I had no plans. I hated summers.
But this summer, something has changed. Instead of gripping the summer of my childhood by the hand until there was no life left in it, with it grunting "you're hurting me," I've found new meaning, new joy, new "magic" if you will. I've given summer it's hand back and have found new color and life in it. I no longer want to hurt summer. Summer and I have finally made amends.
Reunited and it feels sooo good!
Now to me summers mean:
-more time spent out in the sun and less time inside
- singing along my summer music (usually very upbeat) while I drive with my sun roof open
-a plethora of fresh and delicious fruits:
hello juicy watermelon!
how you doin' sweet nectarines?
hiya' sun kissed strawberries!
-white puffy clouds in a clear blue sky
-the sounds of kids pedalling up and down the street on their bikes and the sound of their games echoing through my backyard
-fireworks (they are beautiful and remind me of when Aaron and I were dating), to name a few.
Also with summer comes new cuisine. I don't want to turn on the oven because it gets so hot. So instead I try to find quick, yet delicious alternatives to slaving over the hot stove so I can spend more time on other things (summer only lasts so long!).
With that being said, I wanted to share a quick and delicious salad that Aaron and I have enjoyed several times already. I stumbled upon it in People magazine:
Boston Blue chicken and apple salad
4 6oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 in.- thick slices
1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) crumbled, reduced fat blue cheese
1/4 cup bottled reduced fat vinaigrette
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tbsp. chopped chives
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and place over high heat.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil.
In a large bowl, combine lettuce, apples, blue cheese, and vinaigrette. Toss and transfer to a serving bowl.
Slice chicken into 1/2 in. thick slices. Add to salad and top with walnuts and chives.
If you choose to make this salad I hope you enjoy it,but most importantly....please, enjoy your summer!