It’s 74 outside and it’s August!

This is why I live in the Midwest and not in Florida with my parents. It’s August, and I don’t have to shower three times a day to feel clean! How crazy. I also am I glad that I didn’t have to get drenched by Fay. And by default no power, considering my parents live in a city that has big beautiful oak trees. And terrible intermittent power service when it rains because of them. I win.

So I’ve been rather adventurous in the kitchen lately. I’ve also discovered I’m terrible at following directions to a t. But, everything I’ve made has been pretty good. I made the empanadas I wanted to make. They were good. I wish I had made the pastry a little sweeter and that I had a food processor so I could play with it less, but oh well. Also, for the filling I used only 8 ounces of goat cheese and made up the difference with ricotta. I left off the almonds and the sugar on the top and I used semi-sweet chocolate and hazelnuts. I got rave reviews. Although, I think Mr. Fresh and his dad are jaded, but I’ll take it. Next time: bigger rounds, more goat cheese. I also want to make a savory version of empanadas, as I am a slight empanada-a-holic.

I also made Lemon Basil Pasta Salad which was ok. I used cherry tomatoes and cut them in half instead of dicing tomatoes. I would also say, more lemon juice, less oil. Salt and pepper are also essential. It turned out pretty good and left me with lunch for 3 days, so it worked out ok.

That was last Friday, along with pesto salmon. Mr. Fresh uses the term “ridiculous” which in his mind/world means amazing. I wowed him again on Thursday with an attempt to use up the ricotta I had left. I had some ricotta and fresh basil left from the last cooking adventure that I needed to use up and some chicken breasts that were begging me to use them. So, I butterflied the chicken, pounded it thin and filled it with the ricotta (with chopped garlic, salt and pepper), basil, sun dried tomatoes and some shredded mozzarella. Rolled it up, put it in the oven and 30 minutes later, we had an awesome chicken dish. I also made pan fried eggplant “sticks.” Again, I win. It was all really good and I had lunch for the next day. Mr. Fresh called me “ridiculous” and I think “the bestest” was in there too.

My next challenge: using up the ricotta…I think I’m going to do a pasta bake. Ricotta with the basil and my home made tomato sauce put in the oven with bread crumbs and mozzarella. We’ll see how it goes.

That’s my cooking update. My life update. I’ve actually been working at work. It’s crazy, I know. I have 1 order on the board and 5 more in the works. Hopefully I can get some filled so I can actually make some moolah. I’ve crunched numbers and figured out how I can get out of some of my college debt if I do. So, I’m working hard. I’m enjoying having my first day off in 14 days. Me and my couch are having personal time. My new goal is to try and make it to the gym more and attempt to take photos when I cook. I know I enjoy photos when I read about food, so we’ll see if I can manage to pull it off.

I can’t believe how fast August has gone…before I know it the holidays will be here. Oh dear…

P.S. I gave in and bought the BlackJack…I’m on the road to “crackberry” addiction. Let’s hope I don’t need an intervention.

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