Summer in Real Life….Plus a Recipe



As I sat down to write, my mind wanted to type out my latest What’s Cookin’ recipe but instead my fingers wanted to scream out these words:


Obviously my fingers won the battle.

It’s embarrassing to admit this here. Every year it’s the same cycle. I’m so excited about summer. I fantasize about all the things we’re going to do together. I list out all the projects I’m going to conquer. And don’t even get me started on how many books I dream about reading. I have extremely high hopes for summer, as if it was some magical, idealized season where life finally runs smoothly.

And then it arrives and I realize that it’s the same as any other time of the year. I’m limited by my energy, by the kids’ schedules (and attitudes), by money, by time….etc., etc. The harsh reality is summer is still real life. It’s just real life without school.

Needless to say, these first few weeks of summer have been wonderful and completely exhausting. The days are longer and our schedule isn’t structured – that’s both great and hard at the same time. We’re having a lot of fun but it can also be stressful. Some days I’m productive and other days I’m completely unproductive. There are still exploding laundry baskets and long to-do lists. I’m working on some of those summer goals and projects, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped to be working on them. Thankfully there are still several weeks of summer ahead of me.

Now on to the fun stuff…

Speaking of goals, one of my goals this summer is to try out a new recipe every week. It’s been very fun and rewarding. Last week I tried this recipe (below) and absolutely loved it. It tasted like summer.

I used the recipe “Mamy Simone’s Tabouleh” from “Lunch in Paris” by Elizabeth Bard (remember this book from the read a cookbook challenge?) as a guideline. I can’t cook a recipe without modifying it somehow, so there are a few differences. This recipe has all my favorites in it. I plan on making it often this summer. I think it’s supposed to be a side dish but most of the time I ate it as a meal.

The salad

1 package of Trader Joe’s couscous, prepared according to the directions

1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped


The dressing

¾ cup of olive oil

The juice from one grapefruit

The juice from one lemon

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp cumin

fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine the first four ingredients in a large container or bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir. The salad needs to sit for a couple of hours before serving to let all the flavors soak in.

Optional: Toast pine nuts or walnuts at 400-degrees for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle on top of the salad before serving.

Another option: Add a package of feta cheese.


What does your “summer in real life” look like? Do you have a favorite summer salad recipe? Please share your hearts and recipes in the comments!

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