Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Dabblings

Last I left you, I was making yet another pilgrimage to Wise Acres Eatery and gushing about bacon in early June. So much wonderful life has happened since that post, and now that the whirlwind has died down a bit...I'm ready to catch you all up on my delicious dabblings of the summer thus far. 

One of my favorite things about summer is fresh flowers at the farmers market. This picture was snapped on a Saturday morning trip to the Minneapolis Farmers Market with T (hubs). He loves the Bar 5 Meat and Poultry stand, particularly the bacon & cheese hamburger patties. We stocked up on those and some brats. 

On weeknights after work and on the weekends, I've been partaking in one of my greatest summer loves...runs around Lake Harriet. Here is a picture by the rose garden fountain.

Isn't this the best? A lovely reflection on optimism and positivity. I'm thinking this might be a great print to add to the photo wall in our house.

By far the biggest and most joyous event in June was my brother's wedding to his best friend. Here is a picture from the rehearsal of my parents walking him down the aisle at the beautiful Basillica. It gets me every time. 

A foodie shot on the morning of the wedding. A mimosa toast with the bridesmaids while getting ready. Delicious, refreshing, and festive. The wedding was the most amazing celebration of love and a wonderful time was had by all. In between the ceremony and reception, the bridal party stopped by The Marvel Bar for drinks. I had the best drink of my life there...a wonderful concoction of ginger, lime, kombucha, honey, and rum. The menu is constantly changing and the atmosphere is great. I highly recommend checking it out.

Post-wedding fun, my mom and I headed out to Jackson Hole, WY, for a long weekend. We were warmly enveloped by the Teton Mountains and I never grew tired of looking at them with awe throughout our trip. 

One of the days we spent on a 6-hour trail ride, complete with moose and fox sightings, a picnic lunch by a stream, and a good dose of local folklore as narrated by our two wranglers. 

The following day we set out early and drove into Yellowstone State Park. On the drive up, we saw a herd of elk feeding by the road and it was amazing. Upon arrival, we were given this fantastic flyer along with a map. The combination of that graphic and "gored" are just the best. 

Taking in the wonder of Old Faithful. What an amazing sight. We enjoyed walking around and checking out the many geysers in the area. 

Pizza and a view at a restaurant just outside of Jackson Hole. 

One morning we ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant, The Wild Sage. I ordered whole wheat pancakes that were served with a bountiful side of berries and yogurt.

This whimsical contraption held the maple syrup and I loved it. 

One of my favorite things about the hotel was that each night turn-down service included chocolate candies and a poem. It was a simple, sweet touch. Little things like that always inspire me to think about ways I can make guests in our home feel more special. 

After Jackson Hole, the food-fun continued at Target Field (Twins vs. Yankees). T was excited to get to see Mariano Rivera pitch in person one last time. I was excited to eat a root beer float for not-even-close to the last time. 

The fun continued with a family cabin trip in Northern Minnesota over 4th of July weekend (I have regaled previously about my favorite cabin eating here and here). The girls had a wonderful time on dock patrol and we cooked a glorious meal of reuben sandwich pies and dessert pies over the fire. A new dessert pie recipe was also born: tortillas for the outsides, filled with a Reeses, two marshmallows, a few banana slices, and graham cracker crumbles. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. 

A bonus shot of my gorgeous girl. The dogs love the cabin so much and watching them fetch and swim in the lake is the best simple happiness. 

When we got home from the cabin, there was much to celebrate. My best friend returned home after spending a year studying abroad in Paris. I hosted a dinner in her honor with and we busted out the crystal and wine. Having her home again makes my world more complete and I am so proud of the amazing experience she had there. 

Next up? A weekend trip to Wisconsin to celebrate T's aunt's wedding. There is something so peaceful about being surrounded by farmland. It was a beautiful setting and ceremony. 

I could easily characterize July as a flourish of fun weekends. This past one, we hosted a BBQ and wiffle ball game at our house to celebrate the completion of our backyard patio project. Everything is officially leveled, planted, and mulched, and we are so happy with the space. My house growing up had the most amazing outdoor deck space and I lived out there in the summer. It has been a dream of mine to create a similar space at our home where people want to gather, eat delicious food, and bask in some sun and good company. 

The morning after the BBQ/wiffle ball fest, we woke up early and met some friends to drive down to Milwaukee and take in a Brewers game. A Wisconsin/baseball weekend has become an annual tradition and it was another fun trip filled with quite a few samplings of Wisconsin's various brews. 

And now, after recapping those back-to-back weekends of fun and traveling, we are caught up to today. This morning I had a lovely moment of small bliss as I filled my tea cup at work. My friend brought me home a collection of Kusmi Tea from Paris. They come in happy, bright colored packages and add a very classy and festive touch to my desk decor. When I started my new job, I bought myself a celebratory electric tea kettle and brought in this cute tea cup and my honey bear, along with a selection of my favorite teas. It has been one of my most thoughtful gifts to myself and allows me to carve out little moments each morning to be grateful. 

Here's hoping tomorrow is filled with those moments for you, 

-The Delicious Dabbler