Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day via @runwaychef If you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you’ve seen that the Mr. and I, along with a few good friends, have been chillaxin’ in the Cape since Tuesday. Tonight, however, we will be trading in our beach life for mountain life as we head to the Berkshires to spend the holiday weekend with family. Usually our long weekends our pretty relaxed and we often don’t vacation around them so I’m happy for the change of pace this year. Also, this is the first vacation we’ve taken all summer….What the what?!?…..Can we just pause to let that sink in….First vacation. All summer. How did this even happen?! And more importantly, how is summer basically over??!!! Not cool, not cool at all summer! Anyways, suffice it to say, since the rest of summer has flown by in a fairly uneventful manner, I’m pretty excited to end it with a bang and a seriously much needed vacation before diving into another crazy month!

Do you have any fun holiday weekend plans? I hope that whatever you do your long weekend is a good one filled with all the summer you can possibly manage to cram into these final days!

Surprise Parties

Newport Mansions “I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for Marriott Rewards®. I received Marriott Points to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.” 

I’ve never had a surprise party, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamed about having one and that certainly hasn’t stopped me from trying to get my friends to throw me one. Case in point, I’ll never forget the letter I sent my best friend with detailed instructions on the “surprise party” I wanted her to throw me after I returned from our 2 month drive around the country. Talk about subtle hints…..Needless to say that surprise party never happened (I can’t imagine why…) and to this day I have yet to have one (hint, hint Mr.RC), but I absolutely love reading about the surprise parties that have happened to other people. Like for example the recent Marriott Rewards® Year of Surprises parties. From a very special birthday party to a returning military soldier’s 50th, the stories have all been fun to read. My favorite? The country style engagement party. Not only am I a big fan of anything country, but Stephanie could not have been more deserving of a surprise party after the incredibly difficult year she has just gone through. Watch for yourself to see just what I mean:

Speaking of surprise parties, it’s not too late to nominate (through August 31st) a loved one for a surprise party of their own via yearofsurprises.com. Learn more and get all the official rules and deets at yearofsurprises.com/rules. Also, don’t forget to become a Marriott Rewards member at marriott.com/rewards. It’s free and comes with loads of benefits (like no blackout dates) plus points you can redeem for anything from frequent flyer miles to cruises to car rentals. So basically, what are you waiting for? There’s a surprise party that’s got to get planned!

Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you or have you thrown one for someone?

P.S. The top picture is from our Marriott Rewards stay in Newport…you can read all about that trip here.

Iced Coffee 5 Ways

Iced Coffee 5 Ways @runwaychef I used to think I was an iced coffee addict….until I met this girl. This girl is the true definition of an iced coffee addict. She would definitely drink me under the table if the drink of choice was iced coffee. Compared to her, I’m simply an iced coffee drinker, not an addict. But nonetheless, I still love my iced coffee. This past summer I decided to experiment and switch up my daily cold brew in a few new ways. Below are my 5 favorites-

Iced Coffee 5 Ways- Coffee Granita @runwaychef Iced Coffee Granita// Use a ratio of 4 parts cold-brew coffee concentrate to 1 part condensed milk (i.e. to make this batch I used 2 cups of coffee and 1/2 a cup of condensed milk). Whisk together until well combined and there are no clumps of condensed milk left. Pour into a medium-sized baking dish and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Scrape with a fork and serve. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.

Iced Coffee 5 Ways- Coffee Granita @runwaychef Iced Coffee 5 Ways- Vietnamese Ice Coffee @runwaychef Vietnamese Iced Coffee// Use a ratio of 1 part condensed milk + 2 parts coffee. Pour condensed milk into the bottom of a glass (I like to use a mason jar) then top with hot coffee. Stir to combine (if you’re using a mason jar put the lid on then shake). Top with ice and serve.

Iced Coffee 5 Ways- Vietnamese Ice Coffee @runwaychef Iced Coffee 5 Ways- coffee & cream ice cubes @runwaychef Coffee & Cream Ice Cubes// Freeze coffee into one ice cube tray then fill another tray with either cream, milk, coconut or almond milk or a mixture of any of those and freeze until set. Add a few to a glass of cold brew. 

Iced Coffee 5 Ways- coffee & cream ice cubes @runwaychef Iced Coffee 5 Ways- coffee over ice cream @runwaychef Coffee Affogato// Add a scoop or two of ice cream to a serving bowl or glass. Top with cold brew coffee.

Iced Coffee 5 Ways- coffee over ice cream @runwaychef Iced Coffee 5 Ways- coffee over ice cream @runwaychef Iced Coffee 5 Ways- Cappuccino Popsicles @runwaychef Cappuccino Popsicles// Layer cream (or a milk mixture) with coffee and freeze. Get the full directions on how to make these here.

Cappuccino Popsicles @runwaychef

Happy Hour

Brooklyn Park pop-up pool {These faded lights in Brooklyn Bridge Park reminding me of how quickly summer nights are fading}

I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my brain is already in vacation mode. Actually, let’s be real. My brain has been in vacation mode since like 2 weeks ago. So with that being said anything I write right now would probably just be a mumble jumble of word diarrhea and that’s just not pretty. So I’ll leave you with these pictures and the hope that your week is going well!

kitchen shelf styling {Working on kitchen shelf styling}

Jamberry nails {Excited to try Jamberry nails (c/o) for the first time…I’ll be sharing more about them next week, but in the mean time check out my friend’s page if you’re interested in buying your own}

sandals and booties {Switching out my summer sandals for fall booties}

monster cookies {Colorful cookie dough}

never get so busy making a living {Trying to keep this in mind while on vacation….picture via this post}

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree From here until the end of time (ok, just the end of summer) don’t be surprised if I talk about how sad I am that summer is basically over in every single post. Guys, I’m so sad! Like, how did this even happen?! Can’t deal. Summertime sadness aside, there is one thing that I won’t be sad to see go- eating in swimsuits. I know that sounds weird, but I have to be totally honest, there is nothing that I dislike more than being dripping wet in a bikini for a cook-out at someone’s pool/beach/lake. I always feel weird, gross, and judged 10 times more than usual for eating that second cheeseburger….with bacon….with potato salad (it’s ok, I know you’re just jealous because you want to be eating that too!). Also, I find it highly comical that girls won’t eat to fit into bikinis to wear to places where they’re going to be eating. Anyone else with me on this? Obviously, barbecues in bikinis are nearly unavoidable so this grilled vegetable salad is part of my solution. It’s quite possibly one of the easiest salads you can make as it is simply grilled vegetables chopped up then topped with a light dressing made from hummus (a great base for creamy dressings when you don’t want to use mayonnaise). This salad is healthy, light and fresh and definitely swimsuit approved! And since swimsuit season is almost over, don’t worry, this salad is also clothing approved!

P.S. This would make a healthy side dish for this coming Labor Day weekend’s barbecue and cookout festivities! Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree Grilled Vegetable Salad @runwaychef #vegan #glutenfree

 

Grilled Vegetable Salad
A vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free vegetarian salad that's perfect on it's own or as a healthy side dish
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large zucchini
  2. 2 large summer squash
  3. 1 large eggplant
  4. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  5. 2 cups corn
  6. 1/2 cup hummus
  7. Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  8. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  9. 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  10. A handful of dill
Instructions
  1. First, wash and slice your squash, zucchini, and eggplant. Toss it with a little olive oil and proceed to grill as you normally would. The vegetables should take about 5-7 minutes per side. Once they're done, remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
  2. To "grill" the corn, add a dash of olive oil to a medium-sized skillet set over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until it begins to char, making sure to stir every few minutes. Remove the corn from the pan then toss the tomatoes in and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Once the grilled vegetables have cooled, chop them into small pieces. Add to a serving bowl and toss with the corn and tomatoes.
  4. To make the dressing mix the hummus, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice together. Stir until well combined.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with shredded dill on top. Toss right before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
Notes
  1. This salad is tasty on it's own for a lighter meal, but it would also be good with a nice crusty bread (almost like a bruschetta), served alongside fish or steak, topped with grilled tofu, or sprinkled with some goat or feta cheese.
  2. This recipe can easily be doubled or cut in half. The vegetables can also be substituted based on preference.
  3. The vegetables can be grilled the night before and stored in the fridge until you are ready to use them the next day.
  4. If you do not have a grill, or it's too cold outside, you could also use a grill pan or roast the vegetables in the oven.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/