We are on the brink of a long weekend and that’s something to celebrate! Labor Day is always bittersweet because it signals the end of summer. But, honestly, I’m so ready for fall this year. We had a blast this summer, but it feels like we’ve been on the road constantly. I’m hoping to slow down a bit this fall and really soak up all the season has to offer. The slightly cooler weather makes it my favorite time of year to go on long hikes and spend late nights around the fire pit.
Do you have anything fun planned for the holiday weekend? We’re headed south to spend a week on Lake Ouachita with our families. It’s become an annual trip we look forward to every summer! There’s nothing more relaxing than being on a boat for a few days with nothing else on the agenda but swimming. I can’t wait to get down there!
For now, here are some of my favorite things from this week:
I’ve been trying to track this beer down since I heard two of my favorite breweries were collaborating earlier this summer. We are big fans of both Three Floyds and Mikkeller and knew we would enjoy any brew that came out of the collaboration. I picked up a six-pack of Lazurite for our upcoming trip and couldn’t resist popping one open. You can definitely taste similarities to some of Three Flyods’ other hop-forward IPAs. Delicious!
Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve
We made a return trip to one of my favorite hiking spots over the weekend. The Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve is a Sycamore Land Trust property along Lake Monroe. The hike is hilly at times, which is what I love — you get a moderate workout in! And, it’s so worth it when you get to the water. This area of the lake doesn’t have as much boat traffic and the peninsula is the perfect spot to sit down for a picnic. That’s just what we did with our friend Madeline this week and it was one of the highlights of my summer.
This delicious meal was inspired by this month’s issue of Cooking Light, which features tips on how to build a “snack dinner.” Honestly, this is my favorite kind of meal. I’ve always preferred small portions of a variety of foods to a heaping portion of one dish. I threw this snack dinner together while my husband was out of town and it was so satisfying. It included a purple pepper from our garden, castelvetrano olives, Babybel cheese, grapes, kale pesto hummus and some pretzels. I’m already planning on recreating this for lunch tomorrow!
Maybe it’s because this is our first garden, but I get so excited every time I pull a tomato off the vine. After making some delicious salsa with some of last week’s harvest, I’m going to try my hand at some fresh marinara sauce this weekend. If you have any tips or favorite recipes, send them my way!
What are you loving this week? Tell me in the comments!