things i want right now: summer cocktails

Tomato-Tequila Fizz Recipe

(c) Hector Sanchez @Southern Living

About me:  I L-O-V-E tequila.  Love it.  So when breezing through our work subscription to Southern Living magazine during a few moments of downtime today, this summer cocktail jumped right off the page.  Muddled grape tomato halves, fresh mint, agave nectar, and tequila– voila!  Gazpacho in a glass.  Or at least that’s what I am imagining it will be like.  I’ve yet to experiment with the recipe, but will plan on doing so as soon as I can get my hands on some local cherry tomatoes.  Here’s what you have to do:

Muddle 3/4 cup grape (or cherry) tomatoes, 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, 1 lime, cut into wedges, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt in a medium bowl to release flavors.

Stir in 2 cups tequila and 1/2 cup agave nectar; let stand 15 minutes.

Discard pulp and leaves by straining through fine mesh.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Mix with club soda to taste, chinks of half tomatoes, and mint leaves for garnish.  Enjoy!

See also: cucumber gin & tonic.  Featured alongside the tequila drink was this summer gem, for the friends of gin over the tequila amigos.

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chalkboards and dance parties.

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On a Friday night with my lovely friends Abby and Greg, we threw an impromptu dance party prompted by the new Daft Punk album. If you haven’t listened to this, you are missing out. Seriously. While we were dancing, Greg and Abby created the beautiful piece of art on my chalkboard you see before you. We danced like no one was watching, and by golly it was fun.

airplane etiquette.

Long gone are the days when air travel was a luxurious affair.  This is a picture of my great grandmother disembarking from some journey to another world– she had a great wanderlust that took her cavorting around the globe.  In this picture, she has a corsage which she undoubtedly received from the airline– to thank her for choosing them among all the other airlines!  This, my friends, no longer happens.  Now we are herded onto planes like cattle and crammed into tiny seats with very little legroom and only 17 inches of personal space.  Anyone even slightly oversized will suffer, anyone slightly undersized next to someone slightly oversized will also suffer.  Such was the case yesterday on my journey from Birmingham to Charlotte.  That the flight was merely an hour and a half made it somewhat bearable, but the man next to me insisted on taking up nearly half of my left half of the seat.  His lower body was flayed out so that his leg was touching mine, even though I had scooted over so I was pressed into the right half of my seat.  His arm was so far over the armrest I had to shirk away– my body tense in my attempts to avoid physical contact with his.  I was uncomfortable.   It was just too much.  So I finally made note of it, out loud, to him.  After doing so, I immediately regretted it.  He was offended, mad, called me rude.  He told me he was very uncomfortable, and that there wasn’t enough room in his seat.  He asked if I had ever ridden on a subway.

What was the proper way to handle this?  Ignore him and suffer through the flight?  Ultimately, this is what I decided I should have done, but it was too late.  The rest of the flight was uncomfortable for both of us, just as it had been before I said anything.  What do you do when someone is invading your personal space on an airplane?  What’s the polite thing to do?

be nice.

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image courtesy of here

After a pretty long work week, it’s Friday!  And it’s time to kick off the work clothes and relax for the whole weekend.  My Friday thought this week is this: Be Nice to Yourself.  Tell yourself you are awesome.  Treat yourself to a treat.  Sleep in a little longer.  Go get a manicure.  Stay in the shower a couple of extra minutes.  Exercise.  Enjoy the exercise– don’t push it too hard.  This weekend, you are going to treat yourself kindly.

i love buffalo sauce.

Image via How Sweet It Is.

And I am always trying to come up with a new way to make quinoa more palatable.  I like it when I try it, but I never know myself how to cook it.  And considering buffalo wing sauce makes everything better, and this recipe calls for white cheddar (one of my other favorites), I will have to try it.  And soon.  Plus, it totally satisfies my requirement that most of the things in this recipe are either already in my kitchen or not that hard to find.  For the recipe, visit How Sweet It Is.

i’m awesome. she’s awesome.

photo via Whitney CPBG

Sometimes, when I am blue, I find myself comparing myself to others.  She’s smarter than I am, thinner than I am, prettier than I am, wittier than I am.  What if you could change all that and the next time you think of something nice about someone else– example: Her hair is perfect.  She has such an amazing sense of style” — you give yourself a compliment right back.  I am smart.  I am pretty.  I am fashionable. Result: instead of bitterness and jealousy you actually give yourself a little confidence boost!  We all have our low moments, and so why not change a negative feeling into a positive? As the great Maria in The Sound of Music once sang, “I have confidence in sunshine! I  have confidence in rain!”  I am going to channel my inner Maria and when I see someone who is awesome, I’ll remind myself of this: “She’s awesome.  I am also awesome.”  Happiness.

easy summer recipes.

Chilled Beets With Sour Cream

(c) Amy Neunsinger

While we’re on the subject of things I want for the summer, I want some amazing easy summer recipes I can make with things I have in the fridge!  I always get so excited for delicious recipes, and then totally frustrated when they require many ingredients I don’t have .  Here’s an example from Food52— this kale and mint salad looks amazing, but it requires pomegranate molasses.  I definitely do not have that lying around, nor do I know where I could easily get it.  Real Simple has just compiled 52 recipes that are simple– they use what you have in your cupboard to take advantage of the season’s bounty.  One of my favorites is their chilled beets with sour cream and dill.  Check out their other 51 recipes, or tell me what some of your favorite simple snacks are.