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Nine Favorite Things. – Half Baked Harvest

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Welcome to another Nine Favorite Things.

Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com

And just like that I’m home, out of the Cabo sun, and back into the Colorado mountain summer weather. Which I really can’t complain about. My quick three day trip with my family was perfect and very much needed. But it’s also good to be back home. Sometimes all you need is a few days away from the computer and the phone to get a little refresh (sharing all the fun details and photos below).

I can’t say I fully disconnected (I really don’t know how). But I definitely stayed off social media more than I have in well over a year. And you know? It was nice. Next time, I won’t wait a year to take a break. Actually, if everything pans out, I might be completely off the grid for a few days real soon. Did anyone guess the location last week? Here’s a hint, it’s a US trip, but to a place I’ve never been. It’s also a place that not many get the opportunity to go to.

Anyway, I’m rambling here, moving along…

I hope you’ve all had a good week. And if you’re vacationing like my family is, I hope you’re really relaxing and enjoying this important time! After getting home on Thursday night, I jumped back into work on Friday. I took the day to attempt to get organized. My inbox was very, very scary…I’m still working my way through it.

It does feel nice to get somewhat organized. Though it was a struggle at first to jump back in after a few days off. Personally, my first day back home after a vacation is always the hardest. I took one of THE NUE CO – NOOTRO-FOCUS supplements instead of reaching for that third cup of coffee. This was my first time trying the supplement. But I figured that after a day of travel I could really use all the extra nutrients…feelin good!

question: What’s happening on your end? What are you all loving most about summer? Have done any vacations yet?

Coming up this week, it’s back to our regularly scheduled content. We’re shortening up the posts just a bit, but I’m excited to dive into a new week with new recipes. Including a fresh salad, a simple seafood dinner, and a couple of sweets too!

1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…

watching…I know I talked last week about this, but did you watch the new Gossip Girl? What did you think? I watched Friday night while responding to comments and i’m into it. hard to say after just one episode, but I think it’s going to be so good.

ordered…way too many vases from Zara home. Just hit purchase for this terracotta vase, this tall and colorful terracotta vase, this one too, this textured vase, and then this tiny stone vase. I’m excited.

listening to…Who What Wear with Hillary Kerr: Eric Daman on Costume Design From Gossip Girl and Sex and the City. two icon shows. I loved the behind the scenes on the fashion.

reading…The Push which comes highly recommend from my cousin Abby. She said it’s the first book she’s ever finished in 5 days.

burning…the Dada candle from Cire Trudon. smells like summer with mint and chamomile.

loving…this pretty home. the kitchen is so unique. I love that it’s darker and the windows are gorgeous.

listening too…Maeve Reilly On How To Build A Career Doing What You Love…Maeve is one of the top stylists within the industry. I loved hearing her story, especially since styling is something I love so much, and always thought I’d end up doing.

loving…this Zellige Gorgotten Turquoise tile from Clè. so pretty!

drinking…the pineapple mezcal at Flora Farms. Asher also order a virgin hibiscus watermelon spritz that was pretty darn delicious.

loving…Zoe Organics Belly Oil from my cousin Maggie. she’s six and a half months pregnant and has been using this to help prevent stretch marks.

2. What’s in season in July…

Avocados

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad | halfbakedharvest.com

Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken and Avocado Bacon Salad

Summer Berries

Raspberry Lemon Brioche Rolls with Whipped Ricotta Cream

Blueberry Ricotta Chamomile Galette | halfbakedharvest.com #blueberries #summer #easyrecipes

Blueberry Chamomile Galette

Blackberry Champagne Mule

Double Strawberry Pretzel Pie

Peaches/Nectarines 

Pesto Peach Chicken in White Wine with Burrata

Cherries

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash

Corn

Garlic Butter Creamed Corn Chicken

Zucchini

Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake

Tomatoes

Jammy Cherry Tomato Pasta with Crisp Lemon Rosemary Chickpeas | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #tomatoes #burrata

Jammy Cherry Tomato Pasta with Crisp Lemon Rosemary Chickpeas

Herbs

Creamy Cajun Skillet Chicken Lazone with Herby Corn | halfbakedharvest.com

Skillet Creamy Cajun Chicken Lazone with Herby Corn

Watermelon

Greek Watermelon Feta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Peppers

Charred Baby Bell Peppers with Burrata | halfbakednharvest.com

Charred Baby Bell Peppers with Burrata

Arugula 

Basil Parmesan Pasta with Crispy Chicken, Prosciutto, and Arugula

Mangos

4 Ingredient Creamy Fruit Popsicles | halfbakedharvest.com

4 Ingredient Creamy Fruit Popsicles

question: as we enter into the second half of summer, what recipes is everyone looking for the most?

3. Favorite  beauty products for travel…


also…weekend travel bags

4. Favorite questions of the week.

q: would you rather explore coral reefs or outer space? 
a: coral reefs!!! fun fact, I got my scuba diving license when I was a kid. I love to snorkel when we’re on vacation.

q: do you eat fast food ever? 
a: honestly, no. but even as a kid I was never into fast food. I was weird 🤷🏻‍♀️ I will say that I really, really need to try in-and-out. I just have to see what all the hype is about.

q: what’s a mistake you made starting out that you wish you could do over?
a: I actually can’t think of one thing I would do differently. anything that I f-upped early on, I learned from. then I was able to adjust to do/make things better. I’m a big believer in learning from your mistakes.

q: are there any ingredients you can’t stand to cook or eat? 
a: I’m not someone who likes tofu and have no interest to cook with it. I know people love it but it’s not my thing.

q: what’s your favorite month of the year? 
a: October, November, and December, but especially October before Halloween. so many exciting things ahead, Halloween 🎃 , Thanksgiving 🦃 and Christmas! 🎄

q: fav road trip snack items from a gas station?
a: a good slice of pizza! my mom and I drove from Ohio to Colorado when I was in 7th grade and we grabbed pizza at a gas station somewhere. ever since then road stop pizza has been my favorite.

q: so when/how do you have the time to make all the recipes when you post everyday?
a: I’m working a lot! I usually cook at least Monday-Friday all day long, sun up to sun down. then I’m on the computer early morning and at late night.

q: what was your favorite subject in school?
a: 100% art…and then gym class.

q: top 5 favorite fruits?
a: this is HARD. I lovve fruit.

1. pineapple or mango
2. blackberries, but really all berries
3. peaches, but only really good peaches
4. apples
5. bananas
also cherries!! yumm 🍒

q: would you give up gluten or dairy?
a: gluten! there are so many great gluten-free products out now a days that are really delicious. plus, I actually love baking with GF flours when I feel like switching things up.

q: how do you feel about the mustard and watermelon combo?
a: honestly? it sounds so gross. why would you do that? seems like it would ruin the watermelon…some of these trends are just weird. and watermelon is great just as is 🍉

5. Cabo trip…prepare for A LOT of words and photos.

Our family trips are never dull, but Cabo was definitely a trip for the books. It all started a couple of weeks ago when four of my brothers…Creighton, Brendan (with Lynd’s tagging along), Malachi (and Cait), and Red (and Hailey) flew down a couple days earlier than the rest of the family to celebrate Red’s 21st birthday with a group of friends. They were able to scope out everything ahead of time so that by the time everyone else arrived, they already had a nice idea of the best spots to hit up.

First things first, our house! My mom worked so hard to plan this trip for everyone. At first she thought we’d all just stay in one of the many Cabo hotels with suites. But in the end she decided a house would be so much better.

We we’re so excited to be able to work with VRBO at the very last minute to secure the perfect house for my super large family. We had seventeen people total (18 with Oslo). So finding a house spacious enough to comfortably fit everyone is a real task in itself. The VRBO site is so simple to navigate and made finding a house so much easier. We had three incredible options that would have worked perfectly. We ended up staying at the gorgeous Casa Bella Vita in Pedregal Cabo San Lucas. It’s an ocean front property close to town with 7 bedrooms, so it was the perfect fit for us.

The location of this house is perfect. It was beachfront, so watching (and hearing) the waves crash was awesome. It even had its own beach volleyball court that the fam used pretty much everyday, we loved it!

The house was also located in a cute (and safe) community with incredible views and cobblestone roads. It was only a twenty to thirty minute walk directly into the heart of Cabo (and so pretty). We’re a walking family, so being able to walk into town was really nice.

When we travel together as a family, it’s important not only be under the same roof, but also to have the amenities that make the trip even more enjoyable for everyone. One important feature for us is the kitchen. We’re not one of those families that eats every meal out when traveling. With so many people, it’s nice to be able to do a big grocery run and have food on hand for everyone to enjoy. We always make breakfast and lunch back at the house, so a working kitchen is KEY.

Going out for dinner is great for some of the nights, but cooking in is fun too. We grilled out a couple of nights. One night it was steaks, sea bass, a big summer pasta salad, watermelon salad, and roasted brussels sprouts. Another night it was charred poblano peppers, homemade guacamole, and tinga tacos.

A fun perk of this house was the option of an in house chef. We had a chef come twice, and it was honestly so nice…and totally delicious!

As you’ll see in the photos, we really loved this house and working with VRBO made it really easy. They helped to make the family’s vacation even better!

We used the house as our hub, since everything in Cabo is no more than a forty to fifty minute drive. We spent time at Cabo Surf, walked the marina, and even went out on a boat for a few hours.

When it came to dinner spots, we did find a few gems. To no one’s surprise my favorite was Flora Farms. This was 100% my kind of spot, the grounds are beautiful. There are fresh fig and olive trees all over, sunflowers growing left and right, and flowers in every direction. We only went for dinner. We didn’t realize you could really spend the entire day there between the farm tour, pool, spa, shopping, and restaurant. Even still, we had an incredible time with an awesome meal and even some ice cream afterwards.

If you ever go, have everyone at the table order up something different. My favorites on the menu were the arugula pizza, ravioli, catch of the day, and roasted broccoli. The fettuccini was also incredible, and if you love pork, you must order their pork chop. It’s insane. Everyone pretty much ordered something different, so we we’re able to try most items on the menu and nothing disappointed. We finished with cones of ice cream from Flora’s Ice Cream Cart.

The other spot we really loved was Romeo & Julieta. The boys found it first and took us all back for dinner. Their fig and burrata appetizer won everyone over immediately. And the spinach gnocchi was the most loved dish on the menu.

My family also went to Mi Casa after I left and said it was delicious with a very nice open air eating space.

And then of course, all the taco vendors on the street and around the beaches were incredible too. I think we ate tacos at some point almost everyday.

That really sums up the vacation for me. We spent a lot of time by the pool, hitting up the beaches, wandering the town on foot, exploring some local spots, and just hang out at the house before dinner. It was really such an amazing trip and so much fun to be able to get this time with my family. This was our last trip before my cousin Maggie has her baby, so the next time we all get together, we’ll be an even larger crew!

And lastly, a big thanks to VRBO for really helping us make this happen. We were struggling to find the perfect place and they really made things easy!

Now the big photo dump…

(everyone)

(Caroline, Abby, Maggie, Asher, Hailey, Me…missing Lyn’s, Ethel, and Mom)

(Kai and Asher)

(Red and Oslo)

(Malachi and I)

(Red and Hailey)

(dad, me, mom)

(Oslo and Hailey – my favorite pic)

(the pool and beach at our amazing Vrbo)

(Lynd’s, Oslo, and Asher)

(Abby and Oslo)

(Abby and Asher)

(little Oslo – I just love him so much)

(the arches)

(Asher and Brendan)

(Matt and Caroline)

(Matthew, Chef Ulysses, and Malachi)

(Creighton and Maggie)

(Lynd’s and Oslo)

(Red and Hailey)

6. Favorite interior design inspirations…

We have summer projects in the works, here’s my current inspiration from Pinterest. It’s very cute and cozy with a small secret garden vibe to it

(Pinterest source)

(source)

(Pinterest source)

(source – the indoor outdoor garden vibe is magical)

(Pinterest source – love these doors)

(source)

(Pinterest source)

7. Favorite links i’m loving…

10 Great California Escapes for Summertime…I’d love to see Healdsburg and the Palm Dessert.

Now You Can Actually Live Aboard the World’s Largest Superyacht…wow, that’s a big boat. I want to see the inside.

Goop Editor Megan O’Neill’s Brooklyn Brownstone Channels Her Jamaican Roots…so many fun colors.

21 Unexpected Reasons to Have a Party (Just Because!)…love these ideas.

These 5 Just-Opened Vintage Furniture Stores Are Here For Summer Digging…such a fan of vintage shopping.

7 of the Most Extravagant Aspen Homes on the Market Right Now…mind blown.

The Unexpected Workout We Can’t Get Enough Of RN…walking is my favorite.

The 12 Best Foods for Clear Skin…eat for beauty.

Inside a Cozy Catskills Lodge That Was Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright…such a pretty home and very unique.

The O.G. Gossip Girl’s Wildest, Weirdest, and Most Problematic Story Lines…if you are a fan of the original series, this is a fun read.

The 7 Coolest Indoor-Outdoor Restaurants to Dine at Right Now…these all look so cute and sound delicious.

Everything We Know About the 2021 Nordstrom Sale…who’s shopping the sale this year?

8. Summer Style Finds Under $200.



9. This week’s dinners + favorite weekend eats…

One Pot Melty Burrata Lemon Pesto Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

Monday: One Pot Melty Burrata Lemon Pesto Pasta

30 Minute Crispy Cheese Chicken Tinga Tacos with Pineapple Salsa | halfbakedharvest.com

Tuesday: 30 Minute Crispy Cheese Chicken Tinga Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Pesto Cheese Zucchini Ravioli with Burst Tomatoes | halfbakedharvest.com

Wednesday: Pesto Cheese Zucchini Ravioli with Burst Tomatoes

Summer Niçoise Salad | halfbakedharvest.com #salad #summerrecipes #healthy

Thursday: Summer Niçoise Salad

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil | halfbakedharvest.com #peaches #porkchops #easydinner #skilletrecipe

Friday: Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil

Mangonada | halfbakedharvest.com

Saturday: Mangonada

Homemade Double the Fudge Buster Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

Sunday: Homemade Double the Fudge Buster Bars



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