The halfway point of summer break has been crossed, and it feels like a good time to chit chat about the things that have made this particular hot season so awesome.
• Working on the blog 50+ hours per week and never growing tired of it. Not even for an instant. I’m so grateful for a job that allows me to take my summers “off” so that I can infuse all of my working energy into Blissful Basil. It’s also been wonderful having the weekends freed up to spend time with Dan, and I’ve been stockpiling recipes like a squirrel preparing its nuts for winter <– giggle-worthy statement — so that I have plenty to share come September.
• Receiving emails from so many of you with some of the most beautiful, kind, and thoughtful words I’ve ever read. I’ve been brought to happy tears on more than one occasion over the past five weeks, and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your day not only to read but to comment and even email. Your words and excitement are the fuel for this blog.
• Getting to spend 10 fun-filled days with family in Colorado. Brad (my oldest brother) realized that it was the longest chunk of time we had spent with our dad since our parents’ divorce in the early 90s, so it was much needed. The time together renewed our connection with one another in a profound way, and allowed us to learn who each of us has become as we’ve grown into adulthood. We laughed, bonded, and occasionally bickered, and I loved every minute of it. I realized that I had been holding onto some stale negativity from the past, judgments I had made from situations over a decade ago, and I released it. People change, grow, and evolve for the better all the time, and there’s no sense in holding onto the past when the present moment opens your eyes to a different path for the future.
• Sticking to my summer routine and releasing a few fears because of it. I talked about my fear of losing my routine in this post and made a plan in hopes of avoiding the trap of my usual summer-induced indecision. The week before summer break, I was worried that the plan I had created was going to fail, and I’d wind up wasting hours just trying to get started each morning. However, creating a consistent schedule for my weekdays has made the world of difference. I get up around 6:30 each morning, start the day with a 30-60 minute workout, shower and get ready, respond to emails, work on recipe development and new ideas for the blog, photograph recipes, and round out each day with photo editing and writing posts. It’s amazing what a schedule can do for productivity.
• Attending the TechMunch Chicago conference in late June. It was such an inspiring experience, and the food blogger community is certainly a supportive one. Every person I met offered insight, tips, and helpful tricks to thrive within the talented world of food bloggers.
• One Lazy Sunday with Dan. Yesterday was the epitome of a lazy Sunday, and we soaked up every minute of it. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that the busier I get, the harder it is for me to slow down and completely disconnect. The second I sit down to do nothing and relax, I feel a case of The Shoulds creeping up on me, and it drives me crazy. I used to work a lot less but have no problem plopping on the couch with a book or throwing on a romantic comedy while dozing in and out of a snuggly nap session with Jack. However, these days, I tend to come down on myself for indulging in those moments, and I’m not okay with it. Moments of nothing are so important, and they should be 100% guilt-free! This week, Dan and I planned for an afternoon of Sunday nothingness, and I promised myself to release my shoulds and just be. I wasn’t completely should-free, but it was an improvement. We moved about the house from the patio to the living room, reading, chatting, sipping on coffee, and snuggling with Jack. The downtime was much needed and so liberating.
I hope your summer has been filled with love, sunshine, productivity, snuggles, family, relaxation, and a bit of nothingness mixed in for good measure.
This Watermelon Rosé Granita shouts summer. It’s a slow-moving, easy recipe in which your greatest feat will be waiting for it to freeze over an 8-hour period of time while gently raking it with a fork every couple hours to guarantee its icy success. With only three ingredients — fresh watermelon, rosé wine, and maple syrup — it’s a refreshing recipe that keeps things simple in that summery, easy-breezy kind of way. We’ve been enjoying this for dessert over the past week, and it’s so tasty. I even recruited a wino to taste-test it (thanks, pops) to make sure it was worth the three cups of rosé it takes to make, and his response…
“Damn! That’s AWESOME.”
So, there you have it; wino approved.
You can enjoy it completely icy and frozen with a spoon or scoop some into a glass, let it sit for 10 minutes, and drink it like a slushie. This is also the perfect thing to make for a hot summer dinner party and because it’s not too sweet, you can serve it as a pre-dinner beverage or dessert.
Today’s Sound Bite is an oldie but a goodie, and it’s perfect for moments of summery nothingness.
- 6 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 3 cups dry rosé wine
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or sweetened to taste
- Add all ingredients to a blender, secure cover, and blend on high for 1 minute.
- Pour the mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish.
- Place in freezer.
- After one hour, use a fork to "rake" the sides of the mixture to break up the ice crystals.
- Rake the mixture with a fork every 1 1/2 hours until the mixture is completely frozen. This takes about 7-8 hours, so be patient and plan to make this early in the day.
- Serve in glasses and garnish with basil leaves, if desired.
- Freeze leftovers.