Thoughts for Thursday: Summer Recipes

It's an exciting week in the Chalk Family so I'm anxiously waiting to kick-off the long weekend with our families. I'm counting the minutes until I can wrap my arms around my sister and her growing baby bump for the first time since December! Sister withdrawals are a real thing and have been in full effect recently. Later in the weekend, we are heading to the coast to meet and snuggle our beautiful niece that made her debut yesterday!

Today, I wanted to link up with Annie and Natalie for Thoughts For Thursday and share a couple of my favorite summer recipes now that the warmer temperatures have arrived here in NC.

A few years ago, Natalie from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers shared this Corn Salad with her readers and I haven't stopped making it ever since. As soon as I see fresh corn in the grocery store, this salad is on my mind and on constant repeat until corn season ends. During the summer when our garden is packed full of fresh vegetables, I like to create salads that we can enjoy for a few days. 

6 ears of Corn
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes
4 Green Onions
1 Yellow Bell Pepper 
1 cup of Feta Cheese
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
3 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

ONE. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Dice the bell pepper. Chop the green onions. Combine the tomatoes, peppers and onions in a large bowl.

TWO. Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shucked corn and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the corn simmer for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, remove the corn from the water and place in a separate bowl to cool. 

THREE. Slice the corn off the cob and mix in the bowl with tomatoes, peppers and onions. Add 1 cup of Feta Cheese, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and salt & pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve at room temperature.

I've started to notice that Blue Apron and Hello Fresh are making their way into many people's kitchens recently and I couldn't be more excited. You may be wondering why this makes me so happy and I'll gladly explain. But before I do, please know that this is not a sponsored post rather I wanted to share a few of my favorite summer dishes which included a recent recipe from the chefs at Blue Apron.

TC and I have been ordering Blue Apron consistently for the past 3 years and don't plan on stopping any time soon. The convenience of having planned meals that are fresh and perfectly portioned delivered to your doorstep is an obvious reason for why we enjoy it. To be honest though, that isn't why we continue to order every week. Preparing dinner has now become an activity that we look forward to doing together. We get to try recipes that are outside of our comfort zone, learn about new ingredients, and ways to pair different foods together.

The Spinach Pesto Gnocchi with Sauteed Asparagus and Brown Butter is a light pasta dish that will quickly cure your carb craving. The Spinach Pesto was easy to make yet full of flavor so if you love pasta as much as I do, you'll definitely enjoy this recipe. 
14 ounces of Gnocchi
4 ounces of Spinach
1 clove of Garlic
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Tablespoon of Capers
1 Tablespoon of Sliced Almonds
1/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil

ONE. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Finely chop the almonds and capers. Peel and mince the garlic and smash until it resembles a paste. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces.

TWO. In a medium pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer and release as much liquid as possible by pressing down on the cooked spinach. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board and finely chop. 

THREE. Combine the chopped spinach with the almonds, capers, garlic paste and half of the Parmesan cheese. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

FOUR. Heat a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the pot of boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the top of the pot. Reserving 1/2 cup of the gnoochi cooking water then drain thoroughly.

FIVE. In the same pan that you used to cook the spinach, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the cooked gnocchi and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until the gnocchi are lightly browned and the asparagus has softened. 

SIX. Transfer the browned gnocchi and cooked asparagus to the bowl of pesto. Add half the gnocchi cooking water and stir to thoroughly combine. If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining gnocchi cooking water to achieve your desired consistency. 

SEVEN. Divide the finished gnocchi between 2 dishes and enjoy!

Current Obsessions: Blogger Roundup

The past couple months have been a blur, it's hard to believe that May is here and summer is right around the corner. Is anyone else feeling the same way? Don't get me wrong though, I'm {more than} ready for some fun in the sun, cookouts in the backyard, summer concert series and the change in my wardrobe! With the warmer temperatures upon us and Mother's Day this weekend, I have loved seeing everyone's summer wish lists and gift guides. I've rounded up my top picks from a few of my favorite bloggers to share with you.