Thursday, September 4, 2014

My 10 Favorite Things in August

September really snuck up on me. Even now, four days in, I keep thinking it's August. Maybe it's that September in Texas still feels an awful lot like August. It's still sunny and hot, but hints of fall are beginning to pop up, even if the temperature hasn't shifted much. College football is in full swing! School busses are out in force every morning. Peaches, watermelon, and tomatoes are a dwindling presence at the market. As happy as I am to be back in Texas, where summer can stretch on into October, I can't help but wonder what's happening in New England. Are the mornings a little cooler? Are the leaves beginning to show tinges of fiery orange and red or golden yellow yet? Are orchards opening their doors for apple picking, warm apple cider donuts, and fresh apple cider? I'll miss the New England fall, but that won't keep me from enjoying the last dregs of summer and sunshine around here. Without further ado, these are my favorite memories of the past month!

1) Discovering the McKinney Farmer's Market
 We finally made our way to the local farmer's market this month, and gosh is it a good one! While we don't pay them a visit every week, we try to make it as frequently as possible!
 2) These "Caprese" Toasts
 Thanks to some beautiful heirloom tomatoes from the aforementioned farmer's market, we whipped up these ridiculously good toasts (or open-faced sandwiches) this month. Throw on a second slice of bread, and you've got yourself a mean grilled cheese.
 3) Celebrating with our friends Brad and Ashleigh
We sure do love Brad and Ashleigh, and we were pretty tickled that we got to help Brad celebrate his 31st birthday earlier this month! We whipped up a proper Texas menu of smoked ribs and chicken, Tex-Mex squash casserole, homemade pinto beans,  and my husband's famous gooey butter cake recipe.  But even better than the food was the company!
 4) This breakfast sandwich from Snug on the Square
Y'all, this spinach and mushroom breakfast sandwich is ridiculous -- do you see all that melted cheese? Snug on the Square is the cutest little coffee shop located (obviously) on the square in Downtown McKinney. The staff is friendly, the coffee is great, and now we've learned that the food is good too.
 5) Snowcones on a hot day
And from a pirate ship, no less! Few things are as satisfying on a sweltering day than a cup of shaved ice doused in sweet syrup.
6) This spicy, citrusy Cucumber Salad
I still can't get over how good this salad was. Crisp, cool, refreshing. I need to make another batch!
 7) Painting our kitchen and library!
We were busy bees and got both our kitchen and an accent wall in our library repainted! The kitchen was tan, which felt a bit washed out with the backsplash and cabinets, and the library wall was an aggressive fire engine red. The kitchen now feels warm and vibrant (and very blue) while the library will now be a peaceful room to curl up with a good book.
Gosh does it feel good to have a freezer full of roasted, peeled, and chopped Hatch green chiles! We began putting them to good use with this grilled pizza topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, and a generous scattering of chiles.
 9) A glorious reunion with Half Price Books
Oh Half Price Books, how I have missed thee! After 7 years of separation, we're reunited at last! My husband got me a Half Price Books gift card for my birthday, and I finally put it to good use. I might have gotten a little carried away, but hey, we have new library bookshelves to fill!
 10) Hosting Mom's 60th birthday party
Finally, this weekend (technically on September 1st, but I'm counting it), we threw a 60th birthday party for my mom. It was so much fun to do something special for the woman who has always done so much for me!
Fun Side Note: This is my 200th post at A Texas Belle. Kind of hard to believe.

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