Rain storms that punctuate warm, sunny days can only mean one thing: It’s summer in Chicago! This time of year always sneaks up on me because 1) I never think it’s going to actually happen and 2) making plans for the summer sort of feels irrelevant. It’s summer! In Chicago! Do whatever you want, whenever you want, it’s all going to be great!
Cooking and eating clean, whole foods has always been a passion of mine but ever since my trip to a Michigan Farmer’s Market last month (and after making pickles!), I feel a little…obsessed with it. Like, I made pickles! I made bread! It was magic! What else do I usually buy that I could make from scratch???
Answer: Bloody Mary’s.
I love brunch. Tomatoes are in season. I own a juicer. I also love Williams-Sonoma and they’re currently in an initiative to see what fresh spins can be made to this classic cocktail. Surely I could take Bloody Mary’s to the next level for the Labor Day party we were attending. Right?
Actually…right. And beyond being delicious, they were fresh, literally summer in a glass. From market to kitchen to party, let me tell you how it all went down.
I don’t know what the phrase “life is like a bowl full of cherries” really means but this past Saturday had a bowl full of cherries in it and it was lovely so I have to think it means good things. I watched Forget Paris and mindlessly pitted cherries and was left with the best problem: what do I do with this beautiful bowl of summer?
And just like that, another weekend is over. I don’t know about you but it seems that these summer weekends are flying- by the time I wrap up work on Friday, it’s like the fast forward button goes right to Sunday night. We attended a rooftop birthday party last night in Lincoln Park and it was one of those perfect summer nights where the sweatshirts and guitars come out when the sun goes down and you stick around for one more beer just because you know these easy-going al fresco nights are numbered. As always, I am so excited for fall because its my favorite season and this year, i’m even more excited because we’re moving into our new place in September. But for right now, give me more of these fleeting warm weekends and I’ll squeeze out every last drop.
You know those weekends that are so simply great that Monday comes and you spend a decent part of the day questioning why the weekend is over and why can’t fun weekends like that last forever and why is it Monday already dammit? Yeah. That.
Highlights included the Sheffield Garden Walk with friends we have a blast with and do not see often enough, followed by Pequod’s and a Sunday spent at the beach. Add in a few good runs, errands and even some sleeping in and you pretty much have my best weekend ever. I’m excited about the upcoming week now but man, weekends occupied with music, pizza, beach and love are hard to leave behind.
And c’mon-Pequod’s? I love love love Pequod’s and hate hate hate that their delivery radius is like 2 square blocks. Our friend Allison is gorgeously 9 months pregnant and we sent the leftovers home with her and her cool husband…it was the right thing to do but man- Ry and I sure wished we had cold Pequod’s the following morning.
Yay- it’s Saturday!
The storm last night brought some relief from the heat and it’s a gorgeous day for going to the market, spending some time at the pool/beach and hitting up a street festival or two- all things that are on our agenda. Summer is the best and summer in Chicago…it’s my absolute favorite.
My love of pressed juices is well documented on this blog but I’ve got to tell you, when it’s as hot outside as it is right now (I am sweating just thinking about leaving the air conditioning), all I want is a smoothie. The problem I’ve had with smoothies is that I go to order one, thinking I am all good and healthy, and what I end up with is essentially a designer milkshake- essentially, ice cream with a ton of added sugar with a tiny hint of fruit.
Enter Red Mango. I love their frozen yogurt because it’s 100% natural, full of pro-biotics, with no added artificial sweeteners so when I went to try one of their 22 new super biotic smoothies for summer, I had high hopes. It was hot, I had just come in from a run, I needed…a smoothie. And let me tell you, they delivered. I chose one in the “All Fruit Harmony” category- dairy free, soy free, just fruit, juice and ice. It was light and refreshing and (omg) actually tasted like fruit. It had an energy boost in it because, let’s be honest, an early flight that morning was starting to catch up with me. The boosts effect was just as refreshing and natural as the smoothie itself. The smoothie absolutely hit the spot and I am absolutely past my prejudice against smoothies- I know I can now go to Red Mango and get something good for me that also tastes good. That’s all I really ask from anything I put in my body, ya know?
Red Mango also has these new smoothie boosts that are designed to meet the nutritional and dietary needs of those who are after a wholesome, well-balanced diet. These bad boys are joining the ranks of the protein, energy, immunity and multivitamin boosts currently available:
- Metabolic Fit 360™: A proprietary blend of protein, calcium and African Mango which supports metabolic balance and promotes healthy weight management.
- Dark Chocolate Mate: Finely ground, Brazilian roasted maté and dark chocolate; a delicious, rich, low-calorie flavor which also supplies a nice dose of antioxidants.
- Tropical Hibiscus: Finely ground, premium Nigerian hibiscus blossoms infused with natural pineapple and lychee; a bright and tropical low-calorie flavor and antioxidant boost.
- Green Tea Acai: Finely ground, premium green tea with açai berries, the Amazonian superfruit; a low-calorie antioxidant boost made with the best ingredients.
AND from now until July 19, Red Mango is offering double points for Club Mango– basically, by signing up for their rewards program, you get $2 in credit AND with double points these next few days, you’ll be on your way to some free smoothie goodness.
(*Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Red Mango but all opinions and excitement about smoothies are entirely and 100% mine.)
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