A Salad I Can Get Behind And, Most Important, Eat

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette - Photo and recipe via Sprouted Kitchen

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette. Photo and recipe via Sprouted Kitchen

I know this blog is called “Utterly Smitten” and all, but I’m going to admit it right here and now, I am not utterly smitten by salads. I think it boils down to the lettuce, really. I just can’t see the point in it. I even take it off of my sandwiches most of the time.

That’s why I was pretty excited when I discovered this Autumn Salad over on Sprouted Kitchen. It’s not only amazingly yummy, but also allows for as few or as many greens as the eater desires. And I have a sneaking suspicion it’s fairly healthy, too. A tip if you decide to partake — which I highly recommend you do — make twice the dressing (but with just the one portion of horseradish as it can get pretty intense).

This Will Be My Summer

One of the many candidates for that "cool graphic" I was telling you about. Still ... not quite right.

My goal was to post this on Wednesday, the official first day of summer, but that didn’t quite pan out. (Not a good start to my jam-packed, goal-filled summer.) I have an excuse, though: I wanted to find the perfect background picture with which to create an awesome graphic that would surely inspire me to zoom right through my 30 summer bucket list items. I’m still working on that part, so in the meantime, I’m making this official …

I’m doing a summer bucket list!!!

Summer has a way of biting me in the butt and making me want to go on a thousand adventures. I think it’s the extra sunshine. I pretty much run on solar power. So I decided to create a list of all the fun things I have in store for myself  this summer. The best part is I’m planning to blog about all of it, so you’ll have a front-row seat to my adventures and, I’m sure, misadventures. And maybe you’ll even create a bucket list of your own and post it in our comments. Wouldn’t that be just delightful?! Before I use any more exciting punctuation, let’s get to this list:

  1. Go paddle boarding
  2. Go to Catalina Island
  3. Take a SCUBA diving refresher course
  4. Learn to windsurf
  5. Host a retro beach party
  6. Find a cute retro swimsuit to wear to said beach party
  7. Go sailing
  8. Ride my bike somewhere new
  9. Wake up early to see the pros surf at the U.S. Open of Surfing
  10. Go surfing
  11. Read these books: Girlchild, The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir), The Violin Face, Atlas Shrugged
  12. Become a better photographer
  13. Attend at least one outdoor cinema and one beach concert
  14. Start writing a story (or maybe write a whole short story)
  15. Do something with that canvas that’s been sitting against my wall all year
  16. Check out some local markets
  17. Make some of Real Simple’s fabulous-looking summer cocktails
  18. Take a nap in a hammock
  19. Buy a plant – or create an herb garden – and keep it alive all summer long
  20. Give back
  21. Try as many of Los Angeles Magazine’s “Cheap Eats” as possible
  22. Give an unexpected gift
  23. Indulge in a local tourist trap
  24. Learn a new skill
  25. Figure out what to do with all my travel photos
  26. Take a spin in some new car possibilities
  27. Start learning a new language
  28. Write a letter to someone special
  29. Spend an entire day disconnected from all technology, and see what happens
  30. Blog about it all …

Sounds pretty cool, right? I think so. Let the summer officially begin!

Melty Goat Cheese Salad

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I’m normally not a fan of goat cheese, but this recipe from Smitten Kitchen–officially named Warm, Crisp and A Little Melty Goat Cheese Salad Croutons–looks delicious. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because the cheese is fried. ;) Panko-breaded on the outside, hot and savory on the inside, and served atop a cold, fresh salad. Mmmm…Saturday lunch in your backyard?

Have a great weekend, guys! xx

{photos by Smitten Kitchen}

Holy Watermelon! It’s Nearly Summer

Fresh Watermelon Juice recipe from Sugar and Charm

Fresh Watermelon Juice recipe from Sugar and Charm

I’ve started seeing watermelon at the grocery store. Summer is almost officially here! Oh, picnics and outdoor events and beach days, how I cannot wait for you to arrive. So I’ll make you arrive early with this delightful watermelon juice recipe from Sugar and Charm that sounds perfect for an afternoon on the porch.

{Photos via Sugar and Charm}

Talkin’ Snacks

Mangiona With Caitlin Levin #2 Better than a doughnut via Justina Blakeney

There’s no way something that looks this good can be good for you. But I really think it might be. I’m loving this snack idea from Caitlin Levin on Justina Blakeney’s blog not only for its healthy yet drool-worthy looks but also because its lets me avoid biting into a whole apple, which I really hate. Weird, I know.

Also, kudos to my lovely friend Irvina for alerting me (via Pinterest) to Justina’s adorable blog and this other scrumptious recipe.

{Photo via Justina Blakeney}

Chocolate Chip Cookie Madness

Chocolate Lava Cookies -- Kevin & Amanda

I know we’ve posted a lot about cookies — especially the chocolate chip variety. But when you see an image like this, how can you resist? And this is exactly my kind of recipe: It calls for a muffin pan (check!) store-bought dough (check!), chocolate chips (check!) and a plastic bag (check!). That’s it! Of course, you could get all fancy and make your own dough, but I just love that Kevin & Amanda are all for the store-bought variety, too.

… This could be dangerous.

Fun With Pi

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie -- Bakerella

Happy National Pi Day, everyone! For those of you whose last venture into the world of math was a college communications math class (me), Pi Day is the one day each year when true math fans delight at the aligning of calendar days and the mathematical constant for circles that is March 14, 3/14, 3.14. No matter how you slice it, today’s the day to eat copious amounts of pie and fill your blogs with as many pie/pi puns as possible. So I’m rounding out the day with a list of some of the best-looking pies around, starting with this looker (above) from Bakerella that is pretty much my dream-come-true.

3.14 more pies that strike my fancy:

1. Blackberry Apple Pie from Good Things Grow

2. Pies in a jar from All Jarred Up

3. Apple Pie Caramel Apples from The Girl Who Ate Everything

.14. Blueberry Pie Wontons from Cheeky Kitchen (technically these aren’t round, but put a few of them together and you can probably get something resembling a circle)