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Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the NYC area! I ventured out to Long Island with some fellow ‘Bokeners for a pool party / BBQ. It was such a great time, eating, drinking, eating more and more, and of course drinking more and more. There was everything from lobster salad to sushi to hamburgers to Milk Bar cookies straight from NY! It was a great summer Saturday spent in the sun (and on an awesome boat in the Atlantic Ocean) with some good friends 🙂

oh yea...total hot shots!

Anywho, back to my life of cooking! I’m always looking for a new type of dried fruit to throw in yogurt and cereal so right now I’m lovin’ the dates!

keep em in the fridge to make them last longer…or eat them!

I use the dates to make the protein poppers and then I’ve been experimenting with adding them in to yogurt for breakfast and just snacking on a few after a run. They’re sweet enough to satisfy a sugar craving but not too sweet that you feel like you’re eating candy (not that that is a bad thing!)

yogurt, almonds, dates, and a blob of homemade almond butter

In order to save time at night prepping for the next day, I’ve been making large pots of coffee. I drink it hot the first day and then make an iced coffee for the next day. I went for a HOT run this morning so threw coffee, ice, milk, and some Aria Women’s protein powder in my blender and mixed it up. YUM!

blender action 🙂

I wasn’t too crazy busy at work last week so was able to get some good cooking in at night. I definitely make better dinners when I’m not rushing home from work. Planning ahead also helps. If I bought it on Sunday at the store then I’m determined to use it one way or another before it goes bad!

some MONSTER steak salads

You see the Barry’s Tea in the background?? Straight from the lovely Emerald Isle, the boyfriend doesn’t mess around with his tea 🙂

I adapted this recipe from the Shrimp Cobb Salad from Cooking Light, my go-to recipe finder.

Use the same vinaigrette for the dressing. Top the salad with top sirloin steak, 1/4 of an avocado on each, goat cheese, corn, and croutons. And cut off a nice hunk of crusty bread to dip in the dressing!

ooops overcooked the steak a little

gobs of goat cheese top it off perfectly

I made my go-to dish one night this week and I actually cannot remember which day it was. Salmon with roasted tomatoes, roasted sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus. This is seriously the easiest meal ever, turn the oven to 425 and throw it all in there! I diced the sweet potatoes and sprinkled with sea salt, pepper and cinnamon and did the same to the asparagus (minus the cinnamon) and throw it in there til it’s done!

the cinnamon gives so much flavor!

We heated up some homemade pizza that was in the freezer on Friday night. Who doesn’t love leftover pizza?? It was shrimp and broccoli with a white sauce, AMAZING! I really need to learn how to make pizza and should actually get a pizza stone first…and a rolling-pin haha! Has anyone ever heard of using a wine bottle as a rolling-pin?? I saw this on TV the other day, wonder if it works….

Ok off to the grocery store for the week’s shopping and possibly making cookies later if it starts to cool off soon.

Do you still bake even when it’s 90 degrees outside??

What else can I do with that tub of dates? I’m thinking date bars 🙂