Salmon cakes with tomato risotto

One of my favorite summer meals, you can pull this together in about forty minutes! Don’t be discouraged by the prospect of making risotto. I stared making risotto for B and I about thirteen years ago, and now I have the recipe memorized, and can make it without even really thinking about it!

Ingredients for Salmon Cakes

2-3 5 oz cans of wild caught, boneless, skinless salmon

2 eggs

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tbs lemon zest

1 tbs lemon juice

pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Mix all ingredients. Form into equal size cakes (about the size of your palm), and then fry in 2 tbs of canola oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side (until golden brown). Transfer to paper towel lined plates to cool for a few minutes

Ingredients & Directions for Risotto

I always use this recipe for risotto and then add my own touches, this time I didn’t use prosciutto or asparagus and instead used fresh sliced grape tomatoes, Chardonnay, 1 tbs of lemon zest and 2 tbs lemon juice.

To plate

Place salmon cakes on top of risotto and drizzle with balsamic glaze (I use Trader Joe’s brand) and fresh ribbons of basil. Enjoy!

 

 

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If you have two days in San Antonio…part 2

Knowing how hot San Antonio is in July, I started looking for some indoor options for our second day. We did one indoor and one outdoor activity and in retrospect we should have swapped the times, but the kids did great (just kidding, two of them complained a lot, one complained only slightly, one did not complain, and one did great…except for trying to run off a few times. I’ll let you figure out who’s who. That’s real life, friends). Anyway, our indoor activity was the Natural Bridge Caverns. There are actually two different tours you can take here (both 75 minutes each). We opted for the Discovery Tour where they do not turn out all the lights. We had about thirty minutes before the tour started, so we let the kids do the maze that they have.

Once we got started on the tour I realized I should’ve brought water, blah. We mooched off my sister’s family to keep J from complaining the whole time. This would have been a great place to have their camelback water backpacks. The tour is not super strenuous, but it is a bit of a hike to get out once you get in there. The kids liked the jellyfish formations, the bat nest markings, and the different cave formations the look like pancakes and eggs.

 

 

Afterward we grabbed some lunch at the snack shop:

And then headed to the zoo! If you go to the San Antonio Zoo after 1 or 2 p.m. they discount the tickets, so that was a nice bonus. Now, I know what you may be saying. If you’ve seen one zoo, haven’t you really seen it all? And yes, most zoos have similar animals there. However, depending on the zoo you’ll get a different experience seeing the animals and learn different things, which is why the kids love going. For example, we saw hippos underwater up close:

And J got to be face to face with a wild dog. You could pretty much consider his trip made by that point. He was so excited!

He really wanted to get in there with the wild dogs, especially when one came right up to the glass:

And they had an interactive dinosaur exhibit when we went:

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel and took showers because it was approximately one million degrees when we left the zoo. We then headed out to an Italian restaurant on the Riverwalk.

The boys got their full helpings of spaghetti, so they were quite excited.

And then the next morning we woke up super early and headed for home!

 

A few other restaurants and places to check out if you’re in San Antonio…

Children’s Museum

Lulu’s bakery and cafe

Mi Tierra Cafe

Gristmill river restaurant and bar

Texas Pride BBQ

The Magnolia Pancake Hauss 

Hot Joy restaurant 

And that’s it! Our Texas road trip (after a fifteen hour drive back) was done!

To see the other parts of our road trip, check out Waco, Austin, and San Antonio Part I.

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Friday Favorites

We are T-minus two weeks to school starting, how?! We are soaking up the last of summer vacation by sleeping in, watching Chopped past bedtime, and enjoying lots of outside play time when the temperature is decent. And when it’s boiling hot outside, we’re pulling out all the Legos, GI Joe’s, and Imaginext. And playing! Before school, schedules, sports, and scouts all start up again.

Summer and fall looks. I love the pop of red in the jacket and the crisscross back of the dress.

A new chapter book series for J.

Simple tips for creating next level eyeliner.

The case for eating well before bedtime. And that means eating a long time before bedtime, not eating good things, but eating good things is fine, as well. You can still have snacks, though….so, winning!

Perfect summer chopped salad, recommended by my sister!

The dress in my Gap shopping cart.

Because I love Leslie and Ron.

The cutest game of fetch, ever.

And finally, gel manicures are my go to for trips.

 

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If you have two days in San Antonio…part 1

We arrived in San Antonio right at dinner time. We stayed at the Marriott Riverwalk (with a river walk view room) and I would highly recommend it. Although there are lots of other quality hotels in the area, you get a great view of the riverwalk, there’s a Starbuck’s in the hotel, and it is walkable to lots of the main San Antonio attractions (like The Alamo). We checked in and then headed to Casa Rio for dinner…

I got the green chile chicken enchiladas (which I forgot to take a picture of), and they were excellent. The boys got nachos and tacos. The margaritas were also excellent!

One of my favorite things about our hotel besides the view:

Was the fold out couch. We usually have a room with two doubles or queens, but it saves us many an argument for the boys to be in separate beds…

 

The next morning we enjoyed our coffee on the balcony:

Then headed to the Alamo!

I have to say we lucked out with our weather. Texas is hot (boardering on insufferable) in July, and we managed to get overcast days with slightly cooler than average temperatures. The boys loved the Alamo, and we did pretty much everything you could do, from watching the movie on Alamo history to listening to a speech on Alamo artillery.

These two were the best listeners of the whole bunch:

And you’ve got to find the House cat:

We thought it was just a stray cat, but they have stuffed animals that match it in the gift shop, so apparently it is a house cat. After we left the Alamo we went to the river walk mall to escape an incoming rain shower, had lunch at the food court, then headed back to the hotel’s activity room:

We kept it pretty low key, which was great for the kids. Some sightseeing mixed with downtime is essential for avoiding meltdowns! We headed to County Line on the Riverwalk for dinner:

Their brisket and black eyed peas and bread were delish:

Afterward we headed out on the riverboat tour of the Riverwalk, which was fun:

A enjoyed it, despite contrary tween facial expressions. The boat tour is a great way to see and hear about the history of the city. And to see buildings like this:

It looks like there is no side! A cool optical illusion, with an interesting back story (I won’t spoil it). After the boat tour we headed off to bed with a cavern and zoo in our sights!

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If you have five hours in Austin…

On Sunday we were headed to San Antonio by way of Austin, so we spent a brief five hours in Austin. We headed straight to lunch at Shake Shack (because if there’s a Shake Shack near me, I’m going to it):

 

 

And then headed to the Capital building. This was a great choice because 1. It’s free and 2. There’s huge (not working obviously) cannons outside. Oh and 3. Lots of stairs to wear the kids out.

 

 

 

They also have several really cool libraries that weren’t open when we were there (Sunday) but I think they are open during the week:

After the Capital we headed to Barton Creek Square Mall because the boys requested to go to a Lego Store…

And I found nothing at Nordstrom despite my best efforts…

And we left at four and arrived in San Antonio in time for dinner!

Other fun spots that we had on our potential Austin list were…

Texas History Museum

Any of the many hiking trails

The bats at dusk

Cosmic Restaurant

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If you’re in Dripping Springs for a wedding…

As I referenced in my Waco post, our Texas road trip idea began because my youngest cousin (I have ten first cousins), was getting married. After we went to Waco we headed to Dripping Springs for the wedding, which is about twenty minutes outside of Austin. If you’re ever in Dripping Springs for a wedding, the Holiday Inn Express has a good pool…

And some nice nearby playgrounds…

But we were really there to hang with my family, and see my Grandparents:

And climb a few trees…

And go to a wedding…

We’ve been to quite a few weddings with these two. My tips are lollipops and iPad time bribes. Obviously they behaved:

J accidentally broke the corner of his iPad, and we are trying to keep it from dying completely, so I replaced it with this cover and have been really pleased (especially because it fully covers the broken corner). We were so excited to celebrate with our family…

And then we were headed out again with Austin in our sights! Stay tuned!

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If you have a day in Waco…

On the Fourth of July, while everyone else (literally everyone…no one was on the road!) was celebrating the holiday, we headed out on a week long road trip to and through Texas. My youngest cousin was getting married, so my sister and I planned a family trip that sandwiched the trip to Austin for the wedding in between Waco and San Antonio. We definitely didn’t have time to do and see everything, but we had a blast, and we fit in quite a bit for eight days with driving time, five kids, and a wedding included. I’m starting in Waco as it was stop number one. We had one full day to spend in Waco before we had to head down to Austin, so here is what we did!

We arrived in Waco at lunch time and made a beeline for In and Out Burger, where J declared he no longer eats burgers (tip to note: they have a secret menu with grilled cheese that you can order). This is the kid who ate burgers up until Thursday, July 5th…

Then we headed over to the Dr. Pepper museum (a great reprieve from the July heat), and spent a good hour and a half (you can definitely tour it in less) letting the kids wander, and enjoying Dr. Pepper floats.

The sweet kiddo next to J is one of my cousin’s daughters. Blonde hair does actually run in our family!

A now has a thorough knowledge of how Dr. Pepper is made, ask him anything! After the Dr. Pepper museum we headed over to Magnolia Market and Silos (as you might expect).

However, as you might not know my maternal great grandparents are from Waco. And Silos Baking Company? My Great Grandfather helped build the original building.

We used to go to Waco almost every summer, but I haven’t been in almost twenty years. It has changed quite a bit since our last visit! At Magnolia Market and Silos we wandered the grounds, the kids got slushies, and we bought a few souvenirs.

 

 

Then we headed to see the Baylor Bear. We wandered just a bit of Baylor’s campus (one of my cousins played baseball there), and J declared he definitely wants to play baseball there when he grows up.

He picked out a Baylor Bear souvenir and we headed down the street for dinner. We ate at Coach’s Smoke and the food was great and the staff was super helpful and kind.

Our landing spot for the night was the Homewood Suites. It’s not as close to downtown as other hotels,  but it’s perfect if you’re headed out the next day to Austin, which we were!

Other notable spots to check out if you have more than a day are:

The Wooly Mammoth Park

The Texas Rangers Museum

Other fun food places to try would be:

Torchy’s Tacos

Twisted Root Beer Company

Magnolia Table

Next we headed to outside Austin for a wedding! Stay tuned…

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Friday Favorites

We’re back! We just got home from an eight day road trip to,from, and through Texas. I can’t wait to share our adventures with you all, but until I get through all of our pictures here are some of my favorite web finds of the week!

The Tuscan Child and Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald are on my late summer reading list.

Creating volume in straight hair.

Christmas idea for puzzle loving J.

We just took the boys to their seventh wedding! That’s almost one per year.

Love this embroidered shift dress.

A calendar DIY to brighten up your office space.

Summer salads.

Florals in Nashville.

The impact of piano playing on language.

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Indian butter chicken

I posted this recipe on my Friday Favorites about a year ago and in that time it had become one of our favorite monthly rotations. This dish has just the right amount of heat and sweet. We serve it over Jasmine rice and corn, and put big slices of naan on the sides. It’s just the right amount of effort for a summer meal, but has a warmth that can carry the dish into fall.

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