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Heat Wave!

To say that it was hot outside yesterday is an understatement! After the gym, Mike and I went to our favorite farmer’s markets. One of the reasons why I love living in the area where we live is because of it’s close proximity to two nice farmer’s markets. Mike and I try to go every Saturday morning. It’s kind of our thing. Awwww.

Mike and I at the Farmer's Market last fall.

We were already sweaty from the gym when we got there around 11:00am. The heat was just ridiculous. I am a native Floridian, born and raised in south Florida, and I can’t remember ever feeling so gross from the heat. The minute you get out of the car, the heat and humidity hit you in the face, your clothes start sticking to you, and you’re sweating profusely. I checked the weather and it said it was only 87 degrees at the time. It felt so much worse.

Anyway, enough complaining. The Winter Park Farmer’s Market is a small, but well-organized farmer’s market in the heart of Winter Park. There are a good number of vendors for such a small space. You can find everything from fresh made crepes and local honey, to cheeses and organic eggs, and of course lots of fruits and vegetables. Because we’re on a VERY tight budget at the moment, we only picked up a couple of things. I knew that I was going to make hummus for lunch, so I grabbed two beautiful and fragrant lemons. I also picked up some beefsteak tomatoes, yellow onions, and some flat-breads for quick and east homemade pizzas. The vendor where I got the flat-breads is one of the most popular at the market. She makes delicious breads and pastries, and some of the best granola I’ve ever had!

Beautiful beets.

Vibrant Japanese eggplants.

Beefsteak tomatoes.

On the way out we grabbed some kettle corn because I absolutely can not go to the farmer’s market without some of this delicious treat. We all know I’ve been on a popcorn kick recently, and this stuff is SO much better than that cheesy deliciousness crap I’ve been eating. They don’t use any butter or oil while cooking it and it is completely trans fat free. It is served warm straight from the kettle and Mike and I usually devour it within 10 minutes.

When we got home we we ready for some A/C and some lunch! I whipped up a batch of fresh hummus using garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. I served it with some carrot sticks, fresh from the farmer’s market tomatoes — which were AMAZING, and some leftover homemade pizza from earlier in the week (I have no idea why we still have some left. I think it’s reproducing in the refrigerator.) I love making hummus at home. It is quick and easy and can be customized in so many ways. We sometimes add roasted red peppers or kalamata olives. I polished off my lunch with a little bit of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

My Shamu bowl from Sea World.

After lunch, Mike and I both took a nap for a little while and then we Mike cleaned up a little bit because we were having company for dinner! Kelly is one of my best friends and was the maid of honor in our wedding. She lives a little over an hour southeast of us in Palm Bay. She loves it when I cook for her and when she told me about her Shrimp Creole recipe, I asked her to return the favor. We ran to the store for a few last-minute ingredients (and more watermelon to feed my belly) and got to cooking!

Kelly and I at our wedding.

While Kelly warmed some bacon grease in a pan, I chopped one large sweet onion and a few stalks of celery. Once the pan was hot, we added the veggies to the bacon grease and let them soften. Kelly used water and flour to make a slurry that would thicken the sauce later on and added that to the vegetable mixture. She added two cans of stewed tomatoes and seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, and red wine vinegar. We let that simmer on the stop to let the flavors melt together. After about 20 minutes we added the shrimp. Kelly used already cooked, peeled, and ready-to-eat shrimp, but I’m sure any fresh shrimp would work perfectly in this recipe. Once the shrimp were heated through, it was time to eat! Kelly serves this dish over white rice with corn muffins on the side and that is just how we ate it. It was so delicious!

Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed our guest chef! I will definitely be making this meal again in the future.

Today, Mike is working and I am staying inside to hide from the 95 degree high. I’ve decided to take the day off from the gym and work on some things here (like packing…fun). I do have a few things to add to the blog that I’m excited about, so look for those soon!

What are your favorite ways to beat the summer heat?

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and staying out of the heat!

Thanks for reading,

R

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