It officially feels like summer now (in case you haven’t been able to tell from my posts this week).  We’re heading into July, and the weather has been balmy — heck, even downright humid and sticky, some days, which is not necessarily the typical way that summer announces itself in New England.  With a long holiday weekend coming up, and birds chirping serenely outside my office window late into the evening now, it’s all I can do to drive the song “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” out of my brain. 

These are the days that make me crave strawberry shortcake and iced tea with honey (there’s some in the fridge right now, as a matter of fact — the iced tea, not the shortcake).  They’re the days when cooking becomes so relaxed and easy and pleasurable, because so little really needs to be DONE to great produce to make it into a delicious dinner; also because, let’s face it, when it’s hot outside the last thing anyone wants to do is heat up their kitchen with a bunch of roasting and baking.  I feel like at this time of year, anyone who wants to feed their families well can take it a little easier, because Nature’s helping us all out.

My summer is shaping up to be a busy one, but I’m still going to be blogging about as frequently as I have been (fingers crossed).  I’m excited to announce that I’ve been asked to guest blog on some sites I really enjoy; I’ll share those links with you when they’re posted, and I look forward to asking some other bloggers to post here on RRG as well so you all can benefit from their great work.  I’m also toying with some ideas for new features that I think you might enjoy.  One thought is the “bread baker’s tutorial” some of you have expressed interest in; another thing might be a farm fresh ingredient highlight of the week.  If there are other ideas you’d like me to explore, feel free to comment — I want whatever goes up in this space to be useful to you!

Now, the meal plan.  Phew.  It was almost hard to create, because there are so many options in the summertime, but I think I’ve got it now.  We’ll be out and about for the next few days enjoying the holiday weekend, so I’m starting the meal plan on July 5 for a change.  Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, 7/5: Quick whole wheat macaroni and cheese, farm veggies, fresh fruit
Wednesday, 7/6: Breakfast for dinner
Thursday, 7/7: Quesadilla bar
Friday, 7/8: Fend night
Saturday, 7/9: Whole-wheat pasta with roasted vegetable sauce, cheese and fruit plate
Sunday, 7/10: Sunday roast chicken dinner with farmer’s market side dishes
Monday, 7/11: Potato pancakes with smoked salmon, grilled vegetables
Tuesday, 7/12: Sausage and eggplant stuffed peppers, homemade bread
Wednesday, 7/13: Homemade pizzas, salad, fruit
Thursday, 7/14: Pistachio-crusted chicken, cous cous, veggies
Friday, 7/15: Fend night
Saturday, 7/16: Slow cooker chicken soft tacos with whole-wheat tortillas
Sunday, 7/17: Pasta pesto, caprese salad
Monday, 7/18: Vegetable panini, fruit, beet chips
Tuesday, 7/19: Honey-mustard turkey bacon bites, wild rice, vegetables
Wednesday, 7/20: DIY Salad and Wrap night
Thursday, 7/21: Burgers, side salads
Friday, 7/22: Fend night
Saturday, 7/23: Market antipasto night (once or twice a summer, I like to just bring home lots of tidbits from the market and make big platters of finger foods)
Sunday, 7/24: Grilled flank steak and marinated vegetables
Monday, 7/25: Roasted tomato soup and grilled cheese and fruit sandwiches
Tuesday, 7/26: Pasta salad with roasted garlic and chicken, greens and fresh vegetables
Wednesday, 7/27: Risotto with grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella
Thursday, 7/28: Crab cakes and salad
Friday, 7/29: Fend night
Saturday, 7/30: Summer Chili and corn muffins (this is one of J.’s favorite meals inspired by the Farmer’s Markets)
Sunday, 7/31: Grilled chicken with blueberry chutney, baked samosas, mango lassis