Hot summer days call for cool summer meals!

Hello all!

Holy hot Hell, it’s warm out. If you don’t have the pleasure of living in Sacramento, California in the summer, here’s a peek at our weather today –

ImageIt’s only May, and the heat wave hasn’t even set in! Thankfully, I have this little sucker to keep me cool this season –

ImageYep, this old thing has been around almost as long as I have!

But eating has to keep you cool too, amiright? So today for lunch for the parental units and myself, I prepared a scattered (but cooling) menu.

– For my Mama Drama, a ham, brie, and habanero sandwich on a wheat bun

– For Popsicle, a pastrami with brie on Pugliese

– And for me, a watermelon and feta salad. And this was all it took –

ImageNot too much, huh? Let’s get started.

I began with my dad’s sandwich, the pastrami and brie. I hollowed out the Pugliese for him because he often finds sandwiches we buy have too much bread, and I like to tailor the sandwich to his desires. Like so –

ImageBut on to the star of the show. The pastrami –

ImageGorgeous, huh? The perfect marbling of the meat and fat and balance it makes? Ugh such a treat. A real delicacy. I just layer it into a microwave safe container and layer the cheese on top, but let’s talk about that for a second –


Brie. My second favorite cheese. YUM! We get ours at Costco, and it’s a very creamy and natural taste. So rich! I slice it up and top the meat with it –

ImageI pop that in the microwave for 1:00-1:10 depending on how much meat, today i did 1:05 and it was perfect. While that cooked, I simply dressed the bread with mayo and the ever-necessary Grey Poupon Dijon for my dad (his absolute favorite, he’s a total snob about it), and out came the piping hot meat and cheese to create this beaut –


Nom nom nom. Now onto my mom’s sandwich! Ham, brie, and habanero – quite the combo. We start we more beautiful meat –

ImageHam off the bone, something she loves! Christmas time, Easter time, anytime. Then that awesome cheese I discussed before but then comes the twist –

ImageHabanero pepper jelly. More homemade jams, compliments of Patrick’s mother and this is a favorite in their house. A sweet base made from apricots is spiced up by their homegrown habaneros, jalapenos, and other peppers. AMAZIIIIIING! Can’t get enough. And look at how perfectly it spreads onto bread –

ImageWhat more could you want? Sometimes, we even put the jelly right onto baked brie with trail mix. Genius.

So I start with the wheat bun (we get ours from Fresh&Easy) and put that great meat and cheese right on top of the jelly and pop it right in the toaster oven –

ImageThat becomes nice and toasty while I dress the top half of the bun –

ImageMayo, sweet mustard, and cucumbers. She loves that little extra crunch on a sandwich, and cucumbers always do the trick!

After about 5 minutes, the ham and brie have warmed and melted together and come out looking so good –

ImageAnd then the top and bottom come together and what do you get but –

ImageThis ham and veggie delight!

So now onto my meal! The watermelon and feta salad –

ImageThe epitome of summer food! So pretty and pink.

First, chop it up however you like. I do a combination of cubes and triangles, but in a very unorthodox manner. Yikes.

Either way, your bowl looks like this –

ImageThen comes the add-ins, but most importantly –


FETA CHEESE. This is my favorite cheese. If you let me, I will eat it all day long. I mean look at those chunks! And the salty taste and perfect texture! How could you go wrong?

Then you add in chopped red onion and jalapeno, depending on how much you like. I personally like lots of both so my bowl now looks like this –

ImageSo tasty! But not quite ready yet…

Now I added in some balsamic vinegar because I love a little extra zing. You don’t have to, but I do when I have the chance. I added this stuff –


From Talent, Oregon, a little farm, I got some Pomegranate Balsamic and Koroneiki Olive Oil. I was in Ashland and they had a farmer’s market where I made a purchase from the lovely people at this farm. Best travel decision I’ve ever made.

So when everything is said and done, my plate looks like this –

ImageDelicious watermelon and feta salad, some habanero barbecue almonds (my addictive snack habit), and homemade Arnold Palmer!

Such a cooling meal for this hot, hot day. But fear not, many more salads to come! Enjoy!



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