First Fridays: Avocado and Cotija Squash Blossoms

Avocado and Cotija Squash Blossoms | aidamollenkamp.com

Aida-

Seriously, I can’t believe that summer is almost over. Truly the very thought makes me shed a lonely tear.

It may be September, but I haven’t gotten my fill eating up all the great summer fruit at each and every farmers market I cross. On my most recent visit, I wanted to get something for Last Fridays that wouldn’t be around much longer, a proper last-of-the-summer ingredient and immediately thought of one of our fave summer ingredients: canary yellow squash blossoms!
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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Labor Day White

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You guys, before we get down to partying this weekend, we need bring up something first: who made the rule about “no white after Labor Day”?

You guys. This rule is so not doing it for us. Whoever first made that declaration clearly did not live in California; nor did they understand the power of white skinny jeans. White is a color, not a season, and really, how can you stop with all the white after seeing this week’s five favorite pins? So here’s what we’re thinking: use the excuse to throw an amazing, all-white themed party to send off summer in style. Then go ahead and break the “rules” by wearing your white skinnies and sneaks on Tuesday, September 2, and every day after that—we’re pretty sure they’d compliment a pumpkin spice latte, too.


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Late Summer Avocado and Pita Fattoush Salad

Avocado Fattoush Salad Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com

If you ask my brother, he’ll tell you – the simple fact is that Fattoush salad is pretty much Gemmayz-ing. 

Okay, wait, that’s an inside joke that needs some explanation. When we went to visit in-laws in Lebanon a few years ago, we were on a mission to try as much new food as possible but, equally important to me, I wanted to find the best fattoush in all the land. I first was drawn to fattoush because, well, it’s just an awesome word to say. But I was hooked because it’s a salad loaded with summer veggies and topped with crisp, crunchy pita chips — and you know how much I like crispy, crunchy on any and everything.
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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Wine Harvest

Favorite Pins – Wine Time – schiacciata all'uva // aidamollenkamp.com

Our hearts go out to everyone who got affected by the August 24th, 2014 Napa earthquake — Aida herself was smack dab in the middle of it all so she knows first-hand how frightening the experience was. Because she had already planned a trip to Napa this weekend, we had already planned to make the focus of this week’s Five Favorite Pins a look at Napa and the wine harvest. That said we hope this post can still be seen as a celebration of all the beauty that region has to offer.


With all the beaches, Redwoods, and Golden Gate, it can sometimes slip our minds that California has a crazy amazing wine country, too. But come August and September, it’s hard to imagine doing anything but spending an afternoon in the lush vineyards plotting our second lives as winemakers. Evening harvest dinners with copious friends and wine and the backdrop of a rustic-chic barn up against a California sunset? We’ll take two, thank you very much.

Fantasies aside, one thing is certain: wine harvest time is something to be celebrated. The season starts in late summer and the excitement in the air is tangible. We welcome the excuse to entertain our romantic notions of the process—in reality, getting up before dawn and hand-picking grapes is exhausting work, to be sure—so we put a Pinterest filter on the whole thing for our favorite pins this week.


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Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup

Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup | aidamollenkamp.com

Do it, I dare you. Say it. But, before you do, know that just the mere mention of the word, “India” will cause me to go on a diatribe. The colors, the sites, the vivacity, the flavor –  there aren’t enough terabytes in the world to capture it all.

There may be nothing more tragic post-travel than losing photos so you’ll understand my devastation around the fact I can’t find any of my snaps of my visit to Udaipur. Instead I decided to save the moment in edible form with this Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup recipe.


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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Summer Fair

Favorite Pins - Summer Fair - Girl at fair with lights // aidamollenkamp.com

There are certain events and celebrations that truly give you a sense of the season, and if you grew up in a small town, you can probably connect with our love of the annual summer fair. Passing by one now is immediately transporting: the rides, the sounds, the smells—not to mention, the chance for silver screen-worthy summer romance. If you ask us, the memory and magic of those nights spent wandering hand in hand through the fairgrounds lasts long after the crushes have faded.

Our favorite pins this week bring back memories of the bright lights, the cheap food, the adrenaline rush from a Ferris wheel set against a sunset, and that dizzying wonder of a perfect summer evening.


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Thai Shrimp Tostadas

Thai Shrimp Tostadas Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com

We’re of the belief that tostadas make anything better — the salty, crunchy goodness means you can raise your favorite foods up high on a sort-of flavor pedestal. And in the realm of tostada hierarchy, this Thai shrimp tostada is major. And I should know because I pretty much never met a tostada I didn’t like. 
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Our Five Favorite Pins of the Week // Colorado -cation

Favorite Pins – Colorado – Hiker // aidamollenkamp.com

Inspired by Aida’s latest travel adventure, we’re picking pins that bring to mind the spirit and soul of that square(ish) state that’s anything “but”: Colorado. With the bounty of craft breweries and distilleries, artisan foodcrafters, and lush, beautiful scenery, this place is a haven for outdoorsy-types, foodies, photographers, or really everyone looking to get a little lost in Mother Nature. The lifestyle it represents is also perfect fodder for many a wanderlust-tinged Pinterest board:
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Mexican Corn Panzanella Salad

Mexican Corn Panzanella Salad Recipe | aidamollenkamp.com

Admit it: no matter how often you challenge yourself to switch up your wardrobe, you go back to your favorite pair of jeans and that tshirt that’s so worn it feels like crepe paper. Well, we do the same thing in the kitchen, especially with classics like panzanella salad. But, just as you can switch up your jeans and tee uniform for a slightly different color every now and then, we do the same here — every season we make a new version of panzanella salad and this summer we came up with this recipe for Mexican Corn Panzanella Salad.
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Link List: July – Summer Salads

Summer Salad Recipe Ideas | aidamollenkamp.com

Summer salads need no introduction — we believe a great summer salad holds equal stature to the classic summer burger or peach pie; a truly remarkable one puts all its others to shame. We’re also big proponents of the “a salad a day” philosophy, especially in warmer months when hemlines inch up and up. But perhaps you’re in need of a little inspiration, yes? After all, in these dog days of summer motivation can be lacking. So let us do the work for you— or some of it, at least, in terms of helping you find some stunning salad recipes.


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