Friday Things

Pretty summer sunset

1. Happy first day of summer! I’ve been loving the pretty sunsets recently, plus I saw my first lightning bugs of the season this week!

2. Speaking of the first day of summer, we recently bought a new grill and can’t wait to fire it up! What are some of your favorite things to make on the grill?

3. The number of unread magazines that made the journey to the new house is downright embarrassing (three entire reusable shopping bags full). I’m slowly going through the stacks, but yikes. I really need to get into the habit of reading them as soon as they arrive!

4. I’ve been going through bags of Sun Chips (Harvest Cheddar, to be exact) at a ridiculous rate. Is anyone else completely addicted to them?

5. Can I get an “Amen”?!

On the 8th Day, God created Corn Bread

6. Speaking of cornbread, does anyone have a great corn spoon bread or corn pudding recipe? I had some at a picnic years ago and never got the recipe. I’ve been regretting it ever since!

7. I still haven’t mastered photographing fireworks, but I’m hoping I can improve this year. I’m going to study these 15 Tips for Successful Fireworks Photography before I head out to watch any displays this year!

8. Yesterday, I met my friend for lunch at her office and she gave me a tour of the place. They have tons of kitchen areas throughout the office that are stocked with free food and snacks, but here’s what I found kind of neat – they place healthier snacks (dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, fresh fruit, etc.) in clear glass jars, while they store the unhealthy snacks (chocolate, junk food) in solid white canisters or in drawers. Sort of “out of sight, out of mind” so you’re drawn to the healthier snacks since they’re the first thing that catches your eye. I might need to try that in my own kitchen!

9. Official sign that I’m old – when I have on satellite radio in the car I see the artist “Robin Thicke” pop up… I immediately think, “Whoa, the dad from Growing Pains sings now?!” Yeah, totally not ALAN Thicke (although after a quick Google search, found out it’s his son). Still couldn’t tell you what Robin Thicke sings. Pass me an afghan and an after dinner mint, please.

10. TGIF! I hope you get to enjoy some time outside!

Einstein enjoying his new yard


51 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on June 21, 2013 at 12:07 am

    That is a boss grill! I love burgers, potatoes wrapped in foil… and corn on the cob! MMM!
    I love Sun Chips, they are crazy addicting.
    Love that picture of the pup!


  2. Tieghan on June 21, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Ya for the first day of summer! Oh and that grill is awesome. Perfect way to ring in summer!


  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on June 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

    Wow that sunset pic and those colors are stunning!
    I try to do that with the clear baggies of things for healthy snacks and solid colored containers with lids for the unhealthier things in my pantry 🙂


  4. Haidee on June 21, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Doesn’t Robin Thicke look exactly like his dad? That was my first thought when I saw him. He’s married to the actress Paula Patton. His song is so catchy and every time I hear it on the radio, my boys (ages 4 & 5) can’t help but dance! 🙂


  5. Dawn Kink on June 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Ha! about the magazines – we’re in the process of moving from Switzerland back to Chicago and I put at least that many in our shipment. I’m sure our movers thought I was insane given the quantity of them (and the cost to move them – luckily my employer is paying the tab) but I couldn’t bear to throw them out unread. You’re going to love the new grill – we’ve had this one for the last 5 years and loved it. Try the fajita recipe in this cookbook – – amazing!


  6. Jamie @lifelovelemons on June 21, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Love your golden 🙂 I have one too, Gus! They’re just the sweetest, arent they?!


  7. Christie on June 21, 2013 at 5:56 am

    I have an easy corn pudding recipe from nana. Let me know if you want it!


  8. Pru on June 21, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Yummy cornbread… You know, I’ve only had moist delicious cornbread once in my life. It was served with this buttery brown sugary pecan sauce. I was hooked. Haven’t ever been able to find or make cornbread like that one.. So it’s been rather disappointing. Trust me tho, it doesnt stop me from eating the whole piece!! I hope you find a recipe!!

    As far as the magazines.. About two years ago my kids bought me a nook for Mother’s Day.. And all of my magazines are delivered and stored on there. Yeah, I was one of those people who used to say.. “Oh I need the book in my hand, I need to be able to turn the pages” … It didn’t take me long to get used to my nook.. And I have my magazines with me all day everyday now. A recipe book is a different story tho. While I have a few on the nook, nothing could replace the books that I own.. And I continue to buy the actual recipe books.
    Enjoy your grill!! I’m going to try a peach tart on our grill this weekend..
    Have a lovely day everyone.. 🙂


  9. Helen on June 21, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Hey Michelle!
    Grill your choice of veggies ( zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onions…etc) THEN pour over marinade and let sit while you grill meat. The cooked veggies absorb the flavors much better than raw veggies. I use evoo, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and fresh basil. Simple and simply delish! Serve leftovers cold the next day.


  10. nicole on June 21, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I have an easy and awesome corn pudding recipe that includes sour cream, corn, cheese, and corn bread mix. How can you go wrong? I am willing to share it with you although, I know you do not like using store bought mixes, maybe you can modify it. Either way, happy summer!


  11. Bev on June 21, 2013 at 7:11 am

    My husband and I love cornbread! I have two recipes I use. For the two of us, I use a recipe from PW Tasty Kitchen it’s good and we like the cake-like texture. I also have a recipe from a girlfriend that I use that makes up a 9×13 pan. Enjoy your new grill, we’re grilling pizza this weekend.


  12. Amy on June 21, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I thought that Alan and Robin were the same person, too.
    I’m 44, so I guess that makes sense.


  13. Kerri Marshall on June 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I think the same thing about Robin Thicke!! I always think about the Growing Pains dad.


  14. joan on June 21, 2013 at 8:11 am

    My latest favorite thing to grill is Green Beans with Lemon Oil. You can get the recipe @ It’s a very weird recipe because it calls for crushed up Vitamin C tablets. I was afraid to try it, but my curiosity got the best of me, so I did it. They are fabulous. I call them crack green beans, because I could eat the whole batch in one sitting. You do need a grill pan for this recipe though. Also, have you ever grilled on a cedar plank? I do salmon with a spice rub. No need to turn the salmon over, and the cedar plank (available in the fish department of some stores) imparts a wonderful smoky flavor.


  15. Lisa from the 'burgh on June 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

    My favorite corn recipe is this:

    Corn Souffle

    Corn Souffle Casserole
    1 can (15oz) creamed corn
    1 can (15oz) whole corn kernels, drained
    1 stick butter, melted
    1 C (8oz) sour cream (reduced-fat works great, too)
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 box (8oz) Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
    Whisk together all ingredients. Pour into a greased
    2 qt. casserole. Bake @350 for 1 hour
    until puffed and golden. Note: I usually make this in a 8×8 pan. Ingredients can be doubled and baked in a 13×9.

    My current favorite grilled recipe is the Chicken Kabobs from Annie’s Eats. I made them for Father’s Day and they were an big, big hit. It helps that the avocado cream is so good that it can be eaten with a spoon! Here is the link:


    • Carol on June 21st, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      My friends and I make this recipe as well,but no eggs. It’s amazing and worth every calorie!


    • Betsy on June 22nd, 2013 at 6:50 am

      This is the one we make every Thanksgiving. I love it too!


    • Pam in Cincinnati on June 22nd, 2013 at 10:31 am

      i make this one but without the eggs. even my brother the chef who has had a lifelong hatred of corn will eat this with a smile on his face – and ask for seconds. 🙂


  16. Diane W. on June 21, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I became hardcore addicted to Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips a few years ago thanks to Subway.

    As for grilling, believe it or not grilled veggies are my favorite thing…unusual veggies like radishes, carrots, green beans…I grill them with olive oil, salt/pepper, along with peppers, onions, asparagus, zucchini and squash. Chop everything small, add white balsamic vinaigrette and feta. Best summer salad and it lasts for days! Great for picnics, warm (my fave), cold or room temp.


  17. Stephanie on June 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

    My husband and I love the Garden Salsa SunChips, but our new favorite is the BBQ ones. They’re sweet and spicy, yum!


  18. Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab on June 21, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I do have an awesome spoon bread recipe! I’m planning to make it this week! As soon as I get it blogged I’ll let you know 🙂


  19. barbara on June 21, 2013 at 9:29 am



  20. Katie on June 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I love the ideas for the canisters! And Alan Thicke is also a songwriter! He co-wrote the theme songs for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life!


  21. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on June 21, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Happy Friday!!


  22. Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips on June 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Corn pudding! Gaaahh, love this recipe! Full of canned crap and all kinds of things many will say you “shouldn’t” eat, but I sooo don’t care.


  23. Jeanne (NanaBread) on June 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I do the same thing! I ALWAYS think of Alan Thicke first, then have to remind myself it’s his son. Makes me feel old every… single… time. Also, I’m totally addicted to the cheddar Sun Harvest chips. They’re dangerously tasty. Have a great weekend, Michelle!


  24. Marcie @ flavor the moments on June 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I love the zesty salsa Sun Chips, and if they’re in the house, I can’t think about anything else until I eat some. I love grilling zucchini, asparagus, portobellos, corn, meats, and fruit. I love grilling! Happy summer to you!


  25. Janice on June 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    We have always been in love with Sun Chips ~ Harvest Cheddar as well……UNTIL we tried Sweet & Spicy BBQ Harvest Chips!!! They are now the family’s favorite. BBQ taste, low in sugar ~ just so yummy!
    Happy summer!! Happy grillin’!!


  26. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen on June 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Loved this post, Michelle! Yes, I have a munch-attack addiction of late: Late July Organic Tortilla Chips. They’re all-natural and come in different flavors. Whole Foods had an entire wall of them stacked from floor to ceiling in their entryway and I was drawn in and mesmerized. (Their marketing tactic worked!) Do try them. Love the Sweet Potato, Sea Salt and Summertime Blues as well as the spicier Red Hot Mojo and Sub Lime. And, yes…I’ve made the Corn Pudding you speak of. Found the recipe at But, I’ve tweaked it since and no longer use the Jiffy Cornbread Mix as I’m all about all-natural and organic. I’ll be posting it on the blog next week for the 4th of July. Happy first day of summer, girl!


  27. janmarietta on June 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    My husband just read an article to me that said the first sign you might become a hoarder is that you can’t manage to throw away newspapers or magazines. I think he was giving me a not so subtle hint ;-D
    One of my goals for the summer is to catch up on my newspapers (only 2 weeks worth, I swear!) and donate some magazines.


  28. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on June 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Yay for the first day of summer!! I love ALL kinds of sun chips!


  29. Amanda on June 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Michelle – The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook has a fantastic corn bread pudding recipe – I strongly recommend. In fact, it’s one of those great little cookbooks where every recipe is fantastic! I got mine from Crate & Barrel, but you can probably get it on Amazon.


  30. Sherri on June 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a subscription to Zinio which means you can get them on your iPad for free with your library card. All you have to do is sign up!


    • Sherri on June 21st, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Magazines, I missed that detail!


  31. Heather @ The Owl with the Goblet on June 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve been making this cornbread for years and swear it is the BEST. So moist!
     3 large eggs
     1/2 cup canola oil, vegetable oil or butter
     1 teaspoon salt
     8 ounces creamed corn
     1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
     1 1/2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix

    Lightly grease a 13″X9″ pan.
    Preheat your oven to 375 F degrees.
    Beat eggs until light, then add the oil and the salt.
    Continue to mix this together and add the creamed corn, the sour cream and finally, the muffin mix.
    Pour mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven.
    Bake for 35 minutes.
    Add extra taste to the recipe using some of the following if you wish: 1 small can diced (and drained) geen chilies, 1/2-3/4 cup grated cheese (Monterey Jack or medium cheddar work well)
    I usually add a TBS of honey as well


  32. Emily on June 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I love to grill sweet potatoes with a little olive oil and some Italian seasoning salt/pepper. It is so yummy! I also am addicted to cinnamon-sugar popcorn. (although I’ve indulged in many a Sun Chip) Love Einstein’s pic in the sun! Have a great weekend!


  33. Valerie C on June 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    One of my FAVORITE Pposts from you….so many goodies all in one. First of all, Robin Thicke is definitely NOT his father…Alan was never such a HOTTIE! (And I’m 42…so I remember the old man ‘back in the day’). Invest in “The Evolution of Robin Thicke” if you’re thinking iTunes. As for the grill, kebabs…chicken, beef, shrimp, onions, peppers, tomatoes, basmati rice…summer’s bomb-digitty! And, since I’m from Maryland (go RAVENS~had to say it), we put Old Bay on JUST about everything…so I marinate chicken breasts in Old Bay and a little oil…grill…melt a slice of cheddar on top…mayo, lettuce, tomato on crisp Kaiser roll….a Summer MUST for my boys and I! Lastly, love the canister ideas…but even more, love the idea of the office providing FREE healthy snack choices! Have a beautiful weekend!


    • Brandi on June 22nd, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      I believe she said Alan Thicke is Robin Thicke’s father and that is absolutely true. Unless you were suggesting something else in your post, it wasn’t very clear.


  34. Sallie on June 22, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Ina Garten’s Sagaponack Corn Pudding is the best, and it is especially good when you are entertaining a large group. The recipe is available at Enoy!


  35. Brandi on June 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    It looks like the new house has an awesome backyard for Einstein to enjoy. Any thoughts of doing a tour of the new house for the blog ?


    • Michelle on June 22nd, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Hi Brandi, Yes! I’ll be giving a little photo tour; keep an eye out!


  36. Paula on June 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I love Marion Cunningham’s cornbread custard..OMG good!


  37. kittentoes on June 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Sun Chips are evil. Pure, crunchy, evil.


  38. Sue Q on June 22, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    We should all take example from Einstein…savor the sunshine and beautiful weather 🙂 He is adorable!


  39. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking on June 22, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    You are Hi-larious! Love Sun Chips – I wish they would stop creating new flavors so I could stop feeling the need to “try them out” repeatedly! The new garden veggie ones are surprisingly delicous!

    Cornbread is one of my passions…no seriously. I have tried more than I would care to admit at this point but this one is my favorite. It is buttery, perfectly sweet, and just the right amount of sinful.

    Please ignore my photos – they do not do it justice. It’s on my list of “re-dos” with my new camera!


  40. Nessa on June 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Laughing over the cornbread sign 🙂


  41. Laura Dembowski on June 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Such a pretty sunset! My dad said he saw the first lightning bugs last night. Just another great thing about summer. Magazines are a serious problem for me too. There’s just not enough time to read them but I refuse to part with them because I know I’ll get to them one day


  42. Colleen on June 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I’m in love with that cornbread sign! If I had my choice I’d have things like that hanging all over my kitchen. And that sunset is absolutely stunning. I’ve tried over and over to capture one as pretty as that but………just beautiful. Great pictures as usual.


  43. Michele on June 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

    If you like Justin Timberlake…then listen to Robin Thicke! Very similar voice style. Love them BOTH! Evolution of Robin Thick is awesome.


  44. Liz on June 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I make one of the infamous loads of cans and boxed corn muffin mix corn pudding. I make my corn bread myself, but cannot bring myself to try it in the corn pudding because it’s so darn good as is!
    It’s essentially this recipe:

    Except, I melt the butter in the pyrex while the oven is preheating and then just mix everything right in the pan.


  45. Kristi on June 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I forgot all about Sunchips!


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