It’s officially here! Summer vacation is just around the corner and all three of us are looking forward to two and half weeks of lazy days, without routine, sun soaking, refreshing hikes, stylish city tours, good food and just quality time for each other.
On Monday we are setting off with our mobile home towards France’s Normandy coast with a stop in Brussels. True to my nature I have excitedly planned several highlights dotted throughout our routes and yes true to my nature – much of it revolves around food and drink! There will be visits with a ostréiculteur at an oyster farm on the west coast, a day at an apple orchard and brewery for Calvados in Pays d’Auge, mussel farming in the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, not to mention Isigny caramels, the incredible selection of cheeses from Camembert, Neufchâtel, Pont-L’Evêque to Livarot. And as we head towards Paris for the last couple of days … my foodie goosebumps are going to be overly sensitized.
Of course there will be other non-food highlights too: canoe tour on the river Orne, hikes on the cliffs between Étretat and Fécamp, tracing through history on the D-Day beaches, on the path of Claude Monet, culture and chateaux in Rouen. Not to mention a day in Versailles at the amazing palace and … Paris. Oh la la! Visiting the Louvres again after so many years has me overly excited. I cannot wait to show Soeren some of my favorite artworks. This will be Thomas’ first time in Paris and I feel thrilled to show him this beautiful city as I knew it several years ago and re-discovering a new Paris after all these years.
So while all this lies just a few days ahead, my summer here so far has been pretty amazing too. There have been great BBQs and al fresco dinners with my dear friends, we’ve been on amazing picnics, relaxed by the pool and eaten our weight in ice-cream. The three workshops have been an amazing experience, where I have had the opportunity to come together with amazing, passionate people, connect with some awesome partners and traveled to some fantastic locations. The photo projects are thriving and I am learning and experiencing so much along the way – pushing me to the limits. It makes me happy as I find new resources within me. I have also been working behind the scenes of this blog with the talented Corinna of Holistic Design on a completely new blog redesign, which we hope to release in September. Within a period of 3 weeks I have had two TV crews filming me for short TV segments, travelled around beautiful Thüringen on a sensational project with the Thüringen Tourist board photographing, recipe developing, and writing about my experience as I meet skilled and brilliant professionals in the food business. And this continues throughout the following several months.
In terms of food I have had some personal success with growing my own vegetables. Not the most skilled gardener, I have always been hesitant to grow different varieties of vegetables and applied myself to my beautiful herb and lettuce garden and tomatoes. This year I decided to wipe off that brown thumb of mine and tried growing zucchini, bell peppers, beans and cucumbers … with success! The bounty of vegetables has been overly generous and plentiful, my cooking light, easy and fresh.
Summer has been good so far! Here is a taste of it in snapshots via my Instagram feed.
Before I head off on my break I wanted to share what has become my favorite summer salad. Inspired by our vacation in Thailand last year and the incredible Som Tam – Thai green papaya salad we ate at almost every meal I created this zucchini and mango salad, which I created for the DeutcheWelle TV crew. This is the perfect way to use the abundance of zucchini and tomatoes and with the exotic flavors of sweet mango, ginger, lime and mint, it brings on the summer vacation feeling right in your kitchen. It’s great on its own but also brilliant with sautéed shrimp or chicken breast and it is a great side at any BBQ party!
The zucchini mango salad brings some of those lovely aromas from the green papaya salad in a newly interpreted dish. In Europe green papaya is fairy expensive, instead I decided to use my homegrown zucchini and relied on the influence of flavors found in the Som Tam. A summer salad bursting with a zing of aromas - tart, piquant, sweet, spicy - it all comes together in this light but exciting salad.
Hope you all have a great summer. I am taking the little blog break while I travel through the Normandy. If you want to join me virtually I’ll be taking snapshots through my travels over on my Instagram timeline.
You might like these light summer salad ideas from What's for lunch, Honey?:
|Lentil Salad with Dried Cherries, Feta and a Herb Marinated Lamb Fillet||Minty Peach and Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese||Spinach Salad with Roasted Garlic Tomatoes, Hazelnuts, and a Quince and Pear Vinaigrette|
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