Summer Staples: Grilled Shrimp and Cold Rice Salads

This post is sponsored by La Crema. You can find the recipes I talk about below on their blog right here!

Herby Shrimp and Chilled Grain Salad | Freckled Italian
Summer Staples: Grilled Shrimp and Cold Rice Salads | Freckled Italian

For as long as I can remember, my mom has been the world's most amazing hostess--she could feed a crowd with one hand tied behind her back. I think back on Thanksgiving and Christmas with a lot of lovely memories, but the ones that stick out to me the most are in the summer--Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, or really any weekend in Virginia when the sun is out, the grill is hot, and the wine is pouring.

She also always had La Crema Chardonnay chilling in a bucket on the counter--even before I started working with them it was a staple in our house and we served it every single time people came over. (Her love for the brand and its presence in our fridge at all times both encouraged me to approach them over four years ago at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City.)

My family loves to feed people and I'm so glad it's a tradition and a passion that Rob has embraced as well--I love the idea of one day cooking a ton of food for Sophie and her friends when they're home from college every summer. Nowadays we don't do as much entertaining as I'd like to, but when we do I always stick to a few basics that I learned from my mom: flavorful but easy-to-prepare dishes that you can make or at least start ahead of time, using the grill as much as possible to get everyone outside and cook a lot of things at once if you need to, and--of course--a few bottles of La Crema. 

Summer Staples | Freckled Italian

When summer rolls around I love grilling seafood, especially shrimp. I buy the biggest ones I can find and leave the shells on so they don't fall through the grate, and I like to season them simply and then toss them in a ton of fresh herbs--I'm notorious for adding sliced green onion to everything in my kitchen, and grilled shrimp are no exception. Cilantro, dill, parsley, scallions--if it's fresh and green and you can chop it, you bet I'm going to be using it.

Summer Staples | Freckled Italian

Grilled shrimp is my go-to, but my newest favorite summer thing is a cold salad with a nice grain compontent--rice, quinoa, farro, whatever you like. I cook it and cool it and add whatever greens and veggies I have in the fridge. The recipe I shared on the La Crema blog has tomatoes, kale, and arugula, but you could add spinach and cucumbers or swap any other ingredient for something you like better. Even if you aren't entertaining, it's a great dish to throw together on a Sunday evening and enjoy throughout the week.

You can find my recipes for herby grilled shrimp and a chilled salad with rice and quinoa today on the La Crema blog. I live for autumn and often wish away the end of summer, but there's nothing like a July or August cookout with friends and family.

Summer Staples | Freckled Italian

Photos by Cue the Light.

Summer Wish List: Platforms + Wedges

Summer Wish List: Platforms + Wedges | Freckled Italian

I'll be the first to admit that summer is far from my favorite season, but I am a pretty huge fan of big chunky sandals. The wedges I've had and loved for years finally bit the dust this past season, and the other pair I have are just a little too high for everyday use, so I'm on the hunt for a good pair that I can wear with everything, from shorts to sundresses (and well into fall with leggings and jeans).

So far these are my top contenders:

  • I love the mix of black and canvas on these espadrilles.
  • These frayed beauties would look so cute with some skinny jeans.
  • Still obsessed with pretty much every pair of Swedish Hasbeens I come across, and these ones are no exception. 
  • These are a little on the dressier side but the price is definitely a bit more reasonable compared to some others.
  • Such a dainty little pair of wedges!
  • I've never tried on any Toms other than the classic flat ones but I bet these are super comfortable.
  • I didn't think I'd like the whole flat platform trend, but actually now I think I'm kind of into it.
  • These might be my least favorite that I'm linking to. They're cute but they seem like they're almost a bootie, and I'd rather just have a bootie. Maybe they're a bit more sandal-y in person.
  • I love the lace-up detail on this pair.
  • These are really cute but maybe a bit too strappy for my taste.
  • Can't go wrong with black details and a chunky heel.
  • These might be my all-time favorites in this list. I love the height, the ankle strap, the combination of brown and white. It's kind of between these and the other Chloe ones (right here).

Check out all the shoes I linked to above right down here as well, you can click around in this widget:

Which are your favorite? And do you have anything special on your summer shopping list this year? 

This post contains affiliate links.

My Summer Reading List

My Summer Reading List | Freckled Italian

Every summer I find myself at the library, checking out more books than I know what to do with. My graduate program at Hollins consisted of an intensive three months during the summer (then online throughout the regular school year), so from June through August I was always reading a ton and spending a lot of time between classes at the library on campus. I'm a big fan of fall and that new semester feeling, but there's just something so magical to me about a big stack of books in the summer.

Here's what I've got on my list this year:

  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: We're reading this for my book club this month. The library actually didn't have any hard copies available so I'm listening to the audiobook, which I never really do. I like it a lot and I'm actually enjoying listening to it in the car a little at a time.
  • Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson: Next month's book club pick--I want to get a jump start on it (especially since I have the other one on CD) because I have a really bad habit of waiting until it's too late to start and then I have to speed read the books before we get together, even though I always really enjoy the stories.
  • Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality: On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis: I saw this in a bookstore the other day and was so intrigued by it. I haven't really identified as Catholic for a long time but I do quite enjoy Pope Francis. 
  • Theft by Finding by David Sedaris: I'm a huge Sedaris fan. I've been to two or three of his readings and my favorite part was always when he read excerpts from his diaries, so a whole book sounds like a dream come true.
  • Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly: I haven't read any pregnancy or parenting books yet but this one was recommended to me by an Instagram friend whom I really respect and am excited to start here.
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: It's no secret that I'm obsessed with Game of Thrones. I've been meaning to read the books and since Rob and I just started re-watching from the beginning, now is as good a time as any to pick up the first book (especially since the series will be over for good so soon!)

 

What's on your summer reading list?

This post contains affiliate links.