It’s summer and I’m thinking about spiralizing zucchini, summer dinners from the slow cooker, and diet soda.
In Utah the weather has been hot, hot, hot this summer, and when it’s hot outside, cooking feels more challenging, even though my house has good air conditioning. Go figure. But luckily, I’ve already gotten my first big bag of zucchini from the farmers market and broken out the Spiralizer a couple of times.

Shortly after I came home from the farmers market with zucchini, I was cleaning out the freezer and was ridiculously excited to find a container of frozen sauce from this recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Spicy Cherry Tomato, Sausage, Garlic, and Herb Sauce in the freezer.  Kara and I had just been saying that this sauce was one of the best things we cooked last summer, so that was a real find for a summer dinner!
I love zucchini noodles, but I’m intrigued by this post on The Kitchn about Five Vegetables to Spiralize Besides Zucchini. I did try broccoli once and it was a bust for me, and beets are too high in sugar to invest the energy making them into noodles, but the others sound interesting.
The other thing that works for a dinner when it’s hot outside is cooking meat or chicken in the slow cooker and then serving it with other cooling ingredients. On my slow cooker site, I call those kinds of meals Slow Cooker Summer Dinners, and I’m featuring them all through the summer. There are so many good recipes in that category I’d love to try.
One of my favorite slow cooker summer dinners from this blog is these Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef Cabbage Bowls.  It’s the spicy slaw and avocado that makes this such a good hot weather dish!
Say No to Diet Soda Photo from
I don’t talk much about my personal diet struggles on the blog, but of course I have them, and lately I’m struggling with my ongoing craving for Diet Coke. I know water is a better choice than soda, and earlier this year I had given up artificial sweetener completely, and was feeling happy and healthier too. Then I went to Istanbul and Kenya with Donna and the combination of feeling jet-lagged, having to buy water, and feeling like I was on vacation got me drinking Diet Coke again. No excuses, I just gave in to the cravings and now I’m working on quitting again. But yesterday I had lunch with Barbara, Becky, and Donna, and that was the type of occasion where I’d really enjoy a soda, but I had water. One step at a time, right?
Speaking of Donna, I’m so excited to see one of my good friends start on a healthy eating journey! (And thanks for the lovely hat tip Donna; I got a bit teary when I read that post.
Photo from
There are probably no road trips happening for me this summer, but I do love this idea of how to drive across the U.S. and hit all the major landmarks. How long would you need for a trip like that in order to keep it fun and not all driving?  (And so many landmarks on that list that I haven’t seen!)

And finally, if you do happen to be driving through Utah, here are Six Amazing Spots in Utah That Most People Don’t Know About.

That’s all for this time, but you can use the label Things I’m Thinking About to see more round-ups of my thoughts like this one. What have you been thinking about this week? If you saw something fun or inspiring, please share in the comments.

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