Simple Summer Days

Yesterday morning my daughter called and asked if I’d like to join her and the girls for a day at the pool.  She didn’t have to ask me twice.  I had my bathing suit on and my beach bag packed in a flash.  Because I still had an hour before we left, I decided to make a salad for dinner that I could just pop in the fridge and take out when I got home.  It was a glorious day


For the first hour or so, we had the entire pool to ourselves. As the day progressed, other happy swimmers showed up but we still had plenty of room to float around on our noodles and wile away the hours, getting out only to have lunch.




My girls had a great time.



A little after 4 we called it a day and headed home. By the time I got home and showered, I was very glad I prepared dinner this morning. Farfalle, shrimp and veggies with a lemon vinaigrette – Yum!





It all goes in a big bowl and then I add the shrimp.



I finish it off with some grated cheese, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and fresh basil.


A simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar (I used balsamic) sweetener (agave nectar, sugar or honey,) and the juice of half to one whole lemon is all you need to finish this off.


This was a perfect summer dinner – light and delicious. And a wonderful day spent out in the sun with my daughter and granddaughters. It feels like such a blessing to be able to spend so much time outdoors after the long, harsh winter we had. Sipping coffee out in our little courtyard in the mornings, or out on the deck in early evening with a good book. Taking walks through my beautiful neighborhood, exploring tiny rural towns I’ve never been to before. Stopping in at all the local farmer’s markets, preparing simple meals – it’s just slow and easy – just the way I like it.

I hope you’re finding lots of things to enjoy this summer too. Wishing you a beautiful week ahead.



  1. says

    Another yummy recipe Susan :) Actually I bought red cabbage and pineapple yesterday to make your summer slaw, think I will add red pepper and mango too – yum!
    Your trip to the pool looks divine. No outdoor pools round here unfortunately (except the wee paddling pool in the garden!)
    Have a great weekend,

    • says

      Thank you, Jill. It was a lovely day at the pool with my 3 girls. The best part is that it’s in the complex where my daughter lives, just around the block from me. Let me know how you like the summer slaw. xo

  2. says

    What a beautiful salad, Susan! I bet it tasted good, too. I’m going to give this one a try as I like all the ingredients in there (and pretty healthy, also).
    It’s nice you live close to your daughter and granddaughters. The swim and relaxing by the pool must have been fun. Ours all live several states away, so only get to see them a few times a year.

    • says

      Well, until last year, my daughter and her family lived 3 1/2 hours away. It’s great having them right around the block, Darlene.

  3. Laura says

    I cannot get over how grown the girls are!!!!i have a picture of all of us holding them at their christening hanging on my wall. I miss you! Denise wants me to tell you she makes something like the bow tie salad but uses orzo instead and adds some mint. I’ve had it , it’s really good. Pretty sure recipe came from my mom. That’s a nice pool and picnic area so nice you can all spend the time! Life is good! XO

    • says

      Hi Laura! The girls are 11 years old now and almost as tall as I am. They’re so much fun to be with – I feel so blessed having them so close. Tell Dee that I make orzo salad too and it’s one of my favorites. I’ll have to try adding mint – I have some growing out back. Enjoy your summer, Honeybun! Love you. xoxo

  4. says

    What a beautiful pool Susan! It looks idyllic! What happy grandchildren you have, and how wonderful to be able to spend a whole day relaxing and having fun with them. Your dinner time salad looks delicious, healthy, colourful and very summery! X

    • says

      It’s always a joy to spend time with them and we always love going to the pool together. It’s a wonderful way to spend a warm summer day.

    • says

      I figured we might as well enjoy these beautiful summer days while we can, Deb. It feels wonderful being able to spend so much time outdoors, sharing the days with my family.

    • says

      Well, we try eating healthy most of the time. I can tell you that today I’m thinking about going to the local creamery and getting myself a big dish of homemade ice cream. I love sweets, but as I get older I try not to overdo it. Try being the key word here.

  5. says

    We feel exactly the same way..and what a treat o be with your girls..
    I love coming home to an already made dish:) like a resto..but better!It looks so good..what pretty grandaughters you have..

    we go spur of the moment upon invitation to! ANYWHERE:)with our family.

    • says

      You are so right, Monique! There’s nothing I would rather do than spend time with my daughter and granddaughters. They are the light of my life.

  6. says

    Ooooo Such a lovely pool! I have been wanting to visit a pool here locally for a bit now but have not made the time! I will have to search out one now! You always make the best salads! They always are filled with beautiful color

    • says

      Thank you, Eva. I think I make salads so much because they don’t take any time to make really and you can prepare them in advance. Makes life easy.

  7. Judy says

    When you make these recipes just double it and I will run across the street. Of course, I will reimburse you for the ingredients but that’s all.


    • says

      LOL! Judy, you would like anything anyone made just so you don’t have to make dinner. The truth is, you are a fabulous cook! xo

  8. says

    So glad you got to go swimming with “your girls,” Susan, and how clever of you to fix your scrumptious looking salad ahead. Slow summer days are really delightful, aren’t they. Our heatwave has broken and we still need rain, but I have especially been enjoying the warm sunny weather. My youngest daughter and her husband invited me to go camping with them at Cape Lookout beach in OR the last week in July. I’m looking forward to being outside for so long :) xx

    • says

      Your trip sounds wonderful, Gracie. Spending a week outdoors at the beach – you won’t want to come home! Enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures to share with us. xoxo

    • says

      Oh, Jan, I’m sorry about that arctic blast you’re experiencing! I know that feeling well after the winter we had. I know you’re busy making soups and delicious breads while on this side of the world we’re eating ice cream, fruits and salads.

  9. says

    Well Susan I am off to the store so I can prepare your recipe. You are making my summer meals delicious! Those two granddaughters are darling. My mom was an identical twin and they had the best time. For me it was like having two moms. We were always having fun playing tricks on people. I miss them both very much.

    • says

      Hi Sharon – Hope all is well with you – have you been busy with your painting? It is wonderful having twin granddaughters! They are best friends and a joy to be around. Enjoy your salad.

    • says

      Hi Tandy – As much as I’m enjoying this beautiful summer weather, I’m a fan of winter too. Actually, I enjoy all the changing seasons. Stay warm!

  10. says

    I am TERRIBLE with making salad dressings even though I know it should be real simple. I think I just need to keep at it. Your salad looks lovely and probably just perfect for this hot MN week. Thanks!

    • says

      LOL! I always use oil, vinegar and a sweetener and then sometimes add lemon, Dijon mustard or whatever strikes my fancy. Just shake it up and taste. It always comes out tasting good! Thanks for stopping by, Manisha.

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