Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Summer Foods: What's Working and What's Not + A WI ICE CREAM TOUR

Oh, food. So delicious. So vital. SUCH A GIANT PAIN IN THE NECK. Today, I am thinking about what my family is eating: what’s working, what’s not, and what’s AWESOME. 

Not Working:

*Eating stuff at the pool. YOU GUYS. Constant garbage food to the tune of $50/trip IS NOT WORKING FOR ME. But also! It is all on me to make sure we have food around 5:30 WHEN WE HAPPEN TO BE AT THE POOL. So far, convenience and ennui has won out, but! I just downloaded my banking app, and I think checking my balances more frequently will motivate me to STOP SPENDING ALL MY FUN MONEY ON GARBAGE FOOD.

*Shopping on rote so the cabinets are full of 3 open boxes of the same food. Do your kids do this too? Just open a new box even though there is a PERFECTLY FINE half-eaten box ALREADY ON THE SAME SHELF? I think I need to wait until things run out to buy more. Novel idea, huh? It’s easy when you only order groceries for pick up to just shop your standard weekly cart, but it’s also pretty wasteful.


*Abandoning formal menu plans to have easy meals in-stock for at-will consumption. Loving lately: make-your-own mini naaan pizzas; omelets and pancakes and fruit; spaghetti with sautéed shrimp and peppers; grilled brie and apple sandwiches; burgers and bagged salad (we are really branching out burger-wise. Ben and I love Impossible frozen burgers from Costco as well as the Kirkland salmon burgers— neither of us is eating meat right now, and we’re loving it. Still doing cheese, eggs, milk, and fish, though), tacos of course (kids still like beef, but I really like Kirkland frozen cod fillets with Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning); veggie and hummus wraps with fruit and veggies and dip.

*Online grocery shopping: worth overstocking accidentally time-wise.



A totally ludicrous WI ice cream tour we went on for the 4th of July. We hit 4 WI-only ice cream parlors (two of the served the same kind of WI-made ice cream, but this could not be helped because 2 original originals we planned to hit were closed for the 4th) and sampled house specialities at each place. SO FUN— and we made a note to go back to one when we weren’t so full (I could only eat 3 dill pickle cheese curds and a few bites of Dorothy’s s'mores sundae in Beaver Dam, and this was tragic).

Stop 1:

Notes: YES pineapple on banana splits! WHERE do you find frozen strawberries in syrup these days? YES to pop rocks on sundaes, and WHY don’t all ice cream parlors make their own fudge?

Notes: YES to the homemade candy— bonus that Minnie found a piece shaped like an airplane. Delicious coffee and popcorn. We did not LOVE the superhero ice cream and prefer superhuman from Chocolate Shoppe in Madison.

Notes: Must return! When I am hungry! SO DELICIOUS. The s’mores sundae was peeeeerfect.


Notes: The “sampler” is just 4 huge scoops in the same cup— beware what you blend together. Also, the triple cheese grilled cheese is the best food ever.

Teaching outfit 10/27:

(A TJ Maxx dress I bought before JACK was born that is black and white giraffe print)

Teaching outfit 11/27:
(Casual because I was proctoring an exam and that's it)


  1. I am suddenly craving a grilled cheese...

    That ice cream tour sounds SO much fun. I think I could get my husband to do an impromptu trip to WI just on the basis of visiting 4 (or 6? sounds like 6?) distinct ice creameries.

    YES and ARRRRRGGGGHHHH to the opening multiple boxes at once. And also to leaving EMPTY boxes in the fridge/pantry and then giving me Sad Eyes when I didn't magically know to buy more.

    This eating when you are hungry and only until you are full... tell me more. (LOL, but also, why is this SO HARD to accomplish?)

    1. YES like I am just supposed to INTUIT that the cereal is empty even though the giant box is right there staring at me!

  2. That last dress is fire!
    Super fun ice cream tour, pop rocks don't sound great to me, but you know what does? Nerds! Remember Nerds candy, if I was able to eat regular ice cream I think I'd love a soft serve with Nerds. Maybe orange.

  3. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Yes the open boxes kill me but actually my husband is the worst offender, opening multiple seltzers a day. By the end of the week the fridge is just a graveyard of half-finished, flat beverages....

  4. Love that last dress!

    The ice cream tour sounds amazing. A friend and her son made it a summer mission to rate vanilla soft serve in a homemade waffle cone at ice cream places all around our region. It was such a simple, but really fun summer adventure and turns out vanilla ice cream can vary dramatically in flavour and quality (ditto the cones).

    Food. Love it, but agree it can be a killer sometimes. It's the neverending need for it that gets me. If we only needed to eat a few times a week, I think I'd love cooking!

    1. Love the same item at different places-- we had too many variables!

  5. Anonymous10:28 AM

    For pool food, can I recommend Fillo foods tamales if your family likes them? They have them at whole foods and aldi and are usually in the $1.50-2 range. They're shelf stable (though we once got one that started bulging ominously) and quite tasty. We like to take them hiking because they feel like an entree but don't require any utensils.

  6. Have you ever been to Mullen's Dairy Bar in Watertown? It's worth a visit!!

  7. Be forewarned if you run out of food, things can get ugly if not restocked fast enough. I may or may not know from experience.

    Love the way you spent July 4th. Laughing at 'that is?tragic'.

  8. Your ice cream parlor tour sounds like so much fun! I would have a major stomachache, though. I think I probably have a dairy intolerance or sensitivity but it's too good to fully avoid 100% of the time. I love getting ice cream but then will often regret after the fact. Womp womp. You have so many cute places around us! I can't think of many around us but dairy is not as much of a thing here in MN as it is in WI obviously. We have one great local place but Taco didn't like his icecream last time we went there so I had to eat it for him. Poor me, right?

    I can't imagine how my mom kept enough food on the shelves for our family and she didn't even have a grocery store in town for much of my childhood. It's mind boggling really.