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  • Jennifer Sydney Stewart

the optional blog

OPTIONAL BLOG: 4 minutes

MUSIC: 3 Min and 52 Sec

RECIPE: 10 Min

TOTAL TIME: 17 Min and 52 Seconds

In a World where social media has begun to take over our hearts and brains, I ventured out to try to recreate my blog in an attempt to get more followers, more readers, and perhaps, more ways to stay at home and make money. I took a class to learn myself these new ways. I’m slowly learning that no one takes the time to read anymore. Even a blog that takes 3 minutes to read. Ive spent some time researching the techniques and learn the new ways of social media, marketing and all the things that go along with owning your blog/business. However, I’ve found that none of it sounds fun to me. The Videos, YouTube Channels, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. I’m not the type of person to let the entire World look inside my day to day. It is absolutely incredible how much Google tells the World whether you’re good enough to read or follow.

So on that note, I’m going to continue writing my 3-4 minute blogs despite what Google tells me. And perhaps add in an occasional video for your viewing pleasure. A few beautiful pictures or two. And pair it with some fantastic music. Maybe I’ll mix it up and do something short and sweet. Or long and light. Or bring in some guest bloggers. And you can read as much as you like or have time for!!!!

As for today’s pairing, SUMMER SQUASH is growing like a weed out in my garden, and after planting 10 squash plants this year, I’ve slowly realized what a big mistake that was!!!!!! However, it has forced me to experiment with some new recipes using squash. And donate to the local food bank!!!!

One of the recipes is a Grilled Squash Salad with feta cheese and fresh basil from the garden. And I’m so thrilled to pair some music with this guy!!!!

Summer Squash and Zucchini Salad with fresh Basil, Mint and Feta Cheese
Squash and Zucchini Summer Salad



Inspired by:

· 2 tablespoons olive oil

· 1 teaspoon kosher salt

· ½ teaspoon black pepper

· 2 zucchini cut lengthwise

· 2 yellow squash cut lengthwise

· 1 red onion cut into 8 wedges

· 8 patty pan squash cut in half

· 1 sheet Feta cheese

· Fresh Mint

· Fresh Basil

Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette

· 1 lemon juiced

· 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar

· 1/3 cup olive oil

· 2 cloves garlic finely chopped

· 1 shallot finely chopped

· kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


· Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl; toss well to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on the grill and grill for 5 minutes total, turning halfway through.

· Once grill marks appear on both sides and the squash is cooked, remove from the grill and transfer to a serving platter. Slice the zucchini and yellow squash into 1 inch pieces. Crumble the sheet of feta on top, sprinkle with fresh mint and basil leaves and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Adjust salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately.

I’ve been dancing a lot in our fireplace room with my daughter. She’s the dancing queen. And I love her so much for it. She loves to dance and loves to get twirled around. She will take off as soon as the music is on and perform. She’s my little Tina Turner. In the midst of her dancing, I’m usually in the kitchen cooking and together, we’ve been enjoying a little tune together from Maggie Rogers Album, Heard It In A Past Life. The song is called Light On. Her voice is angelic. Makes you think of Sarah McLauchlan in the 90’s singing Angel. Beautiful. Light On is perfect in the kitchen but also really great on a long car ride. Enjoy!!!

I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed after taking this online Blog class. Full transparency, I was ready to throw the towel in on my blog. But like anything else, there is always a learning curve… So, I’d like to “Squash” that feeling and keep the “Light On”. And I’d love your support and help by getting the name out. Tell your friends. Send me songs you like. Recipes you love. I look forward to continuing sharing with you my special time in the kitchen with my family, where music and food takes the reins. Where the World is able to taste, to listen and to love with me.

Thank you for taking the time to read with me!!! More to come!

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