The Summer of '11 (A Recap)

Warning: many photos in this post!

I'd hardly spent a summer outside of Atlanta or India until this year when I spent nearly my entire time in Saint Louis.
Although I missed the ATL, I have to say I really fell in love with the StL and the love just hasn't stopped, despite the terrible heat. I forgot "Hot-lanta" pretty quickly... the StL heat was unbearable enough. I tried to remember the days of chiseling ice off my car with a tin cover (that's all I had) and moving in during a snowstorm, but it didn't really help. 

I have to say, StL has a lot more to offer than it appears. When Joe first told me about St Louis, I didn't even really know where Missouri or this little city was on the map. Once I got here, I thought it was cute but that everyone drove too slowly and the city was too small... it doesn't even have an IKEA! 

However, after spending a summer here, I've seriously wondered how I've put up with Atlanta traffic all these years, and the long distances to get everywhere. I just love the easy modes of transportation in StL and how relaxed people seem to be. Not to mention the amount of free and cheap attractions, especially with Forest Park literally around the corner. 

Tower Grove Park on Saturdays
Found at Forest Park

On a bike ride at Forest Park

And joining the Yelp Elite team in StL was so much better for me personally than the Atlanta group, since it's a lot smaller and I felt more comfortable getting to know people. They also have many more free events and opportunities than the Atlanta group did (smaller cities have their perks)!

Free dinner at Truffles Italian restaurant for Yelp Elite members!
I also discovered so many new parts of StL, and so many little independent stores that sell wonderful baking and cooking products. As well as the many many restaurants that serve farm-fresh food. And don't even get me started on the countless farmer's markets around here!

Soulard Farmer's Market on the weekends!
Companion Bakery at the Farmer's Markets
I purchased an awesome Schwinn bike at the start of summer from a non-profit bike store that uses the money to build bikes for kids, and rode frequently around Forest Park, until it got too hot. I also got a dog named Mila, who has kept me well entertained..

Meet Mila! She's sleeping.

Mila being mauled by cute girls at The Festival of Nations
Food Truck Fridays at the park - korean tacos!
Anyway, this summer has been as eventful as it's been calm and relaxing. I spent many of my days baking and cooking nonstop and entertaining friends. A lot of the dishes I made didn't make it onto the blog just because some were entrees or they were repeats from my blog.

But since this is not only a recipe diary, it's also a food/life journal of sorts, I wanted to post a bunch of photos here because I'd really like to remember it :)

Home-made Viet spring rolls! The filling... yum.

Home-made baked macaroni and cheese

I was really bored July 4th weekend...

Home-made burgers (by Joe) for July 4th

Homemade peking duck for my bday!

Ultimate chocolate cupcake - click for recipe

We froze fruit in ice cubes!

Lemon Sponge cakes with fruit filling and cream cheese frosting - click for recipe

We. made. a. meat. cake. With piped mashed potato frosting! Delish.

The perks of working for Sauce Magazine! A party catered by the top StL restaurants!

Petit-fours for Joe and I's 3 year anniversary

Made "tiara" white chocolate raspberry cupcakes for Joe's sister's 13th bday

We made sushi at home! Unagi and ahi tuna, so easy, messy, and delicious.

All in all a great summer, and I can't wait for fall!
What did you guys love about summer? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. love these pics! I recognize the companion bakery pic from the farmer's market :)

    where do you buy unagi from to make sushi? I get unagi every single time we go to a Japanese restaurant and have decided it's time to try making it! also, your meat cake looks so awesome!!!

  2. thanks! the unagi is at any of the Asian grocery stores on Olive, in the frozen section... They're pre-marinated and they're great on a bed of rice or noodles too!
    We also bought unagi sauce separately at East East Japanese/Korean grocery store on Olive, but the eel was already well-marinated and didn't really need it :)

    sushi is super easy! we just bought the sushi mats/seaweed wrappers from east east and tuna from bob's seafood (across from it), and looked up a youtube vid :)

  3. Wow! Looks like it was quite an amazing Summer. I loved all the photos :-)

  4. sweet art is right, beautiful photos.


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