Summer [Blogger] Adventures

The weekend was a bit of a blur, but I think that’s because time really does go by faster when you’re enjoying life!

I got to spend quite a bit of the weekend with various bloggers, which is always a good time. One of the best parts is that no one questions why you whip out your camera every 30 seconds. Everyone respects the need to Instagram each moment. Tweeting is second nature. Yep, it feels quite nice.

Friday night, GabbyLaurenShannonKatherineBrittanyValerie, and I went to Happy Hour at the VMFA. They actually have a pretty fantastic happy hour. 1/2 bottles of wine from 5-8pm. Can you beat that? Probably not. And even more conveniently, the food truck court is located a few steps away. So Lauren, Valerie and I met up with the always-fashionable, Brian. Dinner from food trucks, enjoyed outside on the lawn. I was more than content.

Saturday morning, Brittany and I went to the Farmer’s market to pick up some tomatoes for a #CanItForward adventure. Before our canning, we stopped by Fresca on Addison, a local vegetarian restaurant, for some lunch. I had the OMGarlic sandwich, with a kale salad. It was the perfect light lunch.

We spent the afternoon in the kitchen, laughing and talking while we attempted to can some salsa. I can’t really tell you how it is… since it’s in a can… and should probably be there for the next few months, in order for the whole “canning” concept to really work, but I’m sure it’s going to be excellent.

Later that night, my roommate graciously made dinner for me (& her boyfriend, and our friend Erin). Technically, the main dish was ribs, but I turned the salad into a main dish, and let me tell you, it was amazing.

Black Bean & Avocado Salad

This recipe is gluten free & vegan

  • 2 cups black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

This is a pretty simple recipe, and you really just need to throw it all into a giant bowl and serve. I wouldn’t recommend making it ahead of time, since you don’t want the avocado to look brown. It also helps if you mix the lemon juice and the olive oil together before mixing into the salad, because it’ll distribute a little better.

I had this with a slice of zucchini bread, and it was a pretty filling dinner! It’s gluten free, vegan, raw, and delicious. I’m definitely going to be making this again soon. It’s light & fresh and perfect for a warm summer night.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty fantastic weekend!

What summer foods are you enjoying?


  1. 1/2 price bottles of wine will always lead to a fantastic summer night!

  2. Yay for canning adventures and1/2 price wine!

  3. Canning salsa is fine when you can’t have fresh but it is nowhere as good. We use a lot of salsa and in the last year I’ve started making it myself after finding out how simple it is to make. I think I’ll just can spaghetti sauce from now on.

  4. Girls’ night with half-price wine – count me in!

  5. Great post Liz! This is one of my favorites – I want to join you on one of your “adventures.”

  6. So sorry I missed you guys on Friday – I ended up taking a half day at work to wrap up moving stuff and things at the old short pump house and just got wayyyy behind!! :/ Can’t beat half price wine though – HELLO. The salsa looks super scrumptious too, you ladies rock!

  7. I had so much fun meeting everyone on Friday!!! Finally I have some friends that don’t think snapping random pics of food is weird! Thanks so much for including me 🙂

  8. YES for canning adventures! I haven’t had enough produce to can this summer, and I miss it, it’s so much fun! And I may or may not have taken advantage of a 1/2 price bottle night last night. My favorite sort of happy hour 😀

  9. Why don’t I live in Virginia?! Anyways, your canning adventure sounds like it was fun (I’ve never canned, been too intimidated and seems like a lot of work, but I think it makes sense if you’ve got lots of produce!) 🙂

  10. I’ve been getting crazy with the zucchini intake. But as long as it’s cheap, I’ll keep eating it!

  11. Berries and cherries lately 😉

    Love me some salsa though!

  12. That salad looks delicious! I really need to try my hand at making salsa. I haven’t done it since I lived at home!

  13. Cherries, cherries and more cherries! It’s seriously scary how many I can eat a week

  14. Oh wow, we’ll have to check out that happy hour! What a great deal!

  15. That’s so cool that you can meet up with other bloggers – I live miles away from the others in the UK so I’ve never met any of them, which is a real shame.
    We haven’t really had a summer here yet but I’ve been loving the fresh fruit, especially my dad’s raspberries – there are hundreds this year!

  16. I think it is awesome that you can meet up with other bloggers, I bet there is tonnes to talk about! I am so glad you posted this recipe, I have been trying to get creative with avacados because I bought them and so far haven’t been sold on anything I have made with it! Maybe this recipe will change that because it sure looks delicious!

  17. I definitely need to check out the happy hour at the VMFA sometime soon! 1/2 off bottles of wine is right up my alley.

    So fun canning! I’m going to try to keep my until the winter when tomatoes aren’t in season, but we’ll see how that goes…

  18. Vittoria says:

    wow, that all looks incredible! i’m enjoying lots of light salads!

    xoxo from nyc &

  19. Pizzapizzapizzapizzapizza. It has been forever since I have eaten pizza. That should change.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  20. I think everyone is loving the 1/2 off wine 😉
    all the food looks great!

  21. My boyfriend’s dad brought us a big crate of mangoes the other day so I’m on a little mango kick right now. I’m also loving strawberries. I eat them all year but they taste so much better in summer.

  22. Sounds like you had such a great time. I am loving huge bowl fulls of fresh summer fruit at the moment- I just can’t get enough!

  23. Sounds like a really fun weekend! that avocado and black bean salad sounds AMAZING! Two of my favourite foods 🙂

  24. What a fun blog you have!!! Love the pictures of the food! I’m enjoying the watermelon….totally my favorite, God’s gift to my tastebuds!!!
    -Nurse Frugal

  25. Chelsea Eats Treats says:

    I’ve always wanted to try canning 🙂 Was it a big pain in the butt?

  26. Love the black bean & avo salad. Two great ingredients.

    ❀ It’s Carmen

  27. I am SO jealous I don’t live in Richmond. I would be hanging out with you all the time.

    Maybe YOU are happy I don’t live in Richmond? 😉

    Happy Hour this week?!?!?!


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  2. […] Kate. I’d been to the Food Truck Court when it was at the VMFA  (you can read about it here) so I knew what to expect, but I’d never been to Hardywood, so I was excited to check the […]

  3. […] ingredients. (Except for the black beans. Thanks, Alex!) In fact, the salsa was the salsa that I canned way back in this post. Thank goodness for […]

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