Front Door Summer Update + Healthy Goat Cheese Summer Salad

I hope you all had a great long weekend observing Memorial Day. Thank you to the brave men and women who died serving our country!

Bran and I didn’t end up doing anything too crazy on Memorial Day, since we just traveled back from a wedding in Kentucky.

Side note: Kentucky is GORGEOUS! I don’t know what I was thinking when I envisioned Kentucky, but it was not what I experienced. I was truly amazed by how beautiful Kentucky was with all of the horses and beautiful barns.

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Even though we didn’t end up doing a big lake weekend, I do have two fun things to share with you. Today I’m sharing how I updated our front door for summer and my recipe for my go-to healthy goat cheese summer salad!

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Simple, Easy Summer Front Door Update

I feel like I just got my front door all dressed up for spring, and here I am making changes for summer already! I really can’t believe it is already the end of May, where did the time go?!

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This is my spring look before doing the summer update!

Considering I love what I have going on with the door right now (you can read more details of my spring door HERE), I’m choosing not to do too many updates either than changing out the tulips. I simply placed two foam floral blocks in the bottom of the galvanized bucket stand and filled it with faux peonies.

Tip: Don’t ever buy faux peonies (or any flower) for full price. Michael’s will do sales throughout the year when you can get them for up to 50% off. I got these peonies 50% in early April and held on to them for the summer. 

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I love to have these foam blocks on hand for projects like this!

I trimmed these peonies a bit to get them to fit the bucket. But that’s it!! How simple and pretty is that?!

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Healthy Goat Cheese Summer Salad

I have been making this salad (and variations of it) ever since Brandon and I got married! We love this salad, especially during the summer time. It’s a staple in our house. I usually make this salad and top it with grilled protein for an easy weeknight dinner. I brought this to our friends’ house for a little Memorial Day cookout, and we topped it with delish grilled chicken (my friend marinated it in an amazing garlic + herb seasoning)!

Though this dressing is amazing with all fresh ingredients (yesterday I used the herbs from my garden), if you are in a pinch – dried spices will work in lieu of fresh herbs! I like to make a big batch of this and use it throughout the week.

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Ingredients (4-6 servings)

Salad:

  •  1/2 pound spring lettuce mix
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 pound blanched asparagus, cooled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 large onion thinly sliced
  • 2 – 4 oz goat cheese log or crumbles
  • *optional: 1/4 cup dried cranberries (Note: dried cranberries are often loaded with added sugars. Make sure you read the labels! My grocery store stopped selling the natural dried cranberries, so I personally chose not to eat them on my salad yesterday. Bran loves them though!!)

Dressing:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon stone ground mustard

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Note: ingredients will separate, therefore I like to put the dressing in a mason jar so I can easily shake it before serving.
  2. In a large bowl, place the lettuce. Top with cucumbers, asparagus, walnuts, tomatoes, onion, goat cheese, and optional cranberries.
  3. Toss salad in dressing immediately before serving! Enjoy! Note: you can make this salad a few hours in advanced if needed, just avoid adding the dressing until you are about to eat.

Tip to make this a meal: top this salad with any protein. Our favorite is grilled salmon in an herb marinade!

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Memorial Day Weekend always feels like the kick off of summer! Here’s hoping this blog post gives you a little summer inspiration!

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