The weather was awesome this past weekend – makes working the farmers markets that much better.  In the two markets I worked over the weekend, we made $3100 – great weather=more people=more opportunity to sell a lot of veggie burgers!  Here’s a tip from me to you though – I never really thought about it before, but most vendors only have a bank of $100.  If at all possible, can you bring small bills to the market?  The first three customers I had on Sunday wanted to pay with a $50 and $100 bills!  Luckily I was able to have them use their debit/credit cards, but just a PSA for shoppers at farmers markets – the vendors will appreciate it!

Friday night was of course Party Pizza Friday.  It was just Hannah and I (I made Jacob pork chops because he doesn’t like pizza) and we hung out on our front deck and ate al fresco.   Sometimes Hannah just wants old school cheese pizza.  Me?  I love Dietz & Watson stick pepperoni.  I can slice it as thin as I want and it gets all crispy on the top.  I find it actually behind the deli counter at my local grocery store.


Um, turns out Rummy likes Party Pizza Friday too!


Saturday morning is my early day – I have to get up at 3:45 a.m.  I ended up eating a McDonald’s egg white delight both mornings on the way to the shop.  It’s pretty delicious and only 7 smart points.  I ended up bringing fruit both days for snacks to tide me over to lunch.  I was really hungry though Saturday on the way home, but knew Hannah, Jacob and I were going to a Ribfest for dinner, so hit up Whole Foods for a quick salad.  Here’s how I figure out the points for a salad bar – I start with all the free stuff, then add 5 tablespoons of “toppings” and count each tablespoon as 1 smart point.  I chose corn, bacon, hard boiled egg, sunflower seeds and black beans.  I added a 1 point salad dressing at home – Ken’s Steakhouse light balsamic dressing.


When Jacob got home from work, we headed out to Ribfest! I’ve heard about it for several years, but Tony never wanted to go because it would have been too much walking or too many people, or waiting in line.  He never liked to wait for anything.  If we went to a restaurant and there was more than a 10 minute wait, we would just leave, even if that meant driving around 30 minutes to figure out where else to go!


This place won our place in line because it seemed like a short line, but we waited probably 15 minutes before ordering.  Hannah ended up ordering the mac n cheese with brisket on top – and loved it!  Then we all split the “Call Me Uncle” plate – $25 for a selection of ribs, brisket, pulled pork, baked beans, cole slaw and cornbread. 


So the points weren’t too bad because we split this plate – we each got one rib, about 1/4 cup of the pork and brisket.  But seriously, I could have eaten that whole platter on my own!  It was a sea of people, and we didn’t up only staying there for about an hour.  We realized that most people had camped out with chairs, corn hole, etc. – almost like sitting out at Ravinia, so we’ll plan accordingly next year.

Sunday’s market was so busy – I sold nearly $1900 at that market alone – my goal is to break $2k before the summer is over!  I LOVE working with my friend Alberto.


He is married with three kids.  It doesn’t make sense for his wife to work because she’d only qualify for minimum wage jobs and child care would outweigh that.  So he works two jobs.  He does the farmers markets on the weekends, he works in the shop making the burgers during the day Monday-Wednesday, and works 5 nights a week at a restaurant in their kitchen.  On Friday nights, he doesn’t finish cleaning up the restaurant kitchen until midnight, only to get home and get possibly four hours of sleep before getting up and getting to the shop at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday.  And then repeats that Saturday night as well.  I almost feel like an asshole an asshole when I say how tired I am on the drive back to the shop.  I mean, I have three days off a week, and he doesn’t even get one! 

I told myself driving home yesterday that I wasn’t going to take a nap, but I did anyway.  Just a quick hour nap was all I needed to recharge.   Then it was grill time!  My store had bone in chicken breasts for $1.29 a pound and chicken legs for .39 a pound.  I grilled up both – the breasts for dinner and the legs for Jacob to eat during the week.  He loves cold grilled chicken.

I’ve been singing the praises of this bbq rub – Hardcore Carnivore Black rub.   I’ve put it on beef and pork, and decided to see if it would be just as good on grilled chicken.


Um, it’s equally as delicious on chicken as it is on beef and pork.  Here is how I grill chicken on the grill – put your coals on one side of your grill and start your chicken on the indirect heat.  I use my Weber grill and try to keep the temps around 300 degrees.  If your temp gets too hot, put the lid on tight and close the air vent on top.   Once the chicken gets to 150 degrees, put the chicken directly over the coals to get the skin nice and crisp.  Once your temp gets to 160, pull them off the grill – when they rest, the chicken will climb to the perfect temp of 165.  Guaranteed juicy chicken every time. 


So remember on Friday when I said I was having trouble getting my pictures off my phone?  For some reason I can’t just plug my phone into my computer anymore to automatically download my pics.  I had Hannah try to figure it out, and she couldn’t figure it out either.  So my solution is to just email myself the pics I want to post, and go from there.  I forwarded three separate emails with 20+ pictures on Friday morning around 8:30 a.m. – they never came through, even on the lowest resolution so I finally just gave up.  Imagine my surprise when I checked email before going to bed on Friday night that they all showed up!  I have no idea how it took 12 hours to get an email.

PicMonkey Collage - burger

Last year a new burger place was just being built and we ended up hitting it up on the way to my Aunt’s house within an hour of arriving in town.  Northern Neck burgers has two locations, and my Aunt said that at dinner time on the weekends, there could be a line out the door.  It was a really good burger – love that they could do medium rare, even if I had to switch burger patties with my Aunt because mine was well done.  We didn’t get the loaded potato chips this time, but I snapped that pic from the pick up window from someone else’s order. 

Since there weren’t as many people staying at my Aunt’s house, I got the big bedroom on the first floor – I love this room!  It was actually the formal living room before my Aunt remodeled so that she could have five bedrooms in the house.

PicMonkey Collage - bed

The day of our reunion the weather was gorgeous.  About 75 degrees an no humidity.  We had the biggest turn out we’ve had in recent years – 53 people!


PicMonkey Collage - 1

PicMonkey Collage - 2

I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I have in the past.  I just enjoyed the company and reconnected with family – it was perfect!  And I love that bottom picture with me and my cousin Brian – we both have kind of a crazy sense of humor – we took that picture to send to my brother to tell him we missed him!   He was also my ping pong partner, and sadly, my cousin Karen and her daughter Natalie dominated – so much laughter!


A big shout out to my Aunt Martha for hosting a wonderful reunion.  She made her signature North Carolina BBQ – I’ve watched her make it, but mine never turns out as good as hers.  You can see it on the counter in the crock pot in the back.  Um, I may have had several taste tests prior to the family arriving, you know, it’s quality control to make sure it was good enough to serve!

So I have the next two days off.  I have a long to do list including deep cleaning my car, pay bills, finish laundry, walk, gym, etc.   It’s going to be hot the next couple days – temps in the 90s!  I can’t believe this week we’ll already be half way through the month of July – this summer is flying by.

Alright, time to get going with the day.  Make it a great day!