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I got the worst (food-related) news at the farmers’ market last week.  Strawberry season in North Carolina is over.  Over I tell you!  I’ve had exactly one quart of local strawberries this season and now there are none to be had.  Apparently this hot weather from Hades affected the normal harvesting season.  My strawberry lady at the market said they had them from Mother’s Day until about two weeks ago – of course during the time I rarely made it to the market.  I waited all year for those sweet, ruby morsels.  Summer is really not my favorite season, but I live for summer produce.  Now I’m settling for Florida strawberries (which are much better if you actually buy them in Florida since they don’t have to travel) because there’s no way I’m settling for a strawberry-less summer!

On a much happier note, I currently have a redecorating project going on that I’m super excited about.  I’m helping my mom redo their office/guest room into just an office since my dad is doing a lot of work from home now.  I can finally put some of my Pinteresting ideas (see what I did there?) into action.  I’ll share our progress on the blog just for fun, although I think I’ll omit the before pictures since it’s quite the disaster zone right now.

Anyway, onto this wonderful summer spaghetti…

At least there’s still summer veggies to be enjoyed.

Summer Vegetable Spaghetti

For the spaghetti:

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (I used a whole-grain variety this time but I’ve used regular spaghetti before)
  • 1 large zucchini, seeded and diced
  • 1 large yellow squash, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced (I actually used 3 baby eggplants)
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • kosher/sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Slice the eggplant first and sprinkle salt on the slices and “sweat” them out for about 30 minutes.  Wipe off the liquid and dice.  (Getting the liquid out ensures the cooked eggplant isn’t rubbery.)  Dice the zucchini and squash and sauté for about 5 minutes in a little butter and olive oil until softened.  Halve the tomatoes and toss them in with the veggies.

Cook your spaghetti to al dente according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Mince the garlic and sauté in the butter and oil until soft and fragrant.  Add the flour and cook for a minute.  Add the stock and simmer until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the spaghetti and vegetables in with the garlic sauce and toss.  Finish with fresh basil and parsley.

And don’t be like me and forget to put in the herbs before pictures are taken.

So fresh and so light – quintessential summer food.

Ok so, I have to share our ideas for this office project.  My dad has a collection of old magazines from, well all sorts of decades, but we were inspired by the ones from the 50s and 60s.  They’re mostly sports magazines, and loathe as I am to use sports – as much as I love sports – as the theme for decorating a room, these magazines have some amazing graphics we wanted to use.  Photos back then looked more like paintings, and the ads look wonderfully vintage.  So we decided to go with a mid-century modern look with these old sports covers and magazine ads being the focal point in an eclectic wall gallery.  We’re painting the largest wall (the gallery wall) a medium grey color and the gallery will be a mix of different frames and magazine pages on canvas boards (with the sides painted orangey-red for a pop of color!)  The other walls we’ll paint a very light grey.  Here are some photos that inspired us:

I liked the idea of gold frames on a dark wall.  My mom was a little skeptical of such a dark color though, so we went with a more medium grey.  I’m hoping it’s just as striking as the darker color.

Eclectic/random frames and different-sized matting for photos and art.

This is where I got the idea for a surprise pop of red on the sides of the canvas boards.

My dad knows we are redoing the room, but we’re surprising him with all the details.  I think he’ll love how we’re using all his old magazines.

In my next post, I’ll put up some pictures of the magazine pages and covers we’re planning on using!