Early Summer and Roasted Asparagus

Ah, summer.  I still haven't quite settled into a rhythm yet (read: I haven't found any sort of rhythm at all) but that's what the first week of summer is for, right?

A few early summer discoveries:

1.) (Cold brew) iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk really is that amazing.  And I'm not really even a coffee drinker!

2.) 3 dozen more sea salt almond chocolate chip cookies (2/3 for NES's coworkers, 1/3 for people moving furniture into some friends' new house!!)

3.) The most outrageous ice cream concoction ever, year two.  In case you're keeping track, that's a scoop of ice cream, a cherry and whipped cream on top of a milkshake.  It's kind of an annual "the-semester-is-over" celebration.

3.) Noodle soup in a jar (a.k.a. travelling noodles).  It's amazing.  It really does taste like fancy Asian noodle soup.  I did realize when I put it together though, it's EXTREMELY high in sodium.  So maybe this particular recipe will be a "for special occasions" recipe, and I'll play around with it for future weeks' lunches!

4.) Flowers everywhere!

5.) We are now part of a CSA!  I figured that if I ever had time for one, it was this summer, so we'll have an adventure!  (That also meant finding a fun new farm market!)

6.) Homemade mango green bubble tea!  It will hold me over at least until I reach one of my favorite bubble tea locations!

7.) A weekend celebration of mothers and a 96th birthday!  (And isn't that cake gorgeous?  I wish I could make flowers like that!)

8.) Asparagus.  Asparagus is one of those veggies I really want to like.  I've never been a huge fan though.  When it's boiled/steamed/traditionally prepared, I will eat it, but I'd rather leave it.  NES has made it sauteed with maple syrup for me before, but that seemed like it defeated the point (it really just tasted like maple syrup . . . ).  So I decided to take matters into my own hands.  Mostly because in my "I want fresh food because it's spring so things should be growing" mood, I bought a bunch of asparagus.  And since most vegetables are better roasted, I went for roasted asparagus.  And just in case that was a bust, I threw in a few carrots for good measure.

And it was also super simple.  I laid out the asparagus and peeled carrots on a baking sheet.

Then I drizzled maybe a tablespoon or two of olive oil on top, followed with maybe 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Feel free to leave this out (or add more!) to your level of balsamic preference.  Then drizzle with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.  The good stuff, please.

Then just a little salt and pepper on top!  I rolled everything around just a little bit to get all the sides coated in the mixture.

I roasted them for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees.  After about 10 minutes, the asparagus was probably done, and the carrots could have been softer even after 15 minutes.  So maybe that wasn't the best mixture in the world, but it worked well enough!


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