My Summer Checklist

I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve never taken time off.

I’ve had a job since I was legally able to work – at 14, I hauled chairs and umbrellas at a beach club every summer; by the time I was 21 I had worked my way up to a senior waitress position. Two weeks after graduating college, I moved to NYC, and I’ve not stopped working since.

So, for the first time in 14 years, I took a summer break! After my big intro grad class ended, my plans for the month extended as far as naps, bad TV, and getting as much sun as humanly possible. Just kidding… my plans extended as far as very specific house projects, bad TV, and learning a bunch of new recipes for the fall. Plus the sun part!

Here’s a quick review of my Summer Checklist, and how my projects went…

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Venezuelan Pulled Pork Arepas

Confession: I am absolutely 100% awful at sticking to the gluten-free diet I am supposed to have been on since junior year of college (that’s 2010, people – SEVEN years ago).

I go through phases where I am strict about it that are full of corn tortillas, chick pea based pasta, and tons of veggies. In between, IĀ eat pizza for dinner, make pancakes for breakfast, and drink a nice craft beer after a long run. Everything in moderation, right? Wrong – that second phase is full of nauseous mornings and late night tummy aches, and I’m trying harder each time to avoid those unhealthy habits.

When I first moved to New York, I needed to find a cheap way stick to my new gluten free diet, so I started researching gluten free recipes online. There had to be a way to avoid buying lunch that had less gluten than a PB&J! That’s when I discoveredĀ arepas.

Arepas are sort of the equivalent of a tortilla or a piece of sandwich bread. Different countries have different variations of arepas, but I’ve happened to play around with the Venezuelan kind, and truly fell in love with them at one of my old NYC go-tos – Caracas Arepa Bar. You can put literally anything on an arepa, and eat it for any meal. They’re versatile, they’re easy to make, they’re filling, and they’re delicious. Even Mike, who hates corn tortillas, said he loved this corn based meal.

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I hope you enjoy my take on this recipe and have fun making this one yourself!

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