Category: Summer

Green Gazpacho

This has been a busy summer for me, so once again I am posting early.  We have established in these posts before that 1.) I try to eat as seasonally as possible, 2.) I like cold soups in the summer, and 3.) I am mildly obsessed (maybe not so mildly) with Yotam Ottolenghi, so bearing those things in mind, I present this recipe.  Let me just shout out that this soup is great!!!  Don’t let the fact that it is green and cold scare you, this is a hearty summer dish that is full of flavor and just so good for you.  I made this ahead of time to enjoy for lunch throughout this hot week .  I did not add the ice cubes, because I knew I would not be eating it right away and to me, it only got better as the week progressed.  Just like bone warming hot winter soups, cold summer soups can be comfort food, especially if you like a little spice and add the green chile.

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Spaghetti Squash Salad with Tomatoes and Pecorino

I have discussed in these posts before that I am not always a fan of substituting ingredients: i.e. If I am eating pasta bolognese, then I want real pasta, not a vegetable spiralized to look like pasta.  I want to appreciate my veggies for what they have to offer without making them a poor substitute for something I really want (rant over now.)  Spaghetti squash is one of those misunderstood veggies that deserves a place at the table to shine on its own merit.  This is a recipe I am excited to try and I hope you will be too.  The picture is one of the other variations of this recipe, but hey, its tomato season, so why not celebrate those as well.  This combo really screams summer to me and I hope if you have been burying your squash under pasta sauce, you will make this salad and give the squash its place in the sun.

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Smashed Cucumbers

I have another busy weekend coming up, so I am posting this early, hoping that there are plenty of cucumbers to choose from…I chose this recipe for a number of reasons: After a big (read eating) holiday weekend, I am looking for lighter, easier recipes for a few days, also, sometimes cucumbers are not my favorite veggie so I look for new ways to try them, and the recipe looks intriguing (who doesn’t like taking some aggression out while cooking…)  This recipe did call for English cucumbers, but slicers will work just as well with a few more seeds.  So, go forth and channel your inner hulk…SMASH…SMASH…SMASH!

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Na’ama’s Fattoush

I have a busy weekend of my other passion; bike racing (watching, not participating,) so I thought I would post this week’s recipe a little early.  As I have mentioned before, I am a bit fickle with recipe sources, but my current cooking crush has lasted over a year and I think will continue on as a regular resource.  The crush is Yotam Ottolenghi and this month I have been cooking a bunch out of his vegetarian cookbook Plenty (I highly recommend.)  This is one of his recipes that is on my list, but I have not done yet (it is not quite tomato season here.)  So, go forth and experiment for me.  Enjoy your week!

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Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins with Thyme Glaze

As I might have mentioned a time or two 😉 I really like to cook and bake and spend a lot of my time looking at/for recipes.  I also am a little fickle and go through phases on where I am sourcing recipes.  I have long been a fan of Cook’s Illustrated (particularly their desserts,) NY Times Cooking (Melissa Clark,) Epicurious, and Food 52.  A couple of years ago, I noticed a new magazine with gorgeous pictures and had to pick it up.  This became my newest baking crush, Bake From Scratch (The Bake Feed.)  My first issue had these muffins along with a few others that I made in rapid succession, because they were just all so yummy.  I like traditional flavors, so for strawberry season which is so short, I tend to stick with the tried and true, but with blueberries and peaches, the bounty lasts longer, so I will branch out.  These take a little time, but are very worth it in the end.  Changes I made: most definitely use muffin cup liners, because even in nonstick, they might get a little stuck and break also I made regular sized muffins (12ish) instead of the 8 jumbo, the recipe calls for.  You will just need to adjust the baking time.

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Noodle-less Zucchini Lasagna

Here in East Tennessee, we are a little behind the CSRA, weather-wise, so are just beginning to see a few summer squash. I am also in the midst of spring cleaning and projects, so am looking for recipes that let me enjoy the bounty of the season, but also produce leftovers.  This is just the kind of recipe I turn to and bonus, it is low in calories and gluten free.  I love that a little work and an hour or so of cooking gives me multiple meals.  If you do have a bounty, you could make two pans, one to cook and one to freeze.  Now, back to the cleaning…

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Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta

Well folks, it does not happen often, but I have been waylaid by a summer cold. In between running for a kleenex and bouts of sneezing and coughing the last thing I want to do is cook an elaborate, time consuming dinner (and as you know, that is one of my favorite hobbies.) So, when the sick fairy visits, I turn to simple dishes that can be prepared in the few moments of respite. This green bean salad is one such dish. It is a perfect side for something from the grill (that hopefully the spouse, kids, neighbor, dog is going to prepare) and hey, it is just the beginning of green bean season, so the perfect time to enjoy them with minimal accompaniment. See you next week…

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Cucumber and Radish Salad with Burrata

Sorry to be a couple days tardy on my recipe post. Friday was a busy, busy day and Saturday, I was feeling a little under the weather, but better late than never. This week’s recipe has one of my favorite things in the world: Burrata. The marriage of mozzarella and creamy cheese curds. It is a wonderful treat alongside crisp spring and summer vegetables (well anything really) and makes a beautiful dish that everyone will rave over. If you cannot locate burrata, you can certainly substitute fresh mozzarella, homemade or good quality store bought ricotta.

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Beets with Lime and Pepitas

Beets are not a veggie that I grew up loving. Probably, because the only ones I had growing up were from a can. All of that changed about ten years ago when I enjoyed a steak salad with pickled beets. That salad made me rethink them, so I embarked on a journey of trying out various ways to prepare beets. I discovered that I absolutely LOVE them! Pretty much anyway they can be served, even beet kvass (which I drink every day.) The big downside is that they are not the easiest to prep and that color gets everywhere, so when I saw this set of recipes, I thought, “hey, new method, lets see if it is as messy and bonus new flavors I never thought of.” This recipe is on my list for weekend cooking and I think will make a great side dish for steak or roast/grilled chicken. I hope you guys do too. Ban the can, go fresh!

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Strawberry Ice Cream

Well, folks, we are coming to a close on one of the best times of the year; strawberry season. So, I have to post one more recipe before they are all gone until 2018. Let me tell you, this one is killer! I have used this ice cream recipe for the past 10 years and it is a no fail, show stopper that will have even the daintiest eater smacking their lips and scraping the bowl clean. Nothing gets wasted and the addition of a little bit of vodka to the fruit helps keep those pesky ice crystals at bay. I also put a piece of plastic wrap directly against the ice cream before freezing (and with any left overs) which also helps keep it crystal free. Reserve your strawberries today (you might want to get enough for two batches) for ice cream goodness this week.

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Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta with Fresh Blueberries and Herbs

Well folks, February is here and that means trying to come up with a plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We keep it fairly low key in my household and as you can guess, instead of going out to celebrate, I usually cook. Since it is on a Tuesday this year, I am looking for a fairly easy dessert; panna cotta is certainly that without giving up taste. It is so simple that while the main cook does dinner, the other Valentine could be putting this together. I like this version, because it uses a combo of berries and herbs (I will go with the frozen blueberry and lemon thyme option.) Herbs are not something that we always think of for dessert, but they provide a nice brightness and an interesting flavor profile. There are some hints in the notes of berry-herb combinations that go together quite well, but try some of your own to really add that personal touch.

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Nest Egg

The holidays are upon us and though they bring much joy, they also bring a good bit of stress. To ease (what is mostly self induced stress,) I look for meals that feel like a treat, but at the same time are fairly simple and quick. This recipe is simple; made up of ingredients we all have, quick; less than 10 minutes, can be doubled, tripled, whatever, and can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a midnight snack. You can have it as a light meal or with some salad greens for something a little more fortifying. With a little dressing up, it is even pretty enough for guests. The only downside, the name; egg in a hole…no worries, I found a better one. 😀

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