“Everything” Flatbread with Curried Zucchini Butter

"Everything" Flatbread with Curried Zucchini Butter

Each summer there seems to be a point we reach where there is an overabundance of summer squash everywhere.  A plethora, if you will.  Gardening friends and familiy try to pawn it off on one another, CSA boxes go through a heavy squash period, and farmers market tables overflow with all kinds of squash varieties.  Some people wonder, “what the heck am I going to do with all this squash?”  I got ya covered.

Infused Water: Peach Cucumber Basil

Peach Cucumber Basil Water

Time for some real talk.  I don’t always get to all the glorious fruits and veggies hanging out in my fridge.  I shop the farmers market with recipes in my head, but they don’t always get made.  I have honest intentions, but real life can throw those off.  Or, you just forget.  You open the fridge and move the half eaten jar of olives, near empty egg carton, and leftover dish of I-don’t-even-know-what-that-is-anymore only to discover a couple wrinkly-skinned peaches laying there nearly lifeless.

Embrace a CAN-do attitude!

 

Canning 2014

As a little girl I made several trips to basements retrieving glass, sometimes dusty, jars of preserved food. Both sets of grandparents lived on farms in southeast Nebraska and grew a lot of their own food.  “Jaime, run downstairs and get me 2 quarts of green beans.”   “Jaime, can you go to the basement and pick out a jar of dill pickles?”  “Jaime, go grab a pint of tomato juice from the basement cupboard.”  I grew up with canned (jarred) food and really didn’t think too much about it.  My mom and grandma would spend many summer days “putting up” sweet corn, beans, tomatoes, beets, pickles, relish, etc., and although my older sister and I would help out from time-to-time (mainly snapping beans or shucking corn), I wasn’t too interested in it nor did I understand the value or importance of it. It was just there, in the background of my childhood.

Tomato Avocado Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

Tomato & Avocado Salad

While strolling through the farmers market I spotted this mix of heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes.  The farmer was describing them to another customer so I stopped to listen along.  He said the tiny yellow ones — yellow currant tomatoes — were nearly as sweet as grapes and offered them up for us to taste.  I happily obliged.  He was not kidding; they’re super sweet and delightfully juicy…and so darn cute!

This simple salad highlights the incredible flavor of these gorgeous tomatoes.  With just a few other salad ingredients (avocados, onions, crumbly cheese, and herbs) along with a spicy limey vinaigrette, this quick and easy salad makes for a delicious, healthy, and colorful summertime side dish.  Or, add it to any taco, sandwich or pita pocket for a complete meal.  A veggie rainbow of flavor!

Cast-Iron Cherry Cobbler

Cast-Iron Cherry Cobbler

Stop what you’re doing right now and make this cobbler.  You will thank you me, I promise.

So the story goes, I had a bunch of cherries on hand and was in a baking mood the other morning.  I hadn’t made cobbler yet this summer, so I decided to whip one up.  I figured I’d get this made and have a nice dessert ready for later that evening and the rest of the weekend.  I didn’t mean for it be breakfast that morning.  After all, it IS a dessert.  I didn’t mean for us to eat nearly all of it one sitting.  After all, there are ONLY 3 of us.

Roasted Cherry & Brie Baguette Sandwiches

Roasted Cherry & Brie Baguette Sandwiches

In July of 2005 my husband went to London for a few weeks.  He was doing research for a college art class he would later be teaching.  The first day he was there the 7/7 bombings occurred.  The bombings targeted public transportation.  He was scared.  I was wigging out!  He spent the rest of the trip going everywhere on foot.  He walked and walked and walked.  He wore his shoes out, got many blisters, but he was safe.  And he saw much more of London that way; the nooks and crannies of the city that you only experience by chance while walking down an alley or stopping to look at graffiti art or noticing the curiosities of passers by.

Grilled Summer Squash w/ Basil-Mint Gremolata

Grilled Summer Squash w/ Basil - Mint Gremolata
Summer’s here!  My CSA is kicking serious booty and the produce at my local farmers market is bangin!  Summer is my favorite season of the year.  My anniversary, birthday, and husband’s birthday all occur over the next few steamy months, but most importantly [wink]…the veggies are KILLER.  And, hello!, tomatoes are just around the corner!  That means my love affair with fresh bloody marys will soon begin again.  Swoon.

My CSA box last week was abound with summer squash and basil (along with kale, cilantro, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, kohlrabi, and salad mix!).  I’ve also got loads of garlic scapes from the CSA and market which I’ve been using for a lot of pestos, sauces and veggie sautees.  I knew the summer squash was destined for the grill – grilled squash is superb! – but I wanted to jazz it up a bit and use up some of the basil and garlic scapes, but not in the usual pesto.  I happened to have mint and lemons hanging around in the fridge, so I decided to make a gremolata to top the grilled squash.