31 July 2013

Musing on a Sunny Summer Morning ... and a Seasonal Soup

The march is on ... this morning we woke to a thrum of katydids and cooler, dry air. The heatwave that has been crushing the Eastern seaboard seems to be passing and a change is in the air. Autumn ... yup, that's Autumn rattling the bugs and bringing on a cool morning breeze. The sky is changing from that deep summertime azure to a more washed out blue. The roadsides are lined with feathery chicory blossoms and the fields beyond are beginning to turn bright yellow with late summer's goldenrod. I can practically hear the school kids groaning about summer's demise and the onset of another year of classes, but the boys up the street are racing up and down our dirt road on their bikes, screaming and whistling at each other and making our Corgis howl and hoot. Timmy and Christopher clatter their bikes back and forth out front of the house, defiantly in denial of summertime's end. It's a joy to hear. Their rambunctiousness is a perfect counterpoint to the almost hypnotic background sound of the crickets and katydids.

24 July 2013

Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Swirls

Mmmmm! Summertime cheesecakes with berry syrups are here! I made this cheesecake for our weekend blueberry picking party and it was so well-received that I never got a chance to have a piece ... so today, I made another one!

23 July 2013

Random Recipes - Zuppe di Pesce with Brandy and Cream

The soup bowls have been empty for the past few weeks, as SB and I have enjoyed traditional summertime fare! Our grill has been going far more often than the stove top! That all changed, though, when Dom handed off this month's Random Recipe challenge and I counted out the cookbooks and then counted out the pages.

16 July 2013

Pan-Seared Lemon Pepper Swordfish With Orecchiette and Peas

The dog days of summer are here and it seems they're here to stay for a good while.  All the cool smoothies, iced tea, cold salads, popsicles, chilled pies, and cold cocktails certainly help keep us comfortable, but one still needs a hot meal now and then. Standing over a hot stove, though, holds little appeal!  I have fallen to the strategy of doing some prep work on dinner early in the morning while the house is cool and then lounging through the heat of the day. Once the sun goes down and the house cools off a bit, I am ready to tackle dinners. They still need to be fast and easy, though.

Yesterday, we shucked peas and marinated swordfish early in the day. Then, in the time it took to boil pasta water and cook orecchiette, we seared the fish, sauteed onions and mushrooms, steamed green beans for a side and put together a nice platter of warm sustenance ... all the while sipping on chilled Sauvignon blanc. My kitchen timer allows me to put things in the pan, crank up the heat and walk away from the hot stove ...when the little dinger dings,  I dash in and away after tossing things, flipping fish, and only stand in the steam for the final plating ... one gets cagey when it's this hot!

14 July 2013

Ebay and Inspiration On A Hot Day

I collect cookie jars ... the campier, the tackier, the more kitschy, the better ! Periodically, I go on an Ebay spree and spend a few days  weeks looking at the auction offerings for vintage cookie jars. I have given neat cookie jars to my kids for Christmas, to friends as birthday gifts and housewarming presents, and I still keep going back to look for just one more. The only other item that snags my attention as much is a good vintage bean pot.

08 July 2013

Venison Kefta with Harissa and Yogurt

They look like little cigars on a skewer. They're full of coriander, cumin, caraway, cilantro, parsley, onion, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper, and very lean venison. Incredibly spicy, grilled medium, piping hot! Wrap them in a whole wheat pita, layer on some yogurt and hot spicy Harissa and you have a Moroccan hotdog!

03 July 2013

Straight from the Sea - Virtual Supper Club

Coconut Crab and Shrimp Salad coming right up! 

02 July 2013

Berry Cobbler ...

We're on the cusp of blueberry season here in the Northeast and coming to the tail end of strawberry season, which means I am tempted by all the berry desserts, smoothies, kabobs, shortcakes, and cobblers making the rounds of the blogsphere.

01 July 2013

Miso Salmon and Soba Noodles

You know how sometimes you just need to make yourself a plate of something that will stick to your ribs? You know how often times that something turns out to be a pasta dish that not only sticks to your ribs, but goes directly to the pit of your stomach and then, miraculously to your hips and thighs? Yeah ... me too. I know alllll about it ... but wait! There has to be a way to have your pasta and not feel guilty.