What are you up to this weekend? We're ..
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celebrating Harry and Sally's birthday(!)
When I look back at their photos, it's hard to believe their first year has passed so quickly
We're planning a picnic trip to an out-of-the-way state park, although we may have to find a lake instead if the weatherman is right. The forecast for Iowa the next four or five days? 100+ degrees (yikes!)
If I'm not splashing in a lake with them, I'll be at the pool. Either catching up with the water-walking women or floating around the lazy river with all of the kids
Also on the radar? Some time in the garden we share with our neighbors. This week it was declared, “We're too busy to keep up with it right now. Plant to your heart's content” So I had a lot of fun to wandering around the greenhouse putting plants (and more plants) into my cart(s)
“Ma'am? You sure about all of this? I mean, you're going to need an awfully big space.”
(much more to come)
Whatever you're up to, I hope you have a good one!
As I was updating a few recipes this evening, it occurred to me that a round-up of favorite summer recipes might be a fun thing as well.
Some of the summer-friendly recipes I have a special fondness for and revisit regularly. Because before we know it, the best produce of the year will be upon us
all at the same time
Zucchini and Herb Pasta Salad – It tastes like a summer evening. A beautifully green pasta recipe filled with veggies, edamame, fresh herbs, capers, and mozzarella
Egg Salad – Out of all the pages in the church cookbook, my mom cooked from when I was little, the page with the egg salad recipe is one of the most stained (rivaling that of the chocolate cake). I can't help but marvel at how basic it is with onions, mayo, hard-boiled eggs, and a pinch of salt. I remember she got a wild hair once and added some chives, to which my grandmother frowned. Any deviation was far too fancy for egg salad.
The Most Incredible Salsa – Please give this a try; it's incredibly delicious. Particularly when tomato season has reached its peak, it's the recipe friends bring to dinner parties, and everyone simply passes my way. By the end of the evening, no matter what I've told myself about moderation, there'll be nary a drop left (ps: you'll never guess its secret ingredient) A+!
Heidi Swanson's Berry Crisp – A favorite summer crisp, especially when we've been berry picking in our favorite patch. Ripe berries cook into a thick, jammy, wine-spiked fruit sludge beneath a crispy, oat-flecked top. It's one of the desserts I bake most often (and realized I've yet to feature it here)
Caramelized Onions – As our gardens brim with onions this time of year, caramelizing is a great way to put them to use. Few things will amplify the flavor of your dish in quite the same way. They're tender, candy-sweet (yet savory), and can turn anything from a burger to a bowl of fresh pasta into something instantly gourmet.
Foggy Bottom Pasta Salad – A fresh take on a classic macaroni salad that reminds me of my growing-up years and pot-lucks in church basements. Any time there was a gathering, odds were good that someone(s) would show up with a pasta salad. I was inspired to find a version that was pretty close.
BLT with Roasted Tomatoes and Herbed Mayo – There's nothing fancy about a BLT, it's simplicity at its finest. Although it requires a slight bit of attention to detail for that magical combination of flavors to hit all the right spots. Add a bit of herbed mayo, and it's my favorite summer sandwich. One that can be eaten at any time or place, and that I'll happily turn the oven on in the summer to make
Banana Ice Cream (4 Easy and Delicious Ways) – And then there was banana ice cream. A rich, decadent, ultimately satisfying dessert. An outrageously easy “ice cream” is just the sort of dessert to please everyone in the house: the vegans, the lactose-intolerant, the paleo enthusiasts, the picky children. Just toss a few frozen bananas into a blender and give it a good whirl.
Winter Wealth Salad (but great for the summer) – An herb-packed salad recipe with dried fruit, radishes, pecans, arugula, grains, and fresh herbs. A simple yet flavorful dressing of oil and champagne vinegar added to its depth of flavor. A recipe to keep in your back pocket when wondering what to bring to a backyard BBQ