Monday, July 30, 2012

Gazpacho blanco

I recently updated one of our favorite summertime soups.  Made from a cucumber base, this soup is cool and creamy, and just plain delicious for supper when it's too darned hot to cook.  If you want to make a (much) spicier version, there is always delectable Cucumber Wasabi Soup.

Gazpacho Blanco

1 1/2  large English cucumbers, 1/2 peeled
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 c green onions, sliced
2 T fresh dill (or 2 t dried)
2 T lemon juice
1 t sugar
8 oz plain yogurt (low fat is fine)
2 c buttermilk

Salt and pepper to taste (you might want to use white pepper if you have it)
Sour cream and extra dill (optional garnishes)

Process everything together until smooth. Top each bowl with a little dollop of sour cream and a sprig of dill if you want.

Shop Taste of Home

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pasta with leeks and sugar snap peas

Fresh sugar snap peas are at their best in the spring and early summer.  Combining them with leeks, lemon zest, and some tasty cheeses was inspired.  Thanks to Martha Stewart for this delicious pasta recipe.  My major change was to use orecchiette pasta instead of the pappardelle noodles she suggests.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pesto doesn't have to be basil

Red Pepper Pesto

Basil pesto is amazing, and I love it to death.  But sometimes you just want a change, so when an issue of Cook's Illustrated shared some ideas for super-tasty pestos that used different ingredients, I was on board.  So far we've tried two of them, and they are both keepers: Roasted Red Pepper and Pistachio Pesto and Green Olive, Almond, and Orange Pesto.  There is also a recipe for Sage, Walnut, and Browned Butter Pesto that we haven't tried yet.

Green Olive Pesto

Here are the other pesto recipes that I love from my own blog:

Basic Basil Pesto
Citrus Pesto
Artichoke Pesto
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fast food

Image: Farmer's Pal

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Add Sugar

With a title like that, you might be expecting a cookbook, but instead Just Add Sugar is a journal-style collection of the adventures of my friend Deby Scott, sharing the joys and frustrations of being a mom.  When infertility and the world said no, God said yes to Deby and her husband Eric, and in just 15 years they became the parents of seven precious adopted children. 

Of course, not every day is literally sweet!  Like the time that Deby worked for hours to make a fluffy chocolate bear cake for son Nick's first birthday.  Well, Nick, who was already a climbing maniac, managed to pull over the cake and splat the whole thing on the floor:

My cake!  My darling little bear cake!  What was I going to do now?  I was in shock and had to think fast about how to handle the situation.

I grabbed my spatula and started scooping the cake off the floor in chunks.  I tried arranging those chunks, some with frosting and some now without, back into the shape of the cute fluffy bear; but by the time I was finished, it was anything but that.  It was a hopeless, miserable mess, and one that looked very much like it had been in a horrible wreck! 

....I was heartbroken, but what could I do?...

I stuck a candle in it and we ate it!

The "Sugar" refers to the sweetness of the presence of God in daily life, and this was just one of the many many times that Deby and Eric had to rely on that sweetness!

As you might expect, many of Deby's stories include food as well as children.  But I don't want you to be misled; it's not a cookbook.  Deby wrote this amazing collection to be an encouragement to mothers, especially to adoptive mothers, but really to all moms.  And dads too, for that matter.  As I read through Just Add Sugar, I could hear just how much the stories are in Deby's actual voice.  You'll love this: it's like sitting down with a good friend and swapping tall tales...except that hers are true!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Butterflied roasted chicken



Butterflying chicken helps it to cook much more quickly, and evenly too for that matter.  It's also a bit easier to whack apart and serve when it's done.  Butterflied chicken can be roasted, as I've done here, or it can be done on the grill.  Martha Stewart has grilling instructions at her site.  I used her suggestion for the rub, and it was quite good.

To roast instead of grill:
Preheat oven to 450.  Place chicken skin side up in a large roasting pan and cook until the skin is golden and crispy.  Check the internal temp; it needs to be 165.  It should take about 45 minutes.  Cover with foil if it takes longer.  Let chicken rest before carving.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Harry Potter lemon drops

My sweet little friend Anna copied out a bunch of recipes that she thought I should try making.  The first one I tried was the one for Lemon Drops.  Since I don't know what her exact source was, I'm not going to print it out here, but honestly, it's the same recipe that I see for lemon drops everywhere!

I'm betting that Anna has a book similar to this one:

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards by Dinah Bucholz

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summertime pizza

Don't forget about doing pizza on the grill!  It's a great way to ensure that you don't have to give up all your favorite cold-weather foods during the summer heat :-)  Here is the link to my favorite pizza recipes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Raspberry mascarpone pastries

I could kick myself!  After making a gorgeous batch of Raspberry Mascarpone Pastries, I forgot to take a picture!  Do I even need to say that there were no left overs for me to correct my error?  I suggest you make these...soon.  Thanks to Laura, who writes Tutti Dolci.  I used blackberries and a round biscuit cutter, but I love hers even more.

Image: Rasbak, WikimediaCommons

Friday, July 6, 2012

Brazilian chicken with coconut milk

I don't remember exactly why this recipe first caught my eye, but I'm really glad it did.  My guess is that I must have been looking specifically for ideas that used Brazilian flavors and ingredients, because I don't often just browse around on All Recipes.  Maybe I should!  The recipe is at the link; the changes I made were to use boneless and skinless chicken thighs and to serve it as almost more of a stew.  Yup, that's a bowl in the shot above, because we wanted to slurp up all the tasty sauce!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Skinny guacamole

Honestly, I didn't really like this very much, but Mike thought it was just fine.  I'm not a big fan of zucchini, but I LOVE avocados (I eat about two per week, scooped right out of the 'shell'), so I think my main objection was the dilution of the avocado-y goodness.  If you need to cut calories, or you really like zucchini, I would definitely recommend it.  Skinny Guacamole