Tag Archives: Summer

Zucchini, Tomato and Corn Fettuccine with Walnuts and Feta

Dish shown here with parmesan instead of feta

Dish shown here with parmesan instead of feta

It’s a beautiful moment when you visit the farmer’s market in the summer and all the vegetables and fruits are bright and bountiful and you just know your chances of getting sweet, fresh produce is far better than say, the end of February. Sometimes I forget how produce is supposed to taste until sunny July rolls around and my taste buds are like, “HEYOOOO TOMATOES.”

This recipe celebrates summer produce. If you try this recipe in February, I hope you live in Australia.

On the menu:
Zucchini, tomato and corn fettuccine with walnuts and feta
Serves 3
Adapted from Real Simple

1 lb. fettuccine [full disclosure: I had half a box of linguine and half a box of fettuccine so VOILA mixed pastas]
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
2 small zucchini, cut into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

In a medium sized skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and corn and cook for about 4 minutes or until corn is cooked through. Add a liberal pinch of salt and pepper.

Add corn, zucchini, and tomatoes to pasta plus the 1/2 cup pasta water. Heat over medium heat for 8 – 9 minutes or until pasta is coated with sauce and vegetables are heated through. Add oregano and toss to combine. Plate pasta and top with walnuts and feta*.

*NOTE: The BF isn’t a big fan of feta, which does have a strong flavor. I thought this flavor made the dish but I topped his with freshly grated parmesan and he still went back for seconds. So if you hate feta, try parmesan. But definitely top with cheese. Always cheese.

Second note: I served this pasta with garlic bread (CARBS ON CARBS ON CARBS!) and The BF and my dad were preeeetty into it. Here’s the secret to incredible garlic bread: melt butter with garlic powder, stir to combine, spoon over slices of fresh bread, and broil for a minute or two until tops are lightly browned. De.Lish.

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Grilled BBQ Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

One of the most frustrating things about living in New York City is the lack of outdoor space. Sure, there’s Central Park and a variety of restaurants with back patios for outdoor seating, but what about a nice patch of grass in the backyard where I can drink my morning coffee in PJs without terrifying other park goers with my lack of makeup and bed head?

That’s right. I got nothin’.

So to make up for my nonexistent backyard and subsequent lack of a grill, The BF bought me a grill/griddle pan. It’s this magical device that sits over two burners on your stove and basically gives you a nice, grill-marked crust on various meats and veggies, while on the other side waits a griddle for pancakes. It’s a New York City home cook’s dream.

This dish was created on such a grill pan, and you’ll find the full recipe over at Spice to Meet You.

BBQ Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

Which brings me to my next point. I’m super fortunate to be guest blogging over at Spice To Meet You for the next few months. I’ll be contributing recipes and possibly video posts to the blog, and basically pushing this AWESOME service on you. I don’t hawk anything I don’t truly believe in so I’m really serious when I tell you to go take a peek at this monthly spice delivery service that also gives you access to delicious recipes that show you how to use said spices.

The monthly service starts at $6 a month (hey perfect birthday/mother’s day/father’s day gift) and the perfectly blended spices can be used on anything… anything like BBQ pork chops. Just an idea.

The site is also offering a one month free trial! So you really have nothing to lose by trying it out. Go on. Go now.

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

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There are few greater joys in a home cook’s life than when a first time recipe turns out really, really well. And this is a recipe that turned out really, really well. It’s a “pound cake” type of dessert, meaning it could be eaten by itself (tomorrow I’ll probably call it breakfast) or you could top it with 100 different things. For a pre-Father’s Day dinner with my dad last night I served this cake with fresh strawberries (tossed with a little white sugar for sweetness and to bring out the juice) and topped it with whipped cream. But you could do lots of different things: top with lemon curd, drizzle dark chocolate over each slice, or add any kind of seasonal fruit. The sky is the limit.

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On the menu:

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from Food + Wine
Makes 1 10″ round cake

7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1 3/4 cup flour, plus 1 Tbsp more for flouring the pan
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil*
3 Tbsp milk, at room temperature
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Zest of 2 lemons, approximately 2 Tbsp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10″ cake pan (I used a 10″ tart dish and it came out beautifully).

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, and milk.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, zest and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and frothy, around 3 minutes. While your mixer is still beating, alternately add the dry flour and wet butter mixtures, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.

Pour into your prepared cake pan and tap against the counter top a few times to release bubbles. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (see note below). Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. This cake will also keep for around 3 days at room temperature.

Cut into wedges and eat alone or top with whatever topping your little heart desires.

*I used regular old olive oil but you could use virgin or extra virgin olive oil if you want to. Just know that the heavier the oil, the heavier your batter will be and a cake made with olive oil might have to cook just a bit longer. Test the doneness of your cake by pressing down on the cooked cake gently with your finger – it should spring back when it’s fully cooked.

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Greek Pasta Salad

I love looking around for new recipes. Especially in the summer months when I’m not necessarily going to want to spend too much time in a boiling hot kitchen slaving away over an oven.

One recipe I stumbled across on the AllRecipes website was a Greek style pasta salad. Obviously I’d heard of Greek salad on its own, but it had never occurred to me to add pasta into the equation. I’m glad I tried this one though. Not only is it healthy (so long as you go easy on the oil you dress it in), but it’s also delicious and practical for a picnic or barbecue, you know if you’re saving your next trip to a restaurant like 100 Hoxton in London or Fig & Olive in New York for another time.

Ingredients:

150g penne or fusilli pasta

4 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons dried oregano

salt and pepper

160ml extra-virgin olive oil

10 cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

1/2 cucumber

70g sliced black olives

125g crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Pull out a large saucepan and fill it with lightly salted water. Bring to the boil and stir in your pasta of choice (penne and fussili work best). Cook the pasta for about 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test the pasta with a fork. If it slips through the pasta easily and isn’t chewy, it’s cooked.

Rinse out the pasta with cold water and drain it well with a colander over the sink. Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt and olive oil together and set aside.

Chop the onion, green and red peppers, slice the cucumber and black olives, and halve the cherry tomatoes on a chopping board, and combine the pasta and vegetable ingredients together in a large bowl. Then crumble the feta cheese on top.

Finally pour the vinaigrette over the pasta and mix the whole thing together thoroughly, making sure the entire dish has a proper coating. Cover it over and allow to chill for about 3 hours before serving.

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Strawberry Cake

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I love when a recipe says something like, “This is a great way to use up leftover berries.” Here in New York City, land of overpriced everything, I never really have too much of something leftover that costs an arm and a leg to begin with. I use every tiny little bit of that sucker. Even during the summer berries are ridiculously expensive around here (unless you trek to the farmers’ market, I know, I know) so when I make a recipe with berries, it’s on purpose, and I hope it comes out nicely because if not, it was one expensive mistake.

This recipe was no mistake. And I can’t recommend it enough. The cake is not too sweet and the sugar on top gives it a nice crunch. You could even serve it for breakfast, because frankly, what’s the difference between a slice of this and a muffin? As far as I’m concerned, nothing.

On the menu:
Strawberry cake
Makes 1 10″ cake

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus more to grease the pie plate
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10″ pie plate with unsalted butter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir in by hand until combined.

Pour batter into greased pie plate. Cut-face-down, place strawberries on top of the batter as close together as you can but not on top of each other [NOTE: do NOT press the berries down into the batter; the batter will cook up around your berries and make them all but disappear from view]. Sprinkle the remaining Tbsp of sugar on top of the cake.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 60 minutes. Once the cake is cooked (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean) cool on a wire rack completely before serving.

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Edamame, corn, and avocado salad

Edamame, corn and avocado salad
Making a vegetable to go along with dinner for my meat-and-potatoes-loving BF is often a real challenge. He’s just not a fan of most things green. And when I asked him last night, “Do you like edamame?” he made a face. But um… then I tricked him. Haha! Tricking someone into eating vegetables. I’ll be a great mom someday.

This salad has lots of good stuff in it but it’s so fresh and sweet tasting, the best of the best ingredients are all but hidden.

It should also be noted that fresh corn would be WAY better in this salad than frozen. But it is obviously not corn season yet so this will have to do.

On the menu:
Edamame, corn, and avocado salad
Serves 2

1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 small avocado, cubed
3 Tbsp red onion, diced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

In a small saucepan, add corn and edamame and cover with water. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Bring water to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. In a small serving bowl, add cooled corn and edamame, red onion, cubed avocado, and dressing. Toss to combine.

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Cherry Vanilla Waffles

I feel I have to start off with an apology for this sad picture. These waffles do not look very appetizing, but lately I’ve had this food-blogger-problem where I eat everything before I photograph it. And honestly, who wants to read a post about food if they can’t see what it looks like first? I know this, friends, because I am of the same ilk. So while I missed out on sharing a zucchini, sun dried tomato, lemon ravioli, and a skillet lasagna, I couldn’t miss out on sharing this one, too.

I used cherries in this recipe because I found them at a little bodega for $1.25 a pound (A DOLLAR TWENTY FIVE A POUND! Thank you, Queens!) and had a surplus. But you could use any ripe, sweet berry.

On the menu:
Cherry vanilla waffles
Makes 2 full sized Belgian waffles

NOTE: You will need a waffle iron for this! I have no idea how you’d do it without one. Sorry Charlie.

1 1/3 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
8 Tbsp egg whites*
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted
1 3/4 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered

Preheat your waffle iron.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Add melted butter, vanilla, and milk and blend until combined. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixture just until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the batter just until incorporated. Add cherries and stir until evenly distributed in the batter.

Pour 2 full cups of batter onto the griddle, adding a bit of extra just so the batter reaches the far corners of the iron. Cook each waffle according to your iron’s specifications. Top with butter and maple syrup, or lemon curd, or powdered sugar, or just eat them straight off the griddle. Not that I would do that. Just saying.

*Note: the original recipe that I based this on (from Food.com) calls for 2 eggs, separated. I think using all egg whites gives the waffles a lighter texture and I usually have a carton of egg whites in my fridge. If you do want to use 2 eggs, just separate the egg and yolk, add the yolk into the dry ingredients during Step 1, and follow the rest of the directions as written regarding the egg whites. Still easy and still delicious!

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