So that’s what all the fuss is about…

    
So for a couple or five years now, many restaurants have featured a feta and watermelon salad combo during the summer. And for the same amount of time, I have ignored what could only be a tasty combo. I was so tardy to this party!

I finally decided to make this for supper last night. I wanted to have some greens, so I tossed some arugula with olive oil and salt and pepper.

  
Then it’s really a matter of cutting the watermelon and feta to match so you have a salty/sweet bit in each bite.

   
 

Then I just squiggled some balsamic glaze on top! A cool, crisp, sweet and salty option for hot summer dining. Don’t miss out!

  

Green and yellow makes….

  

Really yummy soup! I found this recipe in my in box the other day, courtesy of Food and Wine Daily.

I thought it would be good to make it over the weekend and serve it some night for a light supper later on in the week, especially after overindulging during the holiday weekend. In the spirit of transparency in cooking, I did not include the mushrooms…I was not going back to the  grocery store again…

   
 

I’ll let you read the recipe for yourself, but basically you cut up and boil the heck out of a bunch of asparagus, 2 pounds to be exact. I saved some of the tips  for garnish.

   
 

I added a couple of carrots for sweetness, you know just in case.

   
   

Once cooked the recipe recommends using a blender to purée, however I DO NOT have a good track record with hot liquids in blenders, so I used my handy mix stick with the same results. Actually after pureeing it looks kinda dangerous in a pea soup kind of way. Then you strain the liquid and press everything against the sieve to smooth it out. You wind up, as noted in the recipe with asparagus broth.

   
 

You whisk lemon juice and egg yolks together and then trickle in the hot broth so the eggs don’t curdle. Once stable, you can add the remaining broth and bring back to a simmer.

  
I stored in the fridge and then reheated and topped with the roasted asparagus tips and dill and little crumbles of feta cheese. Parmesan would be a good choice also.

  
Very creamy and lemony and satisfying !

Easy as Pie…

 
Well, more like a big turnover! I had a pie crust sheet that I wanted to use up along with a couple/three, almost over the edge apricots .

   
 

I also had some apricot glaze from some long ago pastry that I mixed with ricotta and cinnamon sugar ( just a bit…)

   
 

I spread the cheese mixture in middle of the dough an topped with the sliced apricots. Then I folded the dough over on itself and put some steam slits in the top.

   
   

Bake in a 375 oven for about 45 minutes. I sprinkled a little more cinnamon sugar on after serving! 

Lambykins Pt Deux

  

Have we ever discussed the love that the Hubs and I have for lamb burgers? Well, let me tell you. We love them!

I was standing at the meat case considering lamb chops to grill, when I looked down and the lamb patties practically jumped into my cart.

  
You have to serve them on a sturdy roll like a bulkie or a brioche, no flimsy hamburger roll. We put a skim of butter on the bottom of the roll and topped the patties with some Blue cheese and sliced red onion. A grainy Dijon mustard is also de rigeur. Then we add a little arugula ( do you think we have a problem… with arugula?) 

   
 

We paired it with this yummy red I got a while ago at Trader Joes. Positively dusty…so good! 

In lieu of salad…

  

I didn’t feel like making a salad last nite, but I do try to make us something each day composed of something that grew in the ground. I had nifty leftover roasted tomatoes from our pizza night last weekend and decided to use them on a roasted zucchini. 

  
I split and seeded the zucchini and put in a 425 oven for about 40 minutes with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Once it was soft through, I added the leftover tomatoes and a skim of ricotta and popped it back in the oven for about 15 minutes. I topped them with sunflower sprouts. I like them better than bean sprouts, not as risky for food borne illness issues, and all the antioxidant bennies!

  
You could also top with another favorite of the Hubs and add some peppery arugula!

Macarons, the Magnificent Obsession

In honor of my sister in law A, and her favorite adult beverages, I made a batch of margarita flavored macarons this afternoon. We have a family gathering on Sunday, where my brother will fire up the frozen margarita maker, so I figure these can be the garnish!

  
I did get the margarita coloring just right and added lime extract, lime zest and salt of course to the buttercream. Perfect for the start of summer pool party! 

  

Pizzer, pizzer…

Or how we in Boston prounounce “pizza”.

  
The hubs and I hosted a little supper over the weekend with a “make it your darn self” theme centered around an antipasto platter that our friends A & J brought and a pizza “bar” that I set up featuring a bunch of toppings and a stack of thin crust pizzer shells.

  
Everyone took turns adding and subtracting ingredients, trying new flavor combos and forcing their spouses to eat vegetables they normally wouldn’t. A list of the ingredients in no particular or alphabetical order consisted of…artichokes, asparagus, baby eggplant, roasted peppers, spicy Italian sausage crumbles, julienned steak, prosciutto, pepperoni, onions raw and caramlized, capers, preserved lemon slices, tomatoes, roasted grapes and all stars from the pantheon of cheeses… mozzarella shredded and buffalo style, brie and feta.

  
   
 Once everyone made their concoction, we put it on the pizza stone on the grill while we sipped a variety of adult bevvies and watched the fire in our outdoor fireplace. We also had a lot of laughs…and that is the best thing about spring nites with no mosquitos, great friends and pizzer

My New Favorite…

I love anything that lists an ingredient called “grape musts”….

  
Thick and lovely, this syrup is great for the summer. Available at Trader Joe’s. I’ll be stocking up!

What to do with…..?

A sad looking zucchini that was even sadder when I started slicing and two lonely mini eggplants?

  
 Why make a ratatouille tart of course!

I started with aforementioned sad zucchini and lonely eggplants sliced as thin as my thinny, thin, thin knife could go and then sauteed them in a pan with some onions. I quartered four Campari tomatoes and opened the jar of sunny roasted peppers I had in the fridge. I also mixed a beaten egg with some light cream and set aside. While all this was happening I was blind baking a premade pie crust in my tart pan in a 375° oven for about 12 minutes. Nicely browned.

  
Once the veggies are soft and caramelized in the olive oil in the skillet, I added salt and pepper and the jarred roast peppers to the mix. I put the veggies in the baked and cooled tart shell and poured the beaten egg in the crust. It shouldn’t be all egg, but should just be holding the vegetables in place. I sprinkled some shredded mozzarella on top and little dabs of goat cheese. Lastly I put the tomatoes in middle. Into the 375° oven again for about 20 minutes. Then I turned the broiler on for about 6 minutes to give the cheese a extra measure of bubbly and melty ( remember the two dwarfs that no one ever talked about….) . I served the tart, cut into fours, on a bed of fresh arugula dressed with olive oil, my new favorite balsamic, and some salt and pepper! Perfect for meatless monday, which we almost did, but then our friend A was over for a work dinner for us and I added some Barramundi at the last minute!

  

‘Tis the season…

 
For pink! Or rather Rosé wine! For the summer season, I’ll be bringing you regular updates on my favorite pink wines, no white Zinfandel allowed.

Today’s choice, a lovely and smooth Albero from Spain. More toward the hot pink side of the color spectrum and available at Trader Joes. The other nice thing about rosé wine is the price point is very reasonable.

Watch this space for more shades of pink all summer long! It is my best color!