Category Archives: summer

closeup of basil buttermilk soup

Basil Buttermilk Soup

august 11, 2020

closeup of basil buttermilk soup

Cooking doesn’t always need to involve heat. Chopping, tossing and blending are all easy methods of cool food preparation, with no flame in sight. The work of a good blender is the only electricity involved in making this refreshing summer soup featuring just-picked basil and chilled buttermilk. Continue reading

slice of double raspberry cake

Double Raspberry Cake

july 28, 2020

slice of double raspberry cake

 

Maybe you’ve started to entertain again, safely and with distance between your guests. Maybe you are getting more adept at preparing elaborate home brunches, weary of dining options limited to carryout. Or maybe you just want some homemade cake. If you fall into any of these maybes, here is a summery cake for you with fresh raspberries and raspberry fruit spread for a double dose of berry. Continue reading

mango coconut cocktail

Mango Coconut Cocktail

july 16, 2020

mango coconut cocktail

Homemade cocktail mixers are the most handy items taking up valued space in your fridge, ever chilled and at the ready for adding to spirits, fizzy beverages or enjoyed over ice as a solo drink. Continue reading

grilled shrimp with herbed pistachio sauce

Grilled Shrimp with Herbed Pistachio Sauce

july 2, 2020

grilled shrimp with herbed pistachio sauce

Ever skip a recipe with “grilled” in the title because you either don’t have a grill or don’t want to bother with grill setup? Me, too, except in this case my grill is currently snoozing and I’m too lazy to replace the tank. Cast iron grill pan to the rescue, and failing that, the oven broiler. Both of these are great substitutes for grilling. Smoky flavor will not be imparted but with items like shrimp which take minutes if not seconds to cook, that won’t matter. Continue reading

almond meringue berry tart

Almond Meringue Berry Tarts

june 11, 2020

almond meringue berry tart

 

The challenge : creamy desserts that are free of dairy and without cashews, dates, chocolate, chickpeas or soy. The reason : friends who are dairy intolerant. And weary of the usual ground dates and soaked cashew substitutes for fudgy chewy creamy things. My search for nondairy creaminess also extends to cooking for clients who are either intolerant or seeking a more plant-based diet. Today’s dessert tarts do have eggs and are not vegan, but they make use of two nifty items readily available in groceries these days—vegan butter ( let’s not call it margarine which sounds so seventies) and almond milk whipped cream.

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jar of vidalia onion chutney

Vidalia Onion Chutney

may 28, 2020

jar of vidalia onion chutney

Vidalia onions, those paper-skinned squatty sweet onions from Georgia, are back for a limited time. Eat them raw (they’re so mild  you won’t suffer from onion after effects) while you can. Use this easy chutney recipe for preserving their goodness for months to come. You’ll dream of late spring when you slather it atop your grilled burgers in summer, your roasted vegetables in fall and your bean soups in cold weather months.

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Nectarine Almond Cake

august 28, 2019

Nectarine Almond Cake slice

It’s easy to get spoiled when you live in a climate where stone fruits, specifically peaches and nectarines, are available at local roadside stands and markets. I cannot remember the last time I purchased those fruits from the grocery store. Why would I, when the aroma and texture of Virginia stone fruit beckons, with white and yellow peaches and nectarines and cute smooshed donut peaches nestled in rustic baskets calling to me each time I make a run for vegetables. Continue reading

Crab Corn Chowder

Crab Corn Chowder

august 14, 2019

Crab Corn Chowder

In Virginia and Maryland, the blue crab capitals of the Eastern seaboard, there are two types of crab aficionados.  Those who grab a pile of crabs, spread them out on newspaper and then pick for hours on end and those like me who like our crabmeat in a nice little tub labeled “jumbo lump”. Continue reading

feat oregano dressing with local produce

Feta Oregano Dressing

august 1, 2019

feat oregano dressing with local produce

When the heat index hit triple digits this summer, the idea of generating more heat in the house with actual cooking seemed foreign to me. All this lovely local produce needed to be enjoyed with a minimum of fuss and bother. Enter the chunky flavorful salad dressing with feta and herbs. Continue reading

Cauliflower Corn Tomato Salad

july 17, 2019

overhead of cauliflower corn tomato salad

When in the thick of summer, take advantage of local summer produce, and generate as little heat as possible. That’s a good couple of loose rules to follow when you want something bright, crunchy and easy for serving at home or taking to a dinner gathering. Continue reading