Powernap: Quick Recipes For When Time is Limited!
The benefit of having in-law’s in Florida is that they regularly send citrus. Not just any citrus, the real deal Florida fresh citrus. We eat it non-stop, especially during snowstorms, to keep our spirits up. I also use it all the time for baking and cooking. Over the weekend I used one of our last grapefruits to make these sweet little shortbread cookies. I loved how the tangy grapefruit played with the dark chocolate, giving it the flavor of a dark chocolate covered orange peel. These simple cookies are the perfect sweet nibble to chase away the winter blues. Remember people, only 50 days left until spring!
There was no naptime cooking yesterday. Instead there was naptime book launch work and naptime house work. Ah, well. You can’t win ‘em all. In lieu of naptime cooking there was one-pot-meal-night. That is, a quick delicious dinner that I could make in one dish. It was an easy recipe that my mom had given me years ago to try and this week I finally got around to it. Here is the jist:
Sometimes I need a break from salad. I know that is not a popular thing to say. Somehow salads have become the ubiquitous side dish that it seems we all should be serving nightly. The more creatively flavored, the better. I always like to serve a good Harvest Salad each fall. But I also love to take my vegetables in different forms. For example, basic carrots roasted to sweet, soft perfection. They are almost easier to make than a salad and come together in a snap. Plus, my kids are more inclined to eat carrots than a salad, so why not take advantage?
I’ve been on a scone kick lately. They are the easiest special treat I know how to make. The dough easily comes together in one bowl during naptime and I chill it until I am ready to bake. This usually happens on Saturday or Sunday morning when the aroma of them baking up fresh puts us all in the mood for a happy, lazy Sunday. Having the dough already set in the freezer makes it so easy to do! I’ve made lots of scone recipes before and this newer one came from the recent goop newsletter that highlighted Huckleberry. I’ve never been to L.A. to try the bakery, but I have the cookbook and am loving it.
I think roasted delicata squash rings are better than steak fries. Those words carry weight, my friends, because I love steak fries. But delicata rise above the fried potato for me because they are simply more flavorful, easier to make at home, and much healthier for you in a baked-not-fried way. Making them doesn’t require any fancy technique or crazy recipe, but it bears reviewing now and again. I like to add a splash of balsamic syrup to mine for a little extra flavor and color, but you can leave them plain if you want. Here is how I make them and a fun way to serve them:
We are huge pancake fans and this fall I’ve been all about flavoring mine with fresh fruit. So far I’ve made them with strawberries, blueberries, and pumpkin. And now I’m addicted to my newest favorite: grated pear. These easy to make breakfast cakes are simply awesome for fall. They taste just like a pie and feature all of my favorite warm spices of these season.
This is a super simple recipe that we enjoyed on Martha’s Vineyard over vacation. I love it because it reminded me of my favorite Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad recipe. It has the same components of the sweet fruits (peach and tomato), warm herbs, and tangy cheese. The burrata is a new one to me as a salad cheese. I usually lean toward goat, feta, or blue, but the silky burrata worked beautifully. The milky mozzarella oozed into the crevices of the chopped tomatoes and enveloped the peaches. There was just a little bit of it in each bite and the trifecta of flavors was summer perfection.
I know summer is in full swing when the farmer’s market starts to fill up with good local corn. I snagged my first bag the other day and nearly skipped home. There is nothing better then fresh sweet corn! I can’t wait to get my hands on it when we get to Cooperstown at the end of the week. A lot of the time I simply grill or boil corn and eat it with butter and salt. But this time I decided to kick off the season with a salad full of fresh tomatoes, a little onion, basil, and corn that had been roasted to concentrate its flavor even further.
Our summer schedule is pretty hectic these days. Between camps, visiting grandparents, and just general fun, I haven’t been in the kitchen for long stretches. To make the short bursts of time I have to cook worth it I’ve been focusing on lots of no-cook recipes that are quick to assemble. This chilled white gazpacho has quickly become a favorite of ours. It is wholly satisfying and a snap to pull together.
Last month my friends at Ball Canning sent me some of their newest products for summer. I immediately fell in love with the lid that screws onto their wide mouth jars and is intended for infusing beverages. I try to drink lots of water and teas in the summer but I stay away from sugary drinks as much as possible to avoid the unwanted calories. Instead I infuse my beverages with natural flavors like vegetables, herbs, and fruits. This new lids makes it so easy to do! Here are a few flavor combinations I’ve been enjoying lately:
This is my best friend of summer salads. The one I pull out time and time again when I want a light dinner, or a heavier side dish, or I generally just have a craving for a BLT. (I know that sounds silly, but those cravings happen fairly often!) I first found it on Food52 practically the day after it was published. I made it the week after publication and have done so steadily ever since.
Now that I am back in my summer rhubarb routine I am trying to come with a few new recipes to fold into my tried and true. This is one I spotted on Epicurious a while ago and have finally (finally!) gotten the chance to try. My strawberry plants are still ripening so I made these with berries from the store. (The cool spring weather means our strawberry season is way behind.) It was super easy and was beyond delicious. It tasted like strawberry-rhubarb pie in a glass – sweet and refreshing. I added some sparkling water to dilute it a bit and add some effervescence, but you can do what you want. Here is the recipe for your new favorites summer drink.