Powernap: Quick Recipes For When Time is Limited!
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:
School’s out for summer!!! Two decades ago I’d sing that tune at the top of my lungs in mid-June. These days I hear alarm bells. (Ahh – school is out!! Time to entertain entertain entertain (!!!!!!) (Time to panic!!!)) If you are in moderate panic mode like me, here is a little ice cream dessert that will keep the kids occupied for a few minutes. This method for making ice cream sandwiches is newer to me and it is soooo easy. Here is the trick:
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.
Everyone has recipes they reinvent time and time again and one of mine is banana bread. Soft, easy to make, and one of my daughter’s top five favorite snack foods, it never gets old. In fact, I am pretty sure I could make the same old banana bread over and over and she would find it just as wonderful as the first time she tried it. The only thing is I like to keep trying new variations. Sometimes it is a new topping, sometimes it is a new add-in, and sometimes it is a new form! This week I decided to sweeten it up and a bit and it was a huge hit.