Sep 17 2012

spicy, crunchy dill pickles

Spicy, Crunchy Dill Pickles

One of the best things about the end of summer is the abundance of fresh, ripe veggies at their prime. Even better is when you have friends trying desperately to unload their gardens’ bountiful yield. So far I’ve been enjoying zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes from friends’ gardens. A coworker e-mailed me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted some pickling cucumbers. Her CSA’s crop had just come in and they were giving them away. My first thought? Umm..not really. I’ve just been so busy lately and the idea of pickling cucumbers and canning them and everything was just a little too much. But then I learned about refrigerator pickles. All you have to do is make your pickles and let them sit in your refrigerator until you eat them all up in the next month or so. I love pickles, so I figured I should give it a try.

pickling cucumbers

Spices for Dill Cucumbers

When Patty arrived at work with an enormous bag of cucumbers, I started having my doubts again. I got home and weighed my new bounty and quickly decided that there was no way I could use seven pounds of cucumbers. Seven pounds!! Luckily another coworker was more than happy to take 3 pounds off my hands, still leaving me with an incredible pile of cucumbers.

Making Refrigerator Pickles

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Aug 16 2012

shrimp, pea, and rice salad with mango chutney vinaigrette

Mango Shrimp Rice Salad

We’re getting to that time of year. Store windows flaunt fall fashions and home good stores have nothing but the dregs of patio furniture and are now hawking dorm room apparel and locker adornments (do kids really buy this stuff to decorate their lockers? When I was in school, I tried to spend as little time as possible at my locker, although I still have nightmares that I’m back in school and have forgotten the lock combination). But summer is not over! It is not time to put away the shorts and deck chairs! It is not time for apple and squash recipes, as much as I love them. I say raise your forks and reclaim summer!

Shrimp, Peas, Mint, Lime, Rice


If you’re as ready as I am to enjoy every last drop of summer that we have left, then I think you’ll really enjoy this shrimp, pea, and rice salad with mango chutney vinaigrette from The Feed, bought to us by none other than America’s Test Kitchen. Joseph and I first made this last summer and were instantly hooked. It’s everything you want out of summer. Bright, light, fresh, and most of all, a whole lot of fun. Oh yeah, and so, super easy that you’ll be out on the porch sipping your sauvignon blanc in no time.

Shrimp, Mint, Scallions

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Jul 21 2012



I first found out about limoncello from my sister who essentially described it as a liquid lemon drop that was alcoholic. I was pretty much sold on it right then and there based purely on that description. And then she brought me a bottle from Italy and it sat on a shelf for months.  Literally months. You’d think I wasn’t interested, but the problem was really that I was terrified to open it because I didn’t want to finish it. I kept waiting for the perfect excuse to open it… and waited…and waited. When I finally opened it, I sipped slowly, enjoying every drop.


Lemon Peel Strips

And then several months ago I came across a recipe for limoncello. What? I had no idea I could make it! I had to make some, and stat. My sister’s birthday was coming up and thought it would be the perfect gift for her (plus there would be plenty left for me!). Limoncello takes a a little over a month to make, so I had to get going. I got my bottles, my vodka, a recipe from the fabulous Eat Boutique, and got started.

Pouring Vodka Over Lemon Peels

Making Limoncello

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Jul 16 2012

pluot and blueberry galette

Pluot and Blueberry Galette

I had never heard of pluots before, but when I saw the bright red color (not to mention their low price) I grabbed a few along with a pint of blueberries to make a galette for some Fourth of July festivities. Yes, I know, we’re halfway through July and the Fourth has long since come and gone. I’m embarrassing late telling you about this tasty tart. I’ll spare you the excuses and divert your attention back to the matter at hand: pluots.

Pluots and Blueberries

Pluots and Blueberries

Pluots are part apricot and part plum, but a little closer to the plum side. To be honest, I was a little nervous when I cut the first one open and ate a slice. It was incredibly juicy and a beautiful deep red color, but its pizzazz kind of ended there. It didn’t actually taste like a whole lot.

Making Pluot and Blueberry Galette

Pluot and Blueberry Galette

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