Month: June 2015

Fourth of July–Breakfast and Afternoon Picnic

Fourth of July–Breakfast and Afternoon Picnic

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Start the day in happy and healthy 4th colors…

Skip the burgers and beer this weekend and put together a festive, but filling picnic-worthy meal of grilled pork tenderloin -one of my favorite summer meals- served with grilled sweet potatoes along with a choice of sauces. Bacon, too, if you want.  Throw together a spicy herb coleslaw and, if you’ve time, my most popular pasta salad–a tortellini and vegetable dish that’s easily made vegetarian (or even vegan) if necessary.  Make the beautiful Strawberry-Amaretto Ice Cream from my last post for the finishing taste and to leave everyone feeling sweet.  This meal lends itself to potluck if you’d like to pass out recipes and just wait for the food to roll in.  If there are any leftovers at all, you’re set for the next day, too, as everything in the post keeps beautifully and the pork makes perfect tacos.  Happy 4th!

Begin in the morning with coffee along with a bowl of sliced red and blue berries and chopped watermelon topped with Greek yogurt, a little granola, and a drizzle of local honey.

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Start the day’s festivities playing some great 4th of July music. Try Pandora or play this selection off youtube.com…  Raining?  Keep the troops happy watching a patriotic movie or two; snuggle up with the pups. Print off coloring pages for the little ones.

RED, WHITE, AND BLUE BREAKFAST SUNDAE

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You’ll have plenty of room for the big picnic later on in the day. A pomosa (Pomegranate juice and sparkling wine) on the side would be a very happy accompaniment, I think.  Figure on a cup each of berries and watermelon for every person, along with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/8 cup granola, and a teaspoon or so of honey. Continue reading “Fourth of July–Breakfast and Afternoon Picnic”

Strawberry-Amaretto Ice Cream:            Drink Your Dessert

Strawberry-Amaretto Ice Cream: Drink Your Dessert

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It hasn’t been summer in Colorado Springs until the past couple of days.  In fact, we’ve been wet and cool with little need for sandals (boo hoo), short sleeves or air conditioning.  Vegetables plantings have washed away and flower pots have been flooded, poured out, and replanted, only to start that entire cycle again the next day.  Neighbors have water in their basements for the first time in memory.  Living in a place where fire is a typical weather condition possibility many months a year, we don’t complain about rain. Ever. (But…)
IMG_7671As as cook who adores seasonal preparations, I really have been yearning for frozen margaritas, fajitas on the grill, plain ol’ burgers and dogs, and so on.   Until last weekend, summer’s been pretty much miss and very little hit.  And then it began to look like this around here:

IMG_2576After a nutty week of Dave traveling for work in Mexico, Miss Bo-Bo (Rosie) being horrifically ill and isolated with several upper-respiratory infections, me with multiple-cooking away-from-home jobs, Continue reading “Strawberry-Amaretto Ice Cream: Drink Your Dessert”

Grilled Cod Salad

Grilled Cod Salad

IMG_7654 Cod is something I usually associate with fish and chips, if I am even remembering what fish fish and chips are made of, that is.  But cod can be cooked in many other ways (try it wrapped in foil and baked a la Mark Bittman) and because not each and every home cook chooses it stateside, the price is lovely and often under $10 a pound–a real bargain for fish. (Europe is another story; cod outsells salmon in France, for instance.) Watch for it at your grocery fish counter; I watched and found it at mine! By the way: if you suffer from fish cooking fear, a common American phobia, cod is a great place to start. It’s forgiving, cooks quickly, and comes in close to one-pound  well-filleted pieces with nary a tiny bone to worry your sweet mouth.

(below: Cod is no longer a huge fishing industry off the coast of eastern Canada and the U.S. as it was largely overfished for centuries, but we heard lots about its interesting history in our travel to the eastern provinces over the last few years. Top-  Dave at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia and bottom- a view of the shore from the St. Lawrence River and Seaway. Dave and I have cruised it three times and hope to go back.) IMG_0953 IMG_0875 Continue reading “Grilled Cod Salad”

Salade Niçoise for 8–Perfect Summer Meal

Salade Niçoise for 8–Perfect Summer Meal

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The last cooking class of the season at MOUNTAIN HIGH (formerly Shouse) is the SUMMER SOUPS class on June 18 and it’s full.  You can drop me a note to put your name on the waiting list if you like.  More classes come fall!  

There might not be an easier, tastier, more adaptable, or prettier summer grilling meal than Salade Niçoise.  Once warm weather begins in Colorado, I’m ready for this perfect fish and vegetable plate as it hits all the right notes for an elegant, simple, and healthy dinner. Did I say I love this quintessential French salad or that I’ve been making it for 35 years? That it’s as happy as food can be and just screams CELEBRATE the season?  It requires little more than a decent bottle of wine for accompaniment, though a little baguette and a scoop of sorbet or gelato for dessert would be welcome.  The addition of a cold soup starter, such as my Guacamole Soup with Grilled Shrimp, along with a frozen Margarita, are happy possibilities for larger meal. (Recipe for the soup on upcoming post.)

IMG_7623We served this up last Friday evening to a small group just before running down the hill into town to see a play together. (Colorado Springs folks, go see the Fine Arts Center’s GUYS AND DOLLS! Great show–WOW!)  Since we were celebrating the summer visit of my sister (below with our favorite granddaughter–sorry for iPhone pic), I didn’t want anything elaborate or difficult; I wanted to spend the time visiting with her, while still serving one of her favorite dinners. Preparation was minimal, mostly done ahead, and the platter of vegetables was ready and waiting for the ahi tuna Dave grilled at the very last minute.  In fact, the preparation was mostly making sure I had all the ingredients on hand. After the show, we returned home for a small, late bite of chocolate gelato served with a few berries.  Note:  If you use the linked Epicurious gelato recipe, read it through a couple of times before making and note that you’ll need to chill the mixture for several hours ahead of freezing. I’ve made it a couple of times and adore it, but always have to go over the recipe as it’s a bit convoluted. Continue reading “Salade Niçoise for 8–Perfect Summer Meal”