Summer Fruit Dips

I’m amazed that some of my friends have kids who have already gone back to school. To me, summer is finally in full bloom.  Due to the harsh winter, none of our flowers even showed signs of budding until the end of July.  The corn stalks are finally as high as high as an elephants’ eye.  The farmer’s stands are BURSTING with a plethora of colorful fruits and veggies that it’s hard not to stop and simply take in their visual beauty and splendor.

From August through Labor Day, my kitchen is usually stocked with  fresh fruits and vegetables  so I can make a quick, light, refreshing summer recipe on the fly.  For instance, last night, for dessert, my son asked for fruit salad.  This has never been requested before so I jumped at the opportunity.

Simply cutting up a variety of fruits:  apples, pears, strawberries, and bananas, and serving them with a homemade fruit dip (that literally took five minutes to prepare) was the the perfect answer to his request.  Not to mention, we enjoyed it this am for breakfast too.

Time to enhance the flavor of fresh, ripe fruits to give them the added attention they deserve.

Enjoy.

 cherryfruitdip

photo courtesy of P&G Everyday

fruit dip

 

Grilled and Chilled Peach Soup

chilled peach soup

Even though I’m starting to get solicitous emails for Halloween costumes, I refuse, on August 1st, to admit that summer is ever ending.

The farm stands are bursting with a cornucopia of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs.

The corn is almost as high as an elephant’s eye.

The frothy surf is just a tad bit warmer.

In my mind, summer is FINALLY here.

To celebrate the season, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying grilling fruits and vegetables outside.  Have you grilled any Kale yet?  Watch my video:

if reading via email or reader, head to site to watch video 
My favorite grilled fruits recipes are for peaches, pineapples and bananas.  Today, Seriously Soupy will share her her simple yet refreshing recipe for Grilled and Chilled Peach Soup.

Don’t forget, there’s an abundance of chilled soups waiting to be tried.  Once you do try them,  you’ll get hooked and your soups will undoubtedly become a fixture to your picnic table alongside the burgers and dogs.

Here’s what our resident expert Seriously Soupy has to say:

Chilling various fruits and vegetables is a great way to create new soups while staying cool. I want to test out a few this summer and started with a grilled and chilled peach soup. This soup-like blend took two days to make, which began by grilling the peaches with fresh mint, basil and lavender. The mixture was then cooled overnight in the fridge and blended together with some water and chilled in a freezer for a tangy/sweet soup-like blend that is sure to be a hit this summer. Enjoy!

peach soup IMG_0124 IMG_0129

About Seriously Soupy: Serena is the author of a blog called Seriously Soupy.  Serena started Seriously Soupy as a creative outlet for herself after her first daughter was born, which combined her passion for cooking with an interest in learning more about soups and soup making.  Since it started, she has given soup tours and taught soup classes and has a catalog of over 100 soups on the site!  You can join Serena on her Soupy journey at SeriouslySoupy.com and twice a month you can find her here, at My Judy the Foodie, sharing her wisdom and helping demystify the world of soup.

 

Green Pea Guacamole

greenpeaguacamole

Is there anything better than freshly-made guacamole in the summertime?

I’m talking ripe avocados with some onions, cilantro, tomatoes and hot sauce.

I now make fresh guacamole every single weekend and still can’t believe how much money I’m saving by not purchasing those over-priced tubs from the grocery.

I’m hoping you’ve seen my video on how to make quacamole?

If not, watch here, it’s way too easy:

 

Last week I was making dinner with a friend and we decided to shake up our traditional guacamole routine and add sweet peas to the base.  I’ve gained much more confidence in the kitchen and have allowed myself to experiment with some of my staple recipes to anticipate new (and improved) outcomes.

Now, you may be thinking that adding peas to guacamole isn’t that big of a deal but, for someone who had never even cut open an avocado two years ago, it’s a huge leap.

For the Green Pea Guacamole, the new outcome was a beautifully vibrant green dish. Thankfully, the addition of the green peas rendered a nice sweet compliment to the warm flavor to the avocado.   That lace of sweetness will make you raise your eyebrow and say, “Aha, this is good.”

Add in some coarse sea salt and serve it with blue corn chips and you’re all set for a wonderful snack or appetizer to any dish.

Walk into a party with Green Pea Guacamole and you’ll definitely get the attention you deserve!

Enjoy!

Chilled Corn and Crab Meat Salad

Corn and Crab Salad

If you can’t get your hands on some steamed crabs this summer, try to find some crab meat instead. Many of my friends don’t understand why I squeal with glee at the thought of cracking open steamed crabs. Generally the complaints are consistent: that it’s way too much way for too little meat; they don’t like the smell of Old Bay seasoning, it’s way too messy (on the hands and the table) and it’s way too expensive.

I’ll agree with the last complaint. Finding a cheap bushel of steamed crabs is impossible, especially if you’re looking for large or jumbo-sized crustaceans. But, if you grew up on the eastern shore of the Maryland, Virginia, and DC area as I did, then the smell, newspapers on the picnic tables, mallets, and messy hands are all the “welcomed” signs of a festive crab feast.

Last night we had a friend over and my son and I decided we wanted to try to make a new appetizer, main course and salad. As we were doing our “research” (which really meant searching our favorite foodie websites as opposed to thumbing through old cookbooks), we found a salad recipe that totally peaked our interest because it contains two of our summer faves: crab meat and corn. It’s from my good friend Martha Stewart so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. [Read more...]

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