Chilled Cucumber Soup

How refreshing does this look?

How refreshing does this look?

Summer is upon us.  Just as we switch out our clothes from winter to summer, so too can we change our recipe repertoires to augment the changes in the season.

Move over slow-cooked stews, hearty chillis, and dense casseroles, and say hello to lighter dishes evoking fresh, tangy flavors to compliment the summer breeze!

When most people think of a “summer” dish, soup probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. Summer warrants cool and refreshing, not hot and comforting.

That’s why I adore experimenting with chilled soups. They’re the most refreshing appetizer to any summer meal and they’re beyond simple to make.

My mom was known for her Chilled Cucumber Soup.  It always perked eye brows and taste buds whenever it was served.  She usually whipped up a fresh batch before we went over someone’s house for dinner.  The Cusinart would be humming as the cucumbers and yogurt and buttermilk were mixing.  After her pinky finger taste tests, when she was satisfied with the taste and consistency of the mixture, she’d pop the finished product in her large round Tupperware container for a few hours to chill and set in the fridge.

Then, off to the neighbors we’d go.  No bowl of Judy’s Cucumber Soup would be complete without her generous dollop of fresh sour cream to help pollinate all of the different flavors.

Try if for yourself.

Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

asparagus with egg

It’s spring and asparagus is in season!  Asparagus has been on my vegetable hit list for quite some time.

Both of my kids detest the vegetable so I’ve been desperately searching for one recipe that might, just might, make their eyebrows perk and their taste buds surrender.

Admittedly, I grew up eating very little asparagus— mainly steamed.  And, I didn’t like it either. So, the hunt was not only for my kids but, myself as well.

I finally hit the jackpot [Read more…]

Fried Cauliflower Rice

cauliflowerrice

If you go online and search for rice-based recipes, there are myriad options. It’s totally overwhelming.

Did you know there are more than 40,000 different rice varieties? However, in my research online, I kept finding different variations of one recipe that totally peaked my interest: Cauliflower Fried Rice.

At first I mistakenly thought the recipe was a rice dish with bits of roasted cauliflower—a vegetable that is totally underrated in my household. However, Cauliflower Rice doesn’t contain rice at all. The “rice” part of the dish is simply cauliflower that’s been placed in a food processor and ground down to bits the size of rice.

This dish is phenomenal. The best part is that it’s also guilt-free. That’s right. It’s low-carb and gluten-free but, so flavorful and filling.

The cauliflower bits combined with the smoky-flavored crunch of the bacon and flavor of the eggs, garlic, carrots, green onions and cashews is nothing short of wonderful.

I had a bowlful for lunch and dinner too. One head of cauliflower makes at least 5-6 heaping servings.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with other add-on veggies like broccoli florets or even diced zucchini.

I KNOW you will enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

zucchini blossoms

My garden is THRIVING right now and I have barely been around to take pleasure in the day to day progress. While it’s only an 8×6 plot of land, managing the veggies has been quite an adventure over the past three years. While my thumb is definitely getting greener, the zucchini plant never ceases to overwhelm me.

Have you watched a zucchini plant grow in a garden?

The tiny little leafed plant turned into a monster overnight; something resembling a plant from the Little Shop of Horrors.   Every summer I’m overwhelmed and fearful.  Last year the elephant-sized leaves eclipsed the tomato plant.  The thick roots jutted across the soil and crushed my rosemary.  After a week, thanks to the robust zucchini plant, my garden looked like an overgrown mess.  So this year, I basically gave the zucchini plant it’s own plot.

However, hiding underneath all the leafy chaos are the beautiful yellow zucchini blossoms.  And, zucchini blossoms are edible flowers!  You can literally pick them off the plant and eat them raw.  When you do, you’ll enjoy a sweet flavor with a very slight hint of zucchini.  I love to try making a version of Mom’s stuffed zucchini I found in her archives.

Mom’s stuffed zucchini blossoms recipes was half complete which is so frustrating to a burgeoning cook like myself.  Having never cooked zucchini flowers, I needed to find a  a recipe that allowed me to fill in the holes, not excluding a single step.

Lucky for me, I rode my bike down the street to consult the local farmer at the farm stand for his wisdom and guidance.  I soon learned [Read more…]

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