Summer Salvation 

                                           
Ennui (noun) – a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction. Miriam-Webster.comKitchen ennui (noun) a a feeling whereby the cook lacks inspiration. An infectious state of culinary boredom, weariness and dissatisfaction. Betsy Karetnick

 It’s not for lack of actual cooking that I’ve been absent these past few months. I’ve actually committed quite a few dishes in two kitchen in as many states. I think maybe I caught a case of kitchen ennui, possibly sparked by packing one kitchen into another, at times a little like ill fitting Tupperware. There were even a couple of seminal dishes I will recount at a later date – I’m talking about you spiced nut, citrus salad! Or perhaps it was the 6 inches of April?

Regardless, summer produce has romanced the cooking stones right out of the cabinet. The attached recipe is a reminder that a simple and delicious dinner is a google search away…even if the tomatoes aren’t from Jersey. 😉

 I followed the recipe but feel free to abandon or reduce the basil. Cooking with fresh thyme and/or oregano would be great too. Don’t bother to strip or chop a few sprigs, just layer them in and remove before serving. Also don’t cheat the olive oil, or garlic. Have some guts.

                                               

 

Eat Your Veg

It's the “It” vegetable of the day, but don't let that deter you from making this dish at home. I will also say – unless you're meat free, ordering cauliflower as a main while dining out is a big fat…well, you know. It's a pretty big markup for little investment. Do it if the chef is your bestie.

For all others consider, click here for the 1-2-3 recipe.

 

Eat – B

 

Inspiration For The Salad Bowl

I'm thinking you can slavishly follow this recipe, or pick and choose among your fave ingredients. If you're living grill-less, skip the charring of the vegetables and use them raw.

Whatever you do, toast the almonds and overload on the ricotta salata. Just a thought…I've got your back 🙂

Click here for the recipe.

Eat – B

 

 

Party Trick Cake

It must be my Bon Appetit week. I committed to this confection for a last minute get together. I was so distracted by wine and company, I made a couple of “alterations”. I skipped the fresh ginger, using half the amount of dried which I added to the dry ingredients, not the wet. I also erred on the side of too few apples. I won't be making that mistake again. They shrink as the cook, so jam them in there.

Click here for the recipe

A little brown sugar sweetened creme fraiche (French for sour cream), vanilla ice cream or whipped cream wouldn't hurt.

Eat – B

 

Better Baked Beans

With back to back weekly snowstorms you can cook or clean. The former is more fun. Plus the latest 8-10 inches gave me a chance (an excuse?) to go through my recipe file.

The root beer in the recipe caught my eye first, THEN I remembered its author, and my friend, Rick Rodgers gave it to me personally. I'm sure it was intended for a summer shindig. But frankly, a hot bean dish in summer? I don't get it. (Click here for the recipe)

This is neither vegan nor vegetarian, but the snow went to my head and I made it on meat free Monday. Primarily pantry ingredients and a quick cook time make it a winner.

I halved the ingredients and added a pinch of cayenne. I wouldn't hesitate to big batch it for a party, or the freezer, although that will break down the beans further.

Eat – B

 

Halloween Midday Madness

I made the kids cake for Halloween!

Actually I made myself cake, but I gave some to them too. I needed cake. Knowing Halloween and all its Twix goodness was coming couldn't deter me. I actually went out of my way to buy the mayo to make this cake from Bon Appetit. (Click here for the recipe)

At least I didn't make the chocolate caramel frosting…yet. (I did add chips to the cake though – judiciously, it's a thin batter.)

Eat – B

Tip – I don't use baking spray. I do use butter and cocoa powder instead of flour for chocolate cake.

 

The Pasta My Mother Would Never Make

…I say that with love as I had a tasty and healthy upbringing. But never, not in million years, would my mother lace pasta with bacon and cream for an everyday, weekday dinner. What you do with this Bon Appetit recipe is up to you and your cardiologist. (Click here for the recipe)

However, if you need an excuse, invite friends over on a Friday. It's that simple to put together at the end of a work week. Really.

Notes: I switched out the pasta for what I had and reduced the quantity by a quarter. I also subbed dried thyme for fresh and cut the amount in half.

 

Mangia – B