Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme | Relishing It

“Millions of peaches, peaches for me.  Millions of peaches, peaches for free”.  My apologies for putting that song in your head, but I end up humming it every time I make this wonderful sangria.  And while the comical stylings of the band The Presidents of the United States of America (I’m really showing my early 90’s musical roots here) may not be your thing, this drink will be.  If only peaches were free…if only.

Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme | Relishing It

Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme | Relishing It

It’s hard to not like sangria, to be honest.  What’s not to love?  Delicious wine spiked with fruit or fruit juices, sometimes sugar, sometimes bubbles. Yes, please.  Making sangria can be a bit like painting on a canvas.  There are so many colors and choices for your creation.  I enjoy both white and red sangria, but in either style fresh herbs are the key for me.  They give it a little more complexity that so many other versions seem to lack.

Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme | Relishing It

I’ve also recently been experimenting with fresh juices in my sangria.  We have a Breville Juice Fountain Plus and I like to put it to good use.  You may think you’ll waste a lot of the fruit by juicing it, but the truth is, you don’t.  I had almost no pulp when I juiced two peaches for this recipe– the only thing that was discarded was the peel. If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a juicer, summer is the perfect time to do it!  There are so many wonderful fruits and vegetables to experiment with. Of course, if you don’t have a juicer, you can simply peel the peach and purée in a blender– that method will work just fine.  I wanted to create an herby, mostly naturally-sweetened sangria.  Some recipes require a lot of sugar, but I’d rather avoid that if possible.  The addition of chamomile is subtle, but lovely.  And the fresh thyme works magically with the peaches– they’re a wonderful pairing.

Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme | Relishing It

Using fresh juices in addition to chunks of whole fruits helps the flavors meld a bit quicker than just using whole fruit exclusively. It is something you should definitely try before the summer is over!  Enjoy the sangria and for goodness sakes, share some with your *neighbors!

*Speaking of neighbors– shout out to my neighbor Allison and her lovely mother, Shirley for gifting me the gorgeous antique platter in the photos– thank you!

Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme | Relishing It

The Recipe: Happy Hour: Peach Sangria with Chamomile and Thyme

(serves 4)

1 bottle of sparkling white wine, cava, prosecco, or regular white wine

3/4 cup fresh peach juice/purée (from 2 peaches)

1-2 bags of chamomile tea (steeped in 1/2 cup hot water, then cooled)

handful of fresh thyme sprigs

1/2 tablespoon superfine sugar (more or less to taste)

fresh raspberries and peach slices

ice

Begin by steeping the chamomile tea in hot water.  Refrigerate to cool completely.  Juice the peaches by either using a juicer or peel the peaches and purée in a blender.

In a large glass pitcher, add the sparkling white wine, peach juice, chamomile tea, fresh thyme sprigs, and  1/2 tablespoon superfine sugar.  Stir together well and even bruise the thyme with a wooden spoon to release the flavors more.  If time allows, let the flavors meld for 20 minutes or so in the refrigerator.  Then add the ice, fresh raspberries, and peach slices.  Serve in a glass over ice.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

I’ll get to the corn salsa in a minute– but first I want to talk about beer!  Admittedly, I’ve been drinking too darn much beer this summer.  Not at one time– nothing like that.  But this summer, more than any other, it’s just been so easy to sit outside with Radd in the evening and visit over a beer or two.  I suppose it’s partly to do with our mild weather– not too hot, not too humid.  It has been perfect, which is excellent for my happiness.  And while I probably don’t need those calories at the end of the day, instead of stressing, I’ve decided to embrace it.

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

So what have I been sipping on?  Mostly farmhouse ales and saisons.  Two that I love are Saison Dupont and a local farmhouse ale from Liftbridge called Farm Girl.  Speaking of local beer, I’ve also been enjoying a few others like Bent Paddle’s Paddle Break Blonde and Steel Toe’s Size 7 IPA.  Now before this post turns into an essay on local beer, let me just say this– our craft beer scene here in Minnesota is just incredible right now.  So many wonderful breweries and taprooms, and I’ve been testing them out like it’s my job.  I’m owning it, I don’t mind saying.  A few other great summer favorites (not local) are Leffe Blonde and Pyramid’s Apricot Ale.  There, that’s my beer confession.

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

So what goes smashingly well with summer beer?  Yup– chips and fresh corn salsa.  I love salsa of any variety– tomato, tomatillo… but, there’s something about fresh corn salsa that wins the salsa competition for me.  I would choose corn every time.  It’s fresh, slightly sweet, spicy, and loaded with that citrusy lime/cilantro flavor.  Not to mention, it is simple to make– so simple that it’s somewhat silly to even give a recipe.  But, I think the same can be said for most summer fare– fresh and simple and that’s just fine.  So, get out your chefs knife and start cutting up that corn.  Then pour yourself a glass of cold beer and soak up some summer fun.  Cheers!

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

The Recipe: Fresh Corn Salsa

6-8 ears of fresh corn, cut

1 large red onion, diced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 jalapeños, chopped (remove seeds/ribs if heat is a factor)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

juice of one lime

kosher salt

In a medium-sized bowl mix all of the ingredients.  Add more lime juice to taste.  Season appropriately with salt.  You may need more salt than you are used to — corn needs a bit to bring out its wonderful flavor.  Let flavors meld for a bit before serving.  Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Fresh Corn Salsa | Relishing It

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

Read Full Post »

 

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

You know what’s awesome?  Handing your daughter a pickle and having her proclaim (without knowing where it was from) “This is amazin’!”.  That, my friends, is what I call winning.  She didn’t see me make the first batch of refrigerator pickles this year, but she’s been helping me make every batch since.  She is fascinated by the fact that it doesn’t take very long to transform a cucumber into a wonderful pickle.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

I decided to wing-it this year and make up my own pickle recipe.  After waiting rather impatiently for my mom to send me her recipe (you’re in trouble, mother), I decided to conjure up my own version.  Sure, I’ve made lots of refrigerator pickles in the past, but nothing that kept me wanting to make the same batch again.  I was reaching too far, to be honest– over-complicating things.  I kept looking for something “interesting” that would blow me away.  Last year I even tried a version with mint, and while they were fine, they just were not what I was looking for.  I realized that what I was really after wasn’t complicated at all.  I wanted something that was really crunchy, fresh, garlicy, and had a clean dill taste.  Simple. Classic.  So, I stopped searching and just made them the way I wanted.  Duh.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

Crunchy Refrigerato Pickles with Garlic + Dill | Relishing It

The key for me to keeping them refreshing is to lessen the salt and vinegar amount a bit.  I remember this trick from my mom, which is why I probably loved her pickles so much.  Add a little filtered water to the vinegar and it creates the most refreshing brine.  Too much salt makes me want to stop eating something in a hurry, but just the right amount– and I can chomp on these babies all day long.  The dill and garlic are just what you’d expect them to be– delicious.  No surprises here.  I always add carrots to my refrigerator dills– they’re fantastic.  They take a bit longer to pickle than the cucumbers do.  Using young small cucumbers is the key to a crunchy pickle, as is not heating up the brine mixture.  Keep everything cold and you’ll have a fantastic crunch– I promise you.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

These pickles are perfect to bring to a barbecue or neighborhood gathering.  Bring a huge bowl of them– they’ll disappear quickly.   There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a cold, crunchy pickle on a hot summer evening.  National Night Out is next Tuesday in the US.  I plan on bringing a big bowl of these crunchy dills, and I think you should do the same.  Or just make a jar or two to keep in your refrigerator for when you need that tangy, satisfying crunch.

Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic | Relishing It

The Recipe: Crunchy Refrigerator Pickles with Dill + Garlic

Smallish cucumbers, cut however you like– I prefer spears

carrots, cut into spears

3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt ( I use Diamond Crystal–and weirdly this matters.  Different salt.  Different results.)

fresh dill

white vinegar

Make as many jars as you want.  Fill each clean quart jar with cucumber spears, carrots, 3-4 cloves of garlic, and fresh dill. Make sure everything is packed in there tightly.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Pour vinegar into the jar until it is  3/4 full.  Then finish filling the jar with filtered water, leaving about 1/2-inch space at the top.  Cover with lid and gently shake to combine.  Refrigerate.  Pickles will be ready within a few hours, but it’s best to wait at least a day for optimum results.  Carrots often take a bit longer to fully become pickled, but I generally eat them before the fact.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

Laurie

 

Read Full Post »

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Herbs | Relishing It

The tomatoes have finally arrived here in Minnesota!  Yes, that sentence deserves an exclamation point.  It’s always a long wait for me throughout the year for these babies.  I love tomatoes, but the sad store-bought versions just won’t do.  So, I can or freeze as much as I can to make it through the winter, then patiently wait for them to appear at the farmers markets the next summer.  Every year I somehow trick myself into thinking that they should appear earlier than they really do.  Tomatoes need time and lots of sun.  I have a few plants in my yard again this year that are coming along nicely, but the bulk of my preserving comes from the farmers markets, where I can buy bushel upon bushel of these little red gems.

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Herbs | Relishing It

I’ve mentioned here before that I love to can salsa.  I’ll be makes lots of batches of this recipe in the coming weeks.  I also can plain tomatoes, and a couple different versions of tomato sauce.  The version I’m sharing today is not a canned one–so, you can exhale now.  It’s actually my favorite tomato sauce and I preserve it by freezing it.  Super easy and ridiculously delicious.  I love to can, as it’s a great way to preserve and we happen to have a large storage room in the basement, so it works well for our family.  But, in all honesty, I love the taste of this un-canned sauce even more.  The flavors are spot-on and lemon juice (which is used in canning to keep the ph levels safe) is not needed.  I use roma tomatoes here (they are wonderful for sauces) as they have a lower water content.

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Herbs | Relishing It

 

Roasting tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to eat them.  Something magical happens when that tomato caramelizes a bit. The flavor intensifies and I simply can’t stop popping them into my mouth.  I love to pair them with some delicious cheese and crusty bread.  Simple summer meals are the best.  When we’ve eaten our fill, I put the rest of the tomatoes, garlic, and herbs into the food processor and give it a few pulses until it become this thick, fragrant tomato sauce that can be used in so many ways.  At this point, I freeze the sauce, unless I want to use it in the next day or so.  Freeze it in whatever you like– freezer bags or vacuum seal it in a special bag (freeze first, then vacuum seal it closed) are both methods that work well.  I use this sauce all winter long and it is always a sad day when I pull the last one from the freezer.  I hope you give this version a try.  Enjoy!

Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Herbs | Relishing It

The Recipe: Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Herbs

Roma tomatoes, cut in half (as many as will fit on 1-2 baking sheets–depending upon how many you want to roast)

1 bulb of garlic, peeled and cloves separated (per baking sheet)

handful of freshly chopped herbs: basil, thyme, oregano, parsley (per baking sheet)

olive oil

kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line 1-2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (depending upon how many tomatoes you want to roast).  Fit the tomatoes snuggly, cut-side up, in a single-layer onto the pan, they will decrease in size as they cook.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with the chopped herbs, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 40-50 minutes (if using two pans, rotate them half-way through).  Then increase temperature to 400°F and roast for at least another 10 minutes to caramelize the tomatoes, sometimes a bit longer.  Check the bottom of them for a dark caramel color.  Remove from oven when done.  If wanting to make sauce, place all of the roasted ingredients into a food processor, juices too (or by hand).  Pulse for a few times until mixed.  Place in freezer bags or bags that can be vacuum sealed (freeze first, then seal), or any other container you want to store them in.  Enjoy throughout the winter!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

Read Full Post »

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

Zucchini is not my favorite vegetable.  There, how’s that for an opening statement?  It truly isn’t, or wasn’t, rather.  It’s not that I really disliked zucchini, but in the past, if given the choice, I generally chose other ingredients to work with.  I thought of it as bland and lacking “personality.”  As it turns out, I’ve really come around to enjoying this wonderfully subtle vegetable.  It just took a little coaxing from a very good, very talented friend.

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing it

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

My friend, Amanda Paa, from HeartBeet Kitchen, has just published her very first cookbook, “Smitten with Squash”, dedicated entirely to that vegetable.  I first met Amanda a few years ago at a mutual food-blogger friend’s cabin.  I loved her ever-present smile and her calm demeanor.  She was chopping vegetables endlessly in the kitchen and more than happy to be doing so.  To say this girl is lovely doesn’t do her justice.  We both belong to the group Fortify (a local food group), so we continued to run into each other at events.  We eventually discovered that we live just a few blocks from one another.  We frequent the same restaurants, coffee shops, and farmers markets, and we never ever tire of talking about food together.  We’ve become wonderful friends and I couldn’t be happier to share a recipe from her new cookbook with you!

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

It’s fun to have the inside scoop on someone’s book-writing journey.  In some small way, it made me feel like I was part of it.  She worked so hard and spent much of her winter huddled-up writing.  The result is this wonderful book full of recipes for both summer and winter squash.  Sweet or savory, she’s covered it all and then some. If you’re looking for inspiration for this particular vegetable, this is the cookbook you need.

During her creative process, I had the opportunity test a few of her recipes.  This wonderful zucchini cauliflower gratin is a heaping dish of chopped vegetables seasoned with herbs and parmesan cheese. There is just enough cream in it to give it a proper gratin feel, but the added milk keeps it from being too heavy.  And every single bite is laced with just enough rosemary to keep you wanting another.  Lastly, the parmesan crust on the top adds a little cheesiness, with a nice contrast in texture.  I pile this gratin high on my plate with no regrets.  It’s perfect paired with a grilled meat and a glass of wine.  Not to mention my kids and husband all love it, too.

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It

I’m giving away a copy of Amanda’s book to one lucky reader (only in the US– sorry)!  You want this book, you really do.  She gets so creative with this vegetable– you’ll want to cook through the entire thing.  Even if you aren’t the winner, I would encourage you to order it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble— you won’t be disappointed.  To enter, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter link below.  Good Luck!

Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin | Relishing It And to you, Amanda– I am so happy to call you a friend.  You are one of the most selfless and giving people I’ve met.  Congratulations on your beautiful book– I’m truly excited to see what comes next for you.

Enter Giveaway Here — a Rafflecopter giveaway

Update: The winner is Carolsue Anderson!  Thanks to all who entered.

The Recipe: Zucchini Cauliflower Summer Gratin

(serves 4)

1 large head cauliflower

kosher salt

1 1/4 pounds zucchini, coarsely grated

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup grated parmesan, divided (or more!)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Prepare the cauliflower by removing the core and breaking the rest up into smaller pieces.  Then, using a food processor (or a sharp knife), pulse the cauliflower until they are tiny pieces that resemble rice grains.  Be care that the mixture doesn’t get mushy.  You may have to do this in batches.  You should yield about 3 1/2 cups.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Lightly coat a shallow baking dish with olive oil and set aside. Stir 1 teaspoon salt and grated zucchini together, then place colander set over a bowl to drain.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add onions and a big pinch of salt, and cook stirring, until softened, about 4-5 minutes.   Meanwhile, squeeze handfuls of zucchini over a bowl to catch the juices, removing most of the water from the zucchini, yielding 2/3 cup shreds.

When the onion is softened, reduce heat to medium and stir in the cauliflower, garlic, zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.  Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir to combine.  Gradually stir in reserved zucchini water, milk, and cream, maintaining heat at medium so dairy does not curdle.  Cook for 2-3 minutes so liquid absorbs slightly. Remove from heat.  Stir in 1/3 cup parmesan, rosemary, and parsley.  Pour into prepared dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese (or more, if you like).  Return to the oven for another 10 or so minutes until gratin is brown and bubbly.  Sometimes I put the gratin under the broiler to brown up a bit faster for the final minute or two.  Enjoy!

Check out these other great blogs for more recipes from “Smitten with Squash”.  If you happen to live in the Twin Cities, be sure to stop by Solo Vino in St. Paul from 5:00-7:30 this evening for Amanda’s first book signing– I’ll be there, too!

A Farmgirl’s Dabbles — Bumper Crop Spicy Squash Pickles

Fresh Tart — Chimichurri Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

Robin Writes — Garam Masala Dusted Pattypans & Crispy Chickpeas with Tahini Sauce

Dolly and Oatmeal — Banana and Oat Streusel Summer Squash Muffins

Healthy Green Kitchen — Cherry Tomato and Summer Squash Cobbler with Rosemary Biscuits

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

Happy Hour: Rye Mule | Relishing It

Today’s cocktail is a lovely little three-ingredient number that is simple to make, and tastes fantastic.  This is a thirst quenching cocktail and I suppose you could even say that it can be a bit dangerous.  It’s one of those where you taste no alcohol– you’ve been warned.  The rye melds into the sea of ginger beer and lime, giving it the flavor of a crafted soda rather than an alcoholic beverage.   The lime offers a refreshing zing, while the ginger beer lends a subtle “bite”.  We happen to love this drink, and are so thankful to a certain friend from my husband’s hometown for introducing it to us (you know who you are D.S.).

Happy Hour: Rye Mule | Relishing It

I suppose I should note that you certainly don’t need to use a high-end rye for this drink.  In fact, it’s almost silly to do so.  The one I used was all we had in the house, but normally we use Bulleit Rye.  It works just fine, and is reasonably priced.  You may have noticed that I didn’t photograph the ginger beer.  My favorite brand is not very photogenic (it comes in a silver can), but I’ll tell it to you anyway.  I like “Gosling’s” ginger beer– it has a nice/strong ginger flavor, but more importantly– it’s really carbonated!  There are so many lovely bottles of ginger beer available nowadays, but I find that many of them really lack carbonation.  So,  I’ll be sticking to Gosling’s…in the ugly can.  Unless any of you have a good recommendation?  It’s almost the weekend, friends.  Cheers to you!

Happy Hour: Rye Mule | Relishing It

The Recipe: Rye Mule

(makes 1)

2 ounces Rye

4 ounces ginger beer

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Fill a high-ball cocktail glass with ice.  Add the rye, ginger beer, and lime juice.  Mix with a stirring stick.  Drink. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

Laurie

 

Read Full Post »

Corpse Reviver No. 2 | Relishing It

The weekend is almost here, and I’m getting a little more giddy by the hour.  I’m smiling thinking of all the possible things to do.  That’s the brilliant thing about Friday, isn’t it?  It’s the potential.   This weekend we don’t have any concrete plans yet, and that makes my mind wander all the more.  Shall we explore these two great cities we live in a bit?  Take a drive out to the farm that’s been growing our CSA food? Find a beautiful lake or river to relax by?  As evening rolls around, perhaps have a cockta…?  Oh wait, that last one was a silly question.  Of course we’ll be having a cocktail.

Corpse Reviver No. 2 | Relishing It

In fact, I can say with some certainty that I’ll be having this cocktail– the Corpse Reviver No. 2.  It is without a doubt one of my favorite summer drinks.  Radd first introduced it to me last year and it was love at first taste.  He had been out of town, walked into a cocktail bar, and asked the bartender to make something “interesting.”  This is what he got (along with the recipe) and it blew him away.  We’ve been making it ever since.

So what’s with the weird name?  Apparently it was an old hangover cure that would revive your corpse after a long night in the pub.  It was first listed in the Savoy Cocktail Handbook by Harry Craddock in 1930, so it has been around for awhile.

Corpse Reviver No. 2 | Relishing It

This cocktail basically tastes like jacked-up lemonade with a twist.  That twist being a hint of anise flavor from the absinthe rinse.  It’s subtle and oh-so-very intriguing!  It’s a perfect sipping cocktail when it’s hot outside and the sun is shining down.  If you make this– I’m almost certain you will love it.  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!  Cheers!

Corpse Reviver No. 2 | Relishing It

The Recipe: Corpse Reviver No. 2

(serves 1)

1 oz. gin

1 oz. Cointreau (or Triple Sec)

1 oz. Lillet blanc

1 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Absinthe rinse.

Combine and shake the gin, Cointreau, Lillet, and lemon juice over ice and let rest for a minute or so.  While the ingredients are resting, pour about a half teaspoon of absinthe into a well-chilled cocktail glass and roll the glass allowing the absinthe to coat the sides.  Discard the absinthe that remains in the glass.  Give the ingredients another shake and strain it into your absinthe-rinsed glass.  Serve with a lemon twist.

Thanks for visiting Relishing It!  See you next week.

Laurie

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: