Summer Food: Fresh juicy berries, beautiful sunset colors of stone fruit, Saturday farmers markets stacked high with leafy vegetables, citrus popsicles, and home-brewed sun tea are just a handful of my summer essentials. Schools out, and I am finding myself with more free time to enjoy the little things and truly appreciate the season; which includes having time to cook up a storm and enjoy summer’s beautiful bounty! Lately my cooking routine includes blasting my Shania Twain Pandora station and singing out to some country while chopping, dicing, and slicing. Here is what I have been cooking and eating lately:
Chicken Tamale Bowls via Half Baked Harvest
These bowls are deliciously Tex-Mex perfect! It starts with a creamy cheesy layer of Polenta covered in spicy shredded chicken, then topped off with a layer of stir-fried veggies and of course guac. Polenta kind of reminds me of grits and it is a nice change from the usual carbs such as pasta and rice. Polenta is definitely worth a try and makes a perfect first layer for this dish. Also bonus-you get an arm workout from all of the whisking you do. The flavors are bursting with summery goodness. Half Baked Harvest is one of my favorite foodie blogs, and her unusual combinations are mouthwatering. Recipe HERE
Kale and Mushroom Wraps via Giada De Laurentiis
I have made this three times the past couple of weeks-It is THAT good. I really like the combination of leeks and mushrooms with the cranberries. The best part is that it this wrap really healthy, so I can indulge in multiple servings. Great for healthy eating. This recipe comes from Giada’s new cookbook Feel Good Food, which focuses on healthy meals. I am really looking forward to try some of her other recipes as well. Recipe HERE
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette via Self
I usually buy store bought dressings. The ones from Trader Joe’s are my favorite, but I ran out and was tired of eating dressing-less salads. Luckily, I stumbled across this homemade dressing recipe from SELF. Oh my it is absolutely amazing. The citrus-y lime gives the vinaigrette zest, while the jalapeno pepper gives some heat counteracting the honey. I plan on making a big batch this weekend to keep in the fridge! Recipe HERE
Since I am spending my first summer away from home, I thought it would be nice to incorporate something from my Utah summers to Eugene. What immediately came to mind was my Mom’s summer Sun Tea. My mom loves making this, and we drink it all summer long. Usually she loads up our cute red-lady bug canister with Good Earth tea bags and water and lets it marinate all day in the sun while we lazily float in our pool or go Garage sale shopping. Sun tea reminds me a lot of her and summertime. So, I went to target and bought the essentials. Instead of Good Earth I tried the TAZO Iced tea in Blushberry Black and Citrus Bliss. The Iced Blushberry Black is divine! It is very refreshing. Topped off with a little lemonade, this sun tea makes the perfect summertime drink.
WoolWich Goat Cheese
Move over Nutella, Goat cheese is my new guilty pleasure. Whether sprinkled on salads or spread on toast with honey, I can not get enough of it. One of my favorite ones has been the Fine Herb from Woolwich Dairy. I have loved it so much that I bought a second one-Balsamic Walnut.
Not going to lie, I told someone a month ago how blueberries were my least favorite fruit. I am not sure why I had this per-misconcieved notion, maybe it was their small size? Nonetheless my mind was changed when I went to the Eugene Farmers Market and tried the most delicious farm fresh blueberries. They were so sweet- I was hooked and a little bit ashamed of my past accusations. Nerveless I came home, particularly happy, with a overflowing pint of pure bliss. I enjoy them mixed in with my morning oatmeal but my favorite way to eat them is just by themselves, preferably by the handful. Blueberry cobbler or muffins have been on my to-do list ever since.