Dinner tonight was this lovely creation. Fried green tomato and pimento cheese tart. Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue? Well, it was just as amazing to eat as the name suggests. The recipe was from Ashley English’s new book: A Year of Pies. I got it in the mail a week or two ago and was immediately drawn to this recipe. The book is absolutely beautiful and I love that it is arranged by season, so few cookbooks are, and honestly, that is the way I like to cook.
Here is a link to the recipe on Lark Crafts.
We are doing it. Getting through summer that is. August is almost over, then September, and then we will have our relief. September is often the hottest month here in San Diego. I am really counting down the days until fall’s arrival. Until then though we will make the most of it.
These are some random shots from our past few days. The lemony chickpea salad was found through Pinterest. It was delicious and took maybe 5 minutes to throw together, perfect for hot summer evenings, give it a try!
What do you do when it is 100 degrees out and one of your closest friends comes to spend her birthday with you? Well, I for one crank the AC and put my sweet friend to work, on her own birthday pie.
Dolores is the first friend I made in high school when my family moved from Washington to California. I had gone to school for almost a full year without making any real friends when I met her at the beginning of the following school year. She was a freshman and I was a painfully shy sophomore. She had a bit of trouble getting me to open and up and even talk to her (really, it was bad, I would not talk to anyone), but she was incredibly persistent, and we have been friends ever since.
I really am so thankful to have a friend like her in my life, I fully believe that my high school years would have been much harder (is that possible?) if she hadn’t helped me to come out of my shell.
Anyway, we spent the day making pie. A pie for dinner and a pie for dessert. Dinner was a savory pie filled with onions, zucchini, spinach, rice, Parmesan, and eggs (to bind it). Dessert was a classic cherry pie. Have I mentioned I like pie?
Happy birthday Dolores!
Tonight’s dinner was likely the best I have had all summer. I made this heirloom tomato tart, which I found on Pinterest. I served this with marinated lemon cucumbers on the side. Looking at these pictures just makes my mouth water. I already have plans to make this again next week.
This post was supposed to be different. As I was making my blood orange marmalade over the weekend I was snapping pictures of the process, envisioning the beautiful rose colored jars full of marmalade lined up in a quaint little picture, and so excited to brag about how wonderful and delicious my creation was.
Nope, big fail.
This was my first time making a jam without pectin, and even though I followed the recipe closely, I somehow managed to overcook it so much that it was not only the color of root beer, but after canned and cooled was as hard as a rock. Grumble, grumble.
Well, at least I got some nice pictures…?
I made it through the entire day without turning on the AC. It was ever so slightly cooler today, and a few trips out of the house (story-time at the library in the morning and the farmers market in the late afternoon) really helped. I hate running the AC unless absolutely necessary. As a one income family, we can’t really afford to run it every day like I have been doing this week.
Today was market day, and as usual, we did good. I always feel like a queen when I return home and unpack all my goods. With all the beautiful veggies it was easy for me to decide what to make for dinner tonight. Last week I discovered The Forest Feast (okay, go check out that site and return to mine. Isn’t it gorgeous?!!), and I am obsessed. I made this farro beet salad for dinner (using barley instead of farro, because that is what I had) along with red roasted carrots and some seeded multi grain bread I bought at the market. Both recipes were delicious, though next time I will use half the cinnamon on the carrots, to suit our taste.
That beautiful site also convinced me to break out my watercolors during Lucy’s nap today. I have been painting for years, but haven’t done much since she was born. I started in acrylics many, many years ago and moved to oils after taking some painting courses. I was quite happy working oils, but when I got pregnant I quit oil painting because of the fumes. I decided to try working in acrylics again, but hated it. I bought some water colors around the same time hoping I could learn to use them. Sadly I was a bit too intimidated to try. Well, it has been ages since I painted anything. Oil painting is far too time consuming for my lifestyle today, so I had kind of given up the hope on making art. After I stumbled upon that site and saw her beautiful watercolor illustrations of food it all made sense to me. I already know I can draw simple things like food (um, that is pretty much my favorite thing anyway), I’m sure I can paint it. Maybe I know nothing about working with watercolors, but I don’t have to create a masterpiece right away. Painting simple things like fruits and veggies seems like the perfect way to ‘break into’ watercolors.
I did the avocado above while Lucy napped today, and really am so excited to paint some more. Watercolors are confusing to me after working in oils for so long, but it was so much fun making this simple image–I really can’t wait to sit down and play around with paints some more.
Any other water color painters out there? If you have any helpful tips I would love to hear them.
I hope you guys don’t mind the overload of food posts lately. Every year when summer rolls around I go a bit crazy buying more produce than I probably need (though I always find a way to use it/store it).
While I have been complaining on and on about the heat at home, and last week I retired from setting my hair in curls until October, I am thankful for summer for the food it produces. I got a bit of a late start on my vegetable garden, but I have a lot growing. In a few more weeks my garden will be bursting with veggies (mostly tomatoes, really, I have 20, yes 20 plants!), and I will be cranking the AC in order to get all those beauties preserved for the cooler months. I can’t wait. Canning is something I look forward to and find strangely therapeutic.
Last year I canned tomatoes for the first time. We finished the last can around February or so, and I decided then that I would do all that I possibly could to buy as few canned tomatoes from the store as possible. Every time I cracked open one of those jars I was overwhelmed with the incredible smell of summer.
Anyway, I hope you don’t mind excessive food posts. I have been so inspired to cook and try new things. If you have any delicious summery (vegetarian) recipes you are loving, I would love to hear them.
Dinner tonight was roasted beets over greens, with a side of creamy Parmesan-y pasta. I didn’t ever get around to snapping the pasta, because the beats were just too pretty, and too delicious to even consider the pasta.
For the beets: Scrub clean, trim top and bottom. Toss with olive oil and minced garlic. Cook in a preheated oven (at 400ºF) for 40 or so minutes. Let cool, slice, and serve over greens with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Some things I have made/eaten lately.
Chili relleno mac n cheese. No recipe, but used pepper jack instead of cheddar, added some sliced, cooked poblanos, and chopped broccoli and asparagus.
This-is-what-was-in-the-fridge Enchiladas. I can’t remember exactly what was in them, but I know cauliflower was in there.
Biscuits and lentil gravy with eggs. (not sure why the gravy is such a different color in this picture, but it really looks much more appetizing here. Weird.)
Black bean salad: black beans, fresh corn, red onion, red bell pepper with cilantro pesto.
Mini black bean burger patties for Lucy (ours were normal sized)
Black bean soup with paprika and garlic on toast (recipe from Drea)
Eating kale chips
Tostadas with sauteed peppers and onions, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Noodles with peanut sauce, stir-fried cabbage, and home grown sprouts
Here are a few things I have made over the past few weeks. Notice how the majority of these dishes use black beans? Yeah. I eat a ton of black beans (all beans actually). They are just so easy for me. I grew up eating (home made) bean and cheese burritos at least five days a week. As an adult I find I still want the same thing, though I do try to mix it up with different veggies and seasonings. Isn’t it funny how we grow up and try (and love) tons of new things, yet always return to the familiar? California-Mexican food is my comfort food.