Thursday, July 28

Chocolate Sunflower-Butter Cake

I don't often crave peanut butter any more, but when I do it's fierce, relentless and has to be satisfied in the biggest and most extravagant of ways.  Last week I woke up with the craving and couldn't get it off my mind.  Like that catchy song that's stuck in your head.  You can't get it out until you sing it at the top of your lungs.  Well, this cake is the equivalent of me singing "peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter" in my loudest voice.  Only it's completely peanut free!  And it worked!

Thursday, July 21

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream with Blueberry Syrup

To say last week was hot is like saying the ocean is wet.  "Hot" doesn't even come close!  Sizzling, scorching, sweltering are better.  The kids even began contemplating solar science experiments.  For instance, if a red and a yellow crayon are left in the cup holder in the car, what color will the resulting ooze be the next morning?  Or, if placed in the sun, how quickly would my cast iron skillet reach a temperature hot enough to cook an egg?  And once preheated, how long would it take to fry that egg using only the searing heat of the sun and a little butter?  In the end, though, it was just too hot to venture outside for that.  We decided to make ice cream instead, which we all agreed was preferable to a fried egg.

Thursday, July 14

Summer in a Bowl {Zucchini Vichyssoise with Quick Sweet Corn Relish}

A culture clash or a match made in heaven - or both, as French country meets a 1950's Americana classic in this cool, garden-fresh soup?  Either way it's summer in a bowl!

Yesterday I made one of my favorite summer soups, a zucchini vichyssoise loosely based on Ina Garten's recipe from her book, Barefoot in Paris.  It's an old stand by in my kitchen during the summertime - and a great way to use up zucchini.  But as I stood at the stove and watched it simmer I realized that it just wasn't going to satisfy my craving for something cool and fresh the way it usually does, garnished with ribbons of julienned zucchini and fresh snipped chives.  No, yesterday I wanted something more.  Something zesty, vinegary, fresh and crunchy.  Corn is what I wanted; more specifically, corn relish!  The kind my grandmother would make & store in frilly little canning jars to be pulled out and put on our hot dogs while we watched the Cubs on T.V.