Monday, June 19

10 Nut-Free Desserts to Make Summer a Little Sweeter

This summer my wine of choice is a Spanish Rosé (I haven't met one I didn't like).  My outfit of choice is an airy summer sundress.  And my motto of choice is "keep it simple."  Meals are lighter and freer.  Ingredients are fresher, preparation is simpler.   I flutter around the kitchen, barefoot, like a robin building a nest, gathering a bit of this and a bite of that and weaving all the pieces together into something that resembles a meal.  Then everything goes outside to the table in the shade, a refuge from the heat of the kitchen.  I don't know if it's the breeze that blows down off the mountains in the evening or the heat that radiates from the patio stones beneath my bare toes, but everything tastes a little sweeter out there under the trees.  I love to sit long into the evening, sipping a last glass of wine while the kids run around the yard or hop the fence to play with the neighbors.  When twilight falls we cover the table with candles and sit a little longer.  Summer is the season for savoring!

Here are 10 of my family's favorite summertime dessert recipes.  These are the ones I come back to summer after summer, year after year.  They're a snapshot of everything I love about summer, and of course, they're all peanut and tree nut free.

Friday, June 9

Pretty Please Pink Cherry Cocktail

It was the summer of 1997 and I was in a floral mini skirt, topped by a black leather bomber jacket that smelled of cigarettes and musky perfume (Malibu Musk).  It matched my favourite combat boots.  A scarf in the same print as the skirt held my hair back in a high pony tail in a 1950s-preppy-meets-punk-rock-grunge sort of way.  A pair of Ray-Bans perched on top of my head.  I felt so grown up at 17.

Aerosmith had just released their Nine Lives album, and my hometown was one of the first stops on the tour!  We had terrible seats, my friends and I, possibly the worst in the house - up in the very last row of the balcony, next to the dark, grimy back wall of the arena where guys would sneak off to and pee when they didn't want to miss the show.  But we didn't care.  To us they were perfect.  We were free up there in the "nose-bleed" section.  Free in a way that can only be experienced within the universe of a 17 year old on the cusp of adulthood, but not quite there yet.  Except, on that night we were.