The Best Recipes of My Summer

See, this is the problem I have with this blog.  One day I’m writing about idolatry and the next day I’m writing about cookies, and then it’s an analysis of Dostoevsky, and then it’s parent-teacher conferences, and then it’s shoes, and then it’s pictures from a trip to San Francisco.

Poor readers.  It’s like bait and switch and switch again and switch again.  Oh well.  A few of you have stuck around, so I guess you don’t mind my ADD.

Today is all about the food.  Moving is stressful and stress sends me to the kitchen for Cooking Therapy.  Vent frustration by smashing and smacking and crushing things; end up with a pie and no restraining order.  Everybody wins.  New-to-me recipes are always a gamble, but if they turn out well, it’s a triumphant moment!  Thankfully, most of the recipes I’ve tried this summer have been winners and have been placed in the “Make This Again” file (which I guess doesn’t actually exist, except in my mind).  So I thought I’d share a rundown of my favorite new recipes of the summer.

  1. blueberry pieBlueberry pie.  It started when my mom and I took a trip to a pick-your-own blueberry farm in Pennsylvania.  I had no idea that there were so many varieties of blueberries, each with a distinctive taste–some mouth-puckering tart, others sugar-sweet.  These little gems were too good to be pulverized with yogurt and protein powder: they needed to be showcased in a pie.  I went all out and made my very first lattice-top crust.  The recipe was super simple (a Crisco crust instead of the trickier butter crust), and it came out like I’d made it a hundred times: the crust light, sugared, perfectly flaky and the berries just living the life they were born to live in a gooey, lemony, cinnamon-y filling.
  2. eggplantFried eggplant medallions topped with goat cheese, pine nuts, basil, and mint.  I started with this recipe, but I coated the medallions in flour, then egg, then herbed Panko and pan-fried them until crispy.  Then I heaped up the cheese, pine nuts, and fresh herbs until the eggplant disappeared, because eggplant really is best when it’s outnumbered.
  3. Strawberry-Lemon-Poppy-Seed-Scones-9Strawberry lemon poppyseed scones.  Um, need I say more?   🙂  I should add that this recipe introduced me to an ingenious trick when it comes to working butter into flour: freeze the butter for about 30 minutes and then grate it with a cheese grater.  Worked like a charm, and I had perfect little pea-sized crumbs.  The scones had lovely pockets of air, a tart lemon glaze, and just burst with strawberry flavor.  The slight crunch from the poppy seeds sent them over the top.
  4. zucchiniZucchini fritters.  You know how you sometimes run into these gloriously perfect, unusual vegetables at the farmer’s market, get all inspired, and then when you bring them home, think “What the heck am I going to cook with this??”  That was the story of me and a bright yellow, 1.5 pound zucchini this week (yes, it was actually a zucchini even though it was yellow).  Google to the rescue!  I found a simple, amazing recipe for fritters that highlights the crunch and deep veg flavor of the zucchini.  I topped them with a tarragon dijon goat’s milk béchamel, and let me tell you, I could have eaten the whole pan myself.  Next morning, the leftover béchamel became a savory topping for toast and a fried egg; sadly, there were no zucchini fritters left.

How about you, readers?  Have you tried any delicious new recipes this summer, or any seasonal go-tos that you couldn’t live without?

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