Summer is almost here! Can you feel it? I can’t wait for the sun to bust through these clouds for good. The sight of fresh cherries, blueberries and strawberries are giving me hope that the season of sunshine is near. I’m taking a little break from cooking this week, but I’m looking forward to cooking up some summery goodness when I get back.
Raise your hand if you need a vacation (me-me-me-me-me!). You, too, huh? I’m working extra hard this week so I can kick back as much as possible next week. My dad is fulfilling his life-long dream of visiting some national parks in the northwest and I’m meeting him at Yellowstone! I don’t know what to expect, exactly, but I cannot wait to immerse myself in otherworldly beauty.
My original concept for this crostini was to make whipped sun-dried tomato feta, but it was crazy salty. Goat cheese didn’t do, either, so I finally landed on hummus, which was just right. Bonus? It’s vegan, which is especially great if you’re serving a diverse crowd, and you might end up with extra hummus for snacking or spreading on sandwiches.
I’ll be the first to point out that crostini is typically made with smaller pieces of toast (like, baguette-sized), but the best bread I could find was a big loaf, so you’re looking at some pretty hefty crostini that would make an easy dinner with a side green salad.
Do whatever you’d like with this recipe—maybe you just want the hummus, maybe you want to turn it into a sandwich, maybe you’re in a hurry and want to substitute store-bought roasted garlic hummus instead. It’s all good!
Good morning! I’m feeling a little blinky after the three-day weekend, how about you? Like, today feels like Monday but it’s really Tuesday. Blink. Why is my to-do list so long? Blink. Blink. Need more coffee.
Blink. This risotto has been on my list since I figured out how to make baked brown rice risotto last fall. Risotto made with brown rice takes almost twice as long to cook (fact), but my method of baking it in a Dutch oven and stirring it for just a few minutes at the end seriously cuts down on effort.
For this springtime take on risotto, I kept it simple and steamed the peas in the pot during the last ten minutes of baking. I opted to roast the asparagus while the pot is in the oven, since roasted asparagus tastes best.
It all comes together painlessly and leaves plenty of time to clean up and sip some leftover white wine while the risotto bakes in the oven. Let me know how you like it!
Summer is close. Can you feel it? I think it’s hiding just beyond the gray clouds that have been dampening my spirits for days. Go away, clouds! I’m ready for sunshine and long days by the pool. Margaritas and late walks with Cookie. Potlucks full of fresh salads.
Since I often pull up my own salad archives to find a simple recipe and then kick myself for making my salads so involved, I thought I’d share a simple, summery vinaigrette today. It’s inspired by classic basil pesto (basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon) and comes together in just a few minutes in your food processor. I typed up a list of mix-and-match ingredients that should go well with it, too. It’s a build-your-own summer salad extravaganza!
I’m inevitably in a hurry when I make salads for potlucks and girls’ nights, so I’m pretty excited about a new-to-me option offered by DeLallo Foods. They are my favorite source of sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes and olives, not to mention whole wheat pasta. DeLallo packages up salad-sized portions of themed complementary flavors called SaladSavors, so you can just combine them with fresh greens and a dressing of your choice. Boom! Salad’s ready.
I threw together the salad you see here in about five minutes flat, thanks to DeLallo’s SaladSavors in Sharp Asiago. I say thumbs-up to making salads easy and eating more greens!
I’m on a spinach and artichoke kick. I blame the new bar in town that offers an exceptionally tasty spinach-artichoke dip. Tessa and I order it almost every time we meet for happy hour and I daydream about it in between our weekly sessions. It’s more spinach-y than cheesy (how do they pack so much spinach in there?) and has passed for dinner more than once. I can’t get enough of the combination and Tessa can’t either, apparently!
I caught a mention of spinach-artichoke enchiladas on a menu in Austin and didn’t get a chance to try them, so here we are with my homemade version. I based them off memories of the enchiladas my mom makes at home. She is not one to change it up, so her enchiladas consistently feature green chilis, sour cream, flour tortillas and store-bought red sauce. Oh and cheese on top, of course.
I made sure to incorporate all of the above into these lightened-up vegetarian enchiladas, but took it upon myself to create a healthier from-scratch red sauce. I tried spice-based sauce first, followed by tomato-based sauce and finally settled somewhere in between. My recipe is made with common dried spices, tomato paste for some umami-rich tomato flavor, vegetable broth as base and flour to thicken it up.
Spring weather comes on with a vengeance in central Oklahoma, where I grew up. I miss it. I miss the way the energy crackles in the air as the warm, southern winds crash into the cooler winds from the north. I miss the eerily still, humid mornings that prickle the back of my neck and tell me something isn’t quite right. Inevitably, on those days, the wind will pick up and my hair will turn into a million little whips again, all flailing in different directions.
Sometimes the clouds turn black, the air goes green and the tornado sirens start wailing. Spring in Oklahoma is rarely boring, oftentimes terrifying and mostly exhilarating.
Kansas City has been covered up by gray clouds for days. Days upon days upon days, with a few hours of sunshine and some rain here and there. I can’t recall a more dreary, boring spring. I want to poke the clouds and shout, “Do something!” We caught some much-needed sunshine yesterday afternoon and we’re supposed to get more this afternoon, before the sky goes gray again. Gray for days, I tell you.
I took advantage of the sunshine yesterday to bring you some refreshing blueberry margaritas, which would be just perfect for storm sipping. They’re modeled after the blueberry margaritas at The Mont in Norman, Oklahoma, which is an institution. My grandmother went there in college and I did, too!