Greek Pizza

Homemade Greek pizza made with (mostly) pantry ingredients: roasted red peppers, artichokes and olives!

Whether or not I’m hungry when I step foot in Whole Foods, my stomach is inevitably growling by the time I leave. I could blame the aisles of gourmet chocolate and cheese. Or, the lugging of an overstuffed hand cart as I navigate from the cheese, to the produce section, and back again because I forgot feta. Repeat for tomatoes. Maybe I’m just feeling downright snacky after giving the colorful chips and soda aisle a good, long side eye.

How to make Greek pizza

Once my stomach starts growling, I start making circles around the salad bar and hot foods section. I resist, knowing that it’ll inevitably cost me fifteen bucks because I have to get a little scoop of everything. Then I wonder about the Asian tofu bowl, then I see the pizza. Fire dances in the brick oven behind the display and beckons me forward. Pizza trumps tofu yet again.

Continue to the recipe »

Arugula, Dried Cherry and Wild Rice Salad with a Zippy Lemon Dressing

Arugula and wild rice salad with dried cherries, toasted almonds and feta!

I’ve been a lazy cook lately. Granted, it’s hot outside and there are pools to jump in. I’ve basically been living on blueberry crisp for breakfast, salads and leftovers. This salad is precisely what I’ve been craving. It’s wholesome and filling, with plenty of fresh greens and bursts of flavor in the form of toasted almonds, salty feta and dried tart cherries.

Wild rice forms the backbone of the dish—did you know that it’s not really rice? It’s related to rice, but it’s a different member of the grass family. Wild rice is high in protein and B vitamins and has a fantastic chewy texture and nutty flavor. I don’t know why I don’t cook with it more often.

almonds and cherry field

I also have some fun tart cherry facts to share, if you’re game for them. I attended a tart cherry harvest trip in Michigan last week, under no obligation to share on my blog, but it seems silly not to share some interesting details while we’re on the subject.

For starters, it’s almost impossible to buy fresh tart cherries outside of where they are harvested (which is mostly in Michigan) because they’re more delicate than sweet cherries, like Bing cherries. Tart cherries are usually sent straight from the fields to processing plants, where they are flash frozen, dried, juiced or packed into cans for pie filling.

Dried cherries come in unsweetened and sweetened form, but even the sweetened variety has less sugar in it than unsweetened dried cranberries and raisins. The sweetener mostly serves to help the cherry retain some moisture. Good to know, right?

Continue to the recipe »

Blueberry Almond Crisp

Blueberry crisp recipe, so simple!

Here we are in high summer, and it seems to be going just right. Slow. Lazy. Everyone’s out of town. My hot yoga class is empty (because only crazy people like me want to do hot yoga on a hot day). I’m nursing a sunburn and rocking some uneven tan lines. Finished Lena’s book last week. The locusts outside are screeching in unison every evening. Everything is as is should be.

Blueberries won’t be here much longer, so I had to make a crisp before they go. I found a hefty two-pound container of them at Trader Joe’s and baked them up into a brilliantly purple dessert with a [gluten-free] almond and oat topping. I’m going to enjoy it for breakfast with yogurt and later, as dessert with ice cream. Repeat every day, all week. It’s summertime!

blueberries

My original concept for the topping included cornmeal, not almond meal, but my medium-grind cornmeal didn’t soften up enough during baking. Hence, the crisp turned out to be a “crunch,” which wasn’t my intention. My runner-up idea was a blueberry and almond crisp, with both almond meal and sliced almonds, and it turned out just right. Tons of blueberries, some maple syrup, bright lemon flavor, oats and almonds—you can’t go wrong there.

My favorite part about making this crisp? Unlike all my other crisp recipes (and I have more than a few!), this one doesn’t require any chopping of the fruit. Just rinse off those blueberries and you’re good to go! This is a simple summer dessert at its finest.

Continue to the recipe »

What’s in Season? August Produce

Learn what to do with August fruits and vegetables! Find recipes, preparation tips and more. cookieandkate.com

August already? Summer is flying by far too quickly. This month’s produce guide marks a full year’s worth of seasonal produce. The guides have been fun projects and educational, too! See them all here. I think I might start highlighting one type of seasonal produce from here on out—what do you think about that?

Thanks again to Becky for letting me base this resource on her “Eat Seasonal” monthly seasonal produce lists. You can pin this resource for later right here or at the bottom of the post. For more seasonal inspiration, be sure to follow us on Pinterest!

Show me the fruit and vegetables »

Simple Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Dipping Sauce

Simple caprese skewers recipe, perfect for summer parties!

A few weekends ago, while on bridesmaid duty for my pal Tessa, I arrived at the rehearsal dinner with a growling stomach. I grabbed a glass of wine and promptly accepted an appetizer offered by a college-age waitress. I was so glad to see this stranger that I almost hugged her.

She had a whole plate of cute caprese skewers in her arms, complete with a bowl of balsamic dipping sauce that was thick enough not to drip all over my new silk dress. It’s the little things.

tomato, peach and basil

I grabbed a skewer, then another, and marveled at how simple and perfect these appetizers were. Tomato, basil and mozzarella on a stick. They’re easy to make, easy to hold and easy to eat. You can’t say that for most appetizers, which make mingling and eating at the same time a less-than-pleasant affair. (Like, why do we serve big hunks of broccoli on veggie trays? So we can all walk around with broccoli bits between our teeth? Am I the only person who experiences party broccoli paranoia? Please say no.)

Continue to the recipe »

Maureen’s Avocado Tabbouleh

Avocado tabbouleh recipe, so simple and fresh! cookieandkate.com

If you had to pick one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life, which would it be? Tough question, I know. I would have to pick Mediterranean food. Fresh herbs, ripe produce, lemons, feta and olive oil? Yes, please. All the salads, please. Mediterranean cooking is a party with all of my favorite ingredients.

parsley

Given my predilection for Mediterranean food, I was excited to come across Maureen Abood’s new (and first!) cookbook, Rose Water and Orange Blossoms. It’s full of fresh and classic recipes from Maureen’s Lebanese-American kitchen. Think hummus, labneh, kibbeh and the more gorgeous tomato salads. It offers quite a few traditional desserts, breads, pickles and teas, too. The book wasn’t designed for vegetarians, so I only skimmed through the meaty entrée section, but that’s just me.

Continue to the recipe »