Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Lovin'

Fresh figs make the best summer dessert, dip them in some mascarpone with a bit of brown sugar and vanilla-YUM!

I'm in love with all the amazing produce I've consumed this summer.  I know some people (you know who I'm talking to) think that here in Southern California we get pretty much everything all year, but we have seasons, too.  I think the fruit helps mark our seasons the best.  It's peach, fig and tomato season right now.  Hot, dry, summery and we have peaches and tomatoes galore.  When it's cold, we have oranges and a lot of kale.  We are spoiled rotten, no doubt about that, but if you eat the way I do, you love the abundance of choice that comes with summer. 

Zucchini has been one of the easiest things I've grown this year.  The plants are huge, with leaves well over a foot across, bigger than my pumpkin plant leaves.  They steadily produce several zucchinis a week and I sure wish I'd thought ahead and made sure I had a vacuum sealer and deep freeze for all the extra zucchini.  It would be nice to prepare some saut├ęs for the winter months that I could just toss in a pan when I don't feel like cooking.  Recently, one of my favorite things to do is chop a bunch of summer veggies up and toss them all in olive oil, seasonings and pop in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 20 mins at 450.  I usually toss them once about mid-way.  Cooking fast and hot works a lot better so you don't end up with mushy squash.  That with a bit of meat or even a big caprese salad is so good and zero effort.

Roasted summer veggies (eggplant, zucchini, patty-pan squash, bell pepper, onions), pork tenderloin and my mother-in-law's amazing peach chutney.

Roasted summer veggies

My most favorite thing to eat in the summer are caprese salads, or tomato salads or whatever you want to call them.  Fresh picked tomatoes and basil and sometimes some cucumbers just for fun, fresh mozzarella, bit of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and you are good to go.  Super filling and incredibly delicious.  Nothing better on a hot day than a huge, cold caprese salad for dinner. 

Caprese salad and Italian sausage

I'm sure you can sense a theme.  Easy and delicious.  I don't have time to slave and more importantly,  with kids to referee on a constant basis and existing in a state of continual sleep deprivation, I don't have the brain power.  I just want to be able to sit down to a yummy dinner and maybe a glass of wine after a day of laundry, dishes and breaking up fights and cleaning up spilled food and all that other fun stuff that comes with kids.

Brain saver-one of my new favorite champagnes, $17 at Canyon Gourmet, dry, lightly pink, tiny bubbles and oh so tasty

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