Archive for the ‘summer’ Category

I’ve always wanted to make hand pies but had a fear of there being too much crust and not enough fruit.

Turns out that if the crust recipe is good enough, I won’t care if there isn’t much fruit. 

Another fear I had was baking with sweet cherries. I made a pie using them about 8 years ago and it was awful. But they worked for these hand pies. Maybe it’s precisely because there is a high crust to fruit ratio?

Check out that crust flake. Mmmm. 
Update: I made these again this evening and used all whole wheat flour. Just as tasty, tho they don’t stay as crispy as the half white version. 

Sweet Cherry Hand Pies


1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat bread flour)

1/4 t salt

4 T cold butter

1/3 cup sour cream

1 T milk

Mix flours and salt. Using a small grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork, gently coating the butter strands with flour, and then smash around to evenly distribute the butter. Stir in the sour cream and enough milk to make a smooth but not wet dough. 

Roll out on well floured surface until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut 4 inch circles. Reroll scraps and cut again. I got 12 circles. 


1 – 1 1/2 cups sweet cherry halves



Place 3-4 cherry pieces on one side of each circle. Dot with a smidge of honey and fold circle in half, being careful not to tear dough. Crimp edges with a fork and brush tops with cream. 

Bake at 425 on parchment lined cookie sheet until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 

Freeze any pies that don’t get eaten within a day. 


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Oh dear me. This is my new favorite breakfast. It can simmer on the stove while I prepare everyone else’s eggs and then they all run off to their respective duties while I sit and enjoy these molten juices.   

The tomatoes really do melt in your mouth. The way they slump in the cream. Ooohhhh. I want another pan of them and I am full.   

Tomatoes in Cream

Adapted from my cousin Jennifer’s blog

Roma tomatoes, cored and halved

1-2 t butter per tomato

1-2 T heavy cream per tomato

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a skillet. Place tomatoes cut side down in the butter. Sprinkle with salt and poke the backs with a knife. Simmer 5 minutes and then flip them. Continue simmering and flipping at 5 minute intervals until tomatoes are pretty much falling apart, about 20 minutes total. Pour in the cream, sprinkle with pepper, and heat through. Serve hot with buttered toast. 

3 tomatoes and two pieces of toast fills my belly right up. 

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Tomato Platter


This dish will forever remind me of grandma’s house in the summer time. One of my favorite food memories. Juicy summer tomatoes are difficult to beat, especially with a sprinkling of sugar!

Tomato Platter

Thickly sliced tomatoes

Minced celery

Minced onion


Cider vinegar

Arrange tomatoes on a platter or plate. Sprinkle with a smattering or celery and onion.

Mix sugar with enough vinegar to make it just so runny enough to drizzle. Drizzle over veggies. Serve.

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This morning I cooked three pounds of dried beans. Then we had to go away before I could get them frozen. 4 o’clock found me needing something quick for supper and what do you know, the beans were still sitting out so I hunted down a salad recipe. Vegetarian recipe books are good ones for the bean recipes so i checked in my Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook. Jackpot!

Cilantro is a relatively new herb for me. I did not grow up eating it and only really tried it when Brad requested that I make guacamole and the recipe I chose called for it. I ended up buying one of those sad grocery-store pots of the stuff. It made delicious guac so I bought an actual plant and, much to the children’s dismay, planted it. And the stuff readily reseeds itself so we will forever have cilantro. Sorry kids. 

The original recipe calls for half a bunch of parsley and half of cilantro. I cut way back since nobody is a fan of that many herbs around here. Nobody really likes bean salad either (except me) but sometimes I ask them deal with it. Sorry kids.   

(Other similar bean salads I’ve blogged: here, here, and a bean salsa here.) 

All that to say, this is quick, fresh, and delicious!  

Puerto Rican Bean Salad

Adapted from the aforementioned cookbook

4 cups cooked dry beans (I used black, kidney, and navy)

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 bell pepper, chopped (I used frozen)

1 rib celery, chopped

2 T fresh parsley

2 T fresh cilantro

Couple of T pineapple juice

1/2 t lime zest

Good drizzle of olive oil

Good drizzle of red wine vinegar 

1 t salt

Drizzle of honey

3/4 t chili powder

1/4 t oregano 

Mix everything together and chill several hours before serving. 

Yield: about 5 cups 

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I’m not much of one for buying specific ingredients for recipes. I usually just buy the same old foods and try to be creative with those.

This recipe, though, had me buying four items: Kalamata olives, chickpeas, feta cheese, and cherry tomatoes.


Oh man. And it was good. I think the saltiness of the olives and cheese really appealed to me or something. I just kept eating. I especially loved it on top of lettuce.

I suppose the lettuce was another thing I don’t typically keep on hand. I went to our local market last week and the local hydroponically grown lettuce looked fabulous so I bought a head. This brings me to a question I have. Does anyone know if hydroponically-grown veggies are as nutrient rich as their soil-grown siblings? Seems to me there would have to be something missing but I don’t know what.

Anyway, this salad. The Pioneer Woman posted it yesterday. It looked wonderful and I wanted to go grocery shopping this morning anyway so I put the necessary items on my list, came home, made it, and ate it. Num num!


Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Adapted from PW

6 oz small pasta (I used small shells: half white and half whole grain)
1/4 cup oil (I used half olive and half walnut)
Juice of half a lemon
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted, sliced Kalamata olives
3/4 cup feta crumbles
1 cup chickpeas
3 T minced purple onion
1 t crushed parsley flakes

Cook pasta to desired doneness. Drain, rinse, and cool.

Mix oil, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings in the bottom of a big bowl. Add the pasta and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate an hour before serving (if you can wait that long).

Yield: about two quarts

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What a lovely spin on a classic biscuit.


This recipe has been in my “must try” recipe box ever since I started collecting recipes when I was young. I have no idea where it came from but the writing is mine so I must have copied it from somewhere.


Quick. Before frost takes your fresh herbs. Make these!


Garden Fresh Dinner Biscuits

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all – purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 T minced fresh parsley
2 T minced fresh chives
2 T finely grated carrot
4 T cold butter
3/4 cup cold milk

Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and herbs/veggies. Cut in the cold butter with a fork and knife until it resembles fine crumbs. Gently stir in the milk to form a ball of dough. Lightly flour the counter and form the dough into a 7 inch square. Cut into nine squares and place them one quarter inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for about 10 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Yield: 9 medium biscuits

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Near the end of cucumber season, I like to make a certain refrigerator cucumber salad that stores well for weeks on end. I like to enjoy those fresh cukes for as long as possible.

Well it got pretty chilly the other night and while my cucumber plants long ago bit the dust, my peppers are going strong. I decided I needed to make a sort of pepper salad to keep for a while in the fridge for after those beauties no longer produce.

Several rounds of Pinterest searching later, this is what I came up with.


It’s pickle-y, that’s for sure. Sweet, too. The carrots help with that. I love the fresh crunch. We had some for supper and while not everyone was wild about it, a couple of us were. I will now shove the jars to the back of the fridge and wait to eat this salad when the pepper plants have withered under the heavy frosts.


Pickled Carrot and Red Pepper Salad
Adapted from several recipes.

5 cups shredded carrots
4 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 of a small purple onion, thinly sliced
2 T mustard seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1 T salt
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Heat the mustard seeds, sugar, salt, and vinegar just until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the water.

Mix the veggies together. Pack lightly into jars and pour the brine over top. Place lids on jars and refrigerate for at least a day before serving.

While I have not actually had this salad around for more than a few days, my guess is that it will keep for weeks, maybe even over a month.

Yield: about 6 cups

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