Many summer planters are looking a little tired right about now. I know mine sure are. It is still too hot for many fall annuals and there are slim pickings in the nurseries. I don’t know about you, but I want to stretch summer a bit longer and am not quite ready to switch my entrance and patio décor to full blown fall. My solution? Bring a little bit of fall to summer planters.
To freshen up my entrance’s potted hydrangeas, I pulled out tired trailing annuals and nestled in some mini white mums and some dried lotus seed pods. It’s not even September and I’ve bought a few mums! There is a hint of fall with the mums and dried pods but still a lot of summer in the green and white color scheme and the lingering hydrangeas. The curly willow branches compliment the dried lotus seed pods nicely. I switched out my summer wreath for a monogrammed basket of green apples and mums. To see how I made it, please click here.
When Bon Appétit magazine declares the best pizza in America is in your backyard, you’ve got see for yourself if it lives up to the hype!
At Pizza Beddia there is no phone, no preorders, no chairs, no slices, no restroom. Cash only. Whole pies only. One size only. Maximum of 2 pies per party. 40 pizzas per night sold. 2 small tables for stand-up dining. BYO. Open Wednesday to Saturday 5:30 pm-10:30pm. On several recent summer days, my husband determined to get one of these pizzas and see why it was declared the Best Pizza in America. And days it took!
The dreaded sign that turns hundreds of hungry customers away!
“I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is.”
Alice Walker, The Color Purple
This make ahead dessert is packed with the flavors of summer! Juicy ripe peaches are cooked into a compote, spiced with a little ginger and swirled into 2 layers of low-fat frozen yogurt for a guilt-free dessert. The graham çracker crust with chopped pecans is spiced with cinnamon and ginger to really compliment the fresh peaches. This wasn’t the prettiest of my creations but it sure was delicious!
Lobster rolls are a summer classic and on a recent trip to Maine, I certainly ate them as often as possible from harborside stands where the lobster was fresh right off the boats. Doesn’t get any better than that! The ones I liked best were the simplest: big chunks of lobster in a smidgen of mayo in a perfectly toasted top-slit roll. Having been home a few weeks, we were longing for a lobster roll again. I tried my hand at making them for the first time. I researched recipes online and settled on Martha Stewart’s recipe for its simplicity. Our first lobster roll, and still the freshest and best, had been enjoyed at Beal’s Lobster Pier, on Mount Desert Island, where we were told Martha celebrates her birthday each August. These weren’t Beal’s, with a water view, but pretty darn good for being landlocked in Pennsylvania! And oh, Happy Birthday Martha!
Soup’s on! What? It’s August! With the mercury flirting in the 90s, a chilled soup is total perfection. This one features seasonal fresh corn and gets a super velvety texture from avocado. The addition of fresh jalapeno pepper gives the soup a hint of heat while a splash of lime juice enhances its Mexican flair. The soup is super easy and gets you out of the kitchen fast. We served it on the day it was made but if you want to make it ahead, prepare it as directed but hold off on adding the avocado until you are ready to enjoy the soup. You can get creative with toppings: thin slices of avocado, fresh corn kernels, lime zest, chopped chives all go well. I finished the soups with either a drizzle of olive oil or a drizzle of lime crèma( sour cream thinned out with lime juice). Both were invitingly delicious!
“I like tomato, you like to-mah-to. Let’s call the whole thing off.” George Gershwin
And I say whatever you call ’em, enjoy tomatoes as often as you can while they’re in season. Nothing compares in taste as the sun ripened juicy orbs we enjoy at this time of year! I seriously eat tomatoes every single day they are in season and never tire of simple sliced tomatoes with salt, pepper and shredded basil. If your’re looking to make the most of the season’s bounty, here are my top 12 most popular tomato recipes.( You can access the recipe by clicking on the highlighted titles). Substitute fresh tomatoes in all recipes and seek heirloom varieties when you can as they are often sweeter than the hybrids more commonly grown. Heirlooms have firmer flesh and their sweetness bumps up the essence of tomatoey goodness. Wishing you plenty of vine ripened tomatoes as summer wanes. Enjoy often! Continue reading →
Camden Maine is one of the most picturesque towns in the world. With its charming harbor on scenic Penobscot Bay, this Mid Coastal town’s population triples in the summer months. One visit and you will be smitten forever. This picture-perfect seaside community has been home to literary greats Richard Russo, Edna St-Vincent Millay and songwriter Don McLean. The town was the setting for Peyton Place, Steven King’s Thinner and In The Bedroom. Publishing tycoon Cyrus Curtis called it home. For all its illustrious history and fame, the town has preserved its appealing quaintness and charm.
The beautiful harbor of course is the highlight of any summer visit to Camden. However, the gardens and flowers of Camden are a very close second. Continue reading →
“I’m into very colorful food obviously, lots of flavor but I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great. The presentation has to be great.” Giada DeLaurentiis
When I entertain, I often turn to the garden to enhance the presentation of foods served. I like to pair seasonal foods with florals also seasonally growing in the garden. I walk outside and just snip some flowers to add interest to a dish. Most flowers will hold up without water long enough for this star role. The elegance and simplicity of a bloom, leaf or berry cluster will add beauty to any dish and elevate it to art. It enhances the visual appeal of a dish before it has even been tasted, engaging another one of our senses. Research has shown that when we find food more appealing visually, not only do we enjoy it more, we absorb more nutrients! Continue reading →
Chilled soups are refreshing in hot weather. This one transforms garden carrots into a velvety purée with ginger and honey imparting great flavor. Quick and simple, it can be made ahead a couple of days or frozen for future use. To serve, it can be fancied up with a dollop of crème fraîche and chopped chives but is equally good plain. The same recipe can be made to serve hot as well. I recently brought this soup to a friend and served it in Mason jars to travel easily and in style.