It’s 90 sweltering degrees out. You’ve got company coming and need an impressive dessert. Walk away from that oven! Instead turn to one of these totally chillin’, easy to make desserts and be one totally cool host.
Click on the highlighted title to access the recipe.
1- Chocolate Mocha Icebox Cake
Summertime and the living is easy! When the temperature rises, we start grilling and living on salads in this household. Lots and lots of salads. Here are 15 of my favorite from the blog’s archives. Some are entrée salads. Many of them can easily be turned into a meal by adding a favorite grilled protein. They all lend themselves to substitutions of a preferred green or a more seasonal ingredient as the garden starts producing. There are several grain-based salads as I find they hold up well in the summer heat and can be assembled in advance. Again, feel free to substitute a different grain of choice. Make your salads come alive wth infused oils and vinegars and flavored salts. Click on the highlighted titles to access the recipes. Happy summer!
1- Roasted Honey Balsamic FIg Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
Don’t like figs? Grill peaches for an equally dazzling salad.
Container gardens integrate art and nature. They show the human hand controlling nature’s will. Containers provide a blank slate to bring in color, sculptural elements, reflective qualities and art in garden design and lend themselves well to being decorated. They can bring panache to the understated garden. They are the gardener’s tool to sharpen a desired focal point and enliven and energize a garden without a lot of effort or long term commitment. Container gardens can often offer that finishing touch in the garden’s design. Restraint is in order so that the pots don’t become overdone or too cartoonish. I have photographed many of the planters in my own garden, included sources when available and added a some ideas captured on recent tours of local gardens. I hope you will find many ideas to inspire you and have fun with your garden planters. Think beyond the pot!
A simple Eiffel tower adorns a window box and is a nod to the cultural heritage of the homeowner. It is an attention getter that injects whimsy in this classic window planter.
Vichyssoise is a refreshing soup to enjoy on a hot summer day. Fans of juicing with greens will know how nutritious the greens of vegetables are, yet most are discarded(guilty!). I recently made radish tartines and thought the peppery greens would be a good substitute for watercress in vichyssoise.
I gave it a try and the soup was quite delicious albeit a little less peppery than if made with traditional watercress. It was a pretty pale green. Serve with a big hunk of bread on the side.
“What do I know about man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” Samuel Beckett
There is nothing like the first harvest of garden radishes to herald summer. Although I don’t grow them myself, my neighbor Marty, a gifted organic gardener does and he generously shares the bounty of his impressive garden. Today, I came home with rosy, plump French radishes, pulled right out of the dirt! Radishes are best eaten raw without fuss, to let their crisp, peppery flavor shine through. In France they are enjoyed with a smear of butter and a sprinkling of fleur de sel, with or without bread. They are often featured on an open faced tartine over some fromage blanc.
“We all scream for ice cream!”
When I first read about frozen banana ice cream on the Safari of the Mind blog, I was skeptical. Freeze banana slices from 3 ripe bananas overnight. Purée in a blender and voilà: ice cream! Who knew? So easy and so darn good! Dairy free, rich and creamy, fat free with none of those icy bits that some healthier ice creams have in it. Loretta made hers with fresh cherries and some peanut butter as add ins. I followed her lead and tried the same combination but increased the quantity of cherries in mine. Still low fat and delicious! And such a pretty pink with no color additives! This is certainly a recipe that is ripe for experimentation. The puréed bananas are good alone or are the blank canvas for your own creations. Continue reading
“Gather a shell…And listen at its lips: they sigh…The echo of the whole sea’s speech.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The sea for me is rejuvenating and its majesty always awe-inspiring. This table setting recalls the breathtaking beauty of the beach and conjures up favorite seashore vacations. I started designing this tablescape with a piece of driftwood recently found on a windswept beach and our family collection of shells. I kept the table setting casual and carefree. An irridescent scarf in many shades of ocean blues shimmers across the table.