Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grilled-Asparagus with Cashews, Sangria with Fresh Blueberries & A Summer Salad!

How is it Memorial Day Weekend already? And do you know what that means?
It's time to take the parties outside!
We have plans to go to a cookout at a neighbor's on Saturday and to spend the day with friends out on Sandy Neck Beach on Sunday. I've been thinking about what I am going to make to share for each get together and decided to post my choices here in case you are looking for something different to bring to your Memorial Day outing.
Asparagus has been in abundance lately. Here's a super easy recipe for Grilled Asparagus that can be done out on the grill.
Grilled-Asparagus with Cashews
One summer Bella and I gave cooking lessons to a teen in his summer home and we made these.
1 lb fresh asparagus
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup of finally chopped cashews

Take a sheet of heavy foil and place asparagus spears (cut the tough ends off) in the center. Top with the salt, pepper, butter. Fold up the foil and seal the edges so you make a packet and asparagus is enclosed. Place on grill on a low heat. Cook for about 10 or so minutes rotating half way through. Remove from heat, make a slit in the top of packet and sprinkle with cashews. Note: if you use thin stalks cook less time. If you're not hosting the party prepare the packets at home and then toss on the grill when you arrive.

Sangria with Fresh Blueberries
Last summer I brought this to a few gatherings and friends still tell me how much they liked it. It's pretty tasty!
1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 orange cut into slices, 1 lemon cut into slices
1 1/2 cup of blueberry juice
1/2 cup of sugar
bottle of red wine
4 oz. triple sec

I always make things 'to taste' so test to see if it's the way you like it! Combine the juice, wine, triple sec and sugar in a pitcher-stir well. Add the blueberries, orange and lemon slices and stir gently. Chill for about two hours.

Layered Summer Salad

With so many ways you can vary this salad substitute the type of fruit or nut you prefer. Here is a way that I like it.

Fresh Romaine lettuce, Grilled Chicken, fully cooked and sliced, Fresh Strawberries, sliced Chopped Pecans, Crumbled Blue Cheese

In a large glass bowl take turns layering each of the ingredients with a thick layer of romaine at the bottom. Serve with your choice of dressing. We would use blue cheese, honey mustard or even a balsamic vinaigrette.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shopping with Bella & Popcorn Drizzled with Chocolate!

The weather this week makes me so happy! Sometimes, it really is the little things that make all the difference. It may rain later today or tomorrow. I picked up a bunch of new flowers to fill in my beds and I hope to get them planted first thing this morning.

Earlier this week I had so much fun shopping with Bella for the dress she is going to wear for her upcoming Semi-Formal at school. We went off Cape up to Plymouth and she found an adorable white floral strapless dress with a 'poofy' skirt. She looks gorgeous in it. Ahh, the joys of youth!

As for the Popcorn drizzled with Chocolate-I went to my Book Club meeting on Wednesday night to which I brought a yummy appetizer of mozzarella stuffed tomatoes with a hint of basil-when I was leaving the girls asked if their was a special treat around the house that they might snack on. I knew I didn't have much prepared. So I suggested they pop some popcorn and melt some of the chocolate chips I keep for baking cookies and drizzle that on the popcorn.
It's as good as it sounds and it was such a little thing that turned into a bit of fun for them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dreamy Island Cookies & Going With the Flow!

Each year right around this time I start to talk to my kids about summer plans. I encourage them to find something fun, new and even something they might challenge themselves on. Summer is definitely a time for feeling free and exploring options and trying out things there wasn't time for throughout the school year.

I asked Bella today if she had any interest in helping me with baking for the farm table this summer and she said she definitely was! That made me happy because I really look forward to having the kids around more over the summer.

It's been awhile since I've baked Dreamy Island Cookies and I look forward to getting back into making them. I think they might be my favorite cookie. They taste scrumptious but part of why I like them so much is the spirit around which I created them and the day trip I took with my kids years ago to Martha's Vineyard which inspired them in the first place.

As for going with the flow it never ceases to amaze me how much and how often life nudges (sometimes pushes) us to bend and sway with its lead. Summer's a great opportunity to practice going with the flow. I love heading to the beach when the sun's shining. I often put off things that need to get done simply because it's a great day on Cape Cod and nobody can resist that!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sophia's Book & Reciprocity

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true. ~Robert Brault

I baked jumbo chocolate chip cookies yesterday. The recipe is from "Meet Me in My Cape Cod Kitchen". They have a hint of peanut butter. My kids ate some as an after school snack yesterday and said "YUM" with mouths full and a glass of milk on the side. I also shared them with my students yesterday. I wasn't surprised when they ate every last one.

I've made mention before of how wonderful Sophia's book skills are so I decided to add a photograph of her most recent creation. The back page has a similar drawing but says; "you are the funnest to play with!" It sure is nice to feel so loved by her. I cherish her love for me so much.

As for reciprocity, I believe in the importance of shared kindness and generosity. I want my life to only be filled with people who cherish me as much as I cherish them!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Beach, Margarita's & Avocado's

It's official! I've been to the beach this year! I'm not just talking about a quick drive by or a walk in a sweatshirt either. It was so beautiful on Saturday that I decided to drop everything I was going to do and took my oldest daughter to the beach. We read, chatted with one another and soaked up the sun.

I am so glad we did. It gets me so excited for the upcoming summer.
On Saturday night I invited neighbors over to join us around our backyard fire-pit. I love this time of year. If you're lucky you can get a super warm day and a cool night-perfect for building a fire.

Avocado's are on sale this week at the grocery store so I served fresh guacomole with tortilla chips and delicious frozen Margarita's. The margarita's seemed perfect for the weekend before Cinco De Mayo.

I've been super busy teaching lately although I know I will be selling my cookies and copies of my cookbook at the Coonamessett farm again soon. I've decided to keep it simple this year. I will stock my table with packages of my own delicious creation: dreamy island cookies and leave an order form for special orders.
On Sunday Sophia and I made another trip down to the beach. We stopped down at South Cape for a walk and shell collecting. It was beautiful and very quiet. Picture is from South Cape.