Tag Archives: Summer

Blueberry Cream Scones


Oh hey there blogosphere.

Apparently, I decided to take an extended vacation from blogging. The sad thing is that I don’t really have an excuse. Posting kept being pushed back with another, “I’ll do that next week,” or, “I’m too tired to write tonight,” or, perhaps even worse, “That’s not blog-worthy.” Fail, Rosemary, fail.

The other sad thing is that it’s not like I haven’t been cooking. I have so many pictures of food it’s unhealthy. I’m totally that hipster who only takes pictures of food–but I don’t post them to Instagram or a tumblr. I’m like the not-cool, cool kid. Whoops.

So today marks my return to blogging. And I bring you some blueberry scones as a peace offering. These were absolutely delicious. I LOVE scones. Love them. They take about ten minutes to put together, fifteen minutes to bake, and the reward is amazing. These scones are a good mix of flaky and fluffy (is that weird?), and they taste great the next day. I personally like them slightly warm so the berry juice gets flowing, but they taste just as good at room temperature.

Happy Eating!

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No-Cook Summer Recipes

Prosciutto and Melon Salad, Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad, Negronis

Summertime is a time for being outside and hanging out with friends and family.  It is not a time for slaving over a hot stove.  Who needs it to be any hotter than it already is?  Luckily, summer is also a time when gardens and farmers’ markets are exploding with great produce that requires little else than a bit of chopping and a dash of salt for eating.

Brandon and I love August, because it means heirloom tomatoes and sweet stone fruits, and last summer, I shared one of our very favorite recipes using just those two ingredients.  This summer, we’ve happened upon another foolproof dish using one of this season’s best ingredients, and to be honest, not one I’ve ever been fond of:  melon.  I’ve always found melon to be cloyingly sweet and unpleasant to eat, but when it’s drizzled in mint-infused balsamic vinegar and wrapped in prosciutto, its deliciousness cannot be denied.

Another score for no-cook summer salads:  they’re easy to pack for picnics and brown bag lunches.  Like Rosemary mentioned in her recipe for wild rice salad, packed lunches can get monotonous, so why not spice them up with an unexpected salad?

Lastly, these recipes are great for brunching and entertaining.  Guests will be surprised that you can pair peaches with tomatoes and ham with melon.  And to really kick it up a notch, serve your salads with an easy, but refreshing summer cocktail, like a Negroni—our unofficial cocktail of summer 2012.  It’s bright red color and citrusy flavor is a great way to get a party started. Continue reading

Cherry Pie Crumble Bars

It’s often said that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, here’s a new one for you: when the grocery store offers you cherries at $1.99/lb, buy a LOT of cherries. If you are part of my family, this means roughly 7 lbs of cherries. We’re in cherry heaven over here. Between Rainier cherries (my favorites) to the more common Bing variety, we’ve been eating cherries pretty much nonstop for the past few weeks.

Which means that, ultimately, one needs to come up with a way to use some of these cherries–especially when one has plans for a picnic on Roosevelt Island. Having never been much of a jam/preserve person, I quickly crossed that possibility off my list. What I really wanted to make was a pie. Pies, however, are difficult to transport, especially on the unforgiving and overcrowded D.C. Metro. Solution? Pie bars! I’ve been eying this recipe for a couple of weeks and, with my sudden bounty of cherries, the time was right to take a crack at this recipe.

The bars come together pretty quickly. I’m sure they’d come together even more quickly if you’ve been blessed with a cherry pitter. I, however, am not so fortunate (yay law student budget!). It’s pretty simple to halve the cherries and gently squeeze out the pit, but it is time-consuming, so leave yourself ample time to do that. The result, however, is well worth the cherry-stained fingers (and shirts and aprons). You get incredibly juicy cherries, sandwiched between two layers of flaky shortbread with just a hint of cinnamon and (in my version) of Chambord. Drooling yet? I thought so.

So here’s to cherry season and to picnics! Now go forth and make some pie. Happy eating!

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Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

I love going to the farmers market. It’s always wonderful seeing the assortment of vegetables and fruits that change throughout the season and often vary from week to week. If I had my way, I’d be able to stroll through a different market every day of the week. While that’s theoretically feasible, those little things called “work,” “school,” and–my least favorite–“budget” make it practically impossible. So when I get the time to go, I tend to indulge.

These were so pretty–had to pick some up for my mom!

One of my favorite things to eat is a zucchini blossom. Incredibly delicate with a mild zucchini flavor, these flowers capture the best of summer. I was first introduced to them through my host family in Italy, and I now spend my summer trips to the farmers market crossing my fingers that they are in stock.

Zucchini Blossoms

If you do find some, be sure to make them the day of. They have an incredibly short shelf life. Preparing zucchini blossoms is also pretty easy. Simply make a slit in one side of the blossom, remove the stamen, and wipe the inside and the outside with a damp paper towel. At that point, you are ready to stuff them with whatever you want, batter them, and pan fry ’em up!

Here’s hoping that there are still zucchini blossoms at your farmers market. Happy eating!

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Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad

Hurry!  You must get to your farmers’ market quick.  With the beginning of fall creeping in, we are officially nearing the end of both tomato and peach seasons.  If you are thinking, “Who cares?,” then you have never had the joy of slicing up a densely-flavorful heirloom tomato or biting into a perfectly juicy and sweet peach.

Others of you might think, “Heirloom tomatoes?  You mean those ugly, cracked, overpriced things?”  Yes, I do.

Heirloom tomatoes are not your everyday tomatoes.  They come in many shapes and sizes—ranging from red to yellow to striped green to purple—and can range in flavor from slightly peppery to candy-sweet.  Their flesh seems to pack so much more flavor than your normal hybrid breed, and they are rarely mealy or watery like many tomatoes.  Many farmers say that the uglier the heirloom, the better.  Don’t pass one by for having a small crack on its side.  It is probably a gem.  Hung up on the price tag?  Let me ask you, how many bad, mealy tomatoes have you wasted your money on over the years?  I promise you, these babies are worth the extra $1 per pound.

Simply sliced with a drizzle of good olive oil, heirloom tomatoes will steal the meal, but in my opinion, the best way to showcase these bad boys is with another seasonal item:  the humble peach.  The combination might seem a bit strange, but trust me, the tomatoes and peaches bring out the best in each other.  For me, this salad is the highlight of summer. Continue reading

Hungarian Plum Dumplings

Many years ago, as a young girl in my early teens, my only means of moneymaking was babysitting, and I did a lot of it.  It’s not so surprising that I’m now a teacher.

One of the families I babysat for, the Digby family, was Hungarian, and one night, when I arrived at their home to babysit, Mrs. Digby introduced me to her homemade Hungarian plum dumplings.  They were soft, juicy, and just sweet enough.  Because she knew how much I enjoyed them, Mrs. Digby made a batch of dumplings for me each time I babysat, and eventually, she scribbled down the recipe for me, so I could attempt to reproduce them in my own home.

Well, as a very young teenager, I wasn’t quite into cooking the way I am now, and the dumpling recipe got lost amongst report cards and notes between friends documenting adolescent crushes and school gossip.  In short, the recipe was never used.

Until now.  Last month, while visiting my family in Ohio, my mom uncovered the recipe for plum dumplings in a box full of middle school artifacts.  Both of us couldn’t believe that the recipe, written on three sheets—front and back—of Gateway computer notepad paper, survived this long.  I was excited by the discovery and vowed to recreate Mrs. Digby’s dish.

With it now being “stone fruit season,” I thought it was the perfect time to make the dumplings.  I was eager to see if they would bring me the same satisfaction as they did so many years ago.

Well, it is amazing the way food can take you back to a certain time and place, and these dumplings took me back to Mrs. Digby’s kitchen (luckily, without the feeling of awkward adolescence).  They are the same soft, juicy, and just-sweet-enough dumplings that I remembered and are surprisingly easy to make. Continue reading

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