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Aunt Joan’s Zucchini Boats

I like to say that I grew up “summering” in eastern Iowa. Forget the Cape or some lakeside retreat, my memories of summer involve loads of cousins, green lawns and hills to run around on, sprinklers, pools, tractors, and family. I have such great memories that, to this day, the smell of manure and pork […]

I Can Tell That We Are Going to be Friends

The Story of Lamb Barbacoa This last week or so has been filled with friends – new and old – and thus has been a highlight of the summer. An old friend from my grade school days in Houston was in town for work…and needed a few party platters – what are the odds on […]

Grilled Romaine

Grilled romaine? Really, grilled lettuce? Yes! So easy, so quick. The grill adds a slightly smoky flavor to the lettuce and just slightly wilts the leaves. It’s perfect for a Caesar Salad and also works great with other strong flavors like bleu cheese and bacon. Add a piece of grilled chicken or steak to the […]

Zucchini’s Gift: Squash Blossoms

On my third try growing summer squash this year, I have finally have blossoms and actual squash growing. I know, right? Who can’t grow summer squash? I mean, in late August, you can’t give the stuff away. Somehow, my own summer squash has alluded me. Alas, this year is looking good; and, I have squash […]

Boatloads of Basil

Every time I see loads of basil springing from my garden or the markets, I think – basil, tomato, mozzarella. Sandwich or salad? The classic combination never gets old for me. But, given the enormous amounts of basil screaming to be picked from my garden, I needed to think up something new to try. I […]

Grilled Balsamic Strawberries

Strawberries! Make me think of summers when I was young, picking strawberries in my grandmother’s strawberry patch, then watching her whip them up into pies and jams.  Who doesn’t love strawberry shortcake (doll or dessert), strawberry pie, or just some berries and cream? Me. I’m not the biggest fruit dessert fan and I was all […]

Welcome Summer with Barbecued Oysters

Oh sweet, sweet, barbecued oysters. The salty brine…the tangy barbecue sauce…hanging out around the grill waiting until they come off…awkwardly pretending like you didn’t just eat a dozen so it’s definitely your turn to eat the next round. Summer is here. I think barbecued oysters must be big out West, especially in Northern California. The […]

Glamour Flashback: The Mocha Cream Roll

OK, so this recipe doesn’t exactly fall into the ‘making the most of farm-fresh ingredients’ category, but I was in the mood to experiment with baking. And, I’ve been anxious to try more of my grandmother’s recipes from the vault.  Enter the Mocha Roll. Aka, Giant HoHo Filled with Kahlua-Spiked Whipped Cream. There is no […]

Clara’s Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Aaah!  This post is long overdue.  I took a quick trip to Texas to visit my family which prompted a minor state of depression after returning to a snowstorm from the land of blooming azaleas and temps that start with a 7.  I was also in the midst of making some 11th hour changes to my commercial […]

A Weekend with Carnitas

I think I’ve grown a snout. I was looking for something to do with a giant pork picnic roast I picked up at Smedberg’s, decided on carnitas, and have been enjoyed the tender but crispy meat in all sorts of dishes for days.  Then, without thinking much, I order a BLT for lunch yesterday?  My […]