Friday, July 30, 2010

Summertime 2010 Favorite Recipes

It's Friday-- the end of a very long work week!   I so miss not having the time to cook for my family, during the week. On the weekends, I am spending time in the kitchen trying out new recipes.  However,  I am hesitating to share some of these with you, because they involve an oven-- or are served nice and hot.  I've been watching the weather, nationwide, and I see that so many of you are living in hot and humid conditions. Here I am, living on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula (California) where we are experiencing unusually cooler temps and lots of overcast skies.  So, I'll save those recipes for a few weeks down the road when the summer heat has cooled down.  Instead,   I thought I'd post some tried & true recipes that my family and I have enjoyed from last summer.  Just looking at these photos has inspired me to make these again.   So, without further adieu, here's a roundup of recipes that I hope you'll enjoy:

Figs,  Brie & Prosciutto on the grill-- such a simple and terrific appetizer.  I'm on the lookout for fresh figs at my local Whole Foods!

 Our garden tomatoes are just now turning bright red, and our basil is doing very well in our containers.  I could eat Bruschetta every day, and never grow tired of it.  This is one of my favorite snacks of all time!


Thawed puff pastry, cheese, fresh basil  are the perfect appetizer (or light meal) for summer tomatoes. This Tomato Tart & Three Cheese Tart recipe was adapted from Ina Garten.  So good!

Pineapple-Mango Salsa -- I love to serve this with grilled pork tenderloin or any kind of fish. 

Antipasto Pasta Salad (Cook's Illustrated) - I particularly love the quick marinated mushrooms that are tossed into this salad.  In fact, I could just eat a big bowl of these mushrooms! The creamy vinegar-based dressing, mixed with Italian cold cuts, cheese, roasted bell peppers and a few other pantry ingredients is perfect side dish or a summer meal on a hot day.

I have made this Raspberry Lemon Tart several times. The shortbread crust is the perfect vehicle for fresh summer raspberries.  There is just enough lemon balance to the simple egg custard, that bakes to a nice chewy creamy center.  You can use any kind of summer berries that you like.

Strawberry Cream Cake is a Cook's Illustrated success story.  The cake is very easy to make.  The frosting is a silky combination of real whipped cream and cream cheese.  I'll show you how to make this beautiful tower with fresh summer strawberries.

This weekend, I plan to make this Apricot Cream Cake (Rahm Kuchen).  This is an heirloom recipe from my Bavarian cousin.  Her crust is out of this world!  The topping has sour cream, heavy cream and a few other ingredients.  This is not diet food, but it's a summer treat that's one of our very favorites.

The Monterey Peninsula's true summer is just now saying "hello" with blue skies and warmer temperatures-- in the high 60's.  Tourists say it's way too cold here, but I tell them that the best time to visit our beautiful area is during the months of August through October.  Still, air conditioning is something that we California Central Coast residents don't have in our homes-- it isn't really necessary.  Our average temperatures tend to stay in the 70's.  Every so often, we hit higher temperatures.... once, in a blue moon, we might hit triple digits.  That makes headlines, because we are so spoiled with our coastal breezes!   Feel free to come visit the Central Coast of California, so that you can escape the hot temperatures.   However, since I live here, I work and can't play tourist very often.  This weekend, I plan to fire up the grill and to enjoy the fresh summer produce from my own backyard-- the Salinas Valley!
If you click on the links to each recipe, you will find how to make these and a printable recipe.

I hope that many of you will find cooler temperatures and that you are enjoying your summer. For me, I'm enjoying the weekend that is to come!



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14 comments:

Joanne said...

I love these favorites! I tend to do most of my cooking on the weekend as well due to school so I know how you feel. I definitely start to crave it by the end of the week!

Stacey Snacks said...

why am I looking at all of these right before bed??? they all look divine!
Have a great weekend Deb!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You're so lucky to live in that part of the U.S. It is truly gorgeous there and I love visiting too. All your dishes look really terrific, but those figs and prosciutto are really tempting me.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'm ready to go to bed and I'm having hunger pains now, thanks Deb!

Kathleen said...

Great list of summer recipes! I can't wait to try them all!!!

Big Dude said...

I recipes sound great for our weather - sure wish I could say "unusually cooler temperatures", can't recall the last time it was below 90.

bellini valli said...

This is quite the roundup of family favourites. I have had my eyes peeled for figs too. So far this year they have been elusive as have baby artichokes.

Kate said...

Thanks for recipe review...it is fun to go back and find old favorites. I am going to make the Raspberry Lemon Tart! It sounds delicious.

Marguerite said...

I love every one of these! They all look fabulous! I wish that I had a big bowl of that Antipasto Salad, right now! And that Strawberry Cream Cake looks heavenly! Thanks for sharing!

bella said...

I'll have to try the mango pineapple salsa because I'm over in Hawaii and the pineapple is oh so sweet from the freshness here! Yes, it is so hot at home; we've escaped the 98 - 100 degree temps in the Carolina's and have been enjoying the mid 80's and brisk trade winds on the islands. Check out the recipe that I just posted this week from a top chef out here; the recipe is in his cookbooks and on the web. It was just incredible. Roz

TKW said...

Boy, how to choose? I almost licked the screen!

Celeste said...

That appetizer got my mouth watering something fierce!

Monica H said...

What a great collection of recipes. As you know we enjoyed that shortbread tart :-)

LadyJayPee said...

I'd love to try that raspberry tart! We had the pleasure of passing through your area on a road trip in May. If I could live anywhere in the US, I think it would be there just for the gardening possibilities!