Simple Summer Recipes

Friday, September 11, 2009

I don't mean to be so recipe-centric, but I guess I've been cooking a lot lately. Here are four more recipes I have tried and liked in recent days:

Last Friday, I tried a Soy-Glazed Flank Steak from Everyday Food, which I cooked on a Le Creuset grill pan, since I lack an actual barbecue, and it was tasty. To accompany the steak I made a basic green salad and roasted new potatoes. I served them with another recipe from the Food & Wine article I mentioned, this one was a simple tomato salad with herbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano. For dessert, I made roasted plums (again from Everyday Food); they were delicious served with vanilla ice cream.

Then last night, I cooked this Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze, which appears in The Gourmet Cookbook (a personal favorite). We only cooked 1 lb. of fish, so I halved the ingredients on the glaze and only needed three minutes per side.

A Dead Fridge

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When I asked my boyfriend to get me some ice last night, he pulled out an ice cube tray full of water, which is how we discovered that my tired, old fridge had gone on the fritz. It was still keeping things cold, but not as cold as they should be. My sister (who lives a block away) is graciously hosting my mustard and soy sauce until I get a new one, but all the really perishable things had to be thrown out.

The thought of replacing the refrigerator has gotten me thinking about the rest of the kitchen. I've got cheap cabinets and ugly counters. It wouldn't cost me too, too much to replace all the cabinetry with new ones from Ikea, and I suspect the investment would be repaid whenever it comes time to sell my apartment. I could also probably do all the work myself, since it's such a small space.

Here's a snapshot of the kitchen this morning. What do you think? Should I just bite the bullet and do the whole thing?

Linguine with Tomatoes, Baby Zucchini and Herbs

Friday, September 04, 2009

Another great tomato recipe that I discovered this summer was the Linguine with Tomatoes, Baby Zucchini and Herbs in Food & Wine's August issue. (The article, 'The Cook The Farmer & The Tomato,' has several other tomato-centric recipes I am still dying to try.) I followed the recipe the first time, but upped the quantities of both garlic and herbs a bit--what can I say, I like garlic. I also forgot the red chile when shopping, so we substituted dried, crushed red pepper, which gave it that bit of kick.

Since that first test-drive, I've made this pasta several times. It's an easy, delicious way to enjoy summer herbs and vegetables at their best. The only cooking required is boiling a pot of water, so it's also a great choice for hot, New York City apartments. Plus, it makes for a really delicious leftover lunch the next day. Yum!

Tomato Salad with Olives and Lemon

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I made this delicious tomato salad recipe from Everyday Food last night, and it's a definitely a keeper of a recipe. (I used a combination of yellow and red tomatoes and pitted Kalamata olives. ) If you plan to make it yourself, the recipe on Martha Stewart's site has a typo--it's 1/4 cup of olives, not 1/4 gallon.

I also tried out a spinach and bacon frittata recipe from the September issue that was good, but it wasn't one I am dying to try again. I served both with a simple salad of endive, radicchio and baby arugula with vinaigrette and baguette and fancy, salted Irish butter. (I have decided the expensive butter is worth every penny, and I use so little that it's not a huge indulgence. However, Land 'O Lakes is still my go-to for baking.) All in all, a lovely, late summer meal.

Happy cooking!

I Heart Kate Spade

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Oh, Kate Spade, you really are just too much. I love your new website. I am nuts for your new clothing line (the red tights remind me of Harvey Faircloth, another clothing line I admired a while back). It is downright adorable that you have an Olivetti Valentine typewriter for your Twitter icon. This is all to say, I love your plucky spirit, your fresh style and your endless sense of playfulness. It's hard to believe, but I adored you even more when I got this adorable thank you "note" in my email box. Adorable.

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