Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire
I am a sucker for a good lime. Yummm.. and sooo pretty and fresh. Right now, I am relaxing with a tall glass of iced limeade, and trying to find inspiration for this blog post. When alas - that is it - Limes or maybe even, summer foods.
I am definitely a BIG believer in seasonal eating. I like my pumpkin spice frappucino in the fall, my red velvet cake in the winter, my cherry jubilee ice cream in spring and my limes in the summer. ;-)
On a serious note - my shopping and recipes really do change. Because I live in the deep south where it is hot as hades with high humidity and no sea breeze, I tend to eat lighter in the summer months.
I though today I would share with you a few of my more favorite summer staples. Give them a try! I can assure you, no disappointments!
1 cucumber 2 garlic cloves 8 scallions (green onions)
2 1/2 cups of strained plain greek yogurt 5 tablespoons chopped, fresh mint
**plus extra mint for garnish Salt & Pepper (served with pita bread or good for sandwich spreads or a simple salad)
Trim the cucumber, but do not peel. Cut the cucumber into small neat dice. Finely chop the garlic & scallions. Beat the yogurt in the bowl with a fork until smooth, then fold in the cucumber, garlic, scallions & mint. Season the mix to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, & let chill in frig.
Light - Fresh - Delish!
Hummus bi tahini (egyptian style)
14 oz. canned chick peas, drained, rinsed
1 garlic clove, crushed to paste with a 1/4 tsp salt
3-4 tblsp of sesame seed paste (tahini) 2-4 tblsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp cumin EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) for thinning
Salt Warm pita to serve with Paprika Parsley
Put all but 1 tblsp chick peas into food processor. Add garlic & process to a thick, coarse paste. Add 3 tbsp of tahini & process again, until well-blended. Add tbsp lemon juice, cumin, & salt to taste. Process until creamy. Taste & add extra tahini &/or lemon juice, if desired.
For a thinner dip (preferred in the middle east) - w/motor running drizzle in oil or water until you reach the desired consistency.
To Serve: put in a bowl, add indention in the middle - put chickpeas & drizzle oil. sprinkle paprika & parsley. Frig up to 3 days, freeze up to one month.
**my FAVORITE daily treat - it's pronounced - Taheena
1large garlic clove crushed to a paste w/ 1/4 tsp salt (sea or kosher salt)
4-6 tblsp water, 4-6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 1/2 ounces sesame seed paste (Tahini)
1 tblsp freshly chopped parsley salt
** I add cayenne pepper,black pepper, paprika and a dash of vinegar for an extra kick. What is above is the basic recipe
Put garlic in a bowl & stir in 4 tbsp. water & 4 tbsp lemon juice. Use fork to whisk in tahini, then season to taste with salt (and other ingredients I added above). Taste & add extra tahini & lemon juice until sauce has a smooth, pouring consistency. Stir in parsley. Transfer to a bowl. ** it thickens when chilled. Just add more water or lemon juice.
Dip your pita, crackers or chips!
Pasta Salad - Thurston Style
1 large box angel hair pasta
1 cucumber, peeled, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch of scallions
1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 container of salad seasoning (small)
Dash of hot sauce
Mix all the ingredients together.
1 qt vanilla ice cream, soft (I pick the fat free)
1 (12 oz) can frozen LIMEADE (woo hoo), thawed
1-2 drops green food coloring
1 (6 oz) Graham cracker pie crust
Cool whip (fat free) and lime wedges
Beat ice cream, limeade and food coloring - medium speed until well blended. Spread into crust. Freeze 4 hours. Let stand at room temp - garnish with cool whip and lime wedges.
Pineapple Aloha Pie
1 8 inch graham cracker crust
4 oz. cream cheese 1/4 c sugar
10oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. whip cream.
In bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar & beat. Add pineapple & mix well. Spoon into pie crust. Chill.
** I am a BIG salad eater. Some of my favorite home made salad dressings are here:
GreeK Salad dressing
3/4 olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
Creamy Herb Salad Dressing
1 c. buttermilk 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped 1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 c. fresh parsley chopped 1/4 tsp dry mustard 1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp black pepper
As for other things I eat:
1. I chop cucumbers up and soak them in white vinegar or balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Then chill. I eat them as a snack.
2. I will bake chicken tenders and brush on olive oil and sprinkle lemon pepper for a quick fix.
What about you? What are some of your summer staples?