summer fruit

My mother is Korean, and if you know anything about Korean mothers, you’ll know their obsession with feeding their children fruit. When I visit my mom, I’m usually leaving with a bag of fruit in hand. So it’s no wonder that the bounty of summer fruit factors heavily into my summer eating. You can’t beat just eating them fresh at their ripest, but once you’ve gorged through mountains of cherries, peaches, plums, berries, & melons, you have to start looking for other ways to enjoy them.

I started off making this strawberry summer cake from Smitten Kitchen. It’s become my go to easy cake this year and it’s also delicious with mango. The next two on my to make list are Ina Garten’s mixed berry pavlova and summer fruit galette from David Lebovitz.

I make this big batch of brandied cherries each year and freeze them. These little ruby red gems are fantastic in a Manhattan or an Aviation cocktail, spooned over ice cream or sponge cake, or even drizzled over yogurt. This peach tart from Food52 looks totally doable and I love that it gives a zillion variations. When you’re grilling on the bbq, these grilled peaches with creme fraiche from White on Rice are an easy and elegant dessert.

 
 

For a few healthier options, fruit salads are always a good way to go. After cutting up the fruit, toss with a little lemon or lime juice, honey, and chopped mint leaves. If you have leftovers add them to your smoothie or freeze it for a future smoothie. If you haven’t tried the watermelon salad from Love and Lemons, the salty cheese combined with the melon is a great combination, and these tropical coconut popsicles from Pick Up Limes are a cool snack.

 
 

easy slow cooker applesauce

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this is an easy and healthy snack or dessert that’s great for adults and kids. i used granny smith apples because their tartness balances out the sweet. it’s great on yogurt with a sprinkle of granola or nuts, warm oatmeal, or ice cream. enjoy!

6-8 granny smith apples, cored & cut into quarters

1/2 cup apple juice or cider

3 Tablespoons sugar or honey (i used coconut sugar but any sugar will do)

sprinkle of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of ground cardamom (optional)

add all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and mix together. put on high and check after 2 hours and mash with potato masher or inversion blender into big chunks. Cook for another 1 to 2 hours checking after each hour and mashing to your desired smoothness. Add a little additional liquid if needed each time you check on it.

favorite cookbooks

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i heard ina garten on milk street radio this morning and happy to hear she has a new cookbook coming out this month called cook like a pro. ina has been an enduring favorite of mine. her relaxed style and serene home, make you wish she’d invite you to her gorgeous east hamptons abode and sit at her counter while she cooks for you and her husband jeffrey. her recipes are pretty simple but stylish and her cookbook covers are also super comforting to see. i just love to see their bright colors and stripes sitting on the bookshelf.

ina owned a very popular specialty food store in east hampton called the barefoot contessa in the late 70’s and 80’s. she went on to do catering and from there started writing cookbooks and her tv show which is the oldest running show on the food network. she has 11 cookbooks in all but here a few of my favorites and links to a couple of recipes that i’ve made over and over again.

Barefoot Contessa at Home - whiskey sours her drink recipes are great for parties

green herb dip - simple but delicious dip with veggies

chicken salad sandwiches & chicken salad veronique- chicken and tuna salad need to make a comeback! classic

lamb kebabs with couscous - the only recipe i could find online doubles the recipe in the book, so just half each ingredient if you don’t need to feed a large crowd.

Barefoot Back to Basics - tuscan lemon chicken - great for fall barbecue

company pot roast - another classic

Barefoot Contessa Family Style - parmesan chicken -i’ve made this a ton and it’s great with company because you make it ahead of time, keep it in the lowest oven setting and just plate with a salad when you’re ready.

Ina Garten Make it Ahead - crunchy iceberg salad with creamy blue cheese

Cook Like a Pro - this is her new cookbook coming out this month and this is a sneak peak recipe from it that i can’t wait to try. cauliflower toasts