Summer Food is Okay 2016

What’s for dinner? I think we have yogurt. I am done. It’s just been too, too much summer. I had to write some things down. Memories.

RANCH DRESSING

IMG_8584A kid asked me what ranch dressing is and I didn’t really know, so I made this one and we liked it. You sure can dip broccoli and carrots and cucumbers in there. I also ate it on cold chicken.

I used the Nom Nom Paleo recipe (link above), but my version was less paleo and more like: 1/3 c Hellman’s mayonnaise + 1/2 c coconut milk (the fatty kind from a can) + juice  and zest of one lemon + minced up parsley (to = 1/3 cup) + 1 tsp. dried dill + 1 clove garlic + salt + pepper. Whirl this up with an immersion blender in a storage jar. 

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As wholesome as Vermont itself.

ACCEPTABLE SYRUP

This is not a recipe and is barely a craft.

This month, I transitioned from real maple syrup to sugarless. I started by going halvsies: half real, half sugarless. Then 1/3rd + 2/3rds. Then 1/4 + 3/4s. Finally zero maples, all artificials.

The biggest hurdle was not the taste, but the ugly packaging of the sugarless syrup. To solve that, I used one of these flip-closed wine decanter things. Its opening (unlike that of most available spigots) is wide enough to allow the fake syrup to emerge in a reasonable drizzle.

The bottle I used is from a fancy kombucha. The sticker I used is from the valentines I found in a clearance bin at J. Crew. One heart hump is already wearing away, enhancing the fake syrup’s wabi sabi charm.

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This is one of those bowls of ingredients that, as soon as you start thinking THIS IS TOO MUCH DRY STUFF PER WET STUFF, boom, it all comes together into a uniform mass. Then you can make balls.

LETHARGY BALLS

Whole Foods was offering samples of these as “energy balls” and I was immediately hooked. They provided a recipe card. I’ve been making them continuously. I changed the name because they can be used to perk up a lethargic person, and also, if too many are eaten at once, you need a gluttony nap.

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5 g CHO each.

Combine 2/3 cup peanut butter, 1T honey, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup ground flax, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips. Roll into 27 balls. Store in fridge or freezer.

FullSizeRenderJOE’S SUMMER CHICKEN

When it is too hot to cook and too hot to stand near a grill, this is the correct chicken.

Make more than you need (double, triple) so you can have cold grilled chicken in a lettuce-mayo wrap the next day.

Joe based his recipe on this recipe. He has made it with and without the cilantro butter. That butter is delicious but unnecessary. Joe’s big secret is slicing the chicken into thin pieces so that it cooks faster.

1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breast halves, each bisected into a thin slab (or buy cutlets). Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Marinate for an hour or all day in: juice of one lime, one glug of olive oil, and a handful of minced-up cilantro. Grill for a few minutes per side. It’s fast.

Eat this chicken with the herb butter found in the original recipe, or with peach salsa or grilled peaches.

PEACH SALSA, COULD ALSO BE MADE WITH PLUMS OR ANY FRUIT

 

Peach salsa = combine 4 peaches, cut into tiny dice + half of a red onion, minced; juice of one lime; 1T grated ginger; 1 jalapeño, minced; 1 bunch cilantro leaves, minced.

GRILLED PEACHES, EASIER

Grilled peaches = halve peaches (at least half of a peach per person). Remove pit. Rub with olive oil & sprinkle with salt. Grill cut side down, until grill marks appear. This will take about the same time to grill as the thin pieces of chicken. Yay.

LOOKING FORWARD

Today my hard copy of DJ Foodie‘s Taking Out the Carbage arrived. It is a huge, heavy, beautiful book full of things I imagine I will actually make. I am looking forward to cooking a bunch of stuff from it. But not until it’s cooler outside. Until then, I enjoyed the wrapping paper.

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