Summer Eats

Have I told you how much I love food? If you are a regular reader of my blog then you must know this to be true. I love thinking about it, growing it, learning about it, understanding it, and, of course, eating it.

Summer, for me, is the prime of my cooking. Fall may be my favorite time to bake, but my cooking rocks it out in the summer. It is the glory days of the kitchen (and backyard grill). Plus, it’s the only time of the year that my meals are vegetable heavy and rightly so. After all, what in the world am I going to do with all those zucchinis? (Good question). 

I’ve made a few things recently that I wanted to mention in my blog, mostly for my own indexing benefit. But hey, you might enjoy them too.

Okay, this isn’t exactly a summer recipe, but since I still have some left in the freezer, it’ll count. Every spring, I search out the farmer’s markets for rhubarb. Rhubarb is a very odd thing and generally I have no idea what to do with it. Pie is not my thing, especially the “fruit” kind. But the only reason I hunt for it is because I make this fantastic BBQ sauce out of it. It makes quite a bit, so you can freeze it and enjoy it all summer long.

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

1 cup chopped rhubarb
2/3 c water
1 medium onion, diced
1 t oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c ketchup
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c corn syrup (boo. but there it is...)
2 T cider vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
splash of hot sauce
1/4 t salt

In a small saucepan, bring rhubarb and water to a boil. Reduce from heat; simmer, uncovered for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Poor contents into blender and process until smooth.

In the same pan, sauté onion in oil. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute longer. Add the remaining ingredients.

Whisk in rhubarb until blended. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Use as a basting sauce for grilled meats and/or serve it all over whatever you want.

*From Taste of Home


I did mention that I like fall baking more (due to my love of pumpkins and apples). However, these peach cobbler scones are worth a shout out. I found this recipe on Joy the Baker’s blog. She is brilliant. I’ve only tried a few things out from her site, but dang, everything is awesome. I made these scones the other week at Mojo’s and loved them so much I decided to keep the recipe too. If are blessed with the “burden” of peaches, then I highly recommend making these scones. If not, please send some of your fruit to me and I will gladly be overwhelmed by them.

Peach Cobbler Scones

3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
3 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t sa;t
1/2 c butter, cold and cut into chucks
1/4 c veggie shortening
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c cream or buttermilk, cold
1 t vanilla
1 ripe peach, sliced thin
1/4 c buttermilk, for brushing
2 T sugar
3/4 t cinnamon

Shift together all the dry ingredients and cut butter and shortening into it until the fat bits are the size of oat flakes. (This is easier in the food processor).

In a separate bowl combine egg, cream, and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until it makes a soft dough.

On a floured surface, kneed dough a few times. (Don't let the dough get too warm). Roll out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush half of the dough with the buttermilk. Cover the same section with peaches and 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar. Gently fold the empty side over the peach side. Cut into 8 pieces and brush with the rest of the buttermilk and cinnamon sugar.

Bake scones for 15-18 minutes at 400 F.

*Source: Joy the Baker Blog


Cold soups and I have come a long way. Back in the day when I was living with my parents one summer in Illinois, I tried making gazpacho for supper. It was not good. That is one of the meals I remember making that was so bad we didn’t even eat it. I think we busted out the leftovers. Ugh. Since that moment, I avoided cold soups like the plague. They were gross, right? Those were my convictions until the summer of 2010. After returning from South Africa, the director of the Radical Journey program I was involved in took all of the participants to one of my favorite places on earth: Café Too (now called Inspiration Café) in Uptown in Chicago. The entire meal was lovely, with multiple courses. For the soup option, there was a curry-based soup and a cold beet soup. Obviously, I choose the former. However, it turned out to be way spicier than my white tongue could handle. So, I switched with a fellow RJ-er who had the beet soup. I don’t know if I really planned on eating it, since I also am not a beet fan. But I tried it. Oh. My. Word. Life changing. Since then, I have been more prone to at least try cold soups at restaurants. Some have been more successful than others. Still, when I saw this recipe for a cold avocado soup, I was intrigued. It also helped that this recipe is from Joy the Baker. It had to be good. And, friends, I was not disappointed.

Cold Avo soup

2 ripe avos
1 cup veggie broth
1 T lime juice
2 T sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 1/4 c water

onion, diced
fresh corn, sliced off the cob

In a food processor, blend together avo, broth, lime juice and greek yogurt. Add water as needed. Cover and chill in the fridge.

For topping, saute all ingredients and put on top of the soup.

*Source: Joy the Baker's blog


It would not be summer for me unless tea-punch was involved. Tea punch (which is essentially iced tea with lemon and orange juice) was always a special summer treat, especially at my grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania.  When I think of this delicious beverage, I think of grilling hamburgers in their backyard, cousins sitting on blankets, the smell of the woodlands, grandpa cranking ice cream by hand, and a jug of tea punch sweating on a card table.   

Tea Punch

1 1/2 c orange juice
3/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2 c sugar

Heat 2 cups of water plus sugar together until sugar dissolved. Do not boil. Add to the orange juice and lemon juice.

Boil 4 cups of water. Remove from heat and add:
8 tea bags

Steep for 10 minutes. Add to juice mix and add enough water to make a gallon.


Happy chomping everyone!