This year I cursed my garden all season. There weren’t enough zucchini. The tomatoes were late. The butternut squash never grew. But as the cold sets in and the basil leaves start to turn brown, I’m struggling to hold on to every last morsel of my garden.
For the past month I’ve been squirreling away vegetables and fruit; freezing bags full of fresh raspberries, corn and cherries. I canned tomato sauce, applesauce and peaches. And I blanched and froze spinach, greens and zucchini. My freezer and my cupboards are bursting with memories of the warm summer months. And in one last attempt to save everything I picked all my semi-red (and green) cherry tomatoes, which are spread out in pans in our window.
Tonight’s meal encompassed all of the summer flavors. Fresh corn. Fresh tomatoes. Fresh basil.
Even if it was all from the freezer, it was delicious.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer.
Pappardelle With Corn
adapted from the Food Network’s recipe
2 ears corn, shucked
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
12 ounces pappardelle pasta (I used whole wheat egg noodles)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for topping (my favorite is Heber Valley’s Aggiano)
Torn basil, for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with tongs, reserving the boiling water. Let the corn cool slightly, then cut off the kernels.
Melt 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the corn water as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the vegetable broth and corn kernels to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
Add the pasta to the skillet; add the green onions, parmesan, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to combine, adding the reserved cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan and basil.
I always find myself needing a snack to bring to office parties, movie nights or spur of the moment get togethers. I found this recipe (which combines three of my favorite foods) and looked easy enough to throw together in a couple hours.
I thought that I had made way too many but there were only three left when we left the party. And zero left when we got home.
This recipe is dedicated to my mother-in-law, Nonie, who loves peanut butter, chocolate and pretzels just as much as I do.
Chocolate peanut butter pretzels
recipe from Buns in my Oven
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp softened butter
1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 – 1 cup brown sugar
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine the peanut butter, butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar in a mixer. Beat until well combined. Add more sugar as needed to get the mixture to a consistency where you can easily roll it without it sticking to your hands. If the mixture gets too sweet, add 1/4 tsp of salt to cut the sweetness.
Roll the mixture into small balls (about 1 tsp of the mixture for each ball). Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a double broiler or carefully in a microwave. Dip one half of each sandwich into the chocolate mixture to coat and then set aside. Repeat with all the sandwiches and then place them back in the freezer until the chocolate has hardened back up. Store in the fridge.
It’s been about three years since I’ve last seen my grandmother so this past weekend my mother and I visited her for her 82nd birthday. The three of us wined and dined over lots of laughter.
My grandmother and I talk every week. We talk a lot about gardening and food. And lately we’ve talked about how different cooking is through the generations. My grandmother boils everything. I roast everything. And my mother is somewhere in between.
Months ago when I planned this trip I thought it would be fun to bring a bunch of beets over and roast them in the oven with feta cheese and eat on top of beet greens. It’s probably my favorite (and the most simple way) to cook beets. Roasting brings out the natural sugar of the vegetable. And I hoped to teach my grandmother a new way of cooking. She loved them.
Roasted Beets with Feta
Beets, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450-degrees. In a medium bowl toss sliced beets, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread beets out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in oven about 20 minutes. Flip the beets and cook for another 20 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. (The time really just depends on how thick your beets are sliced but it’s usually any where between 30 and 45 minutes). Put in a bowl to serve and top with feta cheese.
You can put the beets on bed of salad or on top of grains. I like to eat them on the beet greens.
With two 100-year apple trees, we spend our Fall eating meals and meals of apples. Apple salad. Apple bread. Apple pancakes. Apple fritters. Apple muffins. Apples and honey. Applesauce. Dried apples. But one of my favorites is apple bread. It’s the way I start my day and the way I end my night. I usually make a big batch and freeze half to eat in the middle of winter after a long day on the slopes. That’s, of course, if half even makes it to the freezer.
Fresh Apple Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup finely shredded, unpeeled apple
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and set aside. In a medium bowl
combine first seven ingredients.
In another medium bowl combine egg, sugars, apple and oil.
Add apple mixture all at once to the flour mix. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). If adding, fold in nuts and spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake in 350-degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
(Instead of apple, you can also use zucchini. Prepare the same as above)