Much to my dismay, summer is rapidly coming to an end. Technically, you could continue drinking sangria into the fall. But for me, there is something so summery and refreshing about it, that I find myself trying to find as many excuses as possible to have sangria before the outdoor dinner parties and BBQs come to an end. I made this for the first time on the 4th of July, and it was so good, I made it again two days later when friends came over to hang at the pool. The unique mix of sweetness and basil keeps it light and refreshing. I recommend making this the day before (doing everything except for adding the club soda), to help strengthen the flavor.
This isn’t my first time posting about rhubarb. I get really excited when rhubarb becomes available each summer because I love making pies, cobblers and shortcake. But here is another way to incorporate rhubarb into your summer desserts – strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bars. The best part about these is if you don’t eat them all the same day you make them, they make a great breakfast the next morning with a smoothie or some eggs.
So this weekend is my five year college reunion. A lot has changed in the five years since I graduated from Hamilton College. One of the ways I’ve changed is I’ve really upped the caliber of cocktails I drink. In college, partly because we lived in upstate NY and weren’t going out to cool bars with trendy drinks and partly just because we were poor and lazy, there was a lot of vodka/Crystal Light combinations, and sadly even some Andre. So in honor of being back at college this weekend, I have two fun and classy summer cocktails to drink this summer.
What is better for a summer gathering than a fruit tart? Nothing really. This one happens to be slightly more complicated (and involves some prep work ahead of time, so make sure to plan ahead), but it is so delicious that it is definitely worth the extra work. The homemade cream is so amazing! And the best part is, you can decorate it with any kind of fruit and can get creative with your designs.
Guys, drop everything you’re doing and go buy yourself a popsicle mold before tomorrow so that you can enjoy these amazing popsicles on Memorial Day (I have a slightly fancier popsicle maker which I used here, but you can also just do the classic plastic ones, or buy paper cups and wood sticks). I’ll be enjoying these at the pool today.
To me, this is one of those quintessential summer dinners. It involves a lot of different vegetables, and is healthy and light, but also filling. The corn cakes are similar to the zucchini fritters I posted previously, so if you liked those, definitely try this out. These have quickly become a new favorite in my house, made even better by the tomato and avocado home-made salsa we served with them. The green bean salad is another light and healthy item with a lot of diverse flavors, but it takes very little time to throw together.
Ceviche is one of those things I’ve only more recently started to like. For a long time, I avoided almost all seafood. This really only ended when my parents took me to Turks and Caicos for Christmas and I realized that if I was going to eat anything on the trip, I really needed to start enjoying fish. So while I was home this summer, I got my dad to make his famous ceviche. And I have to say, I deserve no credit for this recipe. I just simply sat back, photographed the steps, and then ate the amazing food.
I have very fond memories of angel food cake from my childhood. This cake is so light and fluffy, and goes so well with so many toppings, which is probably why we ate it at lots of family birthday celebrations. So in honor of my birthday tomorrow, my grandmother’s birthday on Wednesday, and my mom’s birthday next Sunday (yes Septembers were really crazy in our house), I wanted to share these recipes with you all.
While I was home in California this summer, I decided to do a taste test and bake a regular angel food cake, and a gluten free version (my mom has celiac disease). My awesome friend Jenny (who also has a birthday this coming week) helped, and I have to say they were both equally delicious. So if you’re entertaining anyone in the near future who has celiacs, I definitely recommend this cake. And if not, well go ahead and make it for yourself. Just be prepared to go through a carton of egg whites!
When I come home to California in the summer, I feel like all I eat is fresh veggies and fruits. In my parents’ garden alone, I can find tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplants, nectarines, plums, peaches, blackberries, and tons of flowers and herbs. And living on the east coast, I definitely feel deprived of all of this fresh produce, so we often try to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible in one meal. One of my favorite meals at home is grilled veggies on bread with pesto and fresh tomatoes. So before summer ends, I just wanted to share this dish with you. This is one of those that doesn’t really have a recipe. It’s really about doing whatever fresh vegetables you can find at your local market. But here’s a list to give you some ideas.
2 slices of your favorite bread per person (I bought rosemary bread at Whole Foods)
1 cup fresh made pesto
Sliced zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion, pepper, brushed with oil
Sliced tomato to garnish
Sliced cheese, optional
1. Warm bread in oven (if using cheese, go ahead and melt it on the bread). Grill veggies on grill. Make pesto (see here).
2. Top bread with pesto and cheese, cover with as many vegetables as you can, and then top with fresh tomato.
At a dinner party this summer, our friends made an amazing spicy cucumber gazpacho that I wanted to recreate. I decided it would be the perfect thing to take to jazz in the sculpture garden on a humid Friday night. But as luck would have it, jazz got rained out. But we still really enjoyed this soup. We ate it for dinner with some garlic bread, but you could also serve it as a light summer appetizer.