Monday, June 27, 2011

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

It's rhubarb harvest time and that means we need recipes that use serious quantities of it.  This recipe looked promising - it uses 4 cups of chopped rhubarb.  That was music to my husband's ears (he loves rhubarb--it's a Minnesota thing) but not mine.  I decided to substitute strawberries for 1 cup of rhubarb.  My husband was skeptical. (It makes him nervous when I start changing recipes.)

Well, ha!  Because this crisp turned out to be really good.  And with a few strawberries, the whole family could enjoy it.  If your rhubarb addict is a purist, you may want to go with the original recipe which is 100% rhubarb.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Apricot Almond Tart

I found some beautiful apricots at the market yesterday and wanted to make something nice with them.  Hello!  Within a few minutes I had printed off two recipes for apricot almond tarts.  This was the simpler, less caloric recipe, so I decided to try it first.  In my mind, the simpler the recipe, the more times I will make it.  Why make life complicated?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Banana Bread

Whenever I have some overripe bananas, I do one of two things: cook them in brown sugar and butter (as my mother did) or make banana bread.  I have tried lots and lots of banana bread recipes, but this is the best in my book.  Thank you, Martha!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chilled Cucumber Soup

If you want to beat the heat this summer, try this smooth cool cucumber soup.  It makes a great starter.

My husband's aunt, Maria, serves this soup to us often when we visit her in Denver.  I have asked her about the  ingredients several times, but hadn't been able to duplicate her recipe.  So, using this great new search engine for specifically for recipes, I searched the Net for something similar.  Nothing quite fit the bill, but by combining the two closest recipes I made a good approximation of Maria's soup.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Skillet Chicken Aglio e Olio

I've been making this recipe for years and it has been very reliable.  Chicken breasts can be dry if they are not cooked well, and this treatment keeps them moist and tasty.

Incidentally, "aglio" means garlic and "olio" means oil, so the title can be translated to "Skillet Chicken with Garlic and Oil." Why didn't the good folks at Cooking Light give us a title in English?  Probably because it doesn't sound as tempting.  "Aglio e Olio" sounds like you might be heading to the Mediterranean for dinner.  And, really, who wouldn't like that?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fennel and Parmesan Salad

A salad is the perfect side dish for a summer meal, but I find myself doing the same ones over and over again.  I was recently introduced to fennel bulbs by my friend, Katie, who served one, cut into little cubes, as an appetizer. Fennel bulbs are surprisingly refreshing and crunchy with a hint of anise flavor.

This salad is a welcome change from the same old, same old summer salad scene.  It's a variation on coleslaw, but with more sophisticated flavors.  An inexpensive mandoline really helps with the slicing work.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rhubarb Cake with Lemon Butter Sauce

My husband likes rhubarb.  It's a Minnesota thing.  So, I clip a lot of recipes for rhubarb, but only make a few.  This is a quick and easy cake that's good even without the sauce. (Which is good, because most of the calories reside in the sauce, I believe!)  As an alternative to sauce, try serving slices with vanilla ice cream.