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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taking a bite out of Summer

Given that Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year and the first day of summer has recently come and gone, it seems only fitting that I have spent much of the week in my kitchen enjoying the 'fruits' of my labor...

Living in the northern climate that we do, when summer hits, I make a point of buying up the abundance of inexpensive fruit that comes our way and figuring out ways in which to store it.

First up?  Mango puree (with a few strawberries thrown in for good measure).  All you do is cut up mangoes (and anything else that you want in there), chuck them in a food processor and then pour the puree into ice cube trays for freezing.  After they are frozen, they can be removed from the trays and stored in ziplock bags in the freezer.  Then, when you want to use them (they are delicious added into sauces, stews, dressings and smoothies) just take them out and thaw them or even put them into the blender frozen.  Easy, delicious and right now, very cheap!

I am pretty sure that the next concoction will help most of you with a little 'food problem' that crops up in the summer... watermelon sorbet!  I don't know about you but I always have way, way too much of that stuff laying around and I end up 'overindulging' just to make sure that I don't waste any.  This is a great way to use up about 5 lbs. of the humongous fruit.

To make it you'll need:
6 cups of diced watermelon (it should be about 4 cups when pureed)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tbs freshly chopped mint (not necessary, but it makes a really nice touch) - plus, you might as well use up those herbs that you've been working on growing right?
1/2 cup of honey

More Lime Juice!!!

Using a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon.  Then, in a medium-sized saucepan, add one cup of the pureed melon with the sugar, lime juice and mint.  Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in the honey and the rest of the puree until it is well blended.  Pour into a square cake pan and freeze overnight or until solid.  Once frozen, remove from freezer and let thaw on the counter for 5 minutes.  When you can remove it in chunks using a butter knife, add it into the food processor again and puree until smooth.  Here I added another tbs. or 2 of lime juice - until it was nice and tart.  Then, put it into a air-tight container for freezing and enjoy whenever the mood strikes you! 

Another good summer recipe that I like is: Pasta with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon...

To make it you'll need:
Any kind of pasta that you like (fresh pasta is the best, but you can also used dried)
Any fresh herbs that you have pain-stakingly grown (or fresh ones from the market)... I like to use varying combinations of chives, rosemary, oregano, and basil... - about 1 tsp of each finely chopped
Drizzle of Olive oil
2 diced garlic cloves
1 tbs. of lemon juice (fresh is best)
Salt and Pepper to taste

For this one, simply cook the pasta to your preferred degree, rinse it in a colander with cool water and return it to the pot.  Drizzle with olive oil and stir in garlic, lemon juice and herbs.  Season with S & P to your liking and ENJOY! 

For a funkier, more exciting version, you can also add chopped cherry tomoatoes, olives, capers, and/or freshly grated hard cheeses such as parmesan, asiago or romano.  Have fun with it!

Cheers and Happy Summer!



  1. Oh yummmy! I really have to try those fruit things, especially when the Colorado peaches & melons come into season. I'm still trying to figure out how to get a watermelon home on my bicycle though, I don't think it will fit in the baskets! Bungee cords maybe?

    BTW - something seems to have gone awry with your RSS feed. I really only have a kindergarten level understanding of these things, but on my Blogger Dashboard, it's said for months that your last post was the Grow-Op update. Plus, when you commented on my site it should have shown your last post at the bottom of your comment (I have a Wordpress plug-in that does that) but it didn't. I think those things both run off of the RSS feed (but I'm not entirely sure about that.)

    However, I have your blog set up to appear on my iGoogle page and it works just fine there. I have no idea what any of this means, nor if Blogger has decent help features so you can figure it all out, but I thought you might like to know...


  2. Hey Rebecca,

    Thanks so much for the tip on the RSS feed, I'll have to look into that...

    As for the watermelon - maybe you could throw it into a backpack?

    Have a WONDERFUL summer! We are headed out camping to the mountains a whole bunch this summer so I plan on spending most of the summer OUTSIDE!


  3. The backpack is a wonderful idea! Maybe I could manage a small one that way!

    Hope you have a great time camping!

    BTW - I just finished reading and reviewing Slow Death by Rubber Duck. Yikes! Thanks so much for recommending it. I'm still a little bit shell shocked by the horrifying information, but it's certainly made me look at things in a different light!