A Hodgepodge of Summer Eating

With everyone’s gardens in full production this month, I’m constantly on the lookout for new and different dressings to add to the bounty of vegetables I’m harvesting. Here are a couple we’re enjoying this summer.

Mustard Dressing
Jul 2 Mustard Dress O.T.R. book
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Fresh lemon juice to taste

In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, paprika, mustard, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: No sour cream? No problem – just up the amount of mayonnaise by 2 T.

Out of necessity often comes success – it happened yesterday when gathering what was ripe from the garden for a salad to go with a pasta dish I had planned. Once a week I try to pick 2 or 3 items in my pantry and use them up rather than hoarding forever as I have been known to do; and this week’s picking was a can of clams and a jar of caviar. Hmmmm, what kind of salad dressing to add to this seafood mix? Not one dressing came to mind. As I began collecting ingredients my mind went to the flavors used in a seafood boil or broth. And, this dressing/dip is the happy, happy result.

Seafood Salad Dressing.
I’m so pleased with the flavors and how well everything went together – the tangy citrusy flavor of the caper brine and lime juice combined with the briny flavor of the clam juice cut through the richness of the shrimp. The dressing can be used for salad or as a dip for seafood.
Aug 2 Seafood Salad Dressing
1/2 avocado, rough chopped
1/3 cup clam juice (from a small can of chopped clams)*
1 T. lime juice
1 T. caper brine
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 T. Mayonnaise
Salt & pepper to taste

Add the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper.

*add the clams to the salad along with other seafood.
Wine suggestion: a Colombard/Sauvignon Blanc blend was a great match.

Sitting here contemplating the dishes I’ve made recently and which should be on my list to share, my mind is going a many directions – jumping from salad dressings to dessert! My sweet tooth was calling out to me one morning and this Lemon Tea Bread satisfied my craving completely. The recipe is from Irene Klaeger’s, “Fix-It and Enjoy-It: All-Purpose, Welcome-Home Recipes”. It takes you just to the edge of lemony overload but brings you back with just the right amount of sweetness in the glaze. It didn’t last long in the freezer, we kept going back for just one more slice.

Lemon Tea Bread
July 12 Lemon Tea Bread
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
2 Tbs lemon zest, grated, divided
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Pour butter into mixing bowl and stir in sugar. When well blended, beat in eggs. In separate mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well. Add ½ cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. lemon zest. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 ° for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

While bread is baking, mix confectioners sugar with remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. lemon zest in a small bowl. Cool bread for 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan, place on a serving dish, and pour glaze over top. Makes 6 servings

One of our favorite things to order when we are eating out is a Charcuterie Platter – these offerings can be as simple as 2 or 3 cheeses and cured meats accompanied by crackers or rustic bread or an elaborate platter filled with salumis, cheese, olives, cornichons, mustards and/or relishes. Now, here’s the fun part – hold back on devouring the entire offering and take a little of everything home and top a homemade pizza or add to a Twice-baked potato It’s expensive to buy small amounts of these deli specialties, but taking advantage of restaurant leftovers, you can “have your cake and eat it, too”

Charcuterie Pizza
Jul 13 Salumi Pizza
8 oz. pizza dough
Pizza or marinara sauce
4 to 6 oz. Cheese (from restaurant or a combination of Provolone, Jack &
2 to 3 oz. Meats/sausage from restaurant
Optional: Slivered red onions, crushed red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle with olive oil and bake.

Charcuterie Twice-Baked Potato
Jul 13 Stuffed Baked Potato

Bake 2 potatoes in a 375°F. oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. When cool enough to handle, cut slice from the top and scoop out the ‘meat’ of the potato into a bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Roughly chop leftovers (cheese, meat and condiments) from Charcuterie platter and combine with the potato. Spoon back into the potato skin and return to oven until heated through.

Well, today’s ideas are all over the food board!! With the abundance of everything fresh right now, I guess it is understandable. Next up will probably be grilling – weather is perfect and I’ve neglected the grill for a week or so.


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