We’ve picked so. many. peaches this summer, you guys. Hannah and I went once in early August, and the peaches were gorgeous but not ripe yet. I attempted to make a disastrous batch of roasted peach butter with them and then gave up on the lot. We went again the week before last, and the peaches were ripe and totally glorious. We’ve been doing things. And we still have more peaches to deal with. Our freezer will be overflowing with this summer’s goodness well into the winter (happy dance that we bought a stand-alone freezer for the garage this year!).
Adam wasn’t sure about the texture of this jam, but I’m surprised by how much I love it. Usually he’s the bigger raspberry fan. Some vanilla extract, some cinnamon, and a splash of chocolate balsamic vinegar just sent this one into My-New-Favorite territory (also, it’s not seedless).
Still catching up on some summer posts, and I’ve still got some of these sour cherries in our freezer. Hannah positively loved cherry picking. As much as she complained about the strawberries, I couldn’t drag her away from the sour cherries. That precious short season, it’s like magic. We packed our bucket with fruit.
…is very, very late in arriving. I know, strawberry season has been over for 2 months in NJ. But, it was a great season around here, and there are always frozen strawberries (which I am seriously considering for one of the amazing jams I made too little of). So, this is what we did this year.
I can’t even, you guys.
The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. My favorite cookbook this summer, and this is another reason why. One of my biggest regrets about our trip to Hawaii a few years ago was that we never managed to time a visit to a shrimp truck. We saw them everywhere and just never made it to one. They were closed, or we’d just eaten somewhere else, or they looked really shady. But I still think about them, and I will imagine that they taste exactly like this until we get back there to try them.
Garlicky. Lick-your-fingers good. Swimming in wine, lemon, and butter. Somehow the best thing to eat on a hot summer night with some rice. I totally get it now and wish I’d eaten these at every truck we saw. Make sure you leave time for them to marinate overnight.
North Shore Shrimp Scampi
Serves 3 to 4
For the marinade:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 or 7 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs. raw extra-large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped Read more on North Shore Shrimp Scampi…
Truth be told, this has not been the Summer of Cooking. I’ve been making a lot of tried-and-true favorites, and we’ve also just been foraging for food when we’re hungry. Turning on the oven in July feels anathema to me. I don’t remember if I was always this averse to summer cooking, but it’s been bad this year.
When I have been trying new things that require heat, and that aren’t pie or jam, I’ve been cooking almost exclusively out of The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. I bought this gorgeous book years ago on a recommendation from a blog somewhere (I had never heard of the famous show before), and I’d always wanted to delve into it. But, at the time, I didn’t think my cooking skills were up to par. I’m not sure why that was because these recipes are pretty accessible. And insanely elegant (except when I plate them because I am awful at plating). This was one of the first recipes I tried; perfect, delicious chicken in the most amazing bath of braised leeks in under 30 minutes. And the tarragon is just right. So. Good.
Jerry Traunfeld’s Tarragon Chicken Breasts with Buttery Leeks
2 cups thin-sliced leeks, white and green parts
2 cups chicken broth
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp coarse chopped tarragon leaves
I haven’t posted a recipe since March 30th (!!!!). What have I been doing for two-and-a-half months?! It’s not like I haven’t been in the kitchen. But I haven’t been trying as many new things, and what I’ve been trying I haven’t been posting. I’ve made a few recipes without taking any photos at all! I do not even recognize myself. A new meal without accompanying photography is like Christmas without Santa, right? RIGHT??
I’m coming out of my cooking writeup funk and am catching up on a bit of a backlog. But I may save some of them for fall; suddenly recipes I made in the dead of winter don’t seem so appealing in mid-June. This one, however, is a crowd pleaser anytime.
After spending last weekend in DC, Hannah and I dropped Adam off at the train station so he could come back to NYC for work. But I’d decided a couple of months before that it would be really fun for Hannah and me to go away together for a few days during her spring break. A mommy/daughter trip.
So, we (I) decided to drive from Washington to Lancaster county in PA. After a morning running around DC together, we hopped in the car and set off.
Hannah’s school was closed for spring break this week, so we decided to drive down to Washington D.C. last weekend to see the sites. Neither Adam nor I had been to DC since we were kids. We were only there from Friday night through Monday, and there was so much we didn’t get to see. But we had such a marvelous weekend; gorgeous weather, lots to see and do, tons of fun with the toddler. We’re already anxious to go back.
I made this gem from the November ’13 issue of Food & Wine way back in January on a cold night. I didn’t realize I’d never posted this one! It was phenomenal. I have been a little obsessed with short ribs lately. I’ve been making this soup somewhat regularly, and I have two other great short rib recipes to post soon. Of course I’ve made Bourguignon before, but never with short ribs, and I may never make it any other way from this day forward until the end of days. It was that good. But the original recipe does have mushrooms, which are a no-go in this house, so I just skipped that step.
Side note: when I searched here for all of my short rib recipe attempts, I came across this one from 2008 that I’d completely forgotten about. I was such a rookie with “fancy cooking.” It’s kind of adorable how bad the photos are. Good notes on that cookbook, though.
5 pounds trimmed boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
9 carrots—5 cut into 2-inch pieces, 4 cut into 1-inch rounds
5 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 medium onions, quartered
10 garlic cloves
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups beef stock
1 pound meaty slab bacon—half cut into 1/4-inch-thick lardons, half cut into 2-inch pieces
3 bay leaves tied with 15 thyme sprigs
2 pounds stemmed button mushrooms
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish