Signs of Summer

Signs of the season are popping up everywhere!  Have you made your first batch of pesto yet?  We enjoyed it the other night with roasted tomato Caprese salad to boot.  Complete with a glass of wine, it’s pretty much the perfect summer meal.

And speaking of summer meals, I did a little summer round up, filling up my bookmark file with tons of new recipes from the kitchn.  Have you been there?  It’s one of the sister sites of apartment therapy.

You see, last week I had some time off from work, and got to enjoy life as a desperate housewife.  I had plenty of time to cook and even more time to clean.  The best part about the cleaning was finding out that scrubbing toilets, vacuuming and mopping floors does not bother me in the slightest when the stress of a full-time job is removed from my shoulders.  In fact, I kind of enjoy the accomplished feeling that creeps over you once the work is done.  I mean, I’m no Cinderella, and I’m certainly not singing a happy working song just yet, but it’s a start.

With a clean apartment and a well-fed husband, I was left with oodles of time to surf the net (does anyone still say that?).  And I took my summer recipe file from a list of manageable length to something that is miles long.

All these recipes are either from the site, or were linked to on kitchn.  And while I don’t promise to get through all of them, I’ll do my best to try.

First come three options for when you are inevitably faced with the question, “What do I do with all the zucchini that is taking over my garden/given to me by a neighbor/coming out of my ears?”

Option 1: Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin.  I love a good summer gratin.  So easy to make and such rich, creamy results.

Option 2: Zucchini Garlic Soup.  Half a stick of butter and no cream?  Count me in.

Option 3:  Zucchini-Potato Frittata.  This is pretty similar to the gratin, but with bacon.  And you finish it in the oven instead of doing the frittata flip.  So I don’t need a strong man in my life to get dinner on the table.  Perfect.

I don’t know if I have the patience to make these, but should the inclination to heat up my oven strike, these are a definite possibility.  Buttermilk Fantails.  I totally want to pick one apart slowly over a nice dinner.

Topping the intriguing flavor combinations list is this vanilla lemonade.  I’ve been on a homemade lemonade kick, and while I’m drawn to the refreshing taste of basil, I’d like to see what a vanilla bean brings to the table (or glass, as the case may be).

Arancini are a favorite of mine at a local restaurant and with the help of bell’alimento I could make them in the comfort of my own home.  They seem similar to these, which have been on my list for a little while too.

Deb’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are the only recipe lingering from my spring to-make list, and hopefully these lemon-ricotta potatoes won’t suffer the same fate.  They look absolutely perfect for summer, like one of those dishes I could enjoy as an entire meal and leave the table happy.

Finally, as salad continues to grow on me, let me introduce you to this dressing.  Seems like such a nice combination of flavors–shallots and pepper combined with honey and mint?  I’m dying to try it with this.  The recipe comes from a book (out of print) called The Good Cook’s Book of Oil and Vinegar which sounds like a true winner.

And finally, though this doesn’t really qualify as a summer recipe, as I crave sweets like this year-round, salted fudge brownies look too good to pass up.

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