One of my must have cookbooks? The Classic Cookbook by Christopher Kimball (of Cooks Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen fame). I scored my copy years ago at the bargain book table, and I’m so glad I did. This book is like a giant hard-bound issue of C.I., with product reviews, ingredient suggestions and tons of well-tested recipes for everything from roast chicken to lemon curd creme brulee. It seems like every time I thumb through it I discover a new recipe to try.
This time, I bookmarked a recipe for a rhubarb fool — simply whipped cream folded with a quickly composed rhubarb compote. Since rhubarb is just about the only thing we’ve got that even resembles fresh local fruit for a few more weeks here in the Northwest, I thought it would be the *perfect* seasonal dessert for an impromptu lunch with an old friend. And it was — simultaneously light and creamy, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. And the leftovers were pretty amazing as breakfast the next day topped with some lavender granola. Best part? This recipe will work with any summer fruit, so this refreshing no-bake winner will be on my menus all summer long! — Megan B.
Click for the recipe, after the jump!
If you recall, I wasnâ€™t revealing the source of my brownie recipe for entering my companyâ€™s bake-off. Well, now it can be told: I used Bake It in a Cakeâ€™s recipe for Franâ€™s Salted Caramel Brownie Bites, and I walked away with Peopleâ€™s Choice — enough votes to put me in the running for my companyâ€™s bake-off finale! Yay! I received compliments all day long on this recipe, which even tempted the strict dieters to sample a bite or two. I did modify it slightly, though, so be sure to read on before you try it yourself! — Mary T. (more…)
Memorial weekend marks the official start of grilling season, and for me, that means one thing: HOT DOGS. There’s just something about them — I couldn’t rightly enjoy summer without one. Veggie, turkey, polish, or kosher beef, one thing’s certain — everyone likes them a particular way. Often, that varies by region, like my current crush the Seattle dog (with cream cheese, grilled onions & cabbage, and a dash of Sriracha), or the famous Chicago-style dog (pictured above). Hot dog lovers represent! Do you dare to put ketchup on a dog, or are you strictly mustard? Will you be grilling up a batch for your holiday BBQ? — Megan B.
Chicago dog photo courtesy of Flickr user midiman.
Leave it to the Swiss to come up with a summer staple you can easily whip up for backyard brunches, showers and picnics. When hunting for menu ideas for a mid-morning baby shower I threw a few weeks ago, my half-Swiss co-host thought her birchermÃ¼esli (pronounced beer-ker-mew-slee) would be a nice addition to all the croissants, tarts and quiches we planned to buy at a local bakery. To be honest, I wasnâ€™t 100% sure what it was, but the word alone sure sounded yummy. (Anything with an umlaut automatically tastes good, doesnâ€™t it?) In plain English, itâ€™s simply fresh fruit mixed with soaked oatmeal, which gives it a bit of substance and makes it more of a meal. — Ginny F.
Click for the oh-so-simple recipe after the jump! (more…)
I donâ€™t know how I caught the bug, but two years ago I started grilling and I havenâ€™t looked back. And of course, summer is THE time to rev up the BBQ, invite some friends over, and get cooking! Before I kick off the season I usually try out a few delicious marinade recipes to get my grilling-chops up to speed. A little trial and error helps me figure out exactly how far ahead, or intensely, to marinade meats and veggies. Then, I take the fruits of my labor to lunch in the form of wraps, salads, mixed with rice â€¦ such delicious treats to spice up my workday. Here are a few of my favorite marinades you can try for yourself:
- Thai chicken bbq. I use thighs instead of wings.
- Grilled sweet potatoes and scallion salad
- Brick chicken. I make this on a grill instead of in the oven, with a brick covered in foil
- Balsamic grilled vegetables.
Enjoy, and add to the list in comments! — Rebecca F.
Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik