Strawberry-Peach Smoothie

When I did my three-day raw cleanse this summer (read about it here!), I seriously got into smoothies. I don’t have a juicer and certainly didn’t have $350 to spend on the one I want (I’ll save that for the wedding registry). Since I couldn’t prepare any kind of green juice, I decided smoothies were the next best thing and have continued enjoying them for breakfast or lunch (and tweaking my recipe) all summer.

You will notice that the recipe calls for frozen berries and peaches – I want to point out that I do not buy frozen fruit at the grocery store. You totally could, but I prefer farmer’s market produce.

To freeze the fruit, I wash and core (strawberries) or roughly chop (peaches) and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with saran wrap. I let them freeze in a single layer overnight, and them move them to a big ziplock. This keeps them from sticking together.

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Stuffed Heirloom with Fresh Mozzarella

I love the New York Times. When I was a student at Drew, it was delivered to the dorms (for free!) on weekdays. My favorite Sociology professor used to bring in copies of pertinent articles all the time (his kids read the Opinion section every day…which I am still in awe of). These days, Tim and I have a Sunday subscription, and of course I follow a few of the departments on Twitter.

It may not come as a surprise that my favorite links usually come from @nytimesdining and its unofficial counterpart, @nytimesfood. The Times’s Mark Bittman recently did a wonderful feature on Heirloom tomatoes for the Magazine, and the interactive page with the recipes has been up in my Chrome tabs since. This was the first recipe I made from the selection, and I am eyeing that Salsa Borracha for my next one (salsa with tequila in it? yes please).

This stuffed, baked heirloom has an incredible amount of flavor – I was pleasantly surprised. It bakes up beautifully golden and the heat deepens the flavor and color of the heirloom. Definitely give this a try before summer is over!

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Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Have you heard of using zucchini as a substitute for pasta? I’ve seen it in raw and cleanse recipes here and there but I never thought it would be something I would be interested in. When I found some beautiful zucchini at our local farmer’s market, I wanted to do something a little different from the usual. Combined with some fresh herbs, garlic, parmesan, and some wonderful black pepper fettuccine that we picked up at the LA Farmer’s Market, it was seriously, surprisingly fabulous!

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Tomato Risotto

I have to tell you: I’ve fallen in love with risotto. It’s versatile and able to incorporate whatever produce I have on hand. It is an elegant dish but just takes a little time and a lot of wooden spoon action. It’s a great way to showcase spring ingredients while still feeling cozy on cool evenings…and while I don’t need an excuse to stand at the stove sipping white wine, this certainly is a romantic way to do it.

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Pesto Trapenese

Spring is officially here, and being on the Central Coast, that means it is almost summer! All the signs are here: the garden is taking off, sundresses and sandals have made their way back into the daily rotation, and I’ve been craving soft serve every evening.

Although this is certainly more a late-summer meal and would have been infinitely better had the tomatoes been from our own garden instead of the grocery store, it was still just fine as it didn’t involve standing over a hot stove and was quick and fresh and just what we were craving on one of our first long summer nights of the year.

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Citrus Sangria

The first time I had Sangria was in Ecuador. It was one of the last days of my study abroad there, and our professor, Nancy, made a big batch to accompany our dinner of grilled chicken, veggies, potatoes, and grilled pineapple for dessert. We ate and drank on the beach, and after dinner, my friends and I hung out and ate the fruit from the bottom of the pitchers – hey, we were 19, in a foreign country, and excited to get tipsy!

Nancy, who is from Venezuela, told me how to make Sangria in these words: “Cut up whatever fruit you have into small pieces, and add wine!” There are endless sangria variations – white, red, citrus, berries, bubbles, a splash of liquer – you really can’t go wrong!

A couple weeks ago, my cousin Erin wrote asking for a Sangria recipe. Thankfully, I had started making Sangria at the Bistro and was in the final stages of perfecting my recipe. Not too sweet, lots of flavor, and of course, refreshing! A double recipe has been selling out at the Bistro, which in my eyes is the best compliment.

Cheers!

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Breadless Bruschetta

bruschetta

You might argue that bread is what makes bruschetta – actually, I wouldn’t dispute that. However, sometimes, when you’ve been baking many delicious treats…containing lots of delicious butter, sugar, and flour…you realize you might want to cut back or you’re going to end up with a belly.  I won’t name any names.

Technically, this should be called a tomato salad.  But who wants to get technical?

This recipe is a way to get all the flavor of bruschetta without any of the guilt or empty calories – just the healthy stuff!  Also, it’s a great way to use up the delicious tomatoes that are probably abundant in your garden right about now.  It only takes about five minutes to make!

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