More people will come if they think we have punch and crostata!
-Eric Cartman (who knows his pie substitutions)
Personally I prefer making crostatas because I like the fruit-to-crust ratio better than pies (read: I'm only in it for the crust).
Take advantage of the peak pluot and plum season with this crostata.
Adapted from: Honestly Yum
Number of servings: 6
Growing up in Portland and Sweet Home, Oregon, we only ate corn in August. Not by choice. It wasn't available in the grocery store or from nearby farms at any other time.
There was a farm about five miles away that offered "U-pick" corn; my siblings and I would fill a laundry basket, weigh it, bring it to my mom, who would then steam it, poke corn holders www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-corn-holders-image85158 (do people still use these?) in the cobs, and serve on the table with a cube of butter and shaker of salt. Corn was the only vegetable that I liked, and since we only could get it during August, it was a real treat that we all looked forward to.
Now, I’m spoiled, and live in an area with farmers markets and grocery stores carrying fresh corn all year round. (That said, I still try to buy it only in late summer because the quality is better. Chalk it up to childhood bias.) I like to make fresh corn in a variety of ways, always off the cob, usually sprinkled with lime and salt.
I streamlined this recipe from Food52, and loved that the corn flavor was so robust, yet the soup itself was very light. It's also vegan, dairy free, gluten free, paleo, Whole30, and comes together in about thirty minutes.
Remember, always try to get the freshest corn possible–the season is almost over!
Adapted from: Food52
Number of servings: 4
L-R: Jacquie, Michael, Janette, and John (missing little sister Julie), celebrating an August birthday.
Ice cream–it’s not my jam. When I was a child, several times over summer our family hit the DQ for ice cream. My two sisters, two brothers, grandmother and parents all ordered a child-size vanilla soft serve chocolate-dipped cone (you know, the cone with the signature curly swirl on top), but I was allowed to order…a hot dog.
I detested ice cream this much.
Being allowed to substitute was a big deal. I grew up in a family where you ate what was served for dinner and you could not make something else. Allowances were not allowed.
As fate would have it, in the last decade, (because of my ice cream loving boyfriend [Ed. Note: DID SOMEONE SAY ICE CREAM?]) I have developed a taste for it. Still not the number-one choice, but this key lime ice cream is sublime.
This recipe from Jenn Segal is perfect. Didn’t change a thing. It’s actually creamier than normal ice cream, luscious, tart, and tastes like a key lime pie. Perhaps best of all, no need for an ice cream maker (which I do not own). Minus the chill-time, it comes together in about a half-hour.
Adapted from: Once Upon a Chef
Number of Servings: 6
For the Ice Cream
I'm a movie-aholic, and The Usual Suspects is a perennial favorite–one that never gets stale. Few films stand up to repeat viewings; I typically don't see a movie more than once, even if it’s a favorite. Every time Fenster says something unintelligible, can't help but lose it.
I’m the same way with food. I don’t like leftovers, with the exception of tacos. For some reason, Don and I can willingly eat tacos several nights in a row and not tire of it. [Ed. Note: Go figure.]
Let me introduce you to the roasted salmon taco. Not only is this super healthy, it only takes 30 minutes to prepare, and you will not tire of it (promise).
The recipe is from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten (love that woman). The tacos have a bold flavor with the tender spiced salmon, beautifully contrasted by the tangy slaw and kicky creamy avocado. Everything is fresh and simple and perfect for a weeknight meal. This might be a tad spicy for little kids, or those sensitive to heat, so adjust the chipotle chile powder accordingly.
Adapted from: Cooking for Jeffrey, by Ina Garten
Number of Servings: 6 (2 tacos per person)
For the slaw
For the salmon
My boyfriend Don and his mother Kathy have many similar traits: a peculiar sense of humor, love of music, financial acumen, and love of all things citrus, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and ice cream.
Today is his mother's birthday–she passed away last December 6. Amazingly, she and my mamala have birthdays a day apart (August 3 and 4), and passed one day apart (December 6 and 7).
Over the years it has become something of a tradition for me to make Kathy a special birthday dessert, and I don't plan on ending this any time soon. I’m not sure if Kathy knew how much joy it gave me to make something special for her. [Ed. note: Um, Yeah.] Hope she enjoyed it as much as I did. Don grew up on Chipwiches and the San Francisco bay area's beloved It's It en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s-It_Ice_Cream, so this was part of my evil plan to get to his heart through his stomach. [Ed. note: Shut up, just shut up...]
The original recipe calls for pecans, which of course complement the butterscotch caramel flavor wonderfully, but since we like our desserts smooth, we sometimes leave them out. This particular cookie recipe works especially well for ice cream sandwiches because it retains its softness, and the butterscotch caramel flavor really shines through.
Cookies Adapted from The Tenth Muse, by Judith Jones and Orangette
Number of servings: 30 cookies / 15 ice cream sandwiches
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Mamala. This is how I affectionately referred to my beloved mother. Mamala. She passed away six years ago, and every year I still bake a cake on her birthday (Aug 4) in her honor.
As far back as I can remember, I made her birthday cakes. She was the ultimate chocoholic and I loved when her eyes rolled back in her head as she took the first bite of any dessert. Her two most favorite flavors were anything chocolate and anything malt, and here we get both.
I have made hundreds of chocolate cakes, but this is The One. The go-to. Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) never lets me down, and the addition of malt powder to the frosting gives it an extra kick. This cake is lush, never dry, super chocolatey with a superior texture. Definitely a dessert for chocoholics beyond recovery.
Adapted from: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home
Number of Servings: 8-10
Chocolate Malt Frosting
Chocolate Malt Frosting
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.