What a weekend this has been! Seattle area temperatures have inched into the 90′s, and we are soaking up every drop of sunshine. Eowyn had her first experience running through the sprinklers yesterday, and I am looking forward to doing that type of thing more often as the kids grow.
For today’s edition of My Week in Food, I’d like to start by sharing this melon salad with ginger-mint dressing from Perry’s Plate. It caught my eye when I came across it on Pinterest, and my taste buds were not disappointed. My local grocery store was out of watermelon, so I used 1 honeydew melon and 1 cantaloupe and reduced the ginger by half. It was bright and refreshing, the perfect light summer snack.
Unexpected company on Tuesday evening meant I needed to feed a lot of mouths with little time to plan. A giant bag of frozen tilapia fillets came to my rescue, and after a quick thaw in cool water, we brushed them olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, then cooked them on the grill. My sister-in-law, Jenny, brought over a couple packages of tortillas, so we combined our resources to make these scrumptious fish tacos. Fresh cilantro-cabbage slaw, sour cream, and crumbled queso fresco were all we needed for the toppings. (To make the slaw, I shredded half a head of cabbage and tossed it with the zest and juice of 1 lime, a handful of cilantro, a swirl of olive oil, and generous amount of salt.) Leftover pink party plates meant easy cleanup, too!
Katie (my other sister-in-law) was visiting this past week, and she kindly posed with her well-deserved serving of fresh cucumber sorbet. She helped me greatly during her visit with various household tasks, and this picture was taken just moments after she and I finished cleaning a seriously messy kitchen. For the sorbet, I peeled two large cucumbers and pureed them with the juice of half a lemon and honey to taste, then churned the mixture in the ice cream maker to freeze.
On Wednesday, we were within an hour of heading to our church community group when I decided that I wanted to bring a snack to share. There wasn’t enough time to bake something, but it didn’t take long to jazz up salty pretzels with a touch of bittersweet chocolate. To make these, I melted chocolate chips in the microwave (heating in 30 second increments, stirring frequently), dipped the pretzels, then placed them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set. The heat in my kitchen and the tight time frame were interfering with the hardening of the chocolate, but after a few minutes in the freezer, they were good to go.
Midweek, burgers were on the menu, and grilled squash made for a quick and tasty side dish. I used zucchini, patty pan squash, and a small Japanese eggplant, slicing them into large pieces then brushing them with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper before grilling.
We also tried grilling lacinato kale for the first time. We did the usual treatment of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then cooked the leaves for just a few minutes. I enjoyed them, and their crunch reminded me of roasted kale chips. It was a fun and easy way to spice things up.
Katie’s birthday coincided with her visit, and after she noted that her favorite cake is carrot cake, I settled in my mind that I would make her one. This is the recipe I used, and while it was tasty, its heaviness makes me want to experiment with lighter options. I’m thinking banana puree and dates as a substitute for the oil and sugar; we’ll see how it goes! (I’m pretty sure I won’t be hearing any complaints from Dan as I complete my research and recipe testing. )
This coleslaw was delicious! It was another one of those we-need-to-make-dinner-but-all-we-have-is-a-bunch-of-random-ingredients situations, and Michael Symon’s recipe for Blueberry Coleslaw served as a guide to bring everything together. Rainier cherries took the place of blueberries, we eliminated the mayo, added a couple tablespoons of sour cream, and used ground cumin seeds instead of whole. The result was an addictive and healthy salad that was sweet, crunchy, and reminded me of tacos. Definitely a keeper.
This last photo has nothing to do with food, but isn’t it beautiful? On Friday, Dan and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary from a canoe off the shore of Lake Washington while watching the Blue Angels perform in the distance. Needless to say, it was a good day.