We put in a big garden this spring. It’s something we’ve had plans for but with quarantine, we finally made the jump and did it. We knew it would be a learning year – and it is. I’m having more fails than successes.
One huge success? Our tomatoes.
This simple salad is one of my favorite ways to use up our tomatoes. If you’re going to make this, I highly suggest using tomatoes from a farm or your garden – they’re just so good right now!
Is it even summer if you don’t end up drowning in zucchini at some point? I think not.
Between our garden and our CSA, we always have plenty of zucchini around. I have, of course, been experimenting with lots of new, fun recipes – but I just keep coming back to zucchini bread. It’s a classic.
This loaf is our favorite. It’s a little heavy on the nutmeg which gives the loaf a nice spice. Pecans and chocolate chips are mixed in, too, to add a little sweetness and texture.
This recipe does make a big batch, so it’s great to share with neighbors – or freeze a loaf for later!
We have a few more weeks of summer here, so I haven’t quite wrapped my head around back-to-school. We’re entering a brave new world this year – Kindergarten! – and I’m not ready to give up our relaxed summer schedule.
I know a lot of our friends are starting to head back, though, and I’ve gotten quite a few requests for easy back-to-school dinners. This dinner is perfect – easy, but still full of the fresh flavors of the season.
This dump-and-bake pasta couldn’t be easier – you don’t even have to pre-cook the pasta! We used leftover grilled chicken, but you could use a rotisserie chicken too. This is also easily made vegetarian by skipping the chicken and using vegetable broth instead.
A few minutes to chop and assemble and then your hands are free to help with homework or spend some quality time with the little ones who have been at school all day!
Have you been enjoying the bounty of summer produce? Between our little container garden and our CSA share, we’ve been swimming in fresh fruit and veggies – and I’m loving every second of it.
I’ve been doing a mix of trying new recipes and making sure to revisit family favorites. This is a family favorite – or more specifically – my son’s favorite.
Honey garlic green beans are a recipe I whipped up one night to make a quick side, and since my son has requested them again and again. He even put them down as “the best thing mom cooks” on his Mother’s Day project at school!
We’ve been making this a lot since green beans have been in our CSA share weekly – so sharing them for Farmer’s Market Week seemed perfect! These sweet-and-savory beans take about 15 minutes to make and only use one pan, so they’re perfect for a weeknight!
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Add the green beans and water to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cover. Let steam for 10-12 minutes, until the beans are softened.
Drain the water, and add the olive oil, tossing to coat the beans. Continue to cook for another few minutes, until the beans start to brown and blister. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
Whisk together the honey and garlic and stir into the skillet. Cook for another minute or two, then serve immediately.
I’ve been waxing nostalgic lately about the summer before my senior year of college. I think a lot of it has to do with how easy life was then. I had cobbled together a few cushy jobs on campus – web design, the library – that were enough to pay my bills, but leave me with long weekends. I binge watched Sex and the City for the first time. Mark and I took our first real summer vacation. It was just a really laid-back time.
And why have I been thinking about that summer? Because things here have been absolute chaos for months. I was overly hopeful that things would calm down once we’re in the new house, but the universe just laughed at that. I’ll be spending this afternoon home while the plumber fixes a leak from the kids’ bathtub (which involved cutting out the ceiling below it). And calling roofers, because the roof is leaking too. And did I mention I have a bubble in my tire that needs fixing? Of course, these are only the urgent things that have popped up in the last few days — the entire to do list is SO much longer.
But, back to that easygoing summer. One of the highlights was the fruit lemonades they served at the campus café. I randomly thought of their peach lemonade the other day, and decided I needed it asap.
This is a great recreation. Roasting the peaches brings out such a great flavor for really no effort. It’s the perfect addition for a barbecue or summer brunch!
2 large peaches, halved and pitted
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups of your favorite lemonade
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place the peaches on skin-side down. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Roast for 25 minutes.
Let them cool for a minute or two, then peel them (you should be able to easily pinch the skin off after roasting. Add the peaches to a food processor or blender, along with 1/4 cup lemonade. Blend until smooth and frothy. Stir into the remaining lemonade and serve.
#farmersmarketweek wraps up today! Here’s our grand finale:
If there’s one piece of produce synonymous with summer, it’s got to be zucchini. I feel like everyone knows someone that has waaaay too much zucchini in their garden and is trying to pass it off on everyone. (PS, if you’re that person, I’m happy to take it!)
These scones were something I made for myself. I figured vegetables in a not-overly-sweet pastry would be a hard sell, but as soon as these came out of the oven, the kids were BEGGING for them. They requested them for snack twice that day, and were thoroughly bummed when I informed them they weren’t allowed to have them again for dinner.
To be fair, they really are delicious. The buttery, flaky layers here are so on point! There’s just enough sweetness in these to make them perfect, but not overly sweet, and they’re a great way to use up some of that zucchini that I know you have hanging around!
2 and 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick (unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)
2/3 cup zucchini, grated and drained
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Cut in the butter until it forms a course meal.
In a smaller bowl, combine the egg and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and 1/2 cup cheese.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and work it into a round loaf shape. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut like a pie into 8 wedges.
Carefully transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
These are best served the same day.
Looking for more farm fresh inspiration? Here’s what other bloggers have cooked up for you today as part of #farmersmarketweek!
One of the things I love about being part of a CSA farm is that I’m learning a lot about how to prepare food. Like, last year I got schooled in sweet corn. Do you cook it? Then you’re doing it wrong!
Fresh from the field corn is so, so good raw. One day when we were there, they taught the kids how to pick and husk the corn in the field, and told them to try it raw. It’s even sweeter raw, and the kids gobbled it up. For the rest of the summer, it was their snack of choice and I didn’t get a chance to cook another ear!
This easy salsa uses farm-fresh sweet corn. If you have a local source, that’s your best option. We love this with chips, but it’s also great tucked in burritos and to top tacos.
Fresh Corn Salsa (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes about 2 cups
3 large ears of sweet corn, cleaned and cut off the cob
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Stir together the corn, pepper, onion and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the corn and toss to coat.
Looking for more #farmersmarketweek inspiration? Here is what my fellow bloggers are cooking up today!
Today I’m kicking off Farmer’s Market Week and I couldn’t be more excited!
With the mid-summer move this year, we never got our garden going, so we’ve been relying heavily on our CSA farm all summer – and we’ve been eating well! I can’t wait to show off what I’ve been making to use our farm share ingredients, and I’m excited to be linking up with other blogger friends all week – you can check out today’s batch of recipes below. It’s sure to be great inspiration for you and me!
I’m starting the week off with this gorgeous peach pie. This is actually a recipe that I made a few years back and regretted not photographing for the blog – it’s delicious. And since it’s served cold, it’s really perfect for a hot summer day. The fresh peaches pair wonderfully with the creamy sour cream base and the crunch of the brown sugar topping.
Really, guys, go grab some peaches and make this – you need a slice in your life!
Sour Cream Peach Pie (slightly adapted from Oh Sweet Basil) Makes 1 pie
3 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
3 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sour cream (not fat free!)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into chunks
1 cup peaches, peeled and sliced
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. flour
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare your pie dough in the pan.
Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the egg yolks until light in color. Using a spoon, stir in the flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla until well combined. Fold in the peaches. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While that bakes, make the crumb topping: whisk together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter until pea-sized crumbs form.
Then, make the peach topping: Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Toss the peaches in until coated.
Remove the pie from the oven, and cover with the crumb topping. Press the peaches in around the top of the pie.
Return to the oven for 30 more minutes. If the crust starts to brown too much, cover it with foil.
Remove from the oven and let cool, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to firm up.