Tag Archives: summer

Aaack! Where Did Summer GO? #IMWAYR

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Are Labor Day resolutions a thing? They should be. I had to look up my blog password again, because it’s been that long since I posted.

Here’s the pile of books I have from the library, at least some of which I’m hoping to get to this week.

books in a stack
This isn’t counting three other library books I have out – City of Friends by Joanna Trollope, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – all of which I’m at least halfway through on, or my work break-time book, The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers.

For book club next week, I need to read Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon… Any recommendations on other ones from the pile I should try to read first?

I just finished listening to Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young on audio today. I recommend it! It’s seriously light or lightly serious. Thoughtfully funny, maybe? The main character is a young female intern who gets romantically involved with the married congressman she’s working for. I sometimes enjoy hearing about a juicy scandal in the news or a bit of celebrity gossip, but I always feel a little bad about it, too. It’s so much harder to live things down with the Internet, now, and public scrutiny can be so harsh.

This week I’m going to be listening to two of my favorite crime fiction authors on audio. I just started Glass Houses by Louise Penny (still missing Ralph Cosham, but the new narrator, Robert Bathurst, is very good) and I hope to finish the new Michael Connelly book (with a female lead), The Late Show, narrated by Katherine Moennig, soon, because it’s overdue.

I can’t believe that we’re at the unofficial end of summer already, but I like to keep summer going until the official end on Sept. 21st, so we had frozen strawberry-pineapple-coconut rum drinks from the blender tonight.


Fall weather is good for reading, but I didn’t get enough backyard reading time in this summer, so I hope to fit some more in before it gets too cool.

I should join the Stop Premature Pumpkin Spice movement.

Happy Labor Day Monday!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR) is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It’s a place to meet up and share what you have been, are, and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever-growing TBR pile! This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at Book Date.

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It’s Still Summer: Pay No Attention to that CrockPot in the Corner #weekendcooking

At the library, I put out a display of summertime cookbooks over a week ago and have only had to replace a few titles since. The rest are still sitting there, as pretty and appealing as can be, but no takers.

Come on, people! There are still farmers’ markets and farm stands overflowing with all sorts of produce! Let’s keep cooking with the fresh corn, tomatoes, melons, peaches, greens, peppers, and berries. There’s time enough to move on to apples and pumpkins later.  Yes, I saw the Halloween displays in the stores on August 1st, but I’m treating them like ads on the Internet and pretending they’re not there.

That said, I did use the slow cooker a couple of times recently and made these Slow Cooker Enchiladas. I made them first for a potluck with corn tortillas, following the recipe pretty closely using chicken, corn, and black beans in the filling, and they came out great, although slightly burned on the bottom. The next time I made them, I planned on the shorter end of the suggested cooking time range, but was in a big hurry and skipped the chicken and black beans and forgot the corn and decided to use the gluten-free teff tortillas instead of corn ones, and they came out a gloppy mess. (Lesson learned: Teff tortillas dissolve if you cook them for extended periods covered in salsa.)

I have no photos from the successful or unsuccessful versions of the recipe, so you’ll have to look here for the recipe and the photos.

In celebration of its still being summer here in New England, I did make these drinks last night from an improvised recipe of my own devising. We have been eating peaches from the tree in our yard and even though we didn’t get many this year, I squandered a few small ones in this blender drink, including one that I had frozen whole as an experiment and chopped up to put in the blender frozen.

two drinks with bookcase in background
Peach-Watermelon Limoncello Coolers: Put chunks of fresh watermelon and fresh or frozen peaches in the blender to about two-thirds full. Add limoncello and a few ice cubes. Blend. Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh mint.

For other gluten-free CrockPot recipes for late summer and early fall, check out my Pinterest board: So Fast in the Slow Cooker.

Happy Weekend Cooking!

Weekend Cooking buttonThis post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click for more Weekend Cooking posts.

 

Weekend Cooking — Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks #weekendcooking

book cover imageI have a feeling I know the name Rick Bayless from other Mexican food cookbooks, but what attracted me to take Frontera out from the library was the cover photo with the icy cocktail shaker, the summery cocktails, and the dish of guacamole. Looking good!

My husband already makes a perfectly wonderful guacamole (lots of cilantro) and margarita (not frozen, please, and lots of salt on the rim) without needing a recipe for either, but I might convince him to try one of the guacamole variations in this cookbook, such as Guacamole with Strawberries and Habanero or Guacamole with Bacon, Grilled Ramps (or Green Onions) and Roasted Tomatillos.

In the meantime, I’ll focus on the cocktail recipes. The author goes into detail on the making of the perfect margarita, and I definitely agree with him on the salt question (Should it even be a question?):

“Personally, for most margaritas, I don’t consider the salted glass rim an indulgence, a gilding of the lily. I consider salt as important in most margarita making as in good salsa making or good grilling. Without salt, you can produce a tasty creation…but not a drop-dead delicious one. More than any other distilled spirit, tequila has a flavor that pops when you add a little salt. Plus the combination of lime and salt seasons half of what folks eat in Mexico. So salted-rim margaritas make sense from both a flavor and a cultural perspective.”

There’s a chapter on agua frescas that gives recipes for each day of the week, and recipes for seasonal variations on the margarita — to make individual drinks and pitchers for parties. I definitely want to try the summer Peach (or Mango)-Basil Margarita using fresh basil from our garden. (The bartender’s notes for this recipe say that instead of basil, you should use the Mexican herb hoja santa, if you can find it in your area.) Find the Peach (or Mango)-Basil Margarita recipe here.

I also want to try the Black Currant-Rhubarb Margarita this summer, which calls for creme de cassis (black currant liqueur). We have rhubarb from the garden to use up!

pina coladas with chips, guacamole, and salsa
Pina coladas instead of margaritas here, but next time, margaritas a la Rick Bayless!

The recipes in Frontera seem a little time-consuming and fussy, but that’s partly because of all the detailed notes, I think. This cookbook is great for someone concerned with making these drinks and snacks in the best, most authentic way, but I think you could substitute here and there and be a little slap-dash about your preparation and still come out with some great margaritas, guacamoles, and snacks using this book!

Happy Weekend Cooking!

Weekend Cooking buttonThis post is part of Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature on Beth Fish Reads. Click on the image for more Weekend Cooking posts.