It’s that time of year. Farmer’s markets are overflowing, it’s hot, and you don’t feel like turning on the oven for dinner. Seems like someone’s grilling every weekend, and it never hurts to have a fantastic side dish–that isn’t a dessert–in your back pocket, ready to bring. I’ve been craving this simple, light shrimp and orzo salad all summer long. It’s healthy, lemony, and can be both a great side dish and a main (and a great leftover lunch… just sayin’).
The May Gray and June Gloom have mostly burned away; the Fourth of July is almost upon us and summer is in full swing. I don’t know how it happened so fast, but there you go.
Summer brings with it a slew of weekend cookouts loaded up with burgers, dogs, ice cream, potato salad–I could go on–suffice to say, with so many irresistible delicacies of the season, during the week, I like to cook pretty light and healthy to balance things out.
Last year was a seriously big year for my family. We had not one; not two; but three weddings (including my own). The first of these was my little sister’s, last May. I would not hear of anyone else throwing her bridal shower–I felt very strongly that I needed to throw it myself. My original plan had been to co-host the shower with our cousin-cum-sister Krissy, and to make it a very festive, shamelessly ladylike tea in the charming garden of my mother’s new house. But though the weather was perfectly springy and sunny all week on the day of…
Pimiento. Pimiento. What-have-you. The only thing divisive about this delectable, classic Southern spread is the spelling of the little red peppers. I think of it a bit as the gumbo of the cheese world–everyone has their own, secret, ritualized way of making it, and rarely does that ceremonial mixing of the cheese involve a real recipe.
It’s that time of year again–tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, in case you’ve been living under a rock–and if you’re still looking for inspiration about what to make for your sweetheart (or something to make to spoil yourself!), this mini strawberry rustic cake is simple and chock-full of sweet berries. A hint of almond extract brings out the natural sweetness of the berries, which tend to be wonderful this time of year. With billowing stabilized strawberry whipped cream oozing out between the soft, moist layers and no frosting on the sides, it’s not only charming, but that much easier to make than a proper, has-to-be-perfect iced layer cake.