Labor Day Weekend & Fresh Corn with Sriracha Aioli

Fall_Early_Morning_Pleasant_Lake_03If you live here, the dawning of September is nothing to fear. Labor Day will come and go but the suns will still shine and Pleasant Lake will stay put. The Summer People are not so lucky. If they haven’t already, they will soon be fighting bumper-to-bumper traffic on the drive south to cities and suburbia.

Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I was one of those Summer People. Late on Labor Day afternoon, kids, dogs and turtles crammed into the station wagon with a small mountain of duffle bags. Reluctantly, we headed back to suburbia. I think my mother hated the end of summer migration even more than we three kids did. If it weren’t for Dad’s business, she would have moved to New Hampshire in a heartbeat. Instead, she bravely made sure that everything was packed, closed down the house and herded us into the car. Heaving a dramatic sigh, she proclaimed to any and all, “I am bereft,” and backed out the driveway.

So what’s in store for the Summer People this Labor Day Weekend?

If there is no justice, and there isn’t, they will be busy washing one last load of sheet and towels, storing beach toys and stowing paddleboards and kayaks under the deck. Business at the supermarket and farm stand will be brisk. Townies and Summer People alike will be stocking up for holiday cookouts. Activity at the boat launch will be nonstop. Fancy speedboats, fine looking sailboats and humble dinghies will be strapped onto trailers and hoisted out of the water. Rafts and docks will be dragged onto beaches.

However, Labor Day Weekend is not just about cleaning up and buttoning down. It is also the weekend for a last hurrah. It could be one last sail or one last waterski before hauling the boat out of the water. Maybe it’s a final hike (or finally a hike) up Kearsarge, a run around the lake or a bike ride to nowhere and back.

All of it, both the chores and the fun, is topped off with a festive cookout or two. That’s the thing about Labor Day Weekend. It’s both bitter and sweet. While there are tons of end-of-summer tasks to do, Summer People always do their best to balance the drudgery with fun and games.

However, if live here like me, you can focus on fun all weekend. There will be plenty of time to wash, fluff and fold that last load of beach towels. It will eventually turn cold or rainy or both. It always does. But, if we’re lucky, we can count on at least a month of warmish weather and sunshine.

September is a lovely in-between month; not really summer and not quite fall. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts above average temperatures and below average rainfall this year. While we’d like this drought to end, it is good news for outdoor activities. Only the bravest will continue their early morning swim. The rest of us are content to row or kayak, hike or bike and enjoy the golden sunshine. While it may be a bit chilly for dinner al fresco, we can still enjoy a lunchtime picnic or an evening cocktail on the deck.

Here’s to the magic of September and bon appétit!

Corn with Sriracha Aioli
Corn_w_Sriracha_Aioli_01When it comes to corn, I’ve always been a purist – butter and a little salt. Then I tried it with spicy aioli. Now, I’m hooked. Whether the corn is steamed or grilled, it is a delicious combination. Enjoy!

1 ear corn per person
Sriracha Aioli
Sea salt (optional)

To steam the corn: fill a large pot with a few inches of water, add a steam basket and the corn, cover and bring the water to a boil. Steam the corn for 4-6 minutes or until tender crisp.

To grill the corn: preheat a charcoal or gas grill to high. Lightly coat the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the corn on the grill and cook on high heat for about 3 minutes per side.

To serve: invite everyone to grab an ear and pass the Sriracha Aioli and sea salt.

Sriracha Aioli
Not just for corn, this aioli is wonderful on a burger. It makes a delicious dip for French fries, fresh veggies or shrimp.
Makes about 2 cups

2-3 cloves garlic, choppedCorn_w_Sriracha_Aioli_08
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons or to taste sriracha or your favorite hot chili sauce
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt to taste
1 cup or to taste mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint

Put the garlic, olive oil, ketchup, lime juice and sriracha in a small food processor, season with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and process until well combined and smooth.

Add the mayonnaise and process until well combined. Add the lime zest and herbs and pulse a few times to combine. Cover and chill for an hour or more to combine the flavors.

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One Year Ago – Romaine with Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado
Two Years Ago – Savory Parmesan Shortbread with Tomato Jam
Three Years Ago – Chocolate-Orange Tart
Four Years Ago – Chicken Liver Pâté
Five Years Ago – Blueberry Crisp
Six Years Ago – Death by Chocolate Sauce
Seven Years Ago – Lemon Cupcakes
Eight Years Ago – Couscous with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What do you love about late summer? Feel free to share.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2016

Late August Weekend Special

Pleasant_Lake_SneakersIt might be late August but summer is still with us. The evenings have been lovely, a little chilly but lovely. There’s plenty of time to enjoy an easy evening outside with friends, family and a little grillin’.

Dig out your jeans from the bottom of the drawer, find your most comfortable sweater and have a great evening on the porch. Put the music on, your feet up and relax. Here are a few suggestions for a delicious late summer dinner outside:

Start with a glass of wine and a great appetizer. With local corn and tomatoes at their peak, you’ll love my Grilled Corn, Black Bean & Avocado Salsa. If you are feeling the need for a little variety, add a platter of Fresh Tomato Crostini. (I can’t get enough fresh, local tomatoes – what about you?)

Now, what about dinner? I’m thinking a taste of Asia sounds good. How about marinating some boneless chicken breasts in my Spicy Hoisin Marinade and grilling to perfection. Add a spoonful of  Slaw and some Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce.

Save room for something sweet because my Berry Peachy Crisp is something special. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a bowl of ripe peaches  on your counter, it’s too late. Don’t sorry, put a six or ten peaches in a brown, paper bag and make the crisp in a few days. For this weekend, try my Blueberry Clafouti instead.

My brother John photobombing the Berry Peachy Crisp.

Have a wonderful weekend and bon appétit!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2016

I Love August Weekend Special

Harvest_MoonI love August. The heavy heat and steamy humidity slip away. You might need a sweater first thing in the morning and again after dinner but the days are warm and dry – just heavenly. It’s the perfect weather for a hike up Mount Kearsarge or a bike ride to nowhere and back again.

Even if you do need a sweater, you can still enjoy an evening cookout. You won’t want to miss the moon rise. It’s a full moon tonight and the weekend promises clear skies.

Here are a few suggestions for a delicious late summer dinner in the moonlight:

Relax and enjoy the sunset and a glass of wine. You can’t beat my Rosemary Cashews for a tasty nibble. Add some crispy veggies and a bowl of Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip.

swordfish_olive_caper_salsa_01When you’re ready for dinner – how about swordfish on the grill? My Grilled Swordfish with Olive & Caper Salsa is a great choice. Add some Israeli Couscous and a great salad. The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye and the tomatoes are phenomenal so you must give my Heirloom Tomato Salad with Grilled Corn, Cucumber & Feta a taste.

blueberries_02It’s August and anything blueberry is a New England tradition. You can pick your own at a local farm or pick up a couple of pints at the farmers’ market for a fabulous dessert. Go old school with Bluebree Grunt or a bit more updated with Blueberry Crostata. While you’re at it, how about a batch of Blueberry Muffins for Sunday morning.

Have a wonderful weekend and bon appétit!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2016

Rain, Sun & Fun Summer Weekend Special

Hospital_Day_Parade_04A mixed forecast probably means we’ll need to be flexible when it comes to hanging out at Hospital Days and outdoor fun this weekend. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the sun will come out in time for the Hospital Parade on Saturday afternoon.

After all that fair food, you’ll probably be ready for a healthy and delicious dinner on Sunday. Here a a few suggestions:

Sit back, relax and watch the loons glide by. Sip a glass of wine and enjoy my Roasted Beet & White Bean Hummus with fresh veggies and pita chips. It’s delicious. (Feel free to make the hummus during the Saturday morning rain showers.)

Ready for dinner? How about some Grilled Swordfish with Chimichurri? Then again, maybe you’d prefer Grilled Hoisin Chicken. Serve either with my Asian Noodle Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Asian Slaw.

Now for dessert. Local blueberries are ready for picking. Not enough time? Don’t worry, you can pick some up at the farm stand. Use them to bake a wonderful Blueberry Crumb Cake or Blueberry Pie!

Have a wonderful weekend and bon appétit!

What are your plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2016

A Memorial Day Weekend Special

flags_daisiesWarm, sunny with a chance of thunderstorms! It doesn’t happen often but it looks like the Memorial Day Weekend will really, truly kick off summer this year. All the more reason to dust of the grill, toss a few salads and enjoy a holiday cookout. Now, comes the question, what to serve?

Relax on the deck with a glass of wine and a duo of crostini. I’d like to suggest my Crostini with Red Pepper Tzatziki & Greek Salad and Crostini with Fig, Stilton and Walnuts. Dust off the lawn chairs, sit back and relax with family and friends while the grill heats up.

Now for the main course. What could be more traditional than a burger? However, not just any burger will do. Give my Not Your Ordinary Burger with goat cheese and sundried tomato aioli or my Turkey Burgers with Greek Salsa. Tradition demands that you add a few salads. You love my Mixed Greens with Grilled Asparagus, Cucumber & Avocado. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Next, what could be more traditional than spuds? My New Potato Salad Dijon is simple and delicious.

Don’t forget dessert. When I was a kid, my mother baked a batch of brownies every weekend in the summer. My Cheesecake Brownies or Triple Threat Brownies (or both) are perfect for the long holiday weekend.

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

What are you up to this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2016

Warm & Sunny Labor Day Weekend Special

on_the_raft_with_the_setting_sunIn case you didn’t notice, we are about to finish an extra-long summer. No, the solstice and equinox didn’t move. It’s a quirk of the calendar tied to the unofficial bookends of summer, Memorial Day and Labor Day. At one end, Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, fell on the earliest possible date this year. At the other end, Labor Day, the first Monday in September falls on the latest possible date this year. I hope it was a great summer for you; filled with lots of fun and sunshine!

Are you still up in the air when it comes to weekend plans? Why not join friends and family around the grill? Whether you do it all or organize a potluck, the weather promises to cooperate! Here are a few ideas:

The farm stands and farmers markets are bursting! Take advantage of summer’s bounty. Begin your cookout nibbles from the garden. Corncakes, Zucchini Pancakes with a dab of Tapenade and/or Bruschetta with Fresh Tomatoes, Goat Cheese & Pesto Oil will make a delicious start to your cookout. . Or maybe you’d like to try shots of my delicious Gazpacho.

When you are ready for dinner, be sure to include some beautiful salads like my Romaine with Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado or Summer Salad with Green Beans, Blueberries & Goat Cheese. Looking for something more substantial, try my Couscous Salad with Grilled Vegetables or New Potato Salad. Next, make your cookout special with my Not Your Ordinary Burger, Hint of Asia BBBQ Chicken or Maple-Bourbon Pork Ribs. And hopefully, you made some of my Spicy Refrigerator Pickles!

How about dessert? Well, brownies are a natural at a cookout. You can’t go wrong with my Cheesecake Brownies. If it stays warm and steamy, give my New Hampshire Mud Pie a go.

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

What are you planning for the long holiday weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2015

The Corn Is as High as … Summer Weekend Special

corn_field_07We’ve been going a little crazy with the corn and tomatoes. We can’t help it. Living in New Hampshire, the growing season and harvest are short. The local corn is just too delicious to show any restraint same goes with the tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and you name it, we love it.

So how will you take advantage of the summer bounty? Here are a few ideas:

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How to start? Corn sounds good to me! My Corn Cakes are a perfect start to your local feast. Make them in one or two bites-size for a tasty appetizer. Want a little variety? Add a batch of my Zucchini Pancake with Tapenade.

Now what’s for dinner? I suggest that you get out the grill and cook up some chicken with my Hint of Asia Barbecue Marinade and Sauce. Add a few Asian inspired dishes like my Spicy Cucumber & Radish Salad and Asian Noodle Salad.

Clafouti_01So what next? What about dessert? If you are thinking decadent, you can’t beat my Chocolate Orange Tart. Can’t get enough blueberries and prefer something fruity? Give my Blueberry Clafouti a try!

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

What are you planning for the weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!

© Susan W. Nye, 2015