Cooking Zen Weekend Special

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Zen of cooking. Like many of our everyday tasks, cooking can provide peace of mind through rhythmic, repetitive activities that provide kind and loving care to others. What with the kitchen remodel, it’s not been particularly peaceful at my house. However, we’re in the tunnel and I can see the light.

The floors, cabinets, appliances and counter tops have been installed. It’s not done but I can cook. There is a bunch of odds and ends; a missing light plus a bag of hooks, towel racks and TP holder waiting to be installed. The last of the dishes, pots, pans and tools still need to find their new homes. Plus, there are a few bigger jobs – installing the back splash and giving the walls a second coat of paint.

I’m not quite ready for the kitchen warming but at least, I can cook dinner. What about you? Are you ready to find some peace through the Zen of cooking this weekend? If cooking is not really your thing, consider raking leaves or sweeping the garage.

In case you need some help with your dinner menu, here are a few suggestions for a tasty fall dinner:

To start –
Enjoy a bowl of Feta Walnut Spread with fresh vegetables and pita chips

Sit down to –
One of my favorite salads – Lemony Kale & Radicchio Salad

Move on to –
Mediterranean Meatballs with Couscous

Finish it off with –
Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp (Cranberry Coulis is optional)

Have a peaceful weekend and bon appétit!!

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

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Columbus Day Weekend Special

For those of you looking forward to a long weekend, enjoy. For the rest of us, well, we can still enjoy some time away from our day jobs. I’ve got a lot of writing to do but hope to spend some time outside too. Although it officially ended on Tuesday, I have an Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday. What about you? What’s up with you this Columbus Day weekend?

Whether you have a long weekend or not, ya gotta eat! Why not invite a few friends over for an Italian feast. (Columbus was from Genoa.) Here are a few suggestions for a delicious, early fall dinner:

Start with a glass of wine and an antipasto platter inspired by the harvest. I noticed beautiful eggplants at the farmstand this week. I think I have a great use for them. Start your antipasto platter with thinly sliced hard sausage, shards of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, some olives and nuts. Top it off with a bowl of Caponata. Caponata is a wonderful salsa. It is great with fish and just as delicious as an appetizer on an artisanal cracker.

When you sit down to the table, take a tip from the Italians and start the meal with a lovely vegetarian pasta. Again, you’ll want to benefit from the harvest with my Pasta with Pesto, Roasted Grape Tomatoes & Corn . Serve half portions and you’ll have plenty of room for the main course.

Speaking of which, I’d like to suggest my Lemon Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc and Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Parsnips .

For a sweet finish, try my Rustic Apple Tart or the oh so Italian (and delicious) Chocolate Panna Cotta .

Have a great weekend and buon appetito!

p.s. If you think you’d like to go with an Oktoberfest dinner, you can start with my Homemade Bratwurst Bites with Horseradish Mustard. Then, move on to my Romaine & Radicchio Caesar Salad (not at all German but tasty.) For the main course, enjoy my Roasted Pork Loin with Apples & Onions with sides of Sauerkraut and Smashed Potatoes. And finally, for dessert, try my Cardamom Plum Tort .

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Okay, I think Fall May Finally Be Here Weekend Special

If nothing else, the recent heat wave has allowed us to chime in one last time with “Hot enough for you.” It’s also given me a few delightful evenings down on Pleasant Lake. Unless each and every one of those weather guys are wrong, fall is finally coming this weekend.

Don’t despair the end of hot weather. After all, it’s sweater weather. We won’t need too many layers of down and fleece for a while yet. Take a hike or ride your bike through the countryside. The sunshine is golden and the leaves are starting to turn.

Invite you hiking and biking friends back for dinner. The bounty at the farmstand is fabulous and it promises to be a beautiful weekend. Suggest everyone bring a sweater and enjoy cocktails on the deck before dinner. (You might even sit around the fire pit for an after dinner coffee or cognac.) Here are a few suggestions an early fall dinner:

Start with a glass of wine and an appetizer inspired by the changing season. I don’t know about you but green tomatoes make me think of early fall. Why? Well, early in the summer, I know that they have plenty of time to ripen into big, fat, red tomatoes. As we slip into October, days are shorter, nights are cooler and those tomatoes are running out of time. For a summer’s over (sigh) treat, there is nothing better than Fried Green Tomatoes with Chipotle Crema. They’re great as a side dish and delicious as an appetizer.

Sit down to the table with a beautiful salad. The farmstand had a virtual rainbow of beets on display yesterday. They will be beautiful in my Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad. However, since I still don’t have an oven, I left them all for you!

 

Now, for the main course. Nothing says cozy on a cool evening like soup. Unlike a traditional New England chowder, my End of Summer Soup with Corn & White Beans takes advantage of two favorite veggies – corn and tomatoes.

Cap your meal with a beautiful dessert. For a sweet finish, try my Applesauce Cake with Brown Butter Icing . Along with the beets, corn and tomatoes, there are local apples waiting for you … to pick or pick up at the farmstand.

 

 

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Summer Is Back Weekend Special

For anyone worried that summer was over, well, worry no more. Or at least no need to worry for at least a few more days. Even a couple of weeks. The warm weather has return and some of the humid air from down south has funneled its way north. Why, it’s almost tropical. The weekend promises to be sunny and a tad less humid.

The bounty at the farmstand is unbelievable. Add to that, the sad fact that there won’t be a lot of warm evenings left. Don’t pout, make the most of the few that are left. String some lights or set out a bunch of candles. Here are a few ideas for a tasty, end of summer feast:

Start with a glass of wine and a delicious appetizer. Something a little different like my Corn Cakes, Crostini with Red Pepper Tzatziki & Greek Salad or Summer Rolls.

Next, instead of a salad, enjoy a tasty mug of Gazpacho. The tomatoes are fabulous. I can’t get enough of them.

Make good use of the grill. What could be better than a rack or half rack Hoisin Pork Ribs . Pair the ribs with my Asian Noodle Salad and Asian Slaw or Thai Salad .

Cap your meal with a beautiful end of summer dessert. For a sweet finish, try my Fresh Berries with Creamy Lime Custard . Try the late summer strawberries – they are wonderful.

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Hello September Weekend Special

September – it’s where summer meets fall. It is a month filled with contrasts. There are those spectacular days of clear skies and bright sun. Then, to keep you humble and avoid complacency with the sunshine, there is a run of not so great weather. Cloudy, rainy, dreary, foggy … you get the picture. We’re stuck in one of those right now. However, the weekend promises improvement.

Rather than take a chance on the weather and a cookout, you might want to take dinner indoors this weekend. Here are a few ideas for a tasty, end of summer feast:

Start with a glass of wine and my latest appetizer recipe. Crispy, crunchy with lots of flavor, my Savory Rosemary Biscotti may become your new, fall hors d’oeuvre. If you like, enjoy the biscotti with small dollops of Tomato Jam or Savory Fig Jam .

Next, sit down to a colorful salad. How about my Rainbow Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette ? The name says it all.

Who wouldn’t love a bowl of pasta on a cool night? With the harvest at its peak, you’ve got to love my Fettuccine with Fresh Corn & Tomatoes .

Cap off your meal with a beautiful end of summer dessert. For a sweet finish, try my Cardamom Plum Tort .

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Special

Well, here it is – the last hurrah of summer. School has already started – just in time for a long weekend. Some of the summer people will be back to close up the cottage. Locals will see the rhythm of their days and weeks accelerate. So for one last weekend, take it easy. Spend some time on the lake and get together with friends for a cookout. By the way, it looks like Saturday will the best day of the weekend.

Here are a few ideas for a tasty, end of summer cookout:

Is there anything better than a fresh, local tomato? How about Tomatoes with Burrata Salad and Grilled Bread ? I can’t get enough of this one. Throughout the summer, it has been my go-to supper whenever I’m home late from yoga or a meeting. Want something a bit less messy? Then try my Crostini with Cucumber, Radish & Feta. Alternatively, think of Provence and try my Pissaladière .

What about a salad? Since the grill is already going, I suggest you go for my Grilled Romaine Salad or Grilled Zucchini & Feta Salad with Lemony Vinaigrette .

On to the main course. How fancy would you like to be? You can go high end with a delicious Grilled Steak with Rosemary-Balsamic Glaze . Serve the steak with my Cheesy Polenta with Fresh Corn .

If you’ve got a big crowd, you can’t miss with my Grilled Lamb with Fresh Mint. Serve it with Cheesy Polenta with Fresh Corn or take your dinner in a different direction and try my Szechuan Noodle Salad on the side.

If you are thinking ultra-casual, then you can’t miss with my Southwest Turkey Burgers or Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Charred Corn, Tomatoes & Salsa Verde . Serve either with Jicama Slaw .

Finish up the evening with sweet blueberries. I can suggest two wonderful blueberry desserts – Blueberry-Ginger Cobbler and Blueberry Bread Pudding .

As for me? I won’t be doing a lot of cooking this weekend. As I sit here tapping the last of my kitchen is being torn away. All of my dishes are piled on and under the dining room table. The old stove and dishwasher are in the driveway. Thank goodness for the grill, hotplate, microwave and salads.

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017

A Busy, Clearing Out the Cupboards Weekend Special

A new adventure starts on Monday. Renovation of my forty-something year old kitchen begins. I am delighted, excited and very busy cleaning out the cupboards, taking down the bright red pots and stashing the staples.

Let me tell you, it’s not easy finding spots for everything … dishes, pots, pans, gadgets, spices, canisters of flour and sugar, chocolate chips, nuts  … you get the picture. Anyway, the living room is filled wall to wall with the new cabinets and I’m making steady progress stripping the kitchen.

While I won’t be cooking much this weekend or for the next three or four weeks, I have some suggestions for you!

How about a Sunday brunch? The weather promises to cooperate so a hearty late morning feast on the porch sounds good. Quiche or something like it, is always a good bet. You’ll be a winner with my Quiche or any one of my variations on the cheese and egg pie. Maybe you’d like to try my Spinach Ricotta PieTarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart) or Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart.

Or think French toast or pancakes with my Blueberry Breadpudding oPuffy Apple Pancake. 

Don’t forget to include some fresh fruit. Take your pick – strawberries, blueberries, watermelon …this time of year, the list is more or less endless.

Finally, add a tasty muffin. (I confess, I love muffins.) Can I recommend my moist and delicious Zucchini Muffins.

Have a great weekend and bon appétit!

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

What’s up with you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! © Susan W. Nye, 2017