Vive la France on Bastille Day & Salade Niçoise

Bonne fête nationale! Joyeux quatorze juillet! Happy Bastille Day! In case you’ve forgotten, today marks the beginning of the end of the French monarchy back in 1789. Except for a few odd royalists, all of France will celebrate the birth of the first French republic tonight. (Yes, there have been more than one but we’ll leave those stories for another day.)

In a normal year, both the French and Francophiles around the world celebrate Quatorze Juillet with parades, picnics and the pop of champagne corks. Fireworks, more champagne, and maybe a little dancing top off the evening. But then 2020 is not a normal year, far from it. The French continue to climb out of the throws of the pandemic. They are flattening their curve by hunkering down with their nearest and dearest, practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

Pandemic or not, you can still give a shout out to Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (liberty, equality and fraternity.) An elegant picnic with your nearest and dearest sounds like a good idea. Whether that’s a romantic party of two or a festive group of six, we could all benefit from a little elegance and fun.

Remember this is a French picnic, so, in spite of the call for fraternité, we’re not suggesting a party reminiscent of your college days. Forget the paper plates and cheap beer or even fancy craft beer; think pastoral, casual elegance. Start by lugging a table out onto the deck, the screen porch or under a favorite old tree. Next, bring out a festive tablecloth, cloth napkins and fresh flowers. No, you don’t need to unearth our grandmother’s china (but you can if you like.) It’s a picnic, your everyday dishes, glasses and cutlery will be fine. Add some twinkle lights or candles or both for when the sun goes down and don’t forget the champagne.

From start to finish you’ll want a simple but decidedly French menu. If you don’t mind turning the oven on (I know I do), begin with a Pissaladière Niçoise. Otherwise, some fresh vegetables and crackers with a dab of tapenade or pâté will be just fine, maybe even perfect.

Even if one or the other is your signature dish, it’s definitely too hot these days for a very French Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin. Instead, turn your sights to the south of France for a beautiful Salade Niçoise. A salad is the perfect one-dish dinner on a hot night. You can gather, prep and refrigerate everything you’ll need in morning. When dinnertime comes, instead of bustling around a hot grill, you can relax, enjoy some French music and a glass of champagne. When you’re ready, dinner will come together in just a few minutes.

As for dessert, as long as local strawberries are in season, they are nothing short of amazing. Serve them with a splash of heavy cream or red wine. Alternatively, they make a delicious garnish for a lovely chocolate or lemon mousse. Clichéd or not, mousse, particularly chocolate, is everyone’s favorite French dessert. (Except for those of us who love a good crème brûlée but … see above … I’m certainly not turning on the oven in this heat.)

No need for fireworks. The New Hampshire sky is filled with bright stars and, maybe, a firefly or two. Think positive thoughts for a clear night and spend a long lazy evening, watching the sun set and moon rise.

Bonne fête nationale and bon appétit!

Salade Niçoise with Grilled Tuna or Swordfish

This colorful salad will make a beautiful and delicious addition to your summer repertoire. Enjoy!

Serves 6

  • 1 pound new potatoes, cut in bite size pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Vinaigrette Niçoise (recipe follows)
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 pound assorted cherry and grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 European cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna or swordfish steaks
  • About 1/2 head lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry-pack, oil-cured black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • Fresh, chopped parsley

Put the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes well and transfer to a bowl. Add enough vinaigrette to generously coat the potatoes and toss to combine. Cool to room temperature, toss again, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil, add the beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and put the beans in a bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and toss. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Put the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and pepper in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat the grill to high. Brush the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the fish on the grill and cook for, more or less depending on the thickness, about 2 minutes per side for rare tuna, about 5 minutes per side for tuna cooked through or about 6 minutes per side for swordfish. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into thick slices.

If you like, you can grill the fish in advance and refrigerate. Remove the fish from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving. Slice right before serving.

When you are ready to serve, put the lettuce in a bowl and toss with a little vinaigrette. Drizzle the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and pepper with a little vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Arrange the lettuce on a platter or individual plates. Artfully arrange the vegetables and tuna on top of the lettuce, sprinkle with chopped olives, capers and parsley and serve.

Vinaigrette Niçoise

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch chunk red onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup or to taste extra-virgin olive oil

Put the lemon juice and zest, vinegar, mustard, garlic, onion, thyme, anchovy paste and hot sauce in a blender or small food processor, season with salt and pepper and pulse to combine and chop the garlic and onion. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until incorporated.

Store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator.

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Are you a Francophile? What’s your favorite thing about France and the French? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020

How’s Everything at your House? & Shrimp Fra Diavolo

It was just about two and a half weeks ago when the governor declared a state of emergency. While rural, northern New Hampshire has been hit nowhere near as hard as cities and suburbs to the south, change is more than imminent. It is already here. In the years to come, when we look back on the spring of 2020, what will we remember?

Well, I’ve got to believe that we’ll giggle over stories of scandalous toilet paper hoarders. I suppose the memories won’t last forever; just until the guilty finish off their last roll of TP. I’m guessing that could be sometime around 2035.

Searching for a silver lining, I can’t help but hope that The Spring of Staying Apart somehow manages to bring us together. It feels like a definite possibility. Whenever I venture out, whether for a walk or a trip to the post office, one question reigns supreme. How’s everything at your house? Friends, neighbors and even vague acquaintances check to make sure that all is well. So far, responses on both sides of this greeting have been positive.

As a next step, we are also starting to think about feelings. No, not how are you feeling – as in – do you have a fever or a cough; but where’s your head these days? How are you coping? What emotions greet you each morning? After a long day, what feelings do you take to bed with you?

Let’s face it, we are New Englanders. We’re not great with all that feeling stuff. The other day, I took a few moments to think about it. I realized that I wasn’t feeling frightened. Maybe that will come later; when or if cases start to pile up in my little town. Or if the pandemic throws the rule of law out the window. Instead, I was feeling two things; discombobulated and sad.

Like most people, my life had a certain comfortable rhythm. One that was busy – filled with writing and walking; engaged with friends and family; active with yoga and movies; enriched with perfecting interesting dishes and quests for good restaurants. In January, a little, old dog adopted me. She quickly slipped me into her routine and my rhythm added a new beat.

Not everything has changed, just enough to create empty spaces in my day. I miss hugging family and friends and chatting with them face-to-face. I miss yoga classes. It’s not just the regular work on flexibility, strength and balance; I miss the camaraderie. I miss sitting in a dark theater and escaping into a different world. I miss eating other people’s cooking. Although, I may need to tighten my belt a little, a smaller work load is not insurmountable – but I miss the race to meet yet another deadline. Not to forget, my father moved in with me a few weeks ago. That’s an adjustment. We’ll just leave it at that for now. All told, in the grand scheme of life, cabin fever is hardly a hardship.

Along with this discombobulation are feelings of sadness. My heart goes out to all the frustrated and exhausted doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff at hospitals. I feel for the nervous check-out clerks and baggers at the supermarket. I’m sad for the local high school kids who won’t have a prom. I’m sad for my niece whose college graduation will be online. I don’t what that means but it doesn’t sound very festive. Mostly, I’m sad every time I see the rapidly escalating number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

How’s everything at your house? How are you feeling?

Be kind to others and yourself. Stay safe, keep your distance and stay at home.

Bon appétit!
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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Fra Diavolo means Brother Devil in Italian. Somehow or other, it seems like a good time for this fiery dish. Enjoy!
Serves 4
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  • Olive oil
  • 1/2-1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon or to taste crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup shrimp or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds shrimp, shelled and de-veined

Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan over medium, add the onion and carrot, sprinkle with the herbs and pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes more.

Stir in the tomatoes, wine, broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

The sauce can be made ahead, cooled to room temperature, covered and refrigerated.

Meanwhile … If you are serving pasta or polenta with the shrimp, cook one or the other according to package directions. If serving with bread, don’t forget to preheat the oven and warm the bread for 5-10 minutes.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Raise the heat under the sauce and bring to a rapid simmer. Add the shrimp and stir to combine. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

If serving with pasta, add the pasta to the pot, toss to coat and transfer to individual shallow bowls. Otherwise, serve the shrimp in shallow bowls with a spoonful of sauce and a dollop of polenta or a hunk of crusty bread.

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Life in the Time of COVID-19 & Lemony Linguine with Scallops, Olives & Capers

Living in rural New Hampshire, we are far from the COVID-19 hot spots. Distance doesn’t necessarily keep us safe so the governor has order us all to stay at home. We’re following those orders as much as possible. When out and about, we’re keeping our distance. Our knuckles are dry and cracked from hand washing. We’re coughing into our elbows and doing our best to keep our hands off our faces.

Still and all, rural life offers certain benefits. At least for me, the most important is the ability to get outside. I can’t image being cooped up all day. It is a relief to take a walk and spend an hour or two outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Although carefully keeping the proper distance, I’m not alone.

Throughout the day, a constant parade of walkers and a few runners make their way around Pleasant Lake. Most of the runners are on the younger side. I’m guessing they’re college students taking a break from online learning. There’ll be no track and cross-country meets this spring. Rivalries old and new are put on hold. Of the walkers, some are neighbors, others strangers. Parking lots as well as the driveways of my summer neighbors are filled with cars hailing from southern New England and beyond. All are welcome but please – bring your own toilet paper and self-quarantine for fourteen days.#NH

Dad, the dog and I are all doing fine. As a freelance writer, I’m used to working from home. I just finished up a handful of articles covering everything from a seafood feast to renovating a kitchen. There’s always a lull between jobs. Let’s hope this lull doesn’t extend indefinitely as businesses cut back. I’m well aware that not everyone can work from home. Reduced paychecks and unemployment have started to hit New Hampshire and the country. My heart goes out to all who are suffering.

While I am as busy as ever, Dad is bored as could be. The stay-at-home order is pure torture for him. One of those people who never met a stranger he didn’t like; Dad thrives on face-to-face contact. He’d like nothing more than to be in Florida playing golf three or four times a week with his buddies. Except that the situation with this virus is much worse in the sunshine state so he’s actually relieved to be here rather than there. He’s cleaning closets and looking for any excuse to take a break. Dad keeps insisting on running most of the errands. Anything to escape the closets. I insist he wear gloves, keep his distance and wash his hands as soon as he comes back in the door.

The dog is doing her best to provide emotional support. She is putting up with belly rubs and scratches behind the ears, not once or twice but throughout the day. She figures it’s a tough job but someone has to do it. She has also agreed to take Dad along on our afternoon walk. I’m not quite sure who is slower, Dad or dog. The dog has an excuse. Her legs are all of three inches long plus she’s 119 in human years.

Along with writing, I continue to find peace in the Zen of everyday activities. Along with scratching the dog’s ears, rubbing her belly, shoveling snow and walking, I’ve been cooking lots of pasta.

Best wishes to all for good health and a speedy return to a new normalcy. Bon appétit!

Lemony Linguine with Scallops, Olives & Capers
A quick dinner that’s sure to please any New Englander. If you can’t find fresh scallops, try the freezer section in a pinch. Enjoy!
Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch or to taste red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • About 1/2 cup Castelvetrano or your favorite green olives, pitted and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 12 ounces linguine

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put about 1/4 cup olive oil, the garlic and pepper flakes in a large skillet and heat on low until the garlic starts to change color. Stir in the anchovy paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice and wine.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving a little pasta water.

Toss the pasta, with the garlic-anchovy oil, lemon juice and wine. If the pasta seems dry, add a little pasta water. Add the lemon zest, olives and capers and toss again. Cover and set on low heat while you sear the scallops.

Lightly coat a large skillet with a little olive oil to and heat over medium-high. Add the scallops and cook until opaque in the center, about 1 minute per side.

Toss the scallops with the pasta, transfer to a deep platter or individual shallow bowls and serve.

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How are you doing? Coping well or not, feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020

Welcome Summer & Smoked Salmon-Cucumber Bites

Every May, people get all excited and cheer the unofficial start to summer. Well, I can tell you, it’s a bunch of malarkey. Or at least it was this year. I don’t know about you but I’ve had to turn the heat back on at least two or three times since Memorial Day. So, let’s just forget all about this unofficial stuff. I don’t think I’m alone when stating that I am more than ready for the real thing.

No, that’s not the fourth of July. The first day of summer or summer solstice finally, happily arrives this coming Friday. The longest day of the year, I love everything about the summer solstice. The myths and legends, the rituals, the parties, the extra hours of sunshine, you name it – I like it.

It must be the combination of Swedish and Scottish blood that courses through my veins along with a splash Danish, some Irish and English. By golly, maybe some of my ancestors were druids. Or maybe I was a druid in another life. Perhaps, that’s why I am such a fan of standing stones. Years ago, I visited Stonehenge. Many believe that the circle of massive stones was built by druids. A few others think it might have been built by extraterrestrials. Either way, the site is awe inspiring.

Druids or ET, no one is altogether sure what Stonehenge is all about. After all, it was completed almost four thousand years ago. However, many believe it pays tribute to the longest day of the year. If you stand in just the right place before sunrise on the solstice and look towards the northeast, you will see the sun rise over what’s known as the Heel Stone. It’s quite dramatic and more than amazing. Thousands of years ago, without cranes or a backhoe or whatever else, ancient people created this incredible monument.

If you like, you too can channel your inner hippie or inner druid and join the summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge. Unfortunately, you are more likely to see the back of someone’s head than the sun coming up over the Heel Stone. Over the years, the annual vigil has become more than a bit of mob scene.

Just as intriguing, are the more modest rings and rows of standing stones found throughout the British countryside. I’ve seen them in the south of England and maybe Scotland. I took a walking tour of Scotland one summer but the trip’s details are now a bit hazy. If you like, or at least don’t mind, a long walk across the moors, you might stumble upon a group of stones. Too small or remote to attract tour buses, there are no souvenir stands or tea shops. There’s a good chance you’ll have the stones all to yourself. The locals know where they are. Ask around, some kind soul is bound to send you in the right general direction. It’s quite something to see them.

Across the North Sea, the solstice celebrations are no less festive. To many Scandinavians, the solstice is as, if not more, important than Christmas. From Denmark to Sweden and Norway, everyone turns out for parties and bonfires by the sea and picnics in the park. After a long, dark winter, everyone is happy to stay out late and enjoy the midnight sun.

The Scandinavian solstice is a wonderful time for family and friends. It is certainly less frenzied than the gathering at Stonehenge. Whether you have a Swedish grandfather like me, a Danish grandmother or no particular ties at all, think about a Scandinavian picnic to celebrate the longest day. You don’t want to miss a minute of sunshine in our too short summer.

Have a great summer with family and friends and bon appétit!

Smoked Salmon-Cucumber Bites
Salmon – smoked, cured, grilled, roasted or poached – is a favorite throughout Scandinavia. This light and bright hors d’oeuvre is perfect for summer picnics and cocktail parties. Enjoy!
Enough for about 4 dozen pieces

Horseradish Cream (recipe follows)
1 1/2 – 2 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
About 1 pound smoked salmon, cut in small pieces
Chopped chives

Make the Horseradish Cream.

Top cucumber slices with smoked salmon, add a generous dab of Horseradish Cream and sprinkle with chives.

Horseradish Cream
Makes about 1 cup sauce

2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup or to taste prepare horseradish, well drained
2 tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Grated zest of 2 lemons

Put the cream cheese in bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. A spoonful or two at a time, add the sour cream and continue beating until smooth.

Add the horseradish, capers, mustard and lemon zest and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour to combine the flavors.

Cover and store leftover Horseradish Cream in the refrigerator.

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One Year Ago – Grilled Vietnamese Beef
Two Years Ago – Grilled Steak with Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic & Rosemary-Balsamic Glaze
Three Years Ago – Grilled Potato Salad
Four Years Ago – Maple-Bourbon Pork Ribs
Five Years Ago – Gravlax with Tarragon-Caper Mustard Sauce
Six Years Ago – Salsa Verde
Seven Years Ago – Crunchy Slaw with Cilantro, Mint & Peanuts
Eight Years Ago – New Potato Salad with Gorgonzola 
Nine Years Ago – Spicy Hoisin Wings
Ten Years Ago – Grilled Steak & Potato Salad

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

How will you celebrate the summer solstice? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2019

Many thanks to Mystic Realms for use of the photograph of the sun coming up over the Heel Stone at Stonehenge.

Silver Lining & Hoisin Roasted or Grilled Salmon

There’s been a lot of grumbling over the past several weeks. That whole April showers thing got old really fast. I think I heard or read somewhere that it was the rainiest or at least one of the rainiest Aprils in history or in the last ten years or something like that. May hasn’t been much better. Then of course, it snowed last week. Not at my house, I’m below the magical 1,000 feet. Still, snow covered every roof, lawn and field up in town.

I can’t help but think that there is something wrong with that picture. There’s got to be. The long Memorial Day weekend is just days away. Memorial Day is when the summer people come up and sweep out their cottages. It’s when everyone puts their boats in the water. It marks the first cookout of the season. It’s when a few crazy kids dare to see who will take the first swim.

With all the clouds overhead, there has got to be a silver lining or two in all this cold and damp. So, as they say in kindergarten, let’s turn those frowns upside down and find that silver lining.

First and foremost, I don’t know if you noticed but the cold has kept those despicable black flies at bay. By now, packs of males are usually in your face and driving you mad. As for the females, they normally would have taken a chunk or two out of arms, legs – any bare bit of skin. So far, I’ve seen the odd fly buzzing about but with no real purpose. One rag-tag bunch was clustered around my car the other day. However, they seemed too cold or despondent to swarm.

Second, fire danger is down. Before new leaves pop, last year’s dead grass and leaves provide great fuel for fire. All this wet and damp is keeping the woods and our houses safe.

Third, I found a wonderful new pair of rain shoes – polka dot. An added bonus, they are very comfortable. I have another pair that are fabulous to look at but not so great for walking around. Who knew that rain shoes were a thing and that you might actually need them? If you prefer, you can go with rubber boots. They are also wonderful and come in a variety of fantastic colors and prints.

Fourth, a rainy day is a great excuse for some downtime. Leave those great looking, new, rain shoes by the door, put your feet up and read a book. If that seems too decadent, maybe you have a bag of yarn that’s begging to be knit into a sweater or a several boxes of old photographs that need to be scanned.

Fifth and final, in spite of the chilly weather, the peepers are out! They bring glorious memories of spring evenings of days gone by. If you haven’t done so already, bundle up some evening soon, make yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine and sit on porch and listen to the chorus of tiny frogs. While you are at it, take a moment to reflect on childhood games of kick-the can and hide-and-go-seek played in the waning light of early evening to the song of the peepers.

Enjoy springtime in New Hampshire – or whatever this is and bon appétit!

Hoisin Roasted or Grilled Salmon
Whether you cook in or out, this sweet and savory fish dish will be perfect for the holiday weekend. Enjoy!
Serves 8

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 salmon fillet(s) (about 3 pounds)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Toasted sesame seeds
Lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Put the hoisin and soy sauces in a bowl, add the wine, honey, sriracha and garlic and whisk to combine.

Place the salmon skin side down on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Spoon about half the hoisin mixture onto the salmon and spread over the fish. Slide the pan into the oven.

Roast the salmon at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes, spoon and spread the remaining sauce over the fish. Roast until cooked through, an additional 6-8 minutes.

Slip a spatula between the fish and the skin and, leaving the skin behind and carefully transfer the fish to a serving platter. Sprinkle the salmon with toasted sesame seeds and serve with lime wedges.

Alternatively,

Preheat the grill to high.

Brush the flesh side of the salmon with the hoisin mixture, season with salt and pepper and place the fish, skin side up, on the grill.

Depending on the thickness of the fish, grill for 5-6 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon with a wide spatula, brush with more of the hoisin mixture and grill for 3-5 minutes more or until cooked through but not dry.

Remove the salmon from the grill and place it on a cutting board. Slip a spatula between the fish and the skin and, leaving the skin behind and carefully transfer the fish to a serving platter. Drizzle with the remaining hoisin mixture, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with lime wedges.

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One Year Ago – Grilled Asparagus with Lemony Tarragon Butter
Two Years Ago – Lemony Green Rice
Three Years Ago – Crostini with Red Pepper Tzatziki & Greek Salad
Four Years Ago – Ginger Shortcakes with Rhubarb Compote
Five Years Ago – Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
Six Years Ago – New Potato Salad Dijon
Seven Years Ago – Asparagus Crostini with Sundried Tomato Pesto & Goat Cheese
Eight Years Ago – Wheat Berry Salad
Nine Years Ago – Not Your Ordinary Burger
Ten Years Ago – Strawberry Rhubarb Soup

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

What’s your silver lining this rainy spring? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2019

Unleashed & Bagels with Lox & Cream Cheese

A neighbor recently reminded me of the good old days when kids and dogs roamed the woods and byways. No leash laws, just happy go lucky dogs with their free-range kids, sniffing and exploring to their hearts content.

When we lived on Jackson Road, we had two dogs, Penny, a feisty mutt and Eeyore, a born old Labrador retriever. Every morning they met up with their friends Alvin, a cute little terrier mix and Manfred, a furry midsized dog of mixed parentage. If Penny and Eeyore were slow to get up and out, Alvin yipped at the backdoor to speed them along.

While harmless, I suppose you could call them a pack. The foursome spent a good part of the day roaming the neighborhood looking for adventure. In most cases, that meant wandering around the woods, doing tricks to be rewarded with cookies from nice old ladies, rolling in smelly stuff and swimming in the pond at the end the road. In winter, they joined hockey games on the same pond. Now, Penny was not only feisty; she loved to steal pucks. She was never entirely sure of what to do with them but enjoyed the hubbub of a dozen kids chasing her across the ice.

When school let out for the day or summer, this canine quartet kept half an eye on their humans. The dogs wandered in and out of games of kick the can, napped under trees while we climbed and chased bicycles and sleds along with the afore mentioned hockey pucks.

The only time our dogs saw the end of a leash was … well, never. When we took them with us to a friend’s house or the school playground, they stayed by our side. Oh sure, they’d meander off to sniff an interesting smell but they’d circle back within a minute or two. If not, we’d give a call and a whistle and they’d bound back wondering what all the fuss was about.

As the snow melts, the number of walkers and runners that pass my house near Pleasant Lake is growing. The first of the snowbirds are back. The fair weather walkers and runners are taking tentative steps out the door. The cross-country team from nearby Colby-Sawyer College dashes by. The day-in-day-out, twelve months of the year regulars, myself among them, will soon be outnumbered. Of course, the year-round diehards include a handful of dog walkers.

Big dogs, little dogs, young dogs, old dogs, glued-to-their-human’s-side dogs and boy-I’d-love-to-break-this-leash dogs, they all love a walk around the lake. For all their smiles, I suppose they would be terribly jealous, if they knew their great-grandparents wandered free.

With warmer weather and longer days, the pedestrian traffic around the lake will continue to grow. The summer people and their dogs will be here before you know it. It’s sad that the dogs can’t join a pack of friends like their young humans do. Throughout the summer, herds of kids play together on the lake, in the lake and around the lake. Meanwhile, their poor dogs sit at home.

Eeyore loved New Hampshire, the woods and lake. (Unfortunately, Penny went to live on a farm before we built the little brown house in the woods.) Just like his humans, Eeyore had a whole passel of summer friends. They spent hours wandering, investigating and swimming. Of course, some wandering and sniffing led to trouble. Among other discoveries, they found porcupines and skunks.

With or without man’s best friend, get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Bon appétit!

Bagels with Lox & Cream Cheese
I’m not big on breakfast except during mud season. That’s when I’m happy to indulge in a leisurely weekend brunch. Whether with friends or binge watching the news, be sure to include bagels and lox in your mud season brunch. Enjoy!
Makes about 1 cup salmon spread – enough for 6-8 bagels

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Freshly ground pepper or your favorite hot pepper sauce to taste
4 ounces smoked salmon, at room temperature
Bagels
Chives, chopped

Make the spread: put the cream cheese in a bowl, add ground pepper or pepper sauce to taste and whisk with a fork until well combined.

Finely chop the smoked salmon and add it to the cream cheese. Whisk again until well combined.

Slice the bagels lengthwise and open up into 2 rounds. Toast the bagels in the toaster or under the broiler if you have a big crowd.

Top each bagel half with a good sized schmear of Lox & Cream Cheese Spread, sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.

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One Year Ago – Cheesy Eggplant Parmigiana with Spaghetti Marinara
Two Years Ago – Ravioli with Saffron Cream, Grilled Asparagus & Mushrooms
Three Years Ago – Lamb Shanks with Mushrooms & Pearl Onions
Four Years Ago – New Hampshire Mud Pie
Five Years Ago – White Beans Provençal with Bacon & Baby Kale
Six Years Ago – Moroccan Spiced Grilled Lamb with Roasted Eggplant Salsa
Seven Years Ago – Linguine with Shrimp, Artichokes Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives
Eight Years Ago – Roast Chicken 
Nine Years Ago – Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts
Ten Years Ago – Roasted Eggplant with Peperonata

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

Do you have a favorite dog? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2019

All About Christmas Eve Traditions & Lemon Roasted Salmon with Tarragon Sauce

My family has always enjoyed a bit of pandemonium on Christmas Eve. In fact, I think we thrive on it. From one generation to the next, the one constant has been overexcited children. For little kids, the day always seems to move at glacial speed. I generally started the day by jumping up and down and dancing in front of the tree. It didn’t take long for Mom to toss me into my snowsuit and outside. Her message was clear – time to build a snowman or take my sled over to the neighborhood hill. That was fine; I had lots of company. Most of kids on the street had received similar instructions.

My grandparents would arrive in the late afternoon and whisk us into the back of their car for church. My sister Brenda and I never missed the opportunity to ride in Grandpa’s Lincoln with the fancy electric windows. Those rides might have been Grandpa’s greatest gift to his only daughter. With my baby brother snoozing in his car seat and Dad behind the wheel, Mom could sink into the passenger seat of the family station wagon, close her eyes and enjoy a few blessed minutes of peace.

After church, excitement rose to a fevered pitch. Nana and Grandpa would stay for a quick visit but usually begged off dinner and headed home. They knew what was coming. For some unknown reason, or at least unknown to me, about half way through dinner, Santa stopped by. It was a neighborhood tradition. Each child received a small present and Santa’s promise that he’d be back with more if we cleaned our plates and went right to bed. The visit did nothing to slow down the dancing and prancing of the Nye sisters. After swallowing one or two more mouthfuls, Mom gave up and urged us into our jammies. Dad read the Night Before Christmas and we were off to bed.

My family is now in one of those in-between periods. In fact, we’ve been here for a while. There are no small children or babies to dance and prance with unbridled excitement and anticipation. That said, even without small children around, we do find ways to keep things hopping. Last year, it was a trip to the emergency room. Dad, I hope you’re listening when I suggest we skip the ER this year.

(By the way – the white haired gent is my dad … he had no interest in helping but couldn’t stay away from the fun.)

I think it was three maybe four years ago that we began a wonderful new Christmas Eve tradition. My twenty-something nieces come over to help me cook. I’m guessing Kaela’s move from the dorm to an apartment might have been the initial instigator. Her sister Emily did not want to be left out and joined the party. It is wonderful fun and, with two sous-chefs, the dinner is extra special. 

I love the idea of bonding in the kitchen – of passing recipes and stories from one generation to the next. The girls arrive around four, still a bit jet-lagged but filled with enthusiasm. We agree tasks and claim work spaces. There is a lot of laughter and more than a few questions. Music fills the air and, in keeping with the occasion, there is a little dancing and prancing plus a glass of wine or two.

When we started, Kaela described our time together as a cooking lesson. However, in just a few short years, both nieces have become quite accomplished. More than a lesson, it is a special time for us to share news and retell old stories.

Until the rest of the family arrives. Then we all we go into host mode. Kaela and Emily pass fresh-from-the-oven hors d’oeuvres and pour glasses of wine while I take care of any last minute dinner details. There is more laughter and lots of chatter. While there is no rush, dinner is served with plenty of time for everyone to get home and into bed before Santa arrives.

Have a wonderful holiday and bon appétit!

After dinner – Gramps and the Girlies

Lemon Roasted Salmon with Tarragon Sauce
Although I fall far short of seven fishes, I like seafood on Christmas Eve. I usually start with gravlax or smoked salmon and then serve shrimp for the main course. It’s time to switch it up! Enjoy!
Serves 8

1 (about 3 pounds) salmon fillet
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 lemons, each cut into 4 wedges
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Tarragon Sauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Melt the butter and whisk in the juice of 1-2 lemon wedges. Let cool for a few minutes.

Place the salmon skin side down on a sheet pan and brush with lemon-butter. Arrange the remaining lemon wedges around the salmon, season everything with salt and pepper and slide the pan into the oven.

Roast the salmon at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until it is almost cooked through. Slip a spatula between the fish and the skin and, leaving the skin behind, carefully transfer the fish to a serving platter and loosely cover for 10 minutes. The fish will continue cooking while it rests.

Return the lemons to the oven and continue roasting while the salmon rests.

Serve the salmon with roasted lemon wedges and Tarragon Sauce.

Tarragon Sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot or red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the tarragon, shallot, garlic and lemon zest, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.

Best if made ahead, covered and refrigerated for a few hours. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

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One Year Ago – Gingerbread Decorations
Two Years Ago – Sticky Buns
Three Years Ago –
Cranberry Coffee Cake

Four Years Ago –
Fish Stew Provençal

Five Years Ago –
Twice-Baked Potatoes

Six Years Ago – Baked French Toast
Seven Years Ago –
Braised Lamb with Artichokes and Mushrooms and Creamy Polenta

Eight Years Ago –
Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Nine Years Ago – Potato, Leek & Kale Soup
Ten Years Ago – Salmon & Lentils

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

What are you serving this Christmas Eve? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2018

Hip Hip Hooray for Pasta Day & Linguine alla Vodka with Seared Scallops

National Pasta Day is tomorrow. For many of us, any day is a good day for pasta. After all, who doesn’t love pasta? Nine out of ten kids choose it for their birthday dinners. (I just made that up but is sounds true – doesn’t it?) A favorite of athletes, it’s the meal of choice before every marathon. Warm and cozy, pasta is perfect for simple family dinners and casual entertaining.

Growing up in the suburbs, my pasta vocabulary was limited to spaghetti, macaroni and ravioli. Who knew there were as many as 350 different and all wonderful pasta shapes? I guess suburbia will do that to you. Lush green lawns are not a problem but the international aisle at the supermarket, well, it’s limited at best.

Anyway, with age and broadened horizons, I have discovered a whole heap of options. If you speak Italian, most types are fairly descriptive. Think cavatappi (corkscrew), tagliatelle (ribbons), conchiglie (shells) and conchiglioni (big shells). From the charm of campanelle (bell flower) to the more curious orecchiette (little ears), it’s all good.

Then again, at least one or two have a darker side. Strozzapreti or priest chokers are cursed. Poor farmers and innkeepers fed them to gluttonous priests who cared more about their stomachs and purses than the wellbeing of their congregations. The vengeful plan called for the clergy, with their voracious appetites and greed, to gobble up too much too fast and choke on the delicious pasta.

Pasta’s versatility is more than the wonderful shapes and sizes. With a seemingly endless array of great sauces, you can probably toss up a different dish every night for a year. That simple marinara or red sauce of our childhood is both delicious and a good start. Add a touch of the devil with spicy red pepper flakes, a little sophistication with vodka or turn it into a hearty Bolognese.

Creamy sauces are wonderful on a chilly night. After a crazy, busy day, you can have dinner on the table in minutes with fettuccine carbonara or Alfredo. Or relax and get cozy with macaroni baked in a cheesy béchamel sauce. No need to stick to the tried and true cheddar. Get creative and experiment with gorgonzola, Fontina and mozzarella. Add depth and flavor to your dish by adding vegetables, meats or poultry, even lobster.

Not sure what goes with what when it comes to pasta and sauces. Thin, delicate pastas, like angel hair, are best with light sauces. Thicker pasta, like fettuccine, is great with heavier sauces. Chunky sauces work best with pasta which has holes or ridges, like rigatoni, penne rigate or fusili.

When serving pasta as a main course, two ounces of dried pasta per person should do it. Italians traditionally serve pasta as a first course. If you decide to adopt this tradition, cut the portions in half. Same goes for pasta as a side dish, plan on one ounce per person. With fresh pasta, three to four ounces will satisfy most people. Of course, all of these measures go out the window if a horde of hungry college students or marathoners gather around your table.

The cardinal rule of pasta is not to overcook it. Italians eat their pasta al dente or to the tooth. Pasta should be firm, a bit chewy, but not crunchy. Taking a taste is the best way to check. However, you can always entertain your friends by throwing spaghetti at the refrigerator. If it sticks it’s done.

Enjoy warm and wonderful pasta throughout the fall and buon appetito!

Fettuccine alla Vodka with Seared Scallops 
A delightful change from a traditional marinara sauce, vodka sauce pairs beautifully with fettuccine and scallops. Enjoy!
Serves 8

2 pounds sea scallops
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound linguine
Olive oil

Sprinkle the scallops with oregano, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper and let sit while the water comes to a boil for pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, less 1 minute. Saving a little of the pasta water, drain and return the pasta to pot.  Add enough Vodka Sauce to coat plus a little pasta water and gently toss. Cover and set on low to keep warm.

Meanwhile, lightly coat a heavy large skillet with a little olive oil to and heat over medium-high. Add the scallops to skillet and cook until opaque in center, about 1 minute per side.

Transfer the fettuccine to a large, deep serving platter or individual shallow bowls, top with scallops and serve.

Vodka Sauce
Makes about 2 quarts

Olive Oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped or grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup vodka
3/4 cup heavy cream

Coat a heavy sauce pan with enough olive oil to lightly coat and heat over medium. Add the onion, carrot and garlic, sprinkle with herbs, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.

Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Optional – Let the sauce cool slightly, then transfer to a blender in batches and process until smooth.

Return the sauce to the pot, add the vodka and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the cream into the sauce and whisk until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate or freeze left over sauce.

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One Year Ago – Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Bake
Two Years Ago – Cheddar Ale Soup
Three Years Ago – Ravioli with Roasted Butternut Squash
Four Years Ago – Gorgonzola & Walnut Shortbread with Savory Fig Jam
Five Years Ago – Soupe de Poisson Provençal
Six Years Ago – Hearty Black Bean Soup
Seven Years Ago – Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
Eight Years Ago – Gingerbread Cupcakes
Ninet Years Ago – Buttery Chocolate Almond Brittle
Ten Years Ago – Pork Stew Paprika

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

What’s your favorite pasta and sauce? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2018

Namaste & Spicy Shrimp, Corn and Coconut Soup

I’m guessing that most all of my family, friends and acquaintances know about my daily walk around Pleasant Lake. A whole lot of other people probably know about it too. Not only do I mention these daily walks in this column from time to time but more than a few vehicles pass me as I make my way around. Take for instance, the school bus, all those plumbers vans and more than a couple trucks of trucks. As they pass me, I wave and the drivers usually wave back.

What you probably don’t know is that I also take a yoga class. It’s not a daily thing. Although for a little while, I was doing a couple of sun salutations every morning. However, it’s been quite a while since I gave a morning salute. These days, I pretend I don’t have time. Truth be told, I just haven’t made it a priority.

Once a week, I do make it a priority to throw on my yoga pants, grab my mat and get ready to stretch, bend and glide through an hour. Well, two of those things are sort-of but not really true. I did not go to the yoga pant store or even online. Instead, I found a pair of leggings tucked away in the shampoo and vitamin aisle at the supermarket. They’re mostly cotton and very comfortable. So comfortable in fact that I went back and bought some more. Once the weather turns cool, they are my hanging-out-at-home pants of choice. The other not quite true thing is, well, I don’t really glide. I can more or less hold my own with the bending and stretching but, try as I might, I tend to lurch more than glide.

If you’ve been thinking that you might like to take up yoga, there are lots of good reasons. Some are much too technical for me for me to explain let alone believe. So, here’s what I can say about my practice:

Yoga helps with balance … anyone who lives anywhere with an icy, snowy winter knows that balance is important. I suppose, the older I get, the more important good balance is. Plus, it’s fun to show off and stand on one leg in front of non-yogi friends.

Yoga helps me stay limber … my mom was a wonderful person and I love her dearly. However, arthritis is part of her legacy. (Running took its toll as well.) Yoga is great for deep stretching and bending and working all the little kinks out.

Yoga helps me build strength … with all the walking (and before that running), I have very strong legs. However, a number of smart people have been telling me for years that I need to develop better upper body strength. Yoga does that for me. Along with my arms and shoulders, it helps build my core muscles. Increasing core strength has been wonderful for the arthritis in my back.

Yoga helps me find peace and focus … to-do lists, telephones, texts, email, social media – they are all there, all the time. Together, they tag team to successfully distract and sometimes distress. However, for one hour each week, I can relax and focus on bending, stretching and, yes, lurching from one move to the next. Any noise in my head is stilled while I focus on that little spot on the floor, stand on one leg and find peace.

If you search for them, you can find one hundred reasons to take up yoga. From regulating your adrenal gland to weight loss. Like I already mentioned, some, make that most, of those reasons are too technical for me for me to explain let alone believe.

Namaste and bon appétit!

Spicy Shrimp, Corn and Coconut Soup
The local harvest is at its peak. It’s time to fire up the grill and make delicious magic with some of my favorite vegetables. Enjoy!
Serves 8

6-8 ears yellow or bicolor corn
Olive oil
About 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
About 12 ounces red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Sea salt to taste
2 quarts shrimp, vegetable or chicken broth or a mix
3 cups (2 15-ounce cans) unsweetened coconut milk
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Garnish: cilantro leaves, unsweetened toasted coconut flakes and/or chopped toasted peanuts

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and transfer to a bowl. Use the back of a dinner knife to scrape the cobs and release the milky juices into another bowl. Set aside.

Lightly coat a soup kettle with olive oil and heat on medium. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno, sprinkle with cumin and coriander and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the potato pieces and corn juices, season with salt, toss to combine and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the broth and coconut milk, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer the soup for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. If you like, remove from the heat and use a potato masher or fork to lightly smash the potatoes.

Raise the heat and return the soup to a boil, add the shrimp and corn, season with salt and stir to combine. When the soup returns to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through and pink.

Add the lime juice and zest and stir to combine. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro, coconut flakes and/or peanuts and serve.

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One Year Ago – Hoisin Pork Ribs
Two Years Ago – Curried Carrot Soup
Three Years Ago – Warm Gorgonzola with Caramelized Onions & Walnuts
Four Years Ago – Baked Haddock with Fresh Tomatoes & Herbs
Five Years Ago – Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins
Six Years Ago – Roast Pork with Apples & Onions
Seven Years Ago – Lemon Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc
Eight Years Ago – Wild Mushroom Soup
Nine Years Ago – Rustic Apple Tart
Ten Years Ago – Oktoberfest Sausages & Sauerkraut

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

How do you keep fit? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2018

Enough Is Enough & Grilled Swordfish with Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salsa

About a month ago, drought warnings were all over the news. The gardens were looking thirsty and the lawns parched. It seemed like we were only minutes away from an outdoor watering ban. On the other hand, we were happily walking, running, hiking, biking, playing tennis, golfing, swimming, waterskiing, paddling and sailing. Now, we’re stuck in the house and all we hear is one flood warning after another.

As soon as we think the weather is going to change for the better – it doesn’t. For a while there, all the gardeners were giving us glass-half-full platitudes. Mind you, these oh-be-joyfuls were happy to join our rants about the oppressive humidity. Then, they’d shrug and say, “Well, at least the gardens are happy.”

Okay, enough already with the happy gardens. The steamy weather is doing nothing to help me maintain a sunny disposition.

Let’s turn our collective energy towards sunny days and clear nights. Some psychologists call it magical thinking. If you’ve not heard about magical thinking, it’s when the sheer force of thinking or wishing something makes it happen. Some might try to call it karma but it’s more akin to thinking is reality. If you think it; it will happen.

Consider this current situation, back in July every gardener in New England was shaking her fist at the sky and crying out for rain. The town was threatening a water ban. Obviously, someone heard all the wailing and threats, turned on the faucets and, then, forgot to turn them off.

Hello? Are you still there? It’s okay, we’ve had enough for now. Please? If for no other reason than each and every curly headed woman and girl in New England is about to go out of her mind. We can take only so many bad hair days … in a row.

Until these new pleas are heard, how about a little good news to cheer us up:

For sports fans, the football preseason has started but, more important, the Red Sox are on winning streak. With six weeks to go, the Sox might even break the record for the winningest season ever. With a .705 wins percentage, they are now tied with the 1897 Boston Beaneaters for ninth place. The 1906 Chicago Cubs claim the number one spot with a .763.

My nieces are coming for a visit. Not all at once but the four will have breezed in and out of town at least once before Halloween. (Yes, one isn’t coming until October but I’m grabbing at straws here. The humidity has left me with mush for brains.)

Finally, forget sports and my family’s good fortune. Somewhere close by and far away, a bunch of people are doing something nice, not because they have to but because they want to. Somewhere a teenager is running out of gas in the middle of nowhere. He’ll be rescued by some nice lady. Meanwhile, an older gent is helping some mom load groceries in trunk so she can buckle in her two rambunctious children. Later today, once it cools off a bit, someone will mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn. And more, a lot more, because, as we all know, there can never be enough kindness.

Stay cheerful and bon appétit!

Grilled Swordfish with Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salsa
Last week, the woman at the farmstand told me the corn is loving the steamy weather. Enjoy!
Serves 8

Juice of 1 lime
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon or to taste minced jalapeno
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6-8 ears corn, shucked
Olive oil
2 pints cherry tomatoes in a mix of colors, quartered
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
2-2 1/2 pounds Swordfish steak

Put the juice of 1/2 lime, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon jalapeno, 1 teaspoon cumin and the extra virgin olive oil, in a large bowl, season with salt and whisk to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes to combine the flavors.

Preheat the grill to high.

Brush the corn with a little olive oil. Lay the ears directly on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes, turning to cook evenly. Remove from the grill and when they are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cobs.

Put the corn, tomatoes, avocados and scallions in the bowl with the lime juice mixture and toss to combine. Add the cilantro and toss again.

Put the remaining lime juice, garlic, jalapeno and cumin in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Coat both sides of the swordfish with the marinade and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Place the swordfish steaks on grill and, depending on thickness, cook for 6-8 minutes, turn and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove the swordfish from the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Cut the swordfish into 1-inch slices.

To serve – place a generous dollop of salsa on each plate and top with swordfish.

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One Year Ago – Zucchini Muffins
Two Years Ago – Berry Peachy Crisp
Three Years Ago – Spicy Refrigerator Pickles
Four Years Ago – Double Trouble Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes
Five Years Ago – Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad
Six Years Ago – Blueberry Soup with Mascarpone Cream
Seven Years Ago – Grilled Corn, Black Bean & Avocado Salsa
Eight Years Ago – Crostini with Goat Cheese
Nine Years Ago – Corn & Chicken Chowder
Ten Years Ago – Joe Nye’s Perfect Lobster

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

Were you a free-range kid? Where was your favorite place to roam? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2018