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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cooking for a change

After what seems like a long hiatus, I'm back in the kitchen again. The markets are starting to offer tempting summertime bounty, and I've learned that it's best to tackle it all as soon as possible. You don't want to find yourself staring at a raw cauliflower at dinnertime. But a cauliflower that's been roasted in olive oil earlier in the day and stored in the fridge turns itself into a lovely and nearly instant pasta dish (add some fresh rosemary, chives, and parmesan, in this case.) The peppers and squash, similarly, are ready to eat now, or to be the basis of a spur-of-the moment meal.

Have I mentioned the extravagant Christmas present I got from H&D? It's a Cuisinart ice cream maker - the electric countertop kind. No rock salt or ice needed, and no prechilling of the canister. Just dump the cold ingredient mix in, turn on the switch and let it do its thing. The best thing is that you can make several kinds in rapid succession. Here we have strawberry, peach, and blueberry frozen yogurts. David Lebovitz' fabulous new book, The Perfect Scoop, is my current inspiration.

This old cast iron cherry pitter is fun to use! I don't know if it's any more efficient than modern ones - but it does two at a time!

These are apriums - new to me (I knew about pluots). It's a plum/apricot hybrid of some kind - but they seemed mostly like apricots to me, and, like fresh apricots, I felt they would benefit from being cooked. One of my all-time favorite summer desserts is Deborah Madison's Apricot/Cherry Crisp (from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone", one of the worst-named best cookbooks on my shelf ). But it's hard to justify the rich crisp topping when I'm the sole eater, and besides- isn't the fruit the best part? So I do a quick stove-top number and have a nice compote on hand.

Summer? I'm ready! Bring it on!


Blogger SuperMom said...

Yum! I'm salivating looking at all those yummy pictures, and with this awful, AWFUL heat that ice cream looks especially tempting.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

The veggies and pasta looks delicious and what a great idea to prepare it ahead of time. Your ice cream looks yummy especially the peach and raspberry sherbet? photos. I'll have to look for the Cuisinart ice cream maker.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

I love your blog and I love the ice cream idea. Thanks for sharing and have a great summer.

10:46 PM  

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