Summer Recipe Round-Up

 

Summer is starting to wear out.

School has started and the garden has grown weedy. I'm growing tired of squash and zucchini. I'm starting to dream of s'mores around the bonfire and hot apple cider.

But before summer fades, I wanted to share some favorite recipes I discovered this year. Recipes that will find a permanent home on my Pinterest "Eats" board.

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats Thanks to Amy for the first two recipes! Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats were a great way to use up A LOT of zucchini in a substantial and tasty way! The kids still complained about having to eat the zucchini but they loved the filling. I was happy to use a zucchini that grew way to big in a recipe that was delicious and didn't include lots of grating for zucchini bread.

BLT Chopped Salad We love to just eat a big salad for dinner and this one certainly became a fave! It's a great salad for using up leftover sweet corn in it and who doesn't enjoy bacon, feta, and avocado? We also sometimes topped it with Ranch dressing instead of the included recipe.

Southern Baked Yellow Squash Once again, a great way to use up large amounts of yellow squash, especially since this recipe takes three pounds of squash! Do you notice a theme? The only change I'd make is next time I'll halve the amount of butter I pour over the top at  the end.

Caprese Pizza This pizza had unbelievable flavor! And since I have two basil plants that are super abundant, finding ways to use up basil has been a priority. I quickly get tired of standard pizza topping combinations and this one was a true winner. I didn't even bother with making or buying the balsamic vinegar reduction. I just sprinkled regular balsamic vinegar over it and it tasted great to me! 

Risotto Cakes In winter I love a huge pot of risotto, but in the summer I don't make it. Thanks to a lunch date with Mary Neumann who introduced me to Ina Garten's Risotto Cakes, I'll never let a summer go by again without adding this to the menu! The chives add a lot of flavor and Mary put the cakes on top of spring greens and squeezed some lemon over the whole dish. Definitely a recipe to bookmark!

Cold-Brew Iced Coffee I also finally have been converted to the cold-brewed method of iced coffee, thanks to Briana. I'd heard that it was a better method for iced coffee than brewing it hot, then chilling it in the fridge later. I loved that it was "always on tap" so to speak in the fridge once a batch had been made. It also tasted more consistent and less diluted once adding ice and milk.

What were some of your summer recipe discoveries?

 

On Violence, Peace, and Doing Small Things

"The world is loud and terrible this summer. It is as if the entire planet has tilted on its axis and dipped us all in nightmare," writes Christie Purifoy over at There Is a River, and I must admit, I'm glad someone else feels it's weight. The militant Islamic State kills Christians and Yazidis, among others, in torturous ways. According to a recent Newsweek article Jews are once again facing increased persecution in Europe. People march in protest and riot over the dubious killing of teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri while the National Guard is brought in. Israel and Hamas spill blood over Gaza.

My heart has been weighed down by the terror and madness of the world. Powerless, has been the word that come to mind. I have felt like Habakkuk:

" Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted." (Habakkuk 1:3-4)

I go about my life praying for the oppressed. I weed the garden, feeling the trivialness of doing so while so much heartache and bloodshed pour around the world. I do what I can where I live, give where I can to organizations who can reach where I can't, sponsor children to give them tools for life and pray that such small things will make a lasting impact.

I seek peace and pursue it. I remember that God delights in love, justice, and righteousness. I print out Jones Design Company's free artprint because I love Gary Haugen's words: "Justice is doing for others what we would want for ourselves."

I hope in God and "do small things with great love" (Mother Teresa).