Zucchini fritters with feta

zucfrit3I’ve been having a really unexciting week. I was/still am a little sick. I get ear infections like a five year-old, and although I luckily and surprisingly feel no pain from them, they put a damper on everything. Needless to say, I haven’t much felt like cooking or even thinking about what I want to prepare to eat. So since I was already in the fritter mindset, I made an old faithful fritter.

Fritters: Stove top summer dinner supreme. This fritter, unlike the last fritter, is more fritter and not at all a pancake, and I can pretty much make it without thinking.

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Corn fritters with jalapeno

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I’ve successfully not turned on my oven for two weeks. It might not be so much of a success as a challenge, since it’s quite difficult for me to restrain myself from homemade baked goods for too long. It’s almost to the point where I want to see how long I can hold out; it’s some sort of mental game that I’m playing, and everyone else thinks it’s weird. I’m really only surviving this test because of hot fudge sauce, but that’s not important for this story.

The self-imposed anti-oven challenge has reaped a reward other than a cool kitchen*: an awesome corn fritter recipe.

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Hot fudge sauce

hotfudge2I mentioned earlier this week that all I want to do is sit around and eat ice cream. Although that’s not all that I’m doing, it is one of the things I’m doing and obviously thinking about often. Summer can be difficult for people with a big sweet tooth. There’s the conflict to turn on the oven for cookies, cake or even broiled peaches but then heat up the house, or to not turn on the oven and miss all of the goodies that you wish that you had. Therefore, the most practical summer dessert is ice cream.

Unfortunately, I don’t have an ice cream maker in the state in which I reside (but I do have one in another state– helpful, right?), so I don’t even have to make up excuses to buy it at the grocery store.

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Southwestern gazpacho

gazpacho1I guess that I fibbed a little when I said that last Thursday was the end of my tomato extravaganza. I didn’t exactly plan on making any other tomato-based recipes, although I’d thought about it. I’ve been thinking about gazpacho for a few weeks but just hadn’t gotten around to making it. Honestly, I haven’t been in the mood to really cook for maybe five days, which is a long time for me.

It’s back to being hot here– we’d been having unseasonably cool weather for North Carolina– and the sun has finally come out after two long weeks of hiding behind grey skies. I’d been okay with standing in the kitchen during the cold and dreary weather, but the heat makes me want to lounge around all day and only eat ice cream. Unfortunately, most people, including me, can’t do that, so I got off my lazy butt and made use of the tomatoes on my counter.

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Tomato panzanella

panzanella2In case you weren’t aware–and I know that no one was aware– this week was supposed to be a tomato extravaganza. Extravaganza is a bit of an overstatement since I only post twice a week, but I wanted to share a couple of great recipes that show off one of my two favorite parts of the summer bounty. (Tomatoes v. berries is a tough decision, and one I surely cannot make.)

Shakshuka is a lesser known way to take advantage of tomatoes, plus it’s new and different, so it was nice to kick off the festivities with it. To close, though, I’m going to share my absolute favorite way to eat tomatoes: tomato panzanella. It’s cool, quick and easy, and the flavors go together so well in such a fantastic way that you’ll want to fix it at least once a week.

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Shakshuka

shakshuka8Not surprisingly, I read a lot of food blogs. I don’t just read new posts, though. I’ll go into archives, hitting the “older” button at the bottom of the page until I’ve pressed it so many times I’m frustrated.

Something I’ve discovered from this almost obsessive reading is this dish called shakshuka. Shakshuka is from Israel, Tunisia, the Middle East and/or North Africa– those are all of the places from which I’ve read it originates. Wikipedia says it’s originally Tunisian, and I guess that’s perhaps the most reliable source for me right now.

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Snickerdoodles

snickerdoodle1I have major problems with technology. I’ve broken a Kindle without doing anything to it. I’m on my fourth phone in a month. However, I did have the first phone for five years. But then it died. (I was so sad. When you have something so long, it’s difficult to get used to a new phone.) So I ordered a new phone, but I was sleeping on the beach, and a wave came up closer than expected, seawater seeped into my beach bag, and the phone got wet. I kept it in rice for a week, and although it turns on, the keyboard doesn’t register.

On to an old brick phone. I used it for a few days and managed to lose the charger. Now I’m on the last old brick phone in my house. I can’t find the back of it, but I’ve taped in the battery. I could buy a new phone, but I’m just not in the mood right now. I have no desire to have a smartphone, so I’ll battle through texting with T9 again.snickerdoodle8

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Roasted garlic and Vidalia onion dressing

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I’ve briefly talked about my job at the gourmet deli in high school. The best thing I learned there was a ton about food. I gained my love of food and cooking from my grandma, but I cultivated what I already knew and was exposed to more culinary knowledge than I ever imagined in that little store. Although I tend to cook pretty unpretentious food, I know a lot about it.

I also know how to make a pretty good sandwich. There was this great specialty sandwich at the store that I had to make every morning, and if there were any left at the end of the day, I could take them home. I’d usually take the leftover sandwich to school for lunch the next day, and everyone at my table would be jealous. It was a smoked turkey avocado sandwich on ciabatta with a sweet onion vinaigrette. It was, is and forever shall be absolutely delicious.

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