Summer Things

I’m sitting here, curled up on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket, eating a warm and comforting bowl of chili.  We didn’t lose power as expected, but still, this storm has propelled me into fall behaviour.  Clearly, while I was busy picking paint colors for the hallway and perusing catalogues for dining room chairs, and imagining ways to rework the landscaping in our new backyard, summer happened.  And now it’s almost over.  Next weekend marks the unofficial official end of the season, and I’m not ready.

I’m still hooked on zucchini, and craving corn.  I guess I need to cram as much summer flavor as I can into the coming days.  In case you’re feeling the same way, below are some of my favorite summer recipes, worthy of one last hurrah, and also lovely additions to a Labor Day BBQ spread.

zucchini and eggplant stew

Easy Ratatouille

Perfect for using up those summer veggies,  this simple ratatouille is delicious over grilled chicken or fish, and wonderful at room temperature tossed with cooked pasta for a veggie-filled pasta salad.

watermelon juice drink

Watermelon Basil Martini

Pretty and pink!  This refreshing summer drink is fantastic for a labor day BBQ. You can make a big pitcher and let your guests help themselves.

chocolate malt

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Malt

To me, malts and milkshakes scream summer.  Enjoy a malt from a huge glass with a bendy straw for an old-school treat.  Or try serving them in little shot glasses for a really fun BBQ dessert!

tomato bread salad

Panzanella

I spend August in pursuit of perfect tomatoes. And once those tomatoes arrive, using them in every possible dish becomes my mission!  This simple panzanella salad is lovely and easy and full of fresh flavor.

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm  Comments (12)  
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A Chocolate Malt From Route 66

chocolate and vanilla milkshakes

The Grand Canyon was great.  It really, truly was.  Mind boggling, majestic, picturesque… all of that. 

But it’s not the Grand Canyon that I’ve been dreaming about since we got home.  It’s the chocolate malt from Twister’s 50’s Soda Fountain.  I’m a total sucker for nostalgia, and the town of William’s, AZ was right up my alley.  The main drag is an homage to the Route 66 glory days, complete with poodle skirts and James Dean posters and, of course, an authentic soda fountain.

old fashioned chocolate maltWe were headed back to our bed and breakfast when we saw the sign for Twister’s, and my husband (bless him for knowing me so very well) yanked the wheel hard, crossed two lanes of traffic, slammed on the brakes and whirled into the parking lot. He was rewarded with a strawberry freeze (strawberry ice cream blended with lemon-lime soda).  The freeze was lovely, but there is nothing better than a rich, sweet malt.  Dusty and sweaty from our walk at the canyon, we lounged at the outdoor chrome-top tables, enjoying the sunset and our frosty treats.

And the minute we got home I sent Jeff off to the store for malt powder. And straws. You can’t have a shake or malt without a fun straw. Unless you enjoy your malt from a shot glass.  Yep, a shot glass.  Little milkshake shooters served with a big plate of cookies make for a pretty awesome dinner party dessert.  Your friends will swoon.  And if you go for half chocolate shooters and half vanilla (use regular malt powder, skip the chocolate syrup and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract) you’ll please every last picky guest.

chocolate malt shooters

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Malt

Makes two big servings (or about two dozen shooters)

2 cups vanilla ice cream

2 cups milk

1/8 cup chocolate malt powder

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

1 ounce dark chocolate

Combine ice cream, milk, malt powder and syrup in a blender and whir until well blended.  Pour the chocolate malts into two big cups.  Grate the dark chocolate over the top of each malt.  Serve with straws.

 chocolate malt

Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm  Comments (37)  
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