Make This Now

Even though it is the end of July and I’m already (sort of) jokingly lamenting that “summer is over,” temperatures in the upper 90s, nightly dinners in the backyard and the pain I suffered when I wore black pants outside earlier this week means we are truly in the thick of it now, friends!  Please enjoy some of our very favorite recipes from this summer, and just remember there are plenty of tomatoes, corn and peaches and eggplant to come.

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BBQ Salmon Cobb Salad

Katie Lee does not mess around with a good salad and neither do I!  Perfectly cooked flaky salmon, salty bacon, egg that is boiled to my liking (help, I recently developed an aversion to soft egg yolks), in season corn and tomatoes, a creamy avocado and most importantly: homemade croutons!  We really dug this meal.

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Juicy Grass-Fed Beef Burgers

What’s summer without a really good burger, though?  Get this, these ones have mayo MIXED INTO THE PATTY!  Why have I never thought to do this??  These were SO GOOD.  So juicy that they were dripping everywhere and I was sad because I wanted those flavors in my mouth and not on my plate but what can you do?  Also, Joey claimed these were better than the BA Burger Deluxe which had previously been our go-to classic burger recipe.  Reader, I gasped when he said this but… he’s right!  P.S. Please season the outside of your patty with salt and pepper, regardless of whether this recipe tells you to or not.

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Loaded Summer Chili Fries

Switching gears entirely, we now enter the vegan portion of this post.  I make this cashew cheese sauce often and always have so much left over — I’ve tried halving it and my blender says NO — so I have to find ways to use it up.  Enter these chili fries, which already called for a similarly-made cashew sour cream, so it seemed like an easy substitution to make.  I was not prepared for how delicious this meal would be!  It was light and fresh but still hearty and satisfying?  I was FULLY in my happy place.  Plus, even though it seems like a lot of components, it was pretty quick to whip up.

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Peach Crisp for Two

Okay, this actually served four but that means two nights of dessert for each of us, instead of one, so I’m calling it a win!  A gluten-free vegan peach crisp is, in fact, NOT Betty Crocker’s peach cobbler but I just can’t make it like Mom, so why even try?  I actually don’t know how this tasted as good as it did considering there was no butter or white flour involved but IT DID.  I would 100% make this again!  And that’s the end of the vegan portion of this post 😛

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Grilled Salmon with Whole Lemon-Sesame Sauce

I made Joey watch a video of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen making this recipe then said “I don’t care what you think, I’m making this!”  He’s maybe not quite as into lemon as I, a person who will eat the lemon slice that comes in a glass of water, am but don’t let the idea of cutting up a lemon skin scare you because when mixed with shallot, olive oil and honey, it’s really mellow and lovely.  I really love the easy salmon grilling technique used in this recipe too and scattering basil over anything just feels so fresh and summery, doesn’t it??

Please tell me what delicious things you are whipping up this summer!

Make This Now

So much of life is a Catch -22.  I like planning ahead, but I like to match things to my mood and you can’t plan your mood ahead of time, can you?  That would be nice though!  Good moods every Friday please!  Anyway, this is all to say spring is so up and down and I find it hard to match pre-planned meals to ever-changing weather.  I feel like grilling a burger when it’s 80° and sunny and curry when it’s rainy and gray, but those things can happen in the same day!

I guess this list is comprised of meals that managed to match my mood and the weather.  Those make me extra happy and are the reason I continue to chase that feeling.

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One-Skillet Lemon Pepper Shrimp and Orzo

Do you every just HARD-sear some zucchini coins and then realize they look bad in pictures?  Me neither…  Anyway, we made this skillet dinner a few weeks back and were delighted when the orzo cooked perfectly and tasted wonderfully decadent but still light and citrusy.  Also, we bought a bag of Meyer lemons to make this and I legitimately full on ate the other six?  Joey thought I was insane, but they tasted like candy to me!

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Banh Mi Burgers

Okay, I maybe said “next time I make these, I’m definitely adding more salt to the beef” something like 10 times the night we made these, but they were still REALLY GOOD.  Then again, I’m a sucker for banh mi anything.  Joey asked me “what makes these banh mi burgers??” and I was so confused, because… everything?  Those quick-pickled veggies, that fiery sriracha mayo, all that cilantro!  I loved them.  Also, I’ve tried SO MANY sweet potato fry methods and then I just tossed these in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them for 30 minutes and I think they were the best ones I’ve ever made, ha!

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Tomato-Ricotta Pizza

Per my Dinner Diary (yeah, I still keep that!), I made this pizza two years ago and not since.  Which is a shame, because it is delicious!  It has a pesto-ricotta and roasted cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of feta and basil.  So many flavor bombs that just really sing together.  Plus I ate a cherry tomato while prepping this pizza and it had NO RIGHT to taste as good as it did this early in the season.  Not mad about the leftover ricotta I have in the fridge either because it means ricotta pancakes are in my very near future!

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Black Bean and Tempeh Tacos with Cashew Cheese Sauce

These tacos were a breeze because I had leftover cheese sauce from burrito bowls the week before and black beans I’d already cooked from scratch in the freezer.  Look, I’m not really one to enjoy a veggie taco because you know what’s good?  Steak, chicken, shrimp, carnitas!  But these were honestly so good and satisfying.  Also, how good are those corn-wheat blend tortillas?  Thank you, La Tortilla Factory, for this little gift.

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Skillet Poblano and Pumpkin Enchiladas

Two skillet recipes in one post?  You know it!  And let me tell you, skillet enchiladas are way way way easier than real enchiladas.  Joey and I are still traumatized by the time we made enchiladas from scratch (cooked the meat, made the sauce, individually fried the tortillas, milked a cow and made cheese… okay, maybe not that last one) and it took HOURS, but this recipe basically just requires you to stir some tortillas strips into a skillet and that I can do!  Plus all the garnishes just make this meal feel extra special.  There’s a lime yogurt sauce, a sprinkle of salty Cotija and those spiced pepitas.  We loved it!

I hope that you’ll find some inspiration here and that you have a wonderful weekend!