Tonight’s menu features the Cantanzaro spice mix. Cantanzaro is a city in Italy. So there are a lot of herbs this Italian girl recognizes: marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano. And garlic, lots of garlic. But the kicker is the lemon and lemon peel.
It’s all very fresh for late summer/early fall harvest and great for grilling. Then I’ve added a fresh take on how to use the last of those fresh tomatoes. And just because I’m feeling ambitious, I included Gelato recipes.
I processed the few grapes I got this year into juice that I then add to my morning shakes. My neighbor gave me a handful of passion fruit, as an exchange for all my plums her toddler loves to eat. So I also added those to my shake this morning.
Not exchange was not necessary, he can have all the plums he wants! He’s a pandemic baby, born just as we went into lockdown, so I have probably seen more of him than I normally would, as mom and dad walked around the neighborhood several times a day and my office faces the street. Socially distant chats were a welcome diversion.
It’s been my pleasure to watch him grow and start walking and now starting to talk, enough to make his desire to pick plums from my tree clear. Still a nice distraction from work, as far as I’m concerned.
This morning’s smoothie:
Mixed Berry Smoothies
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup ea: blueberries and raspberries, frozen
4-6 whole strawberries, frozen
1/4 cup fresh grape juice
2 passion fruit (scooped from shell)
opt: 1 tbsp ground flax and 1 scoop whey powder
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend well. This makes 2 thick smoothies. For more of a milkshake consistency, add 6 ice cubes and blend well. I use frozen fruit, so I don’t add the ice cubes, but sometimes a bit of water to make a smooth consistency.
As best as I know, this is a basic sweet basil but it has yet to send out any flowers. I’ve clipped several stalks for kitchen use but not all of them. It should be full of flower stalks with bees abuzz.
The holy basil isn’t shy about flowering, nor is the Thai basil:
The orange peppers to the right are shishito peppers that all the in crowd foodies were gushing about a year or two ago. They are ordinarily used green but these are turning ripe. The peppers are supposed to be mostly sweet but every one I’ve tried so far has set my mouth afire. They are in the same category as the habaneros on the other bench – pretty to look at.
Pictured: Quick and Easy Pasta Salad, recipe here, along with several other summer salad recipes.
One of my favorites:
Chipotle Macaroni Salad
1 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tbsp limejuice
Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.
1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 stalk celery, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp minced parsley
2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.
Next week: Some duck photos, roasted jalapenos, Key Lime bars. Stay tuned…