Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watermelon-Lime Margaritas

I may have mentioned before that I’m a fan of margaritas.  Unlike many of my friends, tequila and I don’t have an ugly past history. We get along just fine.  Take some tequila, mix it up with some citrus, and I’m a happy girl.

And I while I like my margaritas the traditional way (and preferably top shelf), sometimes it’s fun to mix things up.  That’s how I was feeling when I came up with today’s recipe.  I had a whole, super sweet watermelon cut up in the fridge, and I got to thinking.  And then I got to experimenting.  And then I got to tasting.  And let me tell you, these Watermelon-Lime Margaritas taste good! 

Sweet watermelon, tangy lime juice, the kick of tequila and Grand Marnier – and a little fizz, just to make things fun.  And let me tell you, you are guaranteed to have fun with these margaritas.  However, if you’re not in the margarita mood, the watermelon-lime juice tastes just as delicious mixed with equal parts sparkling water.  Either way, your taste  buds are in for a good time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Caprese Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

There are many things I love about summer in Nashville.  (The heat is not one of them.)  I love going to the drive-in and seeing two new-release movies for $7.00.  I love driving downtown to get milkshakes on weeknights.  I love Friday night happy hour on the patio at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  I love seeing sunshine past 5 pm.  And I LOVE the Amish produce sold at the farm stand a few blocks away from our house.

The farm stand is the primary source my summer culinary inspiration.  It’s where I purchase squash and eggplant and peppers and tomatoes.  And oh, let me tell you about the tomatoes.  They are insanely good.  There are many varieties, but I like the heirlooms the best.  They come in colors I never saw growing up.  Last weekend I bought orange tomatoes, purple and green swirl tomatoes, and I even got one that was yellow with green and red swirls.  Not only are they beautiful, the heirlooms taste amazing – sweet and juicy and nothing like the tomatoes found in supermarkets in the middle of winter.  Needless to say, I’ve been buying and eating a lot of tomatoes.  The season doesn’t last long, so I’m taking full advantage while I can.

Since I have a lot of tomatoes to use up, I’ve been trying out all kinds of new recipes.  Last night, I made this Caprese Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette.  In it, campanelle pasta (or whatever kind you like) is coated with a thick, rich, and tangy dressing flavored with sundried tomatoes, capers, and garlic.  The pasta is then tossed with cubes of fresh mozzarella, juicy fresh tomatoes, salty olives, and ribbons of basil (or arugula, if like me, your basil isn’t looking so hot).  It looks and sounds like a lot, but the whole recipe comes together in barely more time than it takes to cook the pasta.  And it is good – rich and savory, but still light and fresh.  We ate the pasta salad as a light entrĂ©e, but I couldn’t help thinking it would make a great side dish alongside some grilled chicken.  Either way, it’s certainly a dish I will be making again and again – as long as I have my farm-fresh tomatoes at the ready.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tomato Pie

Before moving to the South, I thought I knew all about pie.  On the sweet side, you have your fruit pies, your chocolate and coconut cream pies, your lemon meringue pies, and your pecan pies.  On the savory side, you've got what some people call pizza pies.  (I just call them pizzas.)

One pie I’d never heard of, however, was the tomato pie.  When I first came across recipes for this Southern-style summer pie, all I could think was, “Is it pizza?”  To those of you wondering the same thing, let me clear up the confusion.  Tomato pie is definitely not the same thing as pizza.

Tomato pie is pie crust filled with fresh chopped tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, and ribbons of fresh basil.  That alone would be plenty delicious.  But this is a Southern dish, so of course it needs a little richness.  That richness comes in the form of a thick topping made of shredded cheese, mayonnaise, and hot sauce.  Sounds weird I know, but go with it.  (If you’re familiar with pimento cheese, another Southern favorite, that’s essentially what we’re talking about here.)  The cheese gets browned and bubbly and seals in the tomato filling like a top pie crust.

All together, this pie tastes like summer.  It is fresh and juicy and rich and decadent.  It’s certainly not healthy, but it’s a delicious treat and a great way to use some of summer’s best produce.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blueberry Bread

If you follow The Well-Fed Newlyweds on Facebook (and if you don’t, you should!), you will likely recall the blueberry-buying extravaganza I went on a couple of weeks ago.  For those of you who didn’t see my thrilled/horrified posts, let me fill you in…

Whole Foods had a 1-day sale on organic blueberries – they were selling pints for less than the non-organic berries at my local supermarket.  Clearly an excellent deal, right?  So I went and I bought… a case. A case contains twelve pints.  In my defense, two pints were purchased for a friend, but the other ten, those were all mine.

Since I didn’t know what to do with them, I turned to you, my helpful, recipe-suggesting readers.  And like always, you came through.  I came up with a plan for how to use those blueberries – and then I completely abandoned my plan and made different recipes instead.  (Not to mention the massive amount of berries consumed by the handful.)

Today’s recipe for blueberry bread is one of the healthier ways I used my blueberries.  The loaf is made with white whole wheat flour and oatmeal so it is hearty and a little dense.  It’s a quick bread, so it’s easy to make.  And the entire loaf is filled and topped with fresh blueberries bursting with sweet juice.  It’s the perfect breakfast bread, snack bread, dessert bread… It’s also the perfect way to use up some blueberries.  You know, in case you’re like me, and sales make you go a little shopping-crazy.


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