If you’ve been firing up your grill this summer, it’s likely you may have some leftover grilled proteins on hand like salmon, steak, or chicken. One of my favorite ways to use up leftover grilled meats is to make a big, beautiful green salad the next day.
It was a warm summer morning. Two of the kids were outside picking wildflowers with one of our California visitors. I was in the kitchen slicing ripe nectarines while the stand mixer worked creaming together butter and sugar, transforming them into what would soon be cake batter.
A good friend visiting from San Diego admitted to never having enjoyed salmon and was hoping this trip to Alaska could turn the tide. She went on to say that the only way she had enjoyed cooked fish in the past was a traditional Baja-style fish taco – a San Diego staple.
Whenever I offer to make cookies for the family, my middle son requests molasses cookies without fail. We aren’t talking about gingersnaps – the crunchy dark cookie that actually snaps when you break it. We are talking about molasses cookies, spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, rolled in sugar with perfect crackles and crinkles on top, chewy edges, and soft, almost-gooey centers.
Once the pan of shrimp was cooked and photographed, I called for my oldest son – the teenaged shrimp-lover of the household – and told him there may be something he might be interested in on the dining room table. He came downstairs, took one look, and perched himself beside the hot skillet, devouring every single last piece of plump, glistening shrimp.
Iced tea represents golden summers, lingering long over conversations on the porch in the shade, barbecues and cook-outs and running through the sprinklers. As the temperature warms up, the condensation forms on the outside of the cold iced tea glass and begins to drip, sliding down, and pooling around, tempting you to bring it to your brow in an effort to cool off.
Summertime in Alaska always includes many varieties of fresh, ripe local berries. Whether you’re choosing your berries at a farmer’s market or going berry picking in the wilderness, summer berries are always a family favorite. They are also a favorite in my kitchen because they are so versatile in recipes.
I remember when jalapeño poppers rose to fame in the 1990’s. I fondly recall being sixteen and going out to eat with my high school sweetheart at a favorite local Mexican food restaurant in our small town and always ordering the jalapeño poppers – fiery hot peppers filled with cooling cream cheese, battered and deep fried until the jalapeños were tender and the cream cheese was oozing. I don’t specifically remember anything else on the menu because the poppers were just about the only thing I ever ordered.
I can imagine no better Mother’s Day than waking to breakfast in bed prepared by my pajama-clad clan including handwritten notes, strong mugs of coffee, one of my most favorite recipes, big hugs and kisses, and a memorable gift all enjoyed over a leisurely, snuggly morning.