Summer Wrap-Up

Time to pull the last of the carrots from the garden.

Every year at this time we say the same thing, “Is it really over?”

Summer lasts three months in the Midwest, and quickly cascades back into the chillier temperatures, which dive into the truly frigid. So, summer is basically a manic high of trying to fit in all the sun-inspired activities: trips to the pool, trips to Grandma’s, movies in the park, street festivals, you name it. This is part of the reason I haven’t written in a while, coupled with the fact that though I’m cooking every day, I really need a visit to Hennai’s (Grandma’s) to learn some new recipes. Hopefully in December, Inshallah.

However, the changing of the seasons is a wonderful time to recenter, refocus, and to make some goals. So, I’m going to try to get back to posting a little more often and to making some delicious food. For the time being, I’ll share some summer eating highlights. Let me know yours.

You Scream, I Scream, We-All-Scream-For Ice Cream!

The never ending quest for the next best cone!

Community Gardening

Every summer, I love gardening. This year we had basil, tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, as well as chard and kale.

Outdoor Breakfasts!

We only have a small window of time to enjoy our patio, so on special days, we love to eat outside.

Birthday Cake!

Zubeir loves to pick out the best birthday cakes for my July celebration.

Summer Salads

This is my take on the Italian panzanella, or bread salad. Super simple and delicious!


  • 2-3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 4-5 pieces of white country bread, ripped up
  • Fresh basil ripped up
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Salt, pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  1. Heat up a pan, adding olive oil when hot. Fry smashed garlic for about a minute, adding bread until browned.
  2. Chop the tomatoes, mozzarella, and rip up basil. Add everything to a big bowl.
  3. Mix together, adding olive oil drizzles, salt, and dashes of balsamic vinaigrette.

The salad doesn’t last long after the oil/dressing is added, but it’s so good, you’ll want to eat it right away!

Decadent Pretzel Bars from NY Times

Pretzel crust, caramel, topped with chocolate and salty pretzels. Must not eat all at once!
(You need a subscription to access NY Times recipes, FYI).

Roasted Tomato Galette

This one was a fun appetizer to put together that everyone enjoyed.

Other notable food experiences included lots of barbecuing (from March to when the snow flies! :), all of our food in the Netherlands and Malta, and unroasted or green coffee (that deserves its own post!). It’s been a summer of good eating!

Now, fall is rolling in, marked by the beginning of preschool for my little guy as well as colder temperatures. Squash, cinnamon, and soups become essentials in this part of the world. Here’s to many great days ahead of cooking!


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