Thursday, July 25, 2013

Roasted Peach Sherbet

Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard
Peaches are here.  Not just any peaches.  THE peaches are here.  Or I should say - they are at Pikes Place Market.  And now they are here - at my house.  Only those who have eaten these particular peaches will truly appreciate my song selection.  There's just no mediocre reaction to them.  It's hands down the best peach you've ever tasted.  Ever.

Several years ago I took my first trip to Pikes Place Market in Seattle, WA while visiting my sister, who happened to be living there at the time.  
We strolled and sampled and nibbled and tasted.  
It was great fun.  
It was unlike any market I had been to up to that point.  I had already purchased some really tasty almonds from one vendor and was on my way down to see the guys who threw the fish when I attempted to pass this one produce stand.  It was the Sosio's.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Apricot Tarts

Daybreak by Barry Manilow
"It's daybreak, if you only believe, and let it shine, shine, shine, all around the world!"  It's summertime and here in the northwest our days are long!  They get started around 4:30 - 5:00 a.m. and hang on until around 9:30 p.m.  I love this end of the seasonal cycle as opposed to the long nights that hit us in the winter.  When I'm scurrying around at 3:30 in the afternoon trying to get my daylight activities done before sunset at 4, I think to these glorious long, hot summer days.  These cute little Apricot Tarts look like a great big ball of sun wrapped up in puff pastry.  And they taste all happy and joyous - just like how this song makes me feel!  These tarts and this song make me want to run out to my back yard, open my arms wide to the rising sun, and sing out, "Let it shine, shine, shine ~ all around the world!"  

I went to the farmer's market last Friday and found these darling little apricots!
Actually, in all honesty, I went in search of them.
A few weeks ago I had my friend and her daughters over for lunch and we made some savory puff pastry tarts for our meal.  
It made me think about how long it had been since I'd made a sweet pastry.  
I thought that that should probably be remedied!  
Knowing that apricots were in season, I really, really wanted to feature them in my sweet venture and the whole vision of what I wanted just opened up in my mind!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cow Bean Salad

Cattle Call by Eddy Arnold
This is one of those instances where the recipe sort of picks the song itself - or the song picks the recipe.  Either way, this is the song that ended up playing through my head every time I thought about cow beans and the salad I would make with them.  For some reason, it's in my brain that cowboys would eat cow beans.  I pictured them eating my delicious salad at night around the campfire after a long day of herding cattle.  What do I know about cowboy life?  Absolutely nothing - except what I've seen in the movies!  And my favorite movie about herding cattle - "City Slickers"- then has me pondering about what the perfect flavor of ice cream would be to complement my Cow Bean Salad!  (Fans of the movie will know what I'm talking about!)  What do you think?  Cow beans and cowboys!  It sounds like a match to me!

A few weeks ago I was strolling along at our farmers market and found one of my favorite stalls.  These folks have the most gorgeous fruits and vegetables.
And they have beans!
And these black and white beans caught my eye.
I'd never seen them before!  The sign said "cow beans" and it did look like a bin filled with tiny little holsteins!  These beans were flashy!  They had sass!  So I stopped and chatted with the vendor for a few minutes to find out about these little guys.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Creamy Bacon Purses

Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller
I'm on a family vacation right now.  I'm with all my children and grandchildren in Newport Beach, California and we're having a grand time!  I think I can speak for the whole family in saying that the song we will always associate with this time together is Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade."  It's the absolute current favorite song of my granddaughter - who turned two years old yesterday. 
This little girl wants to listen to this song ~ all the time.  No - I mean ALL THE TIME!  It soothes her.  It makes her little girl heart beat with joy!  She and I took a walk to the local farmers' market one day and she held my phone in her tiny hand, listening to the song on a loop - over and over again as she rode in the stroller.  I eventually had to turn Glenn off to preserve the battery on my phone.  When one of the vendors asked about why she wore such a frown, he got a good laugh when I said, "She's upset with me because she wants to listen to Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade."  Haha!  Lucky for us, it's a pleasant song to listen to over and over - as much of the music of that era is.  

If you will remember, when my family gets together on one of our reunions, we have a cooking competition ~ a sort of Iron Chef thing.  We have a not-so-secret ingredient which we all know in advance.  The big surprise is which course we will be preparing, which we draw for when we arrive.  There's four courses - appetizer, entree, side dish, and dessert - and each course must use the special ingredient.  And this year is the fourth competition.

The special ingredient this year?