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Food for Grownups

The Perfect Fall Salad: Roasted Cauliflower with Honey Tahini Dressing

Food for Grownups
cauliflower salad, fall salad

While I’m not jumping head first into a pumpkin spice latte (there’s a time and a place for that, Fierce friends, and, in my humble opinion, it happens on the first official day of fall), I’ve noticed that the flavors of summer are definitely phasing out. The offerings at the Farmer’s Market are already shifting. The merchandising displays at the grocery store have morphed into shameless autumnal extravaganzas.

With summer coming to a close, I’m thankful that I enjoyed a lion’s share of fresh tomato sauce, summer salads like this cherry tomato couscous number or my summer’s bounty quinoa salad or my farmer’s market carrot salad. I really got the most out of summer.

And I’m also looking forward to the impending butternut squash, cozy sweaters, crisp mornings, juicy apples, hot soups, and even the humble chicken stews.

But that’s a few weeks off yet. Right now, we are in that weird transitional season just before full-blown pumpkin everything. When I made this cauliflower salad the other day, I realized that it’s a great salad year round. You can easily substitute different herbs based on what’s at the store and cauliflower is a year long delight. The roasted and caramelized cauliflower brings a hint of autumn and spice while the lemon and herbs keeps it just a little bit summery.

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Broccoli Salad, Made Healthy

Food for Grownups
broccoli salad
Broccoli salad seems like it should be healthy, right? After all the main ingredient is broccoli! The vegetable mothers have been trying to convince children to eat since the beginning of time!
I’m sure those moms were the ones who came up with the classic preparation of broccoli salad, the delicious concoction that is a staple of deli counters and picnic tables everywhere. And I’m clearly on a kick with summer salads lately. Have you see the watermelon feta or the vegetable quinoa salad or the tomato couscous? I think I might have a problem…but that’s a topic for a different post.

Back to Broccoli

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but our mother’s and grandmother’s broccoli salad is the farthest thing from healthy. In fact, with a cup of nuts, a cup of mayo, and dried cranberries loaded with sugar, the classic preparation clocks in at 17 Weight Watchers points!

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Quinoa Salad: A Summer’s Bounty Of Vegetables

Food for Grownups
summer quinoa salad vegetables eggplant cucumber tomatoes

There’s an old joke about August being the month when folks who live in the country lock their cars when they go to church to prevent people from leaving zucchini on seats.

Where I’m living, it’s actually not a joke. The vegetables are coming on hard and fast right now and the harvest is almost too bountiful.

When I went to pick up my farm share at the market a few days before I left for my trip to Europe, Sarahlee, the adorable organic farmer, ordered me to go back to my car for a second bag. She had bin after bin of additional vegetables that CSA members could have for free and urged me to take as much as I could possibly use. I didn’t want to see those beautiful eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, or cucumbers go to waste so I filled my bag to the brim. My refrigerator was stuffed!

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Downton Abbey Recipe: Tea Cake with Blueberries and Lemon

Food for Grownups
Downton Abbey recipe

I have a bucket list trip coming up! I have convinced my husband that we absolutely need to do a walking tour of the Cotswolds and visit the Holy Grail. And by that I mean attend a picnic tea at Highclere Castle, otherwise known as Downton Abbey.

Something else on my bucket list is figuring out how to make afternoon tea parties part of my daily life. I am not sure my husband will be into it, but my fancy dog, Showgirl, most certainly would. She’s a very attractive, slightly spoiled, somewhat prissy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a penchant for the finer things in life. Showgirl has very high standards. And why not?  She’s basically the Dowager Countess of dogs.

While I count down the days for the movie to be released, I’m going to try and re-read the book that inspired the show, practise my British spelling, and peruse through my favorite Dowager Countess quotes. Because really, is there anyone funnier than Maggie Smith?

And here’s why you’re desperately in need of Downton Abbey recipes

Just in case you have been living under a rock, I want to let you know that Downton Abbey THE MOVIE is coming out September 19th. And the King and Queen are coming to Downtown!

Lord, calm my fluttering, Anglophile heart!

Here’s a link to the trailer and all kinds of Downton details.

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Lemon Herb Sous Vide Chicken

Food for Grownups
chicken recipe

A couple of months ago I had some very exciting news.  The Oliso company offered to send me a Smart Hub Combo to see how I liked it!!

Hmm…the crickets I’m hearing after my announcement tell me that some of you may not know what a Smart Hub is.

Allow me to enlighten you.

The Oliso Smart Hub Combo (brought to you by the same people who make those marvelous irons) is a countertop cooking system that combines a single induction burner  topped with an enclosed, cordless sous vide water bath cooker.  It also includes an Oliso Vacuum Sealer with heavy duty, reusable bags. continue reading

The Best Strawberry Muffin Recipe Ever

Food for Grownups

When the temperatures rise over a certain degree, I switch from my regular hot mug of coffee to cold brew I make at home. I just heap ground local coffee into my French press, fill with cold water, and let it sit overnight. It is a summer treat that I look forward to every morning when Showgirl wakes me up. I rise giddy and excited knowing that I don’t have to wait the two minutes for my hot coffee to brew. It’s like I’ve gotten ahead of the game.  continue reading

Best Tamale Pie Recipe for Your Next Campout

Adventure and Travel, Food for Grownups

For me, half the fun of camping is the cooking.

Now, I’m not talking about heating up something on the stovetop or in the microwave of a motorhome or trailer.  I mean real campfire cooking, out of doors and over an open flame, like the pioneers did it.

Okay, well. Maybe not quite like the pioneers.  You’re not going to find any salt pork, hardtack, or squirrel on my campfire menu. As I explained in my earlier post I don’t camp, I glamp.  And when I glamp, food is the star of the show.

My carefully planned and executed menus feature delicious dishes made from fresh, flavorful ingredients, served on real dishes with real silverware, a tablecloth, flowers, and candles. Think of it as rustic chic – emphasis on chic.

But the rustic part applies too. When I’m glamping, I can’t cook quite the same way I would at home. I need to make some concessions for the limitations of storage space, equipment, and refrigeration (or lack of it).  That’s why, when it comes to campfire cooking, one-pot meals are definitely the way to go!

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Tomato Couscous Summer Salad

Food for Grownups
summer salad

The old adage of “when it rains, it pours,” holds true when it comes to the delightfully small cherry tomato. As if by their very nature, you never just have a couple. They come in droves – either a big container from your supermarket or a bucket-full from a green thumb friend or farmer.

Wherever you get yours, this is the time of year when those tomato plants just go crazy but in a very good way! While I would be perfectly happy just snacking on them throughout the afternoon, enjoying that juicy taste of summer on my tongue, why not give these tomatoes the glory they deserve?

But what to do with them? There are just so many options…

I could make a Summer Gazpacho to enjoy now and No-Peel Tomato Sauce to freeze for later! Genius, right? I thought so. These balsamic roasted cherry tomato crostini from EasyHealth Living also caught my eye, as did this Cherry Tomato Corn Salsa from Your Homebased Mom. 

But I’m still left yearning for more. I want something so spectacularly tomato-ey that takes advantage of all the ways I love tomatoes. I love them fresh and sweet with a sprinkle of salt. They’re also equally satisfying oven-roasted to supercharge their flavors.

Enough gushing about my unabashed love for tomatoes. Let’s move on to another (related) topic.

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Healthy Summer Salad Recipe with Watermelon, Feta, Arugula, Lime & Coconut

Food for Grownups

In the summer, when it’s too hot to move and too hot to cook, I like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. So if there’s a healthy summer salad recipe that takes all of 5 minutes to make, I’m all in. This watermelon salad has feta, arugula, lime and coconut to keep things interesting. As I was making it, I couldn’t help but think that minus the feta and arugula, it would make a really knockout summer cocktail too! Lime, coconut, watermelon – these are the tastes of summer!

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Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella with Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce

Food for Grownups

Sheet pan dinners are all the rage these days. It’s easy to see why.

What cook doesn’t love a meal that requires no more cleanup than crumpling up a sheet of foil and tossing it in the trash? Especially if the resulting recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients and full of flavor?

My Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella with Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce fits that description to a tee. It’s a delectable, hearty, easy to prepare dinner that makes weeknight meal making a breeze but looks and tastes good enough to serve to company. In fact, I particularly like preparing this for company because once it goes into the oven I don’t have to do a thing until the last few minutes of cooking, leaving me lots of time to visit with my guests.

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