Kale Tabbouleh with Cucumber, Mint and Garlic Scapes

I never know which direction my summer salad obsession will take me until that first forkful.

Last summer it was the grilled green bean salad. I experimented with every possible variation from June through September, then I picked my favourite and added it to my upcoming cookbook. The summer before was a smoky grilled corn, red onion and bell pepper salad, served warm with plenty of torn basil.

This summer, it’s all about the tomato salad in every possible form. Paired with briny olives and salty feta in a tangy Greek salad, sliced with fresh mozzarella and basil in the Caprese, and married with watermelon and mint for a refreshing bite.

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A garden inspired picnic

I‘m currently running around trying to pack for a little family getaway to Prince Edward Island, but I have a recipe up over on Jamie Oliver you won’t want to miss.

It’s a spontaneous snacking weeknight supper that tuned into a little garden-inspired picnic. I brought outside for us to nibble on while we wound down from the day. The children buzzed around barefoot on the lawn, chasing chickens, while I walked Danny through a garden tour and we got caught up on our respective days.

It turned out to be one of my favourite meals from the week, and one I plan to reproduce several more times before the summer is over.

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Preserving oven dried tomatoes and peaches

We’ve all had those days where a line-up of cooking and baking projects have left the kitchen upside down, with every mixing bowl dirtied and an army of utensils soiled. With any luck, there’s a empty spot on the countertop on which to set a wine glass or a coffee cup (depending on how you choose to face the mess) and then there is no other choice but to wade in and get it done.

These days, I am having more of those situations than I care to disclose. With recipe development for the cookbook in full swing and late-summer canning projects tucked around family meal prep, it is difficult to stay on top of clean up, even though I aim to ‘clean as you go‘ every time.

messy kitchen

Danny is usually an amazing help with dishes, but all last week he was laid up with a badly sprained ankle, and I was on my own – not just for the pots and pans, but for all children and household duties. Whew!

Which is why, at 8-o-clock in the evening, when faced with several pounds of peaches and tomatoes to preserve, I decided that semi-dehydrating them was the best course of action. [Read more…]

How to build a grilled green bean salad with ingredients you already have

Sometimes I don’t always see how ingredients can come together for a finished dish and, like everyone, I have my moments where I open the refrigerator and wonder what on earth there is to eat for dinner.

Of course, it helps to stay stocked with fresh produce, favorite condiments, and a small herb garden; that way, it’s fairly easy to whip something up that is tasty and exciting. Today’s grilled green bean salad is a perfect example.

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