I know what you ate this summer

For whatever reason, pretty food photographs in blogs or magazines always make me want to become a domestic goddess at home. I don’t think I even like ice cream sandwiches that much, but whenever I see a picture of one inside Martha Stewart Living – and there’s usually at least one summer issue every year with a variation on  just such a picture – I get the itch to make some. Never mind the fact that I’m not exactly crazy about biting into a cold cookie with ice cream. Isn’t it better to have warm cookies fresh from the oven, with a scoop of ice cream melting over the top?

I remember being smitten with a picture of a melon smoothie once; the pale orange creamsicle color just spoke to me. And then I thought about it. Drinking pureed melon actually sounded….gross. Despite my better judgement, the icy pale photo of thyme ‘lemonade’ with gin spoke to me too. Even though, having choked down a gin and soda the one time I went out in recent history, I couldn’t imagine adding thyme-scented lemonade would make it more palatable.

But it’s summer and if I’m not going to have the perfect backyard party with color-coordinated everything, I can at least make a few pretty treats.

I started with the chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. Because one day, while I happened to be making chocolate chip cookies, I remembered that we had vanilla ice cream in the freezer. So I smeared some on my cookies and froze them together. And….voila. A cold, hard cookie with ice cream.

Meh.

Next I decided to make asparagus quiche with thyme. Because I had this idea that I could freeze mini-quiches and have a semi-decent lunch or dinner at the ready for those times when I just couldn’t bear making lunch. Or dinner. And, since I already had fresh thyme in the fridge, I decided to make thyme lemonade – sans gin.

I made a simple syrup, infused it with thyme and poured it into little glass canning jars. I felt just like Martha. Except when I drank my thyme lemonade, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was drinking chicken. For whatever reason, I associate thyme with poultry. And poultry in a glass…..that’s a not-so-fresh-feeling.

But a simple syrup infused with mint (which I also made)? ‘It makes me happy’ as Tony Horton would say. Minted lemonade or limeade? Yes. Thyme lemonade? Um, no.

I continue to be on a quest to find the ‘perfect’ pizza crust recipe. For me, the perfect pizza crust is a thin cracker-y one. Reminiscent of the one I had at D’amico Cucina in Minneapolis a decade ago. And finally, I found a good recipe. Now to make homemade herb pesto to accompany it.

And finally, because it’s summer and nothing is more summery than cold coffee…..coffee affogato with dulce de leche. Because the professor and I sampled the espresso affogato at Carluccio’s a time or two and I still remember its deliciousness.

9 thoughts on “I know what you ate this summer

  1. Is that a firm vote of approval for the pizza recipe, or you’re still waiting to try it?

    I dumped a scoop of chocolate gelato into a cup of strong coffee (2 on the Aeropress) and milk. It yielded something potable, but not necessarily cold since I didn’t bother to chill the coffee..

  2. Yes! I’ve tried the pizza recipe and liked it – especially since it’s just made with regular flour etc. I froze a couple of the balls of dough and made pizza again several days later – and I still liked the crust. But you like a thicker crust, don’t you? Yeah…I did chill my coffee. But I think affogato is traditionally made with freshly brewed espresso (do you brew espresso?)
    I shall expect pizza and coffee-gelato next time we see you!

    1. Cool, I will try that dough recipe. NY style is the ultimate, but crackery is right up there.

      I rarely brew espresso with my Krups machine. The Aeropress is my go-to method. It makes a strong, smooth few ounces that I dilute to a full cup of coffee. It’s not espresso, though.

  3. Nicola, you are a culinary inspiration. Even your “meh” ice-cream cookie sandwiches look delicious.

  4. So far I’ve eaten alot of stampede food – pancakes and sausage, burgers and dogs. I’d like a salad recipe that is easy to take to BBQs.

  5. Thanks Vicky! Shawn, I need to find out about this Aeropress. Kim, I will keep my eyes open for a portable, delicious salad….

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