Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza, on the grill

I have a new (used) grill and an unstoppable desire to cook on it every night.  I love being able to cook outside when my kitchen becomes too hot to bear, not to mention taking advantage of the long daylight hours before fall returns.  These pizzas make an incredibly soft dough that has a wonderful crispy texture in just 5 minutes of cooking on the grill.  Using summer squash was a no brainer because I have gotten several pounds of squash every week and was looking for something fun to do with it – the colorful squash mixed with the tomato sauce and fresh cheve makes this pizza beautiful and super tasty.

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Basil Pesto with Spaghetti and Cherry Tomatoes

Basil is one of those smells that always makes me think Summer.  It is so bright and aromatic, once it starts to grow you better start using it- otherwise the basil will flower and the plant will start to taste bitter.  Basil is a classic accompaniment to tomatoes, something about that combination makes both ingredients stand out and taste so fresh, this simple spaghetti recipe is just that: fresh pasta, fresh pesto, and fresh cherry tomatoes.

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Blanching Greens or other Vegetables

 

Blanching vegetables comes up often in many recipes, and is a technique I use repeatedly. So, instead of explaining it each time, I’m making this easy short cut for future reference.  What is blanching you ask? It is simply cooking or par-cooking vegetables in a way that they are not overcooked, that their color is displayed best, and the most desirable texture is reached.

 

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Fennel and Mussels with Crostini

This mussel dish is a staple in my house.  I make it probably once a month, or every other month.  I like it because it is really easy- and fairly light.  I serve it as an entree for 2 people with a side salad, or it could be a first course for 4 people.  It is quick- about 25 minutes from start to finish.  The BEST part about this dish is using the crunchy bread to soak up the broth that comes from the wine and juice from the mussels.

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