Posts tagged ‘summer’

Corn chowder


A recipe for all the beautiful corn available right now. I have dill, chives and jalepeno peppers growing in my garden so I used those to flavour the chowder, and I couldn’t resist garnishing with the pretty flowers starting to form on my dill plants.

Corn chowder
Serves 6

4 cobs of corn, cooked and cut from the cob (save the water you boil the corn in to use as broth in the soup)
6-8 new potatoes (about golf ball sized)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 red pepper, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In separate pots, boil the potatoes and corn until cooked. The potatoes should be a bit overcooked (you want them nice and soft for blending in the soup). The corn should be a bit undercooked to make sure it keeps a fresh taste to it when you heat it up in the soup. Save the corn water for blending into the soup – like a corn-flavoured broth.

Saute the onion, celery and carrots (I used the big pot the corn was in to save on washing). Add potatoes and half the corn. Puree the potato mixture in a blender using the corn water until it’s the consistency of a very thick soup. Add back into the pot and stir in coconut milk, red pepper, shallots, jalepeno and the remaining corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat until the soup is warmed through – about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the dill and chives just before serving. We ate ours for lunch with a slice of quiche.


July 30, 2015 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Salmon soba salad

 I love how easy it is to eat salad this time of year. All the greens and veggies are so tasty, and so easy to grow in your own garden or to find at farmer’s markets. And patios and warm weather are made for healthy food like salads and fish…no need for warm soups or pastas baked with a blanket of cheese right now.

I made this salad with some leftover cedar plank salmon that we cooked on the BBQ. Cedar plank cooking was popular a few years ago and I feel like it dropped off the radar too quickly. It’s still trendy at our house…so delicious and so easy.

In baby-land, we have just started on solid foods. We are trying the baby-led weaning approach to food, which basically means that little ones get to eat what the grown-ups are having without too much interference (no pureeing, etc). It is still mostly mucking about instead of real eating, but it is a lot of fun watching him try different tastes and textures. It’s hard to believe that there are three of us at the dinner table now – babies grow up so fast. Avocado, salmon and cucumber have been a big hit so far, so this salad is perfect for sharing.

Salmon soba super salad

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets, grilled or poached
6 cups spinach or mixed greens
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 large cucumber, diced or cut into long chunks for baby
1 carrot, grated
1 bundle of soba noodles
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablepoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons water

Assemble salmon, greens and veggies in individual bowls or plates. Cook soba noodles in a pot of boiling water – be careful not to over cook as they only take a few more minutes. Drain the noodles and add to the salad.

To make the dressing, saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour warm dressing over salad and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Healthy yum! Any extra dressing can be saved in a jar for another salad.

June 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Lemon and lavender scones

Our crazy, beautiful garden is in full bloom right now. It is wild and overgrown in parts, and badly in need of weeding everywhere. Life with a baby only allows for so much tending – 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Still, for all its jungle-like qualities, it’s gorgeous. We have lavender bushes lining our driveway and the walkway up to the house and the flowers are at their peak right now. It is such a treat to go out and cut a bunch for inside the house – a perfect 10 minute sojourn, with or without baby in tow.


I was making scones yesterday for strawberry shortcake. Usually they are just lemon scones, but the lavender has such a delicious scent I had to add some in. Cooking with flowers, and eating with flowers, always seems magical to me, and I feel so fortunate to have such abundance in my own front yard.


Lemon and lavender scones
Makes 8 scones

1-1/2 cups flour*
1/2 cup whole wheat flour*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1 cup plain yogurt

Combine flour, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar. Add butter to flour mixture, cutting in with a pastry blender or knife until the butter is distributed through the mixture in small crumbs. Stir in the lemon rind and lavender, and fold in the yogurt. Knead gently just until the dough comes together. Line a round glass pie plate with parchment paper and pat the dough into place evenly. Cut the dough pizza-style so there are 8 trianges. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Be careful not to overcook. I find most scones too try, so I try to take them out of the oven when they are still slightly moist in the centre.

*For gluten-free, substitute 2 cups of spelt flour for the wheat flours


June 11, 2015 at 11:50 am 1 comment

End of summer garden

This weekend feels like the end of summer. The weather is still warm, but it is changing, as is the light, which is thinner now and less intense. Shadows are more pronounced and I see them invading sunny places earlier in the day. I don’t mind – there is something beautiful about the dance of tree leaves in the shade.

The plants of summer are still growing – yellow impatiens, a pot of blue forget-me-nots grown from seed that are just catching their stride, green tomatoes, mint, oregano and chives – but they’re slowing down. Two strawberry plants joined the garden this year and I’m pleased about that: from what I’ve seen in other people’s yards, they don’t wither away in the cold. I’m hoping the Asian greens will stay with me, too, if I don’t eat through them before winter arrives. Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is the one below with the beautiful white flowers.

I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon outside on the patio in my wicker lounger chair saying farewell to summer and enjoying the beginning of fall. Next weekend I’ll find a garden store so I can plant kale, chrysanthemums, and winter pansies.

September 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm 1 comment


I planted a handful of tomato seeds about 10 days ago after being inspired by Gayla Trail’s recent post “Tomato Plants Offer Cheap Therapy.” She’s absolutely right about this. Scent is a powerful provoker of memories and emotions, and that smell of warm tomato vines is a such a happy place. (more…)

February 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm 2 comments

Blueberry mango spinach salad

I love fruit in salads. The combination of blueberries and mangoes get a bit of a kick from hot pepper flakes and cilantro. This salad is fresh and summery and tastes great with grilled fish and boiled new potatoes.

Blueberry Mango Spinach Salad

1 ripe mango, cut into small chunks
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 red pepper, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Juice from 1/2 a lime
6-8 cups fresh spinach

Mix together mango, blueberries, red pepper, cilantro, shallots, hot pepper flakes and lime juice in a small bowl and let the mixture rest for at least a few minutes to allow the flavours to combine. Place spinach in a large salad bowl or on individual plates and sprinkle with the mango-blueberry mixture. Drizzle your favourite salad dressing on top and serve.

July 21, 2010 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Fruit and berry season is here!

Just thought I’d share a few pictures of how we’re enjoying the summer fruit season. I love this time of year when local berries and fresh fruit are so plentiful. (more…)

July 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

Flickr Photos

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