Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Favorites

I'm trying to do some new things with the blog lately to keep it interesting! Monthly favorites is something a lot of my favorite blogs do (see here). So here's a roundup of my favorite things I made in July! I hope I can still post a lot even with school and other various activities. 

 1. garden corn chowder with basil + chives//the PPK
     I'm mildly obsessed with corn chowder and the many variations that exist on it, so this obviously had to be made. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the lime juice and coconut milk paired with the corn/potato mix. I'll still be dreaming about this one when fall rolls around.

 2. Foil-packet soy lime salmon with green beans, cajun corn salad + herb potato salad
     //J + SBudget Bytes + Thug Kitchen
      I made salmon for the first time (finally)! All three of these meal components are incredibly easy to pull together. I made an easier version of the corn salad by just using what I had on add and adding a LOT of hot sauce. The potato salad was a refreshing and incredibly garlicky twist on the mayo-laden side we all eat in the South. The salmon can be made on any weeknight since it takes little prep. 

 3. The 5-Minute Cajun Grit Bowl//here!
      I have been making this grit bowl since I learned how to make polenta grits and microwave eggs. Together, they make an easy, hearty, and spicy breakfast. I can be half awake and still be able to pull this together. 

 4. Summer Squash Soup with Tofu Croutons//Super Natural Every Day
     I'm pretty sure I have mentioned this book a few times. Heidi Swanson is the first cookbook author I discovered when I was 17 or so, and her recipes have really impacted how I cook food. I highly recommend her book to anyone who wants to experience more with vegetables, grains, beans, and eat more vegetarian food. This soup is exquisite. It's the only word I know that fits. You make a coconut oil/curry paste mash to cook potatoes and squash in, then make a coconut milk broth, finished off with crispy pan-fried tofu croutons. All of the recipes in both of her books are just as amazing.

 5. Blueberry-Raspberry Cobbler with Oat Biscuit Topping//Sprouted Kitchen
     My first cobbler! July seemed to be filled with a lot of 'firsts' for Infinite Zest! I had fresh, local, organic blueberries from a farm that my parents have been going to for years here in the Triad, and I wanted to make something special. I also had some raspberries to throw in. The oat biscuit topping pairs perfectly with the berries and lemon juice/zest. 
[For substitutions: 1/2 C oat flour, 1/4 C sorghum flour, 1/4 C tapioca starch, 1 tsp xanthan gum, 1/2 C GF rolled oats, 5 T Earth Balance baking sticks, 1/2 C plain coconut milk yogurt]

 6. The Balm 57 Cocktail//here!
      It's pretty obvious that I love cocktails. I mean, next to food, I really love reading blogs like The Boys Club that post extensive info on liquor and classic drinks. This is also my first cocktail creation, recreated from a drink I had at Sticks & Stones! Dreamy blackberry whiskey pairs with agave, lemon juice, and mint for a refreshing summer drink. Bottoms up!

 7. Peach Arugula Salad with Lentils, Avocado + Roasted Jalapeno Vinaigrette//Sprouted Kitchen
     I'm trying to be better about making lunches for myself. Sometimes the day just gets away from me, then 4 rolls around, and suddenly I'm starting dinner with out having eaten since breakfast. Whoops! It's horrible. But I have SO many recipes saved that it makes no sense for me to just skip lunch. This decadent, perfect salad is everything I want for lunch. NC peaches, arugula from Guilford College's farm, French lentils, avocados, and the best roasted jalapeno shallot vinaigrette. The dressing will burn your nostrils a bit, but what's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. Go make this pronto!

8. Zucchini Fritters//Smitten Kitchen
    Perfection in the kitchen is not easily reached, but when it is, it creates quite a sensation. You labor over something for so long: shredding the zucchini, pressing just the right amount of water out, cleaning your cast iron skillet for the first time JUST for these perfect little fritters, watching them like first-time parents to make sure they don't burn too much. It may seem tedious, like, who cares that much about some damn fritters? Well, when you take all of these extra precautions and treat it carefully, you are rewarded with this: the perfect fritter. Golden brown, puffy, and to-die-for with a cashew sour cream. Sometimes the extra effort really is worth it.

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