Wishing you time to relax this Memorial Day and remember with gratitude those who have sacrificed so much to serve our country.
(Photo from Country Living)
Now that it feels like summer, I find myself craving potato salad. Potato salad is such a great side dish for a simple summer meal or picnic. This potato salad is a little different from your typical potato salad, since it also includes green beans. If you have started or Continue reading
I’m so glad May is finally here–the weather is warming up, flowering trees are in full bloom, and more and more plants and flowers are springing up! And this time of year I start craving more summery kinds of foods–foods that are easy to make with minimal or Continue reading
When hot weather comes around, I usually crave watermelon. It’s so refreshing and it’s good for you too. And I discovered that watermelon is also great for making flavored water! Combining chunks of juicy watermelon with fresh mint and tart limes makes a great-tasting summery drink! You just have to plan ahead a little, since you need to chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours before drinking.
I buy watermelon regularly throughout the summer and I grow my own mint in a large pot, so I had everything I needed to make this except for the limes. You can make it without limes, but I like the refreshing zing they add to the mix!
WATERMELON-MINT-LIME WATER by NancyC
Makes 1 large pitcher
- 3 cups cubed watermelon chunks (cut in 1/2″ size cubes)
- 4 sprigs of mint (a sprig is a stem with 6 to 8 leaves), lightly crushed or rubbed (to release flavor and scent)
- 2 limes, thinly sliced (use organic limes or wash limes very well!)
- 7 to 8 cups of water
- 2 to 3 cups of ice
Add cubed watermelon, mint sprigs, and sliced limes to pitcher, then add water and ice. Chill for 1 to 2 hours to infuse flavors, then serve, pouring into ice-filled glasses. Tastes best the day it’s made.
It definitely does taste best the day it’s made, but you can finish drinking this flavored water up by the second day if you have any left over. It really is refreshing and more fun to drink than plain water! What do you like to add to your water?
Just about everyone I know who has a garden grows summer squash. Summer squash usually grows really well, so home gardeners often have an abundance of it. Which is really nice if you have lots of good recipes to use it in, like zucchini bread, for example, or a yummy squash casserole! Here’s another really good squash recipe that I found in my review copy of Farm-to-Table Desserts, which has 80 recipes with seasonal ingredients. If you’re a vegetable gardener or love to shop at your local farmer’s market, you’ll enjoy these recipes for yummy treats that you can make with fresh, organic ingredients. There are a wide variety of dessert recipes included in this book: pies, cakes, cookies, tarts, puddings, sorbet, cobblers, and more. And lots of great color photos of the recipes.
I decided to try this Summer Squash Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. The recipe calls for 2 cups of grated summer squash. I used 1 cup of grated zucchini and 1 cup of grated yellow squash, but you could use 2 cups of one or the other. If you use all zucchini, the cake will probably taste a lot like zucchini bread. I liked including some yellow squash because it adds a nice flavor to the cake. I’m sure it would be great if you used all yellow squash too. The cream cheese frosting is also really good–very creamy and rich! Here’s the recipe–hope you enjoy making the cake this summer!
SUMMER SQUASH CAKE from Farm-to-Table Desserts
Makes one 9″ or 10″ round cake
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups grated summer squash (I used 1 cup zucchini and 1 cup yellow squash)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I substituted light olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (you can add a little more if you want a thicker frosting)
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9- or 10-inch round pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, squash, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated. Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. (Note: the batter fills up a 9″ round pan pretty much up to the top, so I placed my round pan on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven, just in case the round pan overflowed while baking-but it didn’t!)
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Sift the powdered sugar and set aside. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 30 seconds to ensure no lumps remain. Add the powdered sugar all at once and mix on low speed until sugar is just incorporated. Scrape bowl well and beat on high speed for 10 seconds.
Remove cooled cake from pan (you may need to loosen the edges with a knife) and place onto a serving platter. Cut the rounded cake top off, if desired (I kept it on). Spread cream cheese frosting on top in a decorative design (you’ll have plenty of frosting to top the cake–you may even have a little left over). Store cake in refrigerator.
If you’re trying to cut back on calories, you could leave the cake unfrosted or just put a very light amount of frosting on top–or a thin glaze. So keep this in mind if you have lots of summer squash to use! Do you grow your own summer squash or buy it at a farmer’s market?