Since I haven’t updated my blog for a full season (oops) and it’s now past Labor Day, I figured it was about time to recap on all of the delicious things I ate, cooked and baked this summer. Looking back at my pictures, it was a pretty impressive list, with way too much grilled fish, avocado and more ice cream than I could fit in my stomach at times, which is saying a lot. Contrary to what these pictures display, I did eat many meals other than dessert…sometimes.
1. 4th of July Root Beer Float
It’s hard to think back to the 4th of July, but it was actually the start of summer weather-wise. I went to Galena, Illinois, and we found the most amazing little root beer float bar. It was basically like a regular bar with a few beers on tap, only these were root beers. Top with fresh vanilla ice cream, and I was in heaven. Needless to say I dripped all over myself like a child.
2. Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad
I have to say, I’m rather proud of this entire meal, and the watermelon feta salad was the pièce de résistance. It’s the perfect summery side dish. Crisp, refreshing watermelon mingling with salty feta, all tied together by the mint. When you can pick it fresh from a garden, it’s double the fresh (double the fun). Oh, there’s also some guacamole hiding in the corner there. Because how can you go a week in the summer without some guac?? Don’t get me started.
I had to include some ice cream on the list, and I felt bad not including the Original Rainbow Cone because it’s something I look forward to every summer, and it never disappoints. It’s the perfect combination of flavors, scooped separately, and it’s such a commodity since I can only usually get it at The Taste of Chicago (the only reason for going, aside from the people watching). This year I may have had a scoop at Lollapalooza also…worth it.
In case you’re drooling over the ice cream pictured, let me explain. Every time I’m in New York, I always want to try out Big Gay Ice Cream – an ice cream truck that now has a brick and mortar store. They’re known for soft serve with awesome toppings, and some ridiculous names to boot. We were coincidentally having dinner next door to BGI, so I absolutely had to try it, despite the semi-ridiculous line. I ordered American Globs, which is naturally vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate and pretzels. Was there caramel? I don’t even know because I inhaled that thing so fast there was no looking back.
I wrote a little recap on Chicago Foodies of my time in Israel that only brushed on the incredible market we visited in Jerusalem. While my Aunt Eunice’s rugelach are out of this world and I look forward to eating them any chance I get, these were unlike anything I’d ever tasted. They’re almost like a croissant in the form of a cookie; the flaky dough enveloped the chocolate in each layer. Oh, and they were hot out of the oven.
5. Sesame Soba Noodle Salad (with Pickled Red Onions)
Buckwheat noodles + snow peas + grilled peppers + sautéed kale + pickled red onions + sesame seeds + a whole lot of lime and cilantro = amazing summer meal. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I pickled my own red onions. I have no life. Actually, it takes like half an hour with this easy recipe. If you don’t have time for pickling, you can use fresh red onion or lightly sauté it. Recipe coming soon…I promise for real this time.
Until next season…or until I stop baking and actually pick up my computer to write.