Marinated cantaloupe salad

This salad is something special. The combination of ripe melon, fresh mint and allspice is genius. The addition of a simple syrup “marinade” takes it to the next level, making for a real fruit salad instead of just flavored melon. I stole this idea from the catering company that I worked at over the last few weeks, falling in love with the fresh summery feel of this side. I made this for guests recently and served it alongside minty lamb chops (fruit salad does not have to be dessert!) and I it went over very well. I’m pretty sure that every time I buy a cantaloupe from now on, this is how I’ll prepare it. Continue reading

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Brown sugar ice cream with a bitter caramel swirl

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It’s hot here in my corner of France. After the summer disguised as fall that we’ve been experiencing for the last few weeks, temperatures finally got above 90° this week. Not that I really needed the excuse of heat to make my first ever real home-made ice cream. I talked about my family being here in my post for a delicious nectarine and lime curd tart. One of the many huge, wonderful, amazing perks of my mother coming was that she had decided to give me the ultimate gift for my birthday: a new Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer. Let’s just take it as a given that I was beyond excited. I was ecstatic not only about the fact that I could finally make proper frosting, bread and cookies in the blink of an eye, but also because I had also ordered the ice cream maker bowl attachment. Continue reading

Fresh panzanella (Italian tomato and bread salad)

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Man, I love summer. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much of it this year in my corner of France. My family came to visit recently and the first week was spent toting umbrellas and tightly tying scarves around our necks to keep the chill out. Luckily, the last week or so was amazing, culminating with the hottest and sunniest day of the year on my birthday.

It looks like that’s all over now, but I can’t stop myself from whipping up typically summer-friendly recipes that involve fresh, ripe produce and minimal cooking. I also can’t stop wearing summer dresses, even though technically it’s cold outside. I think I’ll just ignore those goosebumps for now, and keep on pretending like it’s still summer. Continue reading

Summer nostalgia

And so it ends. The amazing warm streak we had last week is officially finished. The temperature dropped by about 25 degrees in the span of three days. It is fall, which means that winter is right around the corner. While fall offers lots of delicious possibilities (I’m already dreaming of Thanksgiving dinner and mentally planning my menu), I’ll definitely miss the quintessential summerness of barbecues, homegrown fruit and vegetables and eating outside.

One of the best things about my new house (and one of the main selling points, for me anyway), is our cherry tree. I’ve never been a fan of cherries. Cherry pie, okay. Cherry cobbler, sure. I never understood, however, when my French friends and colleagues would come to work with a paper bag full of cherries from the market, and revel in the fact that it was finally the season for them. I’d take one or two when offered, and politely eat them while wondering what all the fuss was about. They were good, yes. But nothing compared to a ripe melon, a tender fragrant pear, or a juicy, sweet orange. Continue reading