14 Jul

I haven’t been cooking a lot this summer, much to my dismay.  But here’s a bit of what’s been going on, as well as a couple easy, fast, summery, feel-good recipes that I’ve managed to sneak in.

Number of hours it took to move out of my classroom: 10 (I think it’s a new record)

The opportunity to experience a new job opportunity: taken (and got the job!)

Number of days of a relaxing summer before getting very sick: 1

Number of weeks on the couch with germy, residual horrible kiddie germs: 3

MPH of a wind gust that tried to blow over our Farmer’s Market Artisan Bread tent (and me): 30

Number of minutes wide-awake on a red-eye fight to Boston: 270

Remember to order this when getting a BLT in the North End of Boston: bread (or else you’ll just get a plate of B, and L, and T)

Number of inches of rain per minute in the worst thunderstorm Cape Cod has seen all season: 4

The amazing number of miles the tide goes out on the bay side of the Cape: 2

The number of crabs seen: hundreds

Number of crabs stepped on: 1 (and that was enough!)

Number of inflamed bug bites: 27

Pounds of Cape Cod Salt Water Taffy purchased: 5

Number of pieces of taffy I ate: 4

Number of disgusted looks from husband while eating said pieces of taffy: 4

Types of fish delivered from a commercial fishing boat off-load: 3 (skate, dogfish, and the largest lobster I’ve ever seen…. Seriously, this thing could have taken out Sig).

Number of trains needed to get to the Samuel Adams brewery: 2

Number of free beers given on a Samuel Adams brew tour: 3

Number of miles needed to walk after having 3 beers at the Sam Adams brew tour: 2

Number of hours sitting in Logan airport waiting for a broken plane: 6

Feeling of lungs when sprinting through the airport to make a 5-minute connection: burning

The look on a Father-In-Law’s face when surprised by his 4 children, their spouses, and the 5 grandkids for his 70th birthday: priceless.

Spicy Red Leaf Salad with Gouda Dressing (serves 2 realistically, but I ate the whole bowl; a great fresh comfort after traveling.  There is something about the super tender red leaf lettuce – especially when it comes right out of the ground – that makes this salad so satisfying to eat.)

  • 4 c red lettuce leaves, torn
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced into very thin half-moons
  • 1 red chili, seeded and deveined (to remove the heat), and very finely diced
  • 8-10 toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 oz gouda, diced
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • s&p 

Place the lettuce, celery, chili, and almonds in a serving bowl.  In a blender, add the gouda cheese, mustard, red wine vinegar and a bit of the extra virgin olive oil, and blend.  While the blender is on, add in the rest of the olive oil.  Blend until slightly chunky and a bit creamy, and taste for s&p.  

Pour the dressing on top of the salad, and serve.  

NOTE: by seeding and deveining the chili, it takes away a lot of the heat.  What you are left with is the flesh, which adds a great amount of flavor to the salad.  But, if you don’t like the taste of raw chilis, then leave out and add a few drops of red Tabasco to the dressing mixture.  


Honey and Sea Salt Popcorn (makes a large bowl which can serve many, but again, I ate the whole bowl) 

  • 1 c raw popcorn kernels 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp good quality honey (I use local Meadowfoam) 
  • finely ground sea salt 

In a large, covered pot, heat the olive oil and the popcorn over medium heat until kernels are popped (the popping noise will subside, and after 5 seconds of no popping noises, immediately take off the heat).  Note: if you like burnt popcorn (like I do), heat the same way, only over high heat. 

In a saucepan, heat the butter and honey over med-high heat until melted.  The butter mixture will start to bubble; just lift off the heat and swirl – do not stir with a spoon.  

When popcorn is done, pour into a bowl and, while stirring, pour the honey and butter mixture over the popcorn.  While still sticky, sprinkle the sea salt (and mix) to taste.  

Warning: this popcorn is addictive.  ENJOY!  

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