So it goes without saying that it’s hot outside—and the next few days are going to be hotter. The end of summer is upon us, weighing heavy with humidity. It’s almost September, and this heat makes me want to get out of the kitchen. (If the truth be known, I’ll take summer heat over winter anytime! I’m just always looking for an excuse not to cook)! It’s Labor Day on Monday, but that doesn’t mean you have to labor in the kitchen!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten really good at finding yummy snacks and treats on the go, from the comfort of my air-conditioned car. Pretzel Boys for a salt fix, Tropical Moose for shaved ice. Chick-fil-A makes a mean lemonade. And this is St. Louis—people do love their frozen custard. I understand the obsession with Ted Drewes, so I know I’m committing sacrilege here, but I prefer Baskin Robbins! Peanut Butter ‘n Chocolate is to die for!
It is prime farmers’ market season, too. And in the Midwest, that means corn on the cob so fresh that it doesn’t even need cooking (bonus)!, heirloom tomatoes that I eat like apples and countless varieties of juicy fruits.
Here is one of my all-time favorite summer recipes—I call it “green gazpacho.” No cooking involved, just some washing, a bit of chopping and a couple presses of a “puree” button and you have a cool lunch, snack or dessert. My kids love it, too. They get a kick out of the bright green color twisting its way through their bendy straws, and I get a kick out of tricking them into eating fruits and veggies that they normally refuse.
Let me know if you have any favorite summer recipes that take advantage of all the fresh produce—and don’t involve a heat source!
Bon appétit, and stay cool!
Green Gazpacho (makes five 1-cup servings)
- 1/2 a honeydew melon
- 2 cups green grapes
- 1/2 a peeled cucumber
- 1/2 a green pepper
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
- Zest and juice of a lime
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley
- Optional: quartered grapes and diced cucumber, pepper and avocado for garnish
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. A perfect treat for Labor Day Weekend.
BUG BYTE: Mosquitoes are still active in St. Louis until late October. Mosquitoes function best at 80 degrees, become lethargic at 60 degrees and inactive during consistent 50 degree weather.