Archives for posts with tag: squash

This is the best time of the year to cook and I’ve left you all stranded – I’m sorry! The thing is that while it is the easiest time to throw something delicious together, for me it has also been the busiest. In the last four weeks, I’ve been to Ottawa, Omaha, Vermont, Boston and Baltimore! Consequently, I have not had a chance to cook as much as I would like. But in Vermont, which was vacation, I had a chance to make a bunch of great, summertime dishes, many of which will show up here throughout the next several weeks.

Upon my return to New York I was greeted with all of summer’s best – green beans, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, corn and even the season’s first tomatoes! Total inspiration. This week’s recipes take advantage of the season’s bounty and none of them take too long to prepare so you have plenty of time to get out there and catch some fireflies!

I've been waiting all year for this!

I’ve been waiting all year for this!

Meal #1: Grilled Sausages and Summer Beans with Herbs, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions
Meal #2: Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash, and Basil + Corn on the Cob
Meal #3: Summer Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella
Meal #4: Pork Tenderloin with Plums and Red Onion + Corn on the Cob

Note: For the next several weeks you will see a LOT of corn here. The season is so short so we tend to eat either corn on the cob or corn salad every night. You’ve been warned.

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

summer squash (such as zucchini and yellow crookneck) – 2-4, depending on size
shallots – 2
red onion – 2 large
thyme – 1 bunch
parsley – 1 bunch
basil – 1 bunch
cherry tomatoes – 2 pints
green and/or wax beans – 1 lb.
tomatoes – 3-4
corn – 1 per person for two separate meals
plums – 4
pasta (penne or rigatoni work well) – 1 box
fresh mozzarella – 1/2 lb.
sausages – 2 lb.
pork tenderloin – 1 1/2 – 2 lb.
skinless white flaky fish fillets (such as Atlantic cod or halibut) – 4 6-ounce fillets
white wine


Fish Fillets with Tomatoes, Squash, and Basil 

I LOVE this recipe, especially in the summer. It is so healthy and fresh-tasting and lets the best of summer’s produce shine. Some variations:

  • I’ve made this with halibut, cod, salmon and arctic char. You can really use any fish, although I’d probably stick to something on the thicker side so that it holds up.
  • Cooking time varies depending on the fish, so check it after 10 minutes, and plan for it needing a few more minutes if the fish is thick.
  • As you know, I don’t have a grill so I always do this in the oven, but I still use foil and it is fine.
  • If you don’t have white wine on hand you can substitute some lemon juice.

Corn on the Cob

My Mom taught me this method and it is tried and true. Please, no microwaves…

Boil water in a pot, put shucked corn in the water, turn off the heat and put a lid on your pot. Wait 10 minutes or so. Eat with lots of butter, salt and pepper.


We all juggle commitments to family, friends, work, our home, and of course, ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us don’t do a great job balancing these important aspects of our lives and at least one often gets neglected. I think some people are better at being out of balance than others, but I am not one of those people. I like routine and habit – I always have. Having Eliza really shook up a lot of the balance that I had carefully crafted and maintained over the years. Two years into motherhood, I think I have a better handle on how unscripted and unplanned life can be, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

One way that I’ve dealt with the imbalance, or rather the stress of living with it, is to cook. I realize cooking isn’t everyone’s remedy, but it is mine. There is something about reading recipes, organizing ingredients, prepping vegetables and preparing a meal that I find very therapeutic. Within a few minutes I am out of my own head and into the creation process, which is often what I need. I love the concentration that chopping an onion requires and the creativity that sparks when I stray from a recipe. This week was another busy week, beginning with my business trip to Madison, Wi. and ending with Patrick working an  evening and having his usual Thursday night class. Fortunately, I got a few homemade dinners in to keep me on balance.

The tools of my "therapy"

Tools for my “therapy”

Meal #1: Chicken Thighs with Shallots and Tomatoes
Meal #2: Pasta Carbonara with Leeks and Lemon
Meal #3: Roasted Cod with Potatoes and Olives
Meal #4: Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry + Rice

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

red, new potatoes – 2 lb.
ginger – 1 small piece
scallions – 1 bunch
red, yellow or orange peppers – 2
zucchini and/or summer squash – 2
snap peas – 1 cup
shallots – 12 to 15
leeks – 4
cherry or grape tomatoes – 2 pints
tarragon – a few sprigs
parsley – 1 bunch
lemon – 1
kalamata olives (if you don’t already have them)
soy sauce (if you don’t already have it)
oyster sauce (if you don’t already have it)
rice wine vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
sesame oil (if you don’t already have it)
dijon mustard (if you don’t already have it)
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
white wine
eggs – 2
penne or another short pasta – 1 box
chicken breast – 1 lb.
bone-in chicken thighs – 8
bacon – 6 slices
cod fillet – 6 to 8 oz. per person

Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry
Stir Fry Ingredients_web

There is nothing special about this recipe; it is a variation on what you have probably been making since college. Lately, I’ve been trying out some different sauces, rather than just my standard soy sauce. I came up with this sauce on the fly while the chicken and vegetables were cooking so I’m open to suggestions.

1 TB. vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ inch of ginger, minced
1 bunch of scallions, whites and a little bit of the green stem chopped*
2 red, yellow or orange peppers, chopped *
2 zucchini and/or summer squash, chopped *
1 cup, or a handful of snap peas
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips *

* ingredients that can be prepped several days ahead.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large saute pan until almost, but not quite, smoking. Add garlic and ginger and stir constantly until you can smell their loveliness. Add scallions, pepper, and squash and saute for about 3 minutes. When the pepper starts to soften a bit add the chicken and quickly stir together. After 3-5 minutes the chicken should be cooked through; add the snap peas and give it a quick stir. Then, add the sauce (see below for ingredients) and stir for about a minute to thicken it up and coat all of the vegetables and chicken. Top with the greens of the scallions.


¼ cup soy sauce
½ ts. oyster sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 ts. sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and set aside.




Last weekend we escaped the dirty snow of New York and spent several days at my parent’s new house in Vermont. It is the perfect vacation house because it has plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms, and a huge living room with two giant couches. It begs for groups. Funny enough, since I am an only child, there have only been a few nights where more than five of us have stayed there. But this weekend we packed the house – there were the five of us, two of my best friends, one of their boyfriends, and one of their daughters. Besides a lot of sledding, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing, we drank a bit too much wine and bourbon, and ate a ton of Vermont cheese.

Patrick in the snow fort he built out of 3 feet of snow.

Patrick in the snow fort he built out of 3 feet of snow.

Leading up to the weekend, my Mom and I planned the weekend’s menus. Knowing we had a lot of people to feed we tried to design meals that would be easy to prepare for a big group, be universally loved, and accommodate a variety of tastes and dietary needs. A couple of our weekend’s feasts made it to this week’s meal plan, along with two others that would also work for a large group. All of these meals can also be adjusted for as few as two people.

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal # 1: Cauliflower and Sausage Casserole + Green Salad
Meal # 2: Meatloaf, Roasted Potatoes + Green Beans
Meal # 3: Shrimp “Scampi” with Linguine + Green Salad
Meal # 4: Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry + Rice

Your Grocery List, excluding the usual pantry items:

cauliflower – 1 medium (about 2 lb.)
onion – 2
scallions – 1 bunch
snap peas – 1 cup, or handful
lettuce – 1 head or bag
lemon – 1
red or yukon gold potatoes – 1 lb.
red, yellow or orange pepper – 2
zucchini and/or summer squash – 2
green beans – 1 ½ lb.
ginger – 1 small piece
whole peeled tomatoes – 1, 28-ounce can
fresh or dried thyme (if you don’t already have it)
dried basil (if you don’t already have it)
dried oregano (if you don’t already have it)
garlic powder (if you don’t already have it)
Worcestershire sauce (if you don’t already have it) – optional
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
ketchup (if you don’t already have it)
soy sauce  (if you don’t already have it)
oyster sauce (if you don’t already have it)
rice wine vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
sesame oil  (if you don’t already have it)
eggs – 2
linguine – 2-3 oz. per person
sausage – ½ lb.
ground beef – 2 lb.
chicken breast – 1 lb.
bacon – 3 strips
cheddar cheese – ¼ lb.
shrimp – 1 ½ lb.
dry white wine