Summer Breeze… keeping the kitchen cool 6/13

Hi everybody!

Gosh was it ever HOT this past weekend.  I love spending time in the 110-year-old barn out at Parley Lake Winery, but boy did I sweat.  So I was inspired to do some summer-adjusted cooking in my kitchen this week~ making things that wouldn’t require oven time and minimal stovetop time, but still allowed me to have fun in my kitchen putzing and experimenting.  Here is what I decided to make:

Three Cheese Ravioli with Three sauces

Making pasta is a pleasure… using my gut instead of a recipe, I combine ingredients and feel my way through until the dough is just right.  It’s artistic yet methodical, therapeutic but not challenging, and the result is oh-so-tasty and satisfying.  Store bought pasta just isn’t the same.  And it just involves me, the cutting board, some flour and some water, and a bunch of kneading.

The filling was a combination of cheeses that I normally keep on hand- mascarpone, shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan.  You could use whatever you have on hand to make a great combination, and taste it to make sure!  Easy additions are lemon zest, freshly ground pepper, and herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme… whatever suits your fancy.

After a quick dip in some boiling water (because fresh pasta really only takes a minute to cook), the pasta was ready to go and I covered it in pesto, tapenade and homemade tomato sauce.  A flavor burst in your mouth!

Stir Fry

Green veggies are in abundance at the Wedge coop.  I chose some of my favorites~ bell pepper, pea pods, green onions (scallions), and broccoli.  Normally I’m one to advocate for contrasting colors and flavors, but I felt complementary that day I guess… and went for a spectrum of green!  Reminded me of St. Patty’s day… and as I washed and cut veggies, I came up with St. Patty’s day in Shanghai to describe this dish!

I had seared off a bone-in pork shoulder roast and put it in the crock pot (a great kitchen antidote for a hot kitchen), and triple-rinsed the brown rice and put that in the rice cooker- which kept my kitchen cool and me hands-off so I could devote time to taking care of the veggies.

My knife skills ensure that the time to cut and prep veggies goes quickly.  I whipped up a scratch Asian sauce (using Asian vinegar, sesame oil, Sambal Oeleek hot sauce, ginger, tamari soy sauce, and a bit of homemade peanut butter).  After the veggies were stir fried, and the sauce was added and thickened, I put the rice and veggies together and topped it all with shredded Asian pork.  Yummy!

Avocado Soup, served cold

This was a total experiment.  I’ve never made avocado soup before and I didn’t follow a recipe.  Without applying any heat to any part of it, I blended six ripe avocados with lemon juice, homemade turkey stock, dry Parley Vu Rose wine, salt & pepper, and some coconut milk.  This created a creamy lovely soup intended to be eaten cold, topped with freshly squeezed lemon juice (to preserve the color) and a dab of creamy yogurt.  All organic and refreshing and rich and tasty.

There are all sorts of great things you can do in your kitchen and still stay cool!

What are your secrets to eating on a hot day?

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