Zucchini and Squash Blossom Soufflés

Zucchini and Squash Blossom Souffles

Are you a gardener?

I keep trying, really I do, but I have never had any success with squash. I know they are supposed to be easy to grow, prolific even…but so are the tiny little caterpillars that keep murdering my squash plants year after year.

Which is why I am so grateful for friends with better garden prowess!

This year, one of my dear friends from church gifted me with zucchini blossoms and the world’s largest zucchini. Seriously, it was the size of a small pumpkin.

This soufflé recipe is a perfect way to make the most of the zucchini plants in your own backyard (meaning: you don’t need an industrial quantity of squash or blossoms, so you can make this recipe with what you are able to harvest—or what your friends are willing to part with!). I urge you not to be scared of soufflé. Yes, it’s fancy, and it makes all of your dishes dirty, but it’s also delicious and less delicate than you think! And, bonus, it’s a great way to trick your kids into eating delicious summer veg.

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A Little Bit of Everything Smoked Salmon Toasts

A Little Bit of Everything Smoked Salmon Toasts

This week, Sarah and I were feeling super laid back. We started our lunch planning at noon on the day of. (Just for context, we typically start cooking around 11.)

Our conversation went something like this:

Sarah: I just woke up. (cut to me, crumbling inside with jealousy)
Me: I have a headache. Let’s make something easy.
Sarah: …pbj?
Me: Same page.

Yet somehow, an hour later, we found ourselves poaching eggs and rubbing sourdough slices with garlic.

Food bloggers be crazy.

This was the most delicious impromptu meal I can think of. We cobbled together ingredients (mostly) from our combined fridges and gardens, and I humbly submit that these open face sandwiches are magic.

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Rainbow Baked Eggs

Rainbow Baked Eggs

As you may be aware, my husband and I have radically different food tastes.

If he could eat whatever he wanted for the rest of his life, he would be staring down a long succession of barbecues, charcuterie, spicy chicken wings, corned beef and cabbage, anything that goes well with rice (basically all Asian cuisines, especially dishes that are spicy and beefy and porky), Irish black tea, buckets of cola, mountains of fresh fruits covered in sugar to make them super juicy. I’d wager you would find nary a vegetable on the list, unless it appeared incidentally with the meat.

I, on the other hand, would be wolfing down cheese pizza by the pie, any dessert that has chocolate in it (especially cookies, brownies, ice cream, cake, tarts…oh my gosh, sweet tooth), butter, cheese, bread, buttery cheesy bread, salmon, crab cakes, ripe tomatoes, toasted nuts, Riesling, gallons of black coffee…and let’s throw in some salads for good measure. Because as much as I would love to eat nothing but foods half held together by butter, I definitely spend hours each week obsessing over how to eat more vegetables and be more healthy.

As you may imagine, this can make dinner time a little stressful (and it’s one of the reasons we love to eat out: to each their own!).

Thank God for eggs.

Seriously, thank you, God, for eggs. Because without eggs, Dave’s and my taste buds might have to declare war on each other.

And because of these eggs, I have a favorite little memory tucked away: Dave came home from work the day after I made these colorful eggs for the first time, and he announced: “All day long I was craving bulgogi. And then I realized that I didn’t want bulgogi. I wanted more of the eggs you made last night!”

(Cue victorious fist pump. Dim lights. End scene.)

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Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche with Cracker Crust

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche with Cracker Crust

I laughed out loud when I saw the name of my Secret Recipe Club blog for July: Why I Am Not Skinny. That’s a question I ask myself an awful lot, usually after a bowl of homemade ice cream or a third slice of pizza.

I was seriously tempted to make Maxine’s crepes…lately I have been all too eager to make breakfast, and dinner has sort of turned into a black hole into which I throw takeout and yes, more breakfast foods (and I wonder why all this baby weight is stubbornly sticking around….).

For some reason, both my kids have started losing their cool at exactly 5:00pm. Dinner is hard.

Which is why quiche for dinner is perfect! First of all…it is kind of like breakfast (but healthier and more filling than a plate full of carby sugar)! Second of all, you can prep quiche several hours before baking it, which makes the witching hour much less dreadful.

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Green Goddess Egg Salad

Green Goddess Egg Salad

This is possibly the best egg salad in the whole world.

I don’t say that lightly, believe me: egg salad is on my top five list of favorite foods, and I have eaten it almost daily since Jake was born. I love eggs.

But this egg salad is a symphony of amazing flavor! It’s herby and creamy and tangy and a little sharp. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it at first…I mean, capers? Celery? In egg salad? But this is one of those beautiful moments when I am so glad I tried something new, something I questioned, because this Springy egg salad is seriously wonderful.

Best. Lunch. Ever.

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Avocado, Tomato, Egg Sandwiches

Avocado, Egg, Tomato Sandwiches

I think of this as my pregnant-lady lunch.

Because when you are pregnant and have a toddler, lunch must be tasty and ready in less than 5 minutes. And, you know, it should also have some good things in it, like protein and healthy fats and vegetables. Because…growing a human.

Eating healthy has been a struggle for me this pregnancy. I subsist largely on quick snacks like peanut butter crackers and Chobani yogurt, and then I end up neglecting my vegetables.

That’s why these open-face sandwiches make a perfect pregnant-lady lunch! Avocados are full of folate and potassium; tomatoes (whose nutrients are more fully absorbed together with fats) are full of lycopene and vitamins; and eggs are a great source of vegetarian protein!

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Grown-Up Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

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It’s a snow day, so you know what’s on the menu at my house: grilled cheese and tomato soup. It’s the perfect comfort food!

I have so many memories of eating this meal as a child, especially after traipsing around in the snow on a winter day. My mother would stand at the stove and stir milk into the Campbells condensed tomato soup, expertly flipping buttery cheese sandwiches on the griddle. She had a special mug that was just for her tomato soup—because tomato soup should always be served in a mug.

We would sit at our old Formica table, slurping our soup and dipping our melty sandwiches, getting warm enough to go out for another round of sledding down the giant hill in front of our house.

But, of course, I have grown up a little. And as much as I still love the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup of my childhood, I also like to let my comfort foods grow a little.

And seriously, I dare you to find anything more delicious than goat cheese, nutmeg, fresh thyme, runny egg yolks, and balsamic vinegar. I dare you! This grown-up version of a favorite comfort food is just stunningly delicious. Thank you, snow days, for being so yummy.

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Bell Pepper Shakshuka with Feta and Za’atar

Bell Pepper Shakshuka

One of the pitfalls of being a food blogger is that there aren’t really many family favorite meals in our house. I don’t mean to say we don’t have favorite meals—just that I don’t make repeats very often. Our “favorite” meals tend to roll around once every three years rather than once every three weeks.

There is much less room for food ruts when the chef is constantly looking for new dishes to blog about.

But this shakshuka is seriously going to grace our table several times every summer from now until Kingdom come, because wow is it delicious and it is so easy to make! I love laid back meals, don’t you?

Shakshuka is a North African dish typically comprised of eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce. This version is a little different because it adds brightly colored bell peppers for a little more heartiness and texture. It will make your house smell amazing. It will make your mouth water. It will basically be the best use of summer bell peppers you will ever find, and you will mourn when your farmer’s market shuts down in the fall!

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Corn and Tomato Quiche

Corn and Tomato Quiche

Summersummersummersummersummersummersummersummersummersummersummersummer, tomAto, tomAto! COOOOOOOORN, COOOOOOORN.

Haha. Maybe that was mean. (If you, like me, *unwillingly* watched and re-watched bizarre internet cartoons back in the early 2000s—but now look back on that time with fondness—and if not, then your current confusion makes me feel old and/or young.)

But I kid.

Anyway. Make some quiche! Quiche is great food! If you skip the crust, then this meal comes together super quickly (and is more of a frittata than a quiche…just saying). If you don’t skip the crust, you may find yourself grumbling under your breath because the crust shrank weirdly when you par-baked it, despite your use of pie weights. No? Just me, again?

But it will all turn out lovely and delicious and tasting of summer!

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Panko Lentil Burgers with Fried Eggs

Panko Lentil Burger with Fried Egg

It’s Spring. And Spring is the only sane time to be grilling (because Summer…so hot!).

This year, I swore I would make sure our grill got cleaned and actually learn how to use a charcoal chimney so I could make you some delicious burgers and kebabs. But…I haven’t done it yet. I’ve been a little too busy planting tomatoes and peonies and peppers and rhubarbs.

So instead, I am making lentil burgers for Memorial Day, which you should definitely make, too, but on your stovetop (because…too soft for the grill grate). We can still have burgers! Grill be darned!

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