Hello everyone! Hope this posting finds you all either enjoying heading towards Summer or heading towards Winter! 🙂 Here in Ohio we are obviously heading for Summer but it is always so much fun to see my “southern hemisphere” friends talking about cold, blustery winter days by the fire. It is a reminder to me always about the turning of the Wheel and Mother Earth.
We have had both a very HOT June and a very cool June so far. I have enjoyed the cooler days as those who know me or read my blog know I’m not big on hot weather. But I do love Summer. Though I’m still recovering from my illness, I have done some planting of herbs and flowers, watering, a bit of weeding and taking as much time with my feet on Mother Earth as possible. The nights have been amazing! We had a long spell of no rain..so the skies have been full of stars and a beautiful waxing, Full and now waning Moon. She has been low in the sky, orange, then bright and huge! I have basked in her healing energy, sent out healing and protection to others, and tried to come to terms with things that have happened in my life in recent weeks. With the Goddess’s help..I have done just that. I am grateful for all the good things in my life, the people who I love and who love me back, and to follow a Path that helps me to ground and keep myself positive and joyful.
We had a good, long rain today..much needed! Our grass, flowers, herbs and critters that share our spaces with us enjoyed it very much. I watched robins bathing in our koi ponds, the frogs are croaking happily, birds singing, and chipmunks scurrying this evening. As I type this, the Sun has set into twilight and I’m waiting for the lightning bugs to put on their magickal show. It is a bit sticky and humid tonight but I’ll be on the porch anyway in a bit to watch them 🙂
Sooo…for me and my family, Summer is about family get togethers, good food, being outside, and relaxing and playing! Cooking is all about cold sides with hot grilled goodies. I’ve been perusing cookbooks, cooking magazines and my own recipe box, looking for a few more recipes to celebrate the Solstice. I even pulled out my grandma’s recipe box this week. I love seeing her old, yellowed, handwritten recipe cards. It makes me feel close to her again as I learned so much at her side about cooking and gardening. So I’ve put together a few recipes that speak Summer to me that I thought you would enjoy too. Remember to take advantage of farmer’s markets, produce stands, your local grocer, and your own garden for fresh veggies, fruits and herbs to make everything just a little bit better 🙂
Watermelon Fruit Salad
1/4 cup Agave nectar
1/4 cup water
4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup cubed pineapple
1 cup diced kiwi
1 cup mango
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 lime, juiced
Garnish: fresh mint
In a large bowl, combine agave nectar and 1/4 cup water. Blend well. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Toss gently. Refrigerate.
Pineapple-Honey Chicken Kabobs
*this is a favorite recipe of mine I made up years ago after having them at Fridays restaurant..who doesn’t serve them anymore..so light and good! Now I have no measurements..sorry..I just throw these together.
Kabob sticks …2-3 for each person if adults
chicken breast cut into 2 inch pieces
pineapple cut into 2 inch pieces
green and/or red peppers cut into pieces
skewer the chicken, pineapple and peppers onto the sticks.
Marinate in a mixture of pineapple juice, honey and soy sauce. Sorry, no measurements and it doesn’t matter. It will turn out great! You want enough juice to cover the kabobs…put in about 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup soy ..that might do it 🙂 Place the kabobs in a dish big enough to hold the kabobs covered in the marinade. Let marinade about 4 hours or more.
Grill the kabobs on med. heat until chicken is well cooked. Serve with honey as a dip or peanut sauce which is my favorite dip for these yummy kabobs! Really good with a cole slaw and oven fried potatoes! Or with this salad recipe below….
Bok Choy Salad
1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 large Bok Choy, ends cut off, chopped
2 pkgs crumbled ramen noodles
Mix together in a large salad bowl.
In a pan, brown…. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 TB butter
Add to salad greens and noodles.
Top with 2 cans of drained mandarin oranges
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TB soy sauce
Toss dressing in salad just before serving!
*This would also be good with fresh sliced strawberries!
Red Potato Salad
3 pounds red new potatoes
4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tb minced red onion
1/3 cup white vinegar
3 Tb sweet pickle relish
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
In a large saucepan, place potatoes. Cover with water 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil; cook until tender, 15-20 mins. Drain and let potatoescool. (peel if you’d like). Coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, celery, parsley, and onion. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, pickle relish, salt and pepper; slowly whisk in oil. Drizzle over potato mixture; toss well. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Chocolate Chess Pie
*I happen to think chocolate is good all year round :))
1/2 (14.1 oz) pkg refrigerated piecrust
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whipped cream
Preheat oven to 375*. Unroll piecrust, and fit into a shallow 9-inch pie plate; flute edges as desired.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar and eggs; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add milk, butter, cocoa, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Pour into prepared pie pan.
Bake until a knife inserted near the edge comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Top with whipped cream.
*This recipe comes from my hubby’s Aunt Betty. It is a delicious cold grown up slushy :)) I make this up in a big bowl and keep it in the freezer all summer long. So good on the porch on hot nights!
2 6-oz cans frozen orange juice, thawed
2 6-oz cans frozen lemonade, thawed
9 cups water
3 cups rum, gin or vodka ..not all 3..just 3 cups of one of them LOL
1 Tb instant tea
1 3/4 cups sugar
Mix all ingredients and freeze.
To serve, fill glass half full with slush. Add a clear soda like 7-up, Sprite or Sierra Mist.
Summer is a time for fresh corn on the cob with herbed butter, sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and italian dressing, grilled peaches and pineapple on vanilla ice cream, juicy burgers and sticky baked beans. Potato and pasta salads, strawberry shortcakes, homemade ice creams, fresh watermelon or canteloupes and lots of water, lemonade and iced tea! Oh and did I mention my favorite? BLT sandwiches with fresh, home grown lettuce and ripe, juicy tomatoes and crusty bread..yummy!!!
Make Summer fun..try new recipes…use your herbs to brighten up the taste of your old stand-by recipes. Make fresh juice popsicles for the kids or make ice cream with the old fashioned crank ice cream makers. I have so many wonderful memories of my family doing that. Have a picnic, a cook-out or a romantic, under-the-Moon dinner outdoors. Put candles in mason jars, cut flowers from your garden and place them in a vase on the table, play some Jimmy Buffet or ocean sounds music and just enjoy the view of a Summer night sky. Summer is just 3 short months..enjoy every moment of it! My favorite thing to do to honor the Sun God, is to be up as the Sun rises and have a glass of fresh juice or a cup of coffee and just be grateful for the turning of the wheel, the God and Goddess, and all the blessings in my Life. Blessed Summer Solstice to you all.
Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…. Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape Lay as if new; created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Blessings and Love, Autumn
*To look for more recipes from the last 2 years of blog posts or any other info for the Solstice, just do a word search on the gadget to the right. Type in Litha, or Summer Solstice or MidSummer and see what shows up 🙂
*Sources..all pics are from the internet…..