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!

Continue reading

Golden Nectarine Cake

Golden Nectarine Cake

The first day I met my husband, he shared a little analogy with me. “Dave is to strawberries as Melissa is to muffins.” (I had just finished telling him that muffins were my favorite thing to eat, ever.)

As we got to know each other better, he totally held up his end of that analogy (though I quickly moved on to other things once I really started baking in earnest). No matter how many strawberries I brought him, he would generally finish them all in a single sitting.

So…imagine my complete surprise when, last year, he revealed that he likes nectarines better than strawberries. That he always has!

Now, when we go to the farmer’s market, one of the first things he does is fill a bag with nectarines so he can eat them while I am picking out greens and beans and squashes.

This week I stole a few of the straggling nectarines and baked them into a cake. This cake is so simple and homey. The nectarine flavor is mild, and the cake is not too sweet. It makes a lovely accompaniment to afternoon tea or coffee, and a great end to a delicious lunch!


Continue reading

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

A while back, I mentioned that I am growing acorn squash this year! I have a little container vegetable garden on my porch, and almost everything I am growing is thriving.

Except, sadly, for my acorn squash. It all started out brilliantly: I had four plants that were green and leafy and growing like gangbusters. About a month ago, a crazy amount of blossoms started opening up and I got pretty excited for some squash to reveal itself. But…only two of the blossoms on all four of the plants sprouted squashes. After a while of not seeing any more little babies growing, I mentally threw up my hands and decided to start harvesting the blossoms. (Maybe that was my mistake? Who knows.)

Homegrown Acorn Squash BlossomsImmediately after harvesting my first bunch of blossoms, the plants started yellowing. I am not an experienced gardener, people. I was at a loss. Eventually I found that one of the vines was being eaten from within by a worm—and there went one of my two baby acorn squash (augh!). I still can’t figure out what’s wrong with the others.

So. Believe me when I tell you that these quesadillas were a labor of love. With these, I used up the last blossoms my poor, sad acorn squash seem like they are going to produce.

What a tasty way to go out!

Continue reading

Dal Makhani (Lentils with Tomatoes and Cream)

Dal Makhani

I’ve been thinking for a while that I should give dal another chance. The first time I made it, I used a crockpot recipe that turned out to be super boring and a little like eating dirt…and Dave said, “Well what do you expect? This is what lentils taste like.”

But since then, I have discovered a love for both Indian food and lentils (perfect storm!). And the more people I share that sad dal story with, the more suggestions I receive for wonderful dal variations to try—as well as a few scoldings for my low opinion of dal in the first place.

So I got pretty darn excited when I found a simple and delicious dal recipe at The Tasty Cheapskate, my Secret Recipe Club blog for July! I really enjoyed perusing Jean’s blog—and I really related to a comment she made in her food journal that her children do not eat particularly well. Yes, it’s true…children of food bloggers do not necessarily eat wheatberry salads or fresh fruits or brussels sprouts or much of anything that isn’t “baya. deh-yeee. zava!” (Oh. You don’t speak toddler? In our house, that translates to “peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”)

And to answer your next question, although this dal was delicious, my toddler spit out his first bite (though he did try two more bites after that!—they met the same fate). Oh well.

Dal is a great dish because it is inexpensive* and filling! In this dish, black beluga lentils swim in an aromatic, spicy, creamy tomato sauce. Serve with basmati rice or your favorite Indian flatbread and you’ve got a completely nutritious meal!

Continue reading

No Churn Nutella Ice Cream

No Churn Nutella Ice Cream

You are going to LOVE me. (Or hate me.)

I have found the perfect ice cream recipe. I mean seriously. Hang up your hat, make yourself at home, look no further, this is the best ice cream in the world. Just in time for National Ice Cream Month!

Why is this ice cream so perfect? Let me count the ways:

  1. It has only 3 ingredients.
  2. It requires almost no measuring.
  3. Um, Nutella.
  4. All you need is an electric mixer (or an arm strong enough to whip cream). No ice cream maker required! (And no more excuses!)
  5. It takes 5 minutes to prepare.
  6. Skill level: easier than easy. No tempering! No straining! No finicking of any kind!
  7. The end result is creamy, cold, and just soft enough to scoop straight out of the freezer.
  8. NUTELLA! (again)
  9. It’s foolproof.
  10. Everyone you have ever met will be astonished that you made it and will beg you to make it again. Which will barely even be an inconvenience, except possibly for your waistline. (As a result of my frequent observation of the month-long holiday, I have gained like 5 pounds. You’re eating ice cream every day this month, too, right? Or is that just me?…)

Continue reading

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Barely Brioche Burger Buns

I have been slightly stress-paralyzed lately. For some reason, every time I sit down in front of my computer with the intent to write a blog post (or pay bills…you know, minor things…), I suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to take a nap.

I am going to blame this on the fact that I am still trying to slide back into my real life after our awesome vacation in New York City.

And maybe on the fact that I have made exactly three dishes in the last week that turned out to be huge disappointments. Disheartening, right?

So…I totally meant to share these burger buns with you before the fourth of July. They would have impressed your guests…they would have jazzed up any burger you served…they would definitely have made your cookouts a little more spectacular!

But, alas. Stress-paralyzed.

I actually almost didn’t make them, myself. I nearly had myself convinced that store-bought buns would suffice, that it was more important to spend time on other cookout necessities like potato salad and pasta salad. But who am I kidding?

After the first time I made these, I knew I could never go back to store-bought buns. These (barely) brioche buns are dense and chewy with beautiful browned tops and fresh flavor that doesn’t quit. Dave was definitely right when he said that the right bun makes all the difference between a decent burger and a delicious one!

Continue reading

Malted Whopper Brownies

Malted Whopper Brownies

Get ready. These brownies are all kinds of amazing.

The actual brownie part is fudgy and malt chocolate flavored and full of chewy pockets of baked-in malt balls. Topped off with a rich ganache and more malt balls?

Are you running for the kitchen yet? Are you checking your cupboards for that enormous, movie-size box of Whoppers you bought a month ago to see if there are any left?

Continue reading