Entries in summer (4)


corn chowder


When corn is in season, bursting with flavor and sweetness, corn chowder is one of my favorite meals. This soup is hearty enough for dinner and can be varied easily. I use whatever potatoes are available at the farmstands...fingerlings, new potatoes, or whatever looks best. You can leave the skin on as long as you are not using a variety with tough skins, such as russets. You can also vary the flavor a lot depending on what herbs you add at the end. Basil really accentuates the summery flavors for me, while cilantro gives a bit of a southwestern taste. Try adding red pepper or some chilies too, if so inspired. Like so many good summer recipes, this is one to adjust to your own liking, based on whatever is best at the local market.


This recipe serves a crowd but you can certainly cut it in half. I like to make a big recipe whether we have guests of not. It is always nice to know you have another meal ready to go, and it freezes well if you want to save it for longer than a couple days.



10 ears corn, husked

1/2 pound bacon

1 large onion, diced

8 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

6 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 quarts new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch dice (about 8 cups)

10 cups stock or water

2 cups milk

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (if you use water you will need more salt)

freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or basil


Cut corn from cob and set aside. Before discarding cobs scrape them with the dull edge of a knife to remove even more corn pulp. You should have about 6 cups of corn and pulp when you are done.


Cook bacon in a large skillwt over medium high heat, until browned and crispy. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Pour a couple tablespoons of the bacon fat into a large pot and return pot to the burner. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent and carrots and celery are beginning to soften.


Add bay leaf, stock or water, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.


Add corn, milk, salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes more, until corn is tender. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until the liquid is thick but not pureed - there should still be plenty of visible potato chunks and corn kernels. If you do not have an immersion blender you can ladle a few cups of the soup into a blender, puree, and return to the pot.


Stir in fresh herbs and reserved bacon. Adjust seasoning if needed before serving.




For my kids quesadillas are right up there with mac & cheese and pizza on the list of favorite foods. We usually make plain cheese quesadillas and add on a variety of toppings at the table: fresh salsas, guacamole, sour cream, and sauteed zucchini and corn are among the favorites. You can also add beans, leftover roasted chicken or any leftover meat.


As an alternative you can fill the qusadillas with the extras but I find that more stuffed quesadillas are much harder to flip (you loose half the filling in the pan) and the kids love to make their own at the table. 





4 ripe avocados

juice of one lime

1/4-1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Sea salt, to taste


Peel and chop avocados and place in a bowl. Add lime juice and mash until well combined but still chunky. Stir in cilantro and salt.



1 large ripe tomato or 3 ripe plum tomatoes

1 small onion (or half medium onion)

finely chopped cilantro

green tobasco 

salt and pepper


Finely chop tomatoes and onion.

Stir together in a bowl.

Add cilantro, salt and pepper, and tobasco to taste.



1 or 2 small zucchini

4 ears corn on cob

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic


salt and pepper


Chop zucchini into small dice.

Cut corn from cob.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and onion and garlic. Saute until translucent.

Add corn and zucchini and stir. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of oregano.

Cook, stirring occasionally until zucchini is starting to brown.



rustic strawberry rhubarb pie


Strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my favorites and the rhubarb season is upon us. I love the tartness of the rhubarb as well as the body it gives to the pie filling. I enjoy making pies of all sorts but I find rustic pies easier to make than traditional ones...you don't have to worry as you roll the crust about whether or not it is the exact right size for the pie plate, or whether the amount of filling is going to give the pie the perfect height, etc. I just roll the crust, place it on a sheetpan (lined with parchment paper or a silpat) and then pile the fruit in the center. Fold the crust up over the fruit, sealing up any holes around the sides by pinching the crust together. Brushing the crust with a lightly beaten egg or a little ice water and then sprinkling it with some coarse sugar gives it a nice crunchy crust.



Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

1 recipe martha stewart pie crust

3 pints strawberries (1 1/2 quarts)

3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup instant tapioca (can substitute flour)

Juice of half a lemon

1 egg, lightly beaten

Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling


Make the pie crust according to the recipe but do not divide it in two parts before chilling - just form one disk and chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Cut the strawberries into halves, or quarters if they are quite large, and place in a bowl. Add chopped rhubarb, sugar, tapioca (or flour), and lemon juice and stir to combine. 

Roll out the pie crust until about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the crust to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Mound the fruit in the center of the crust and fold crust up over the sides of the fruit, leaving the center open.  

Brush crust with egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. 

Place in oven and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.



beach treasure


I have always loved collecting shells and have bowls and jars of them scattered through the house. In an effort to scale back I often choose just one thing to collect on a trip: pieces of coral, sea urchins, fish bones, etc. On our trip this year we visited a shell museum that really inspired the children. It is run by a man in his nineties who has collected shells for his entire life. It is amazing to see thousands of shells, collected from around the world, but it is also inspiring to see how he displays them. Some in glass cases, others displayed in little boxes. It is also to fun to get a sense of how rare some appear to be, or how varied others may be. There was one huge case of scallop shells that were in a beautiful array of citrus colors.


After we left the museum the kids were even more committed to their own growing shell collections, and it was fun to see how it inspired them...Owen became a more careful editor while the others became interested in quantity.