Tag Archives: summer food

Festive Red Beet Hummus

Looking for festive foods to add to your 4th of July holiday menu?   Try this recipe for red beet hummus. This is unique hummus is a feast for both the eyes and your taste buds. A slow braise of the beets in the oven makes this easy to prepare along with your food processor. I love the pink red vibrant color!

From by the bay, wishing you festive 4th of July food memories!


blog beet hummus

Beet Hummus

Makes 4 cups

As seen in Food and Wine Contributed By Eli Sussman and Max Sussman  Published June 2016
  • 2 pounds red beets, scrubbed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • Kosher salt
  • Warm pita bread, for serving

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Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, cover the beets with water and bring to a boil. Cover and braise in the oven for about 2 hours, until very tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beets to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slip 
off the skins. Cut the beets into 1-inch pieces, spread them on a baking sheet and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. In a food processor, combine the braised beets with the garlic, coriander and lemon juice and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, slowly drizzle 
in the olive oil until incorporated and the beet puree is smooth. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the tahini. Season with salt and serve with pita bread.

Shrimp BLT Roll

I was craving a lobster roll, but that takes money, time and some real commitment.  This is the lazy girl’s lobster roll, but without compromising taste!  The shrimp are easy to make and if you are even more lazy and sometimes I am , I buy the shrimp already cooked, in which case you are whipping up this shrimp roll in minutes……..held back by how fast you can crisp up those slices of bacon!! The roll has a slight kick from the hot sauce the a fresh tangy taste from the lemon juice. This is a perfect quick summer dinner especially on those hot evenings when you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen or at the grill!

From by the bay , wishing you some BLT food memories!


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Shrimp BLT Roll

Serves 4


  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 pound headless large shrimp ( 24 -26 per pound), cleaned and deveined
  • 3 thick slices slab bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
  • 1/2 cup high quality store bought mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 red tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 leaves soft green lettuce, such as boston or butter
  • 4 top loading hot dog buns
  • 2 scallions, ( use white and green parts), finely chopped


In a stockpot add about 2 quarts water salt and bay leave. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Strain removing bay leave and cool shrimp under cold running water to stop from cooking.  When shrimp are completely cool chop and place in bowl along with 1/2 of the chopped scallions.  In a small bowl add mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, mustard and pepper. Whisk together and pour over the shrimp. Fold sauce and shrimp together. To assemble sandwich open the bun and add 1 slice lettuce, 1/4 chopped tomato, 1/4 shrimp salad. Repeat for remaining shrimp rolls. Garnish each roll with remaining scallions and chopped crispy bacon. Serve immediately.

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon


My grandparents grew lots of cucumbers on their farm on Long Island. Come late summer my grandmother would make jars of pickles, using lots of the fresh dill from the farm.  I have to settle for buying my product at the farm stand today, but I don’t need to settle on the flavors I enjoyed from my grandmother. This is a really easy recipe for making pickled cucumbers , perfect for any weekend barbecue , as well as a  low calorie snack to enjoy anytime!  This is simply cutting a few things , boiling a few ingredients and you have pickled cucumbers to go! Impress your family and friends this weekend with this simple delicious side!

From by the bay wishing you pickled food memories!



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Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Makes 1 quart


  • 1 pound kirby cucumbers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs dill
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


Have ready a 1 quart size glass container such as a mason jar. Trim the ends off of the kirby cucumbers and slice in 1/4 inch rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Take the glass jar and layer the cucumbers, then shallots , garlic and dill. Repeat until you have layered all your ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over the cucumbers. Let cool to room temperature. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will last about 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator.




Spare Ribs with Bourbon Apple Barbecue Sauce

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 Summer evenings are meant for enjoying barbecue foods and nothing is more satisifying than lip smacking and finger licking ribs. This recipe highlights a barbecue sauce that is tomato based with added sweetness from fresh apple and a hint of bourbon.  A touch of molasses creates that lovely sweet bark finish. The best part  of this rib recipe is that they are made in the oven with minimal work but fantastic results. The meat from these ribs just pull off the bone. Summer is officially here this weekend, this is the perfect dish to celebrate!

From by the bay, wishing you summer food memories!


Spare Ribs with Bourbon Apple Barbecue Sauce
Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer


  • 2 1/2 lbs. racks baby back ribs
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small sauce pan add all ingredients except for ribs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and cool. Puree in a food processor and set aside covered. In a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil place the ribs in a single layer. Place in oven to brown for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes remove ribs from pan and pour off any juice and fat. Place the ribs back into the pan. Use half the barbecue sauce and pour over and spread over the ribs. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F and place the ribs back in the oven, turning the ribs over and covering them with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. The ribs can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Jalapeno Burger

I’m always in search of a better burger , one that is a bit flashy in taste. This jalapeno burger will take you burger making to the next level and then some. I enjoyed this burger using ciabatta buns , so I shaped my burgers in an elongated oval to fit the bun and sit perfectly under the bacon strips. You’ll love the undernotes of heat from the colby cheese and jalapeno mayonnaise. As always, look to use the finest ingredients, getting great quality ground beef and bacon makes all the difference.

From by the bay, wishing you flashy jalapeno food memories!


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Jalapeno Burger

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2  pounds ground beef chuck ( each pattie 6 ounces)
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 slices colby cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons jalapeno rings, coarsely chopped


In a food processor add mayonnaise and jalapeno. Process until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use. Make 4 patties from the ground beef, shaping into ovals. In a medium sauce pan, fry bacon until crispy, place on paper towel to drain. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Season one side of patties with salt and pepper; place on grill, seasoned side down. Grill until lightly charred on bottom, about 4 minutes. Season other side, turn, and top with cheese. Grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium. Transfer burgers to dish and let stand for 3 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill on until the edges start to brown. Remove bottoms of each bun and add cheese to tops to melt. To assemble burger take toasted bottoms, spread jalapeno mayonnaise on each bottom. Add the burger, the bacon and then top with bun with melted cheese. Serve immediately.




Lemon Posset

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Here is a perfect summer dessert both simple and delicious. It takes just minutes to make and then several hours in the refrigerator, using only three ingredients: cream , sugar and lemon. This yummy treat has the texture and consistency of a silky pudding. I consider this is a virtual food magic trick. So intrigued by the results, I did a little on line research to learn about possets. The name posset which seems to be a reference to the small saucepan they are prepared in, first appeared in Britain during the 15th century. In those days a posset was a hot beverage of curdled milk mixed with wine or ale, often spiced. By the 16th century, the recipe evolved to cream, sugar and citrus juice. With refrigeration, the posset evolved to a cold dessert. I suggest you try this recipe soon and enjoy the pleasures of a simple lemon posset. 

From by the bay, wishing you lemony food memories!

Lemon Posset
Serves 6
Ingredients3 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups granulated fine sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

In a medium sauce pan add the cream and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour into 6 ramekins. Refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours. To serve mix the lemon zest and sugar together to top each portion.

Ideas for serving Lemon Posset:
1. with fresh berries
2. with whipped cream
3. with cookies – such as shortbread or amaretti
4. with a berry sauce, such as blueberry or raspberry

Watermelon Lemonade

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In the dead heat of the summer, nothing is more refreshing than an icy cold fruit drink. Lemonade is  the most traditional of these beverages. Considered the quintessential American drink, it’s made with a simple syrup of sugar and water  mixed with more water and lemon juice. By adding other fruit purees you can make all kinds of variations . My favorite is watermelon lemonade, the ultimate refreshment. With the height of summer upon us, have an ice cold pitcher ready to serve to quench your thirst. 

From by the bay , wishing you refreshing food memories!

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Watermelon Lemonade
4 cups watermelon, cubed without the rind
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
In a  food processor add the watermelon with 2 cups of water and puree. Strain into a bowl. In a medium sauce pan make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from heat . Add to the water melon mixture with the remaining water and lemon juice. Mix Well. Place in a jar and refrigerate until cold before serving.Serving options:
1. with a splash of vodka for a hard lemonade
2. with a splash of sparkling water
3. with a sprig of mint or basil
4. with sparkling wine
5. with some berries
6. Freeze into a slush or popsicle

Feta, Mint and Lamb Burger with Herb Yogurt Dressing

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My mom is of Greek heritage. One of her many great pleasures in life includes being an active member in the local Greek church. The church has an annual outdoor summer festival, which recently got rained out on opening night. My mom missed the festival and another opportunity to enjoy some  greek food because of torrential rain. So when mom came to visit this past weekend, I decided to make a greek style barbecue. The burgers were made of ground lamb mixed with feta, mint and a nice amount of lemon juice. My yogurt dressing was filled with fresh leafy herbs from the garden. The burgers were a big hit with mom and we had perfect weather too!

From by the bay wishing you some greek food memories!


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Feta, Mint and Lamb Burger with Herb Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4

1 ¾ lb ground lamb

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 soft rolls, split and toasted


In a large bowl combine lamb, lemon juice, feta cheese, mint and salt and pepper. Make 4 patties. Brush the outside of the patties with olive oil on both sides. Preheat grill. Grill approximately 5 minutes on each side or until well done. Place burger on ciabiatta roll along with lettuce, roasted red onion and herb yogurt dressing.


Herb Yogurt Dressing

6 ounces greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoon fresh mint

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Place all ingredients in a food processor, blend well. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast

It’s my first Sunday home after an inspiring vacation in Nashville, Tennessee! The food was so delicious and clearly many people are living the farm to table lifestyle, especially with the close proximity of farms to downtown Nashville. My weekend back home started with the trip to my local farm, where I found the ingredients to make a delicious late summer fruit compote of blackberries, raspberries and dark plums. This autumnal colored compote is a sweet complement to use at breakfast on top of french toast , pancakes or waffles, or at dinner on top of a pork chop or even for dessert on top of ice cream or a slice of pound cake. I decided today to recreate my Nashville experience with bourbon soaked french toast along with the mixed berry and plum compote. It’s a perfect brunch dish for s slow, relaxing Sunday in New York.
From by the bay, wishing you bourbon soaked food memories!
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Vanilla Bourbon Soaked French Toast
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup bourbon ( up to 1/3 cup depending on preference)
4 whole eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
8 slices bread, ciabatta or brioche ( thick slices)
2-4 tablespoons unsalted butter as needed
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Set aside baking sheet with rack to hold french toast warm in oven. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the milk, sugar, bourbon, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon.  Pour into a shallow dish, I use a glass pie plate. Dip the bread into the batter and let sit a minute or two to soak. Add butter to a hot griddle or non stick saute pan. Once the butter is melted place the battered bread on the pan and cook until the bread becomes golden brown. Flip the bread slice over and cook until the other side also becomes golden brown. Place toast on rack in warmed oven and continue to make your french toast using butter as needed. Once done place onto a platter and shift confectionary sugar on top. Serve with butter and maple syrup or fruit compote.
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Mixed Berry and Plum Compote

1 cup mixed berries such as raspberries and blackberries
1 cup chopped plum, pitted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Place all the ingredients into a non reactive medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or when the plums are softened. Serve at room temperature. Can to stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Lemon Poppyseed Plum Muffins

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My grandparents would grow italian plums on their small weekend farm. We always looked forward to early fall when we would have a short but sweet time to enjoy these little purple treats. When I found them at the local farm stand, I bought a big basket of plums and tasked myself with the best way to enjoy them. This weekend, the plums were worked into a delicious lemon and poppyseed muffin. It was a delicious combination and one I’m sure you would enjoy too! Hurry and buy some italian plums before they are gone for the year.
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Lemon Poppyseed Plum Muffins
12 standard size muffins
Ingredients for batter
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup fine granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppyseed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups plums, pitted and chopped, preferably italian plums

Preheat oven to 350 Degree F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin or use paper liner. Sift together in a bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in poppy seeds and set aside. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating to combine.  Using a wooden spoon to mix, alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Add plums and combine, try not to over mix. Pour the batter evenly, into each muffin tin, filling the cup almost to the top. Bake muffins in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly, and remove muffins from the tin. Serve warm or cooled at room temperature.