End of Summer Recipe Inspiration + Other Fun Stuff

August 31, 2017

I hope you’ve been summering well. You know, checking off fun activities like camping, fishing, hiking, boating, traveling, or whatever it is you like to do in the heat. For me, its mostly morning and/or evening fires with a hot latte or glass of crisp rose, riveting conversation or reading material. I also like to spend time in the garden and take long evening walks when the air is still warm but not hot. For some odd reason that perfect temperature calls to memory some of my favorite years of summer fun. I just love it and it makes me feel forever youthful. We also managed to squeeze in the annual camp trip with the nephew and nieces, cast a couple lines, hike a mountain, clink a couple beer glasses in Ireland and cut loose at my little sister’s wedding celebration. So I’d chalk it up to another great summer. But I can’t help to notice that the days are getting shorter and the morning and evening temps are significantly dropping at sunset.  I hate to say it folks but we’re on the brink of Autumn. So I thought I would share a bunch of summer recipes with you before we move into a new season. Some I have been whipping up all summer and the others are on my list to try before the good summer produce vaniches. Let me know if you try any and which one was your favorite!

P.S. I also included a couple fun non-recipe links at the very end.


Crepes with Vanilla Bean Roasted Rhubarb. I have been making these for Sunday breakfast all summer. Instead of roasted rhubarb though I have been making more of a rhubarb compote and topping with strawberries and then raspberries as the summer progressed.

Peggy’s Coffee Cake. This is as good as the article makes it out to be. I’ve made it for the construction and ranch crew a couple times this summer. I tried it in a bunt pan and 8×8 baking dish and I think it tastes better in the baking dish!

Cold Brew with Coconut Creamer. I haven’t tried this creamer yet but its on my list while I am still drinking cold brews.

Healthy(ish) Truffles. I have been making variations of this sweet treat all summer and storing them in my freezer for a 10 o’clock snack. I use almond butter and about half as much as the recipe calls for and I add a generous amount of raw cocoa. Never have dates on hand? I buy a big container of fresh dates from Costco and they keep in the fridge. I am surprised how long they store.

Tartines. Fun idea for a quick and healthy lunch. Get creative with your own combinations. My go-to is homemade hummus and avocado with lemon pepper and sea salt flakes (not so creative but that’s what I like)!

Mexican Corn and Quinoa Salad. If you aren’t at the farmer’s market buying a baker’s dozen of fresh corn……you are crazy!

Four Bean Salad. I make this every summer. So glad my mom’s friend shared her recipe.

Tomatoes and White Bread Salad with Mayonnaise Dressing. You also need to make the pickled tomatoes ahead of time but don’t worry it’s really quick and easy!

Edamame Quinoa Salad. Use your fresh tomatoes and corn right now.

Chicken Avocado Cilantro Lime Soup and Minestrone Verde. This happens every year right about now. I start craving Autumn soups and its too darn early. Usually I make a batch of my corn chowder since corn is what I am picking but this year I switched it up.

Rice and Beans with Steak and Fresh Tomatillo Salsa. If you didn’t grow tomatillos than use a fresh red salsa or any salsa you fancy for that matter! Quick and easy dinner that is delicious.

Roasted Zucchini Pasta Bake. I tried this the other night, its super easy and who doesn’t like a pasta bake. I substituted sour cream for the creme fraiche, I added 2 c. of shredded zucchini to the pasta and roasted some sweet onion slices with the zucchini rounds.

Heirloom Tomato Cheddar Tart with Everything Spice. If this doesn’t make you drool than watch the video here. My tomatoes are ripening on the vine so I will be trying this out shortly! Puff pastry is the only ingredient you might have to run to the market for.

Potato Waffles. Okay, this is probably more of a Fall recipe but I don’t care it’s on my summer list.

Honey Mascarpone Tart with Figs and a Salty Graham Cracker Crust. I want/need to make this so badly but instead of figs I want to use ripe juicy peaches that you can find fresh right now. I read through the post and it seems like a simple tart with only 8 ingredients and shouldn’t take long since its a NO bake.

Whole Fruit Pineapple Peach Lemonade. Have not tried this but with fresh ripe peaches in season I think its a must try.

Honeydew Jalapeno Margaritas. Definitely need to try this recipe.

El Diablo Cocktail. I had know idea what sotol was. After a little research, I found that it’s tequila’s crazy little brother. Think I might like him!

Native Deodorant. Paraben Free, Aluminum Free and Non Toxic Ingredients plus its free shipping and retuns. The coconut vanilla smells like tropical heaven.

I’ve been thinking about these sandals for awhile now. I really should just treat myself for working so darn hard this summer! 🙂

Have you heard about Tocos? It is suppose to act like a creamer but its non-dairy. You can add it your oatmeal, coffee and smoothies to name a few. It’s suppose to do wonders for your skin so I decided I had to try it.

Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel. Bye bye baby oil hello self tanner.

I bought these sunglasses for my mother and they look awesome on her. So much I want to get the same pair but might do these instead.

I think I might finally break down and buy myself a Vitamix Blender. They are running a Labor Day sale. I really want to start making the Glowing Green Smoothie in the morning.

Read this fun little article 10 Things You Need in Your Kitchen According to a Parisian. I couldn’t agree more and also think it’s good entertainment advice. However, I have a wee problem with #9, a splash of full fat milk is a must!

Potato Soup with Green Chiles and a Cheese Crisp + Ceramics

December 8, 2014

Potato Soup

I recently opened an online shop……the Mercantile! You will see a new link to the shop on the right sidebar of the blog or you can click here and start browsing now!

I wanted to create a shop that inspires and spurs creativity in food preparation and enriches the dining experience. So naturally, the shop displays the work of makers near and far. Meredith, the beautiful ceramist behind these rustic yet elegant bowls pictured, is one of the makers featured on the shop. I had the pleasure to meet Meredith a couple weeks ago. She is as every bit lovely as her tableware. She believes in handcrafted and these dishes will revolutionize the way you think about dinnerware. At Dishes with Soul Meredith offers a luxury product with an organic human approach. These dishes are for every day and will compliment a casual lunch or an elegant dinner.

Small batch is better. Invest in the beauty of everyday. ~Meredith

Cheese Crisp

I can’t remember the last time I made potato soup. It has been awhile. Strange considering it always sounds good and it is simple and incredibly warm and cozy. Kind of like chicken soup, which I seem to make all the time. I have a feeling this recipe will be worked into the weekly soup rotation this winter. Don’t forget to make the cheese crisps too. So tasty I am pretty sure my husband is going to order these with every bowl of soup now!


Potato Soup with Green Chiles


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium sized leek, use white and tender green part only
3 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves
1 4 oz. can diced green chillies
4 to 5 red potatoes
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 quart vegetable broth (or chicken)
2 oz. whole milk goat ricotta (I use the local dairy, Amaltheia)


In a large heavy soup pot, heat butter over medium high. Slice leeks and celery and add to pot. Saute until translucent. Chop garlic and add to pot with green chillies. Rough chop red potatoes into bite size chunks and add to pot with mustard and salt and pepper. Add broth and bring to a boil. Turn to low and allow potatoes to cook through. Before serving, add ricotta and stir until smooth. Serve with a hot cheese crisp.

Cheese Crisp

Turn oven to broil. Line baking sheet with tin foil. Add a mound of shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend since the soup includes green chiles) and flatten with your fingers. Leave enough space in between so they do not melt together. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Broiling time and size of crisp will vary depending on size of mounds. Keep an eye on them so you don’t end up a with a charcoal crisp!

Vogue Gardening & Corn Chowder

September 21, 2014

Corn on the Cob

My sister’s and I use to sell sweet corn at the Farmer’s Market in Bozeman when we were little girls. We would spend the night before picking and bagging the corn and then waked at the crack of dawn the following morning to help load all the gunny sacks in the back of the pick-up. Mom and dad would drive us to the market, park the pick-up in our usual spot, ensure we had enough change for the first couple of customers and then give us the thumbs up. We quickly learned our strengths and settled into our positions. The accountant, the laborer, the supervisor and the marketing director. Can you guess who was who? We had fun and learned valuable life lessons. Thanks mom and dad.

So it’s not surprising that I still like to frequent outdoor markets. Even though most produce was plucked from my own garden this summer I often supplemented my baskets with different varieties offered at the market or by a generous neighbor and/or friend. Wandering aimlessly through outside markets is probably one of my favorite ways to pass time. I would start every morning at a market if I could. Nothing suits me more than a basket of produce on the shoulder and a hot beverage and pain au chocolat in hand. I find myself inspired and invigorated after markets and thankful for farmers and ranchers.

It snowed a week or so ago. It warmed up again but the Autumn air is not to be mistaken. So I decided to make this corn chowder for dinner last week. It’s a family favorite. Everyone looks forward to the invite. I often diversify the soup with different toppings. This time, I added a heaping spoonful of tangy roasted poblano salsa. Sometimes its avocado and creme fraiche. Other times it’s a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh herbs. Be creative but be sure to try this tangy poblano salsa at least once!

Corn Chowder

Charred Corn Chowder with Tangy Roasted Poblano Salsa // Serves 4 to 6

5 or 6 ears of corn on the cob, about 2 c. of kernels for the soup
1 medium onion, diced
4 celery stalks and greens, chopped
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. ground cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. quinoa
1/4 c. white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1 c. coconut milk
2 oz. goat cheese ricotta

Tangy Roasted Poblano Salsa

2 poblanos
1/4 red onion, about 1/2 c. diced
1 to 2 limes
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 ear of corn

Heat grill to 400 F. Char corn and poblanos on all sides. Remove from grill and allow corn to cool before handling. Place charred peppers in a plastic bag, twist the top closed and allow to steam until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. Peel off the charred skin and chop poblanos.

In a large stock pot, heat 1 to 2 Tbs. oil to medium. Add onion and celery. Cook until softened and translucent. Add spices and garlic. Rinse quinoa and add to stock pot and toast for about 1 minute. Add white wine and cook until absorbed. Add vegetables broth, bring to a boil and then turn heat down to a simmer until quinoa is cooked. About 15 to 20 minutes. Cut corn kernels from cob and add to stockpot. Reserve 1/2 a cob for the salsa.

Pour half the soup into a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer back to stockpot and add coconut milk and ricotta. Stir until incorporated and turn heat to warm.

In a mixing bowl, add chopped poblanos, diced red onion, corn kernels from 1/2 ear, lime juice, and olive oil. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve soup with a heaping spoonful of salsa.

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

May 20, 2014

I know soup season is over but May weather in Montana is unpredictable. Mother Nature surprised me with 2 to 3-inches of snow a couple weeks ago and as of late, afternoon thunderstorms have set the mood for a warm bowl of lemony soup.

lemony chicken orzo soup


Chicken Noodle Soup

February 18, 2013

For those of you who need help fighting the winter blues. Chicken noodle soup with a little something special. Homemade buckwheat noodles.


Could one ask for a brighter and warmer holiday weekend in a month where some states still look white and cold? Sunday’s temperature reached 70 degrees. I spent the morning like this. Sipping a velvety cappuccino and chit chatting with friends. Meandering through the farmer’s market sampling cheeses and sorting through produce. The afternoon entailing bicycles and milkshakes. But today was different. The leaves rustled and the cool breeze carried a dampness that is sure to develop into drops. So I bring to you something warm and comforting.

I pretty much survive on soup through the winter months. It is nutritious, comforting, easy and delicious. But these warm sunny days bring new dishes with them. So I thought I ought to accommodate tomorrow’s weather with a warm bowl of chicken and noodles. So I hope I am not too late to entice you into the kitchen for a wintery recipe. READ MORE

Spicy Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

January 14, 2013

with, of course, COOPER BEEF!


Who doesn’t love a bowl of chili on cold rainy day?


Who doesn’t love a bowl of chili any day?

Juicy beef. Earthy sweet potato. Silky black beans. This chili will not disappoint. And just like lasagna, it’s even better the next day.

You can easily convert this recipe to a vegetarian chili. Simply eliminate the ground beef and substitute vegetable broth for beef broth. I of course, love beef and think it adds a plethora of flavor. READ MORE

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