Summer Cooking

Even though I'm not a hot weather person, there are some things I truly love about the summer. Many of which, involving eating...or more specifically, how and what I eat.

For example, I adore ice tea in the summer. Strong. Unsweetened. And, lots of it.

I, also, find that we tend to crave lighter meals and fresher ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, salads...it seems almost instictual.

Anyway, I want to try to post some lighter recipes from my cookbooks. One of them is even called summer cooking. So, get out the ice tea maker and clean off the patio furniture...here is my 1st one.

Rosemary-Lemon Chicken

This can be served hot or cold, with a salad, some grilled vegetables, or a light pasta. And, it's even better with your favorite Chardonnay!

Whisk together:
1 cup of water
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. of dried)

Poke chicken breasts with a fork a few times, and marinate for about 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400. Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs, and cook on a foil lined cookie sheet for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.




Saturday, March 28, 8:30-9:30 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2009, people around the world will turn their lights off for one hour. Earth Hour 2009 is a global call to action to stand up, take responsibility, and get involved in working toward a sustainable future. People across the world will turn off their lights and join together in a vital conversation about the future of our planet.

Already 700 cities in 78 countries (double the number of countries that participated in 2008) are committed. This number grows every day as people realize how such a simple act can have such a profound result in effecting change. Iconic buildings and landmarks worldwide – including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign – will stand in darkness.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning their lights off for one hour. Within a year the event had gone global, with up to 50 million people participating in 35 countries. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Coliseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour. Las Vegas is a flagship city for 2009.



As many of you know, I am not a big vegetable eater. I like my corn, I LOVE potatoes, and a few others in moderation. But, when my organic tirade began, so did eating better. And, eating better equals more vegetables...at least in Mrs. K's world.

My latest adventure has been cauliflower. Now, I don't love broccoli, at least not the way I LOVE potatoes, but I don't mind it and do eat it on a biweekly or so basis...'cause its good for you. Anyway, in my grocery store, next to the broccoli, is the cauliflower.


My inner dialogue went something like this: It looks like broccoli, so it might be OK. But, its white like potatoes, which I LOVE, but I am pretty sure it doesn't taste like potatoes. How do you even cook it? I'll wait 'til I can find a recipe for it.

This went on for a month or so.

Then in one of my healthy cookbooks there it was "Cauliflower Mash". As in you can't tell the difference between potatoes mash. I did a Chris Griffin "WHHHAAAT!?!?" at that one. I was determined to defy this recipe, 'cause if any Irish girl knows her potatoes, its this one!

So I buy the cauliflower. And I make the cauliflower mash. And... I like it. Now, I absolutely could tell the difference between the cauliflower and potatoes, and I am willing to submit to a blind taste test, but...I liked it, and that's huge for me.

So, next I tried "Cauliflower Gratin". Also, very delish, and that is what I recommend you try. So, here is the recipe.

Cauliflower Gratin
1 (3 lbs) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 Tbl butter, divided
3 Tbl all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¾ cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbl of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 tsp of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8” x 11” x 2” baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining ¼ cup of Gruyere & sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 Tbl of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Even if you don't try this recipe, do try cauliflower.