I am not a summer person. Probably because I don't live near a beach, or up in the fresh air of a mountain retreat or maybe because I don't even have a pool ( I would love a pool). I live where the three H's run rampant the month of August! Hazy, Hot and Humid are my constant companions. I play a game of cat-and-mouse most summers trying to dodge them any way I can. Mostly, I hide in the comfort of my air conditioned home or my air conditioned car. I spend time in air conditioned shops and restaurants and  only go out early in the mornings or later in the evenings when the temperatures are a little more tolerable.

This year I might be rethinking my adversity of summer. Yes, it is still unbearable, but the garden is the best we have had in years! I am finding myself scooping up my gathering basket, calling for the dog and heading out to the garden to see what goodies are ready for the picking... even in the heat of the afternoon. I am sweeping the porch and fussing over the potted flowers. I think my garden is a peacemaker between summer and me.

This summer has zoomed by like an express train and soon my official favorite time of the year will be here, Autumn. I have seen glimpses (preview) of Fall on some blogs. But they will not temp me! I am going to embrace the last month of summer this year and give it a big sweaty hug! I will live in the day, even the heat of the day and not shove summer out the door like an unwelcomed guest!

Summer, you are still welcomed here... at least until the crisp air of Autumn blows you out the door!

HERE'S WHAT ON THE MENU...





MONDAY
Grilled White Balsamic Chicken
Braised  Whole Chokeless Baby Artichokes
Crusty Bread (for sopping up that wonderful braising liquid)

photo: Wives With Knives

Recipe: Braised Chokelesss Baby Artichokes
This is one of those recipes that make me weak kneed! I have such a love for artichokes. Braising anything brings out  such great flavor too. Can you just taste it by looking at this fabulous image from Kathy? Wives With Knives (such a great name) is one of my favorite cooking blogs! Kathy's recipes are always so consistently delicious and filled with wonderful ingredients. Her pictures make me want to lick my computer screen. Go visit Wives With Knives for this delicious recipe by clicking HERE.

TUESDAY
Walnut Cream Sauce Ravioli
Broccoli Rabe

Recipe: Walnut Cream Sauce Ravioli
Some blogs are addictive! Thank goodness most are not fattening! The Arizona Russums is a blog that could be harmful to your waistline!  A sorta new blogger with such great recipes! I want to try every one! Go visit and get this easy yet company worthy main dish by clicking HERE.

WEDNESDAY
Bourbon Barbecued Pork Chops
Smashed Potato
Grilled Onions And Tomatoes

Recipe: Bourbon Barbecued Pork Chops
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 bone-in pork loin chops
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 TBS minced ginger
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, halved
1 TBS vegetable oil

Preheat grill to medium high. Turn off one side of the burners. Put 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3 cups warm water in a large bowl. Add the pork and soak for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, the remaining brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

Grill onions and tomatoes over direct heat 3 minutes per side for the tomato and 4-5 minutes for the onion.

Remove pork from the brine and pat dry. Brush with vegetable oil and grill over direct heat for 3 minutes per side. Transfer to cooler side of the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes more per side, brushing with the sauce.
A printable copy of this recipe can be found HERE.

THURSDAY
Shrimp Creole
Sticky Rice

photo: Designs By Pinky


Recipe: Shrimp Creole
I haven't make Shrimp Creole in a very very long time! My very dear friend Pinky (isn't that the best name) from Designs By Pinky made creole that looks scrumptious... a must try! Please go visit my friend and tell her I sent you. She is one of my favorite people! Click HERE to visit and get this southern favorite!

FRIDAY
Lobster Rolls
Coleslaw
Homemade Baked Veggie Chips

Recipe: Lobster Roll
Look for this yummy summer treat in a upcoming post!

Recipe: Coleslaw
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 carrot, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 TBS sugar (I use spoonable Splenda)

Mix mayo, vinegar, mustard and sugar in a large bowl. Add coleslaw mix and carrot. Toss to coat. Serve or refrigerate.
Printable Recipe

SATURDAY
Grilled Vegetable Anitpasta Dinner Platter
Grilled Focaccia Bread

SUNDAY: Soup Day
Roasted Garden Tomato Soup With  Garlic Croutons
Open Face Fontina Cheese Sandwich

Recipe: Roasted Garden Tomato Soup With Garlic Croutons
4 lbs tomatoes (I use Roma)
6 cloves garlic, do not peal
4 TBS good olive oil
sea salt, good pinch
pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
2 TBS butter
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream ( I use 1/2 cup cream cheese, cut into small chunks and a couple of TBS heavy cream)
Garlic croutons, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half and place in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour and cool. Peel garlic.

In a large dutch oven, heat 1 TBS and butter over medium heat. Add onions, oregano and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent.

Add tomatoes, garlic and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and using an emulsifying blender, blend until smooth OR bled in batches in a blender. Pour liquid through a sieve and discard any solid pieces.

Put liquid back in the dutch oven and reheat. When soup is hot add heavy cream and stir until blended.
If you are adding cream cheese, stir over heat until melted and then add heavy cream.

Ladle into bowl, shave Parmesan cheese over the soup and add croutons.

Homemade Croutons:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
I always keep crusty bread in the freezer. When a loaf gets a little old, I make croutons. If you have a fresh loaf, leave it out to get a little stale. One or two day old bread from the grocer's is perfect!
Cube bread and put it on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle olive oil (or melted butter, or both) over bread cubes. Sprinkle with garlic salt and herbs of your choice. I sprinkled on a very light dash of Tuscan herbs.
Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once until they are golden brown. Cooking time depends on the denseness and freshness of the bread. Watch your croutons closely, I always seem to burn mine!



What Else Is On The Menu At StoneGable:



Peach Cobbler In A Bag









PANZANELLA SALAD






Here's what to do with all the wonderful garden herbs...





HERB BUTTER





WHAT'S ON YOUR MENU...



I can't wait to see all of your delicious dishes. Thank you for joining ON THE MENU MONDAY! 

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