Summer Foods

I don’t know about you, but everything I do in the summer seems to be different than any other time of year.  Perhaps it is because of the part of Texas I live in, because my part of the state gets very hot and it is always humid.  Although this is good for the skin, it wrecks the hair and it can get pretty miserable.  There are activities and chores that just have to be done early morning or they cannot be done.  This is my personal opinion..I know some people can survive this heat if they have been trained to pace themselves and are accustomed to this type of weather.  I call them really tough!  

I would say that our meal prep in the summer swings to the easier, cooler, quicker recipes too.  I thought it might be fun, at times, to share some recipes that are my “go tos” during the hottest days.  Although many may not be my originals, these recipes are some I have, perhaps, tweeked or I am using a new ingredient I discovered or an herb I have grown myself.   That is always considered the creative side of cooking.

Although my greatest reward comes in helping women discover their personal style and shopping for them, I can tell you I love planning and cooking meals.  I spend many hours scanning recipes books and talking to others who love to express themselves in the kitchen.  It is for sure a more accepted art, thanks to the likes of Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, Giada, The Pioneer Woman, Martha Stewart and many other great cooks, whose shows are a part of the American way now.

Tonight’s menu consists of a gem I discovered in Southern Living magazine.  I would say I use their magazine more than any other to search for a recipe or try a new recipe.  I am confident their recipes will turn out and I am also confident I will cook most every recipe I try over and over again.  I will also use their recipes when entertaining or cooking food to take somewhere. That is the southern way, right?

On to the recipe now……let me know if you try this delightful recipe.  Although you do have to turn the oven on for this one, it will delight your taste buds I am sure.  I think I cook it every few weeks during the summer months.  I am happy to say, the basil in this recipe is grown by me, see blog post from June 2.  While we did not do a garden this summer, the tomatoes are home grown and shared with me.  I think my friend wanted me to share this prepared treasure.  😉

                    SAVORY SUMMER PIE 

  • Refrigerated pie crust
  • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2T olive oil
  • 2T fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 2 cups (8oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tomatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Fit pie crust into 9″ deep dish tart or pie pan.  
  • Prick bottom and sides with a fork and bake in a 425* oven for 10 minutes and set aside.  
  • Sauté onion 5 minutes, then add garlic and sauté 1 more minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in basil.  
  • Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients; stir in vegetables and cheeses.
  • Pour into crust and top with sliced tomatoes 
  • Bake at 375* for 45-50 minutes until set.  
  • Shield edges with foil after desired browning of crust.  Usually about 25-30 minutes.
  • Let stand 5-10 minutes before plating.

This is a meal I serve with fresh fruit…perhaps a delicious cantaloupe or honey dew melon.  Also nice with some basil and balsamic strawberries.  While I serve this mostly for an evening meal, it is a fabulous brunch idea.  For me, it is the fresh herbs and fresh, summer tomatoes that make this the perfect summer dinner.

This time I did a mango, nectarine salad with fresh basil and a mango pulp vinegar. It blended well with the pie and the colors were beautiful together. Never too much basil for me. 

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