What do you do when life hands you beautiful summer days and time with family, friends and farmers markets? Duh – you shop, cook dinners, lunches and laugh!

Sweeeeeet corn

This past Saturday found my Mom and I at our local farmers market. I was on the lookout for fresh corn. I had a new charred corn salad to try out from Tracy at Shutterbean. Have you heard the latest podcast from Tracy at Shutterbean and Joy the Baker? (Find them at I made the mistake of listening to them while on the elliptical. Have you ever seen someone at the gym laughing hysterically with their headphones on, oblivious to everyone around them and nearly falling off the machine they were on? Please send them my regards because I can totes relate. Don’t get me started on randomly singing while mid-workout…

The fabulous recipe: Charred corn salad.
Look no further for your next dish to take to a potluck picnic! It is simple, delicious with the perfect amount of heat. I shucked the corn, oiled it up and grilled it for about 12 – 15 minutes on medium high heat. See how beautiful and easy this is?

Hello sweetness

You mix up a quick vinaigrette dressing in a jar: lime juice, olive oil, garlic, ginger, honey, salt/ pepper. Shake it up. Go ahead and dance while you are at it…it does a body good! I varied the recipe slightly: I used half a red and half a habanero pepper. There are fresh herbs – mint and parsley. Just before serving bust out a ripe avocado and slice it up. It results in a delightfully cool corn salad. There is a hint of spice, a carmel-like bites of corn, creamy avocado, crunchy pepper, and the fresh herbs to liven up the dish. People will smile when you serve this. If they do not, well, they must not be a fan of corn salads.  Go into the kitchen and make this. You can thank me later, ok?

Yes. Oh. Yes.

Other dishes at this little dinner soiree were a green and yellow bean salad. Beans were blanched, tossed in a scallion/red wine/ mustard/olive oil/ salt & pepper vinaigrette dressing with some fresh tomatoes sliced up. Oh yes and a little parsley to top it off – that is what fancy chefs would do and I was all about pretending to be a fancy pants chef last night. Fresh, light, and tasty.

Light and lovely

My guests were not eating just salads here. Oh no. There were moose steaks to be grilled along with a few beer brats. Check out the action shot. My Mom was in charge of the grilling last night.

Fired up

I improvised the brats recipe. I simmered these brats (from a local farm – Hogwash Farm) in a bottle of beer, a few crushed garlic cloves, some water and fennel and coriander seed for 10 minutes, rested them in the broth for 10 minutes and then they were grilled up. Tasty.

While we were enjoying dinner I put on the crisps to cook. I had prefilled ramekins with a blueberry, raspberry, peach, blackberry fruit mixture. I had tossed that fruit with a little lemon and lime zest, candied ginger, shot of lemon juice, a tiny bit of sugar and flour. Topped it with a typical crisp topping – flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and some almonds. I stuck the four dishes in a 8 x 8″ pan and grilled them for about 20 minutes on a lower heat. What did we end up with? Where did my crazy experiment get us? Full bellies and smiles on our faces!

Berry crisp with strawberry basil sorbet & wild blueberries

Summer has brought forth some adventures and soon it will be back to school. Until then I will be maxing out my time and filling it with culinary adventures, music projects, and outdoor experiences. I cannot let these precious days pass me by after all. I will be stopping every now and then to smell the flowers, make sure I am not dreaming and thank those lucky stars.

Pause. Reflect. Smile.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

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