Summer Loving

Dear fellow food bloggers, hear me out. Put the pumpkin down, step away from the cinnamon, ginger, and clove, and stash those cranberries back in the fridge for a little while longer. It’s still summer, for crying out loud! Sure, there are more brisk mornings and fewer sweltering afternoons, but even the calendar agrees that summer hasn’t given up the ghost just yet. Rather than rush head-long into the colder part of the year, I’m relishing every remaining minute of sun, and yes, even the humidity that it sometimes brings. While so much of the blogosphere seems to have moved on, casting aside the brilliant berries, tomatoes, and corn still at the market, the move seems painfully premature. Those root vegetables will still be there next month- For the next 5 months, at that- So I hope you’ll at least indulge me while I share a brief overview of a few things I’ve been loving all season long. It’s not too late to enjoy them for yourself!

Essentially an enhanced water drink, Bai5 was initially an impulse buy that turned into something of an obsession. It’s definitely a treat, considering the expense, but I can’t get enough of the intense yet natural fruit flavors. Congo Pear is my all-time favorite, granted I haven’t tried any that I wasn’t fond of. For hot summer days, there were few drinks more refreshing that I found to stock my fridge with, although that stash never lasted long.

Homegrown tomatoes. ‘Nuff said.

Up the ante a bit with heirloom tomatoes and juicy peaches together, namely in a bold salad with corn, tofu feta, and fresh basil. Eat it chilled or stuff it into some puff pastry and you’ve got yourself one killer appetizer. Get the recipe at Go Dairy Free.

Not one to shy away from sugar, I was reluctant to taste the No Sugar Added Coconut Ice Creams recently release by So Delicious. They aren’t without flaws, as they carry a faint stevia aftertaste that detracts somewhat from the overall experience, but the texture doesn’t suffer one bit. An incredible feat considering how essential sugar is to the prevention of ice crystals in traditional scoops. I would heartily recommend the Butter Pecan in particular to anyone watching their intake of sweets.

Rich, highly spiced Ethiopian food at Lalibela in New Haven, CT. Okay, so this one isn’t actually seasonal at all, and may in fact be better suited for colder weather, but I can’t resist listing this gem of a restaurant. It just so happens that a recent trip stands out as one particular high point of my summer dining experiences. A whole vegan section of the menu ensures a wealth of choices for eaters of all persuasions, and that delightfully spongy injera can’t be beat when paired with absolutely any dish on offer. Although my visits are few and far between, it always exceeds my expectations, seeming to improve upon each subsequent visit. If you’re local, or semi-local, it’s definitely worth a trip from a hundred miles away.

That’s all for now, but by no means an exhaustive list of all the edible and drinkable delights that have crossed my path this season. For those, you’ll have to stay tuned for more in-depth reviews to come!

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30 thoughts on “Summer Loving

  1. The tomatoes with the peaches look scrumptious. Summer is still very much here weather wise in Atlanta, but I am definitely yearning for that fall weather so I can bust out the hoodies and pumpkin.

  2. I’m so with you on backing away from maybe not fall, but Halloween! I know it’s a big holiday for many but it’s not really high on my list. I’d enjoy it more if I could make treats instead of having to buy candy. But it’s definitely summer here in the Chicago area–mid-90’s and very humid today. By the weekend, it’s supposed to be 25 degrees or so cooler, so that will be nice but weird. Anyway, perfect weather today for staying the house and unpacking.

    Restaurant reviews. Do you have any for San Francisco? We’re going there in just under two weeks and I’ll have three glorious days to explore while my husband’s at an enormous IT conference.

    Enjoy your day!

    janet

  3. We have Bai at work, but for some reason I haven’t bought a bottle yet. I will have to give it a shot.

    Ethiopian food is some of my favorite. Luckily DC is packed with Ethiopian restaurants, so I don’t have to go long between my next injera fix.

    I am definitely embracing the cooler weather, but will not give up my iced coffee for a few more weeks!

  4. Thanks for telling me about the restaurant. I was born, 43 years ago, in New Haven. New Haven is about 2 hours from my house and 90 min. from work, but I might make the journey.

    1. I never thought to compare the two, but I guess you’re right, dosas do have similarities in shape and function. The texture is completely different though- Where as dosa is stiff and crispy, injera is chewy and spongy. I wouldn’t want to go without either!

      1. Hannah, homemade dosas are neither stiff nor too crisp- (yes for my kids I’d make them with crunchy edges). What restaurants serve are very different. Have you eaten appams or hoppers ever? Those are closer to a dosa- it’s the same batter, fermented with toddy and with coconut milk added.
        Come home for a true dosa experience :)

      2. Ah, well perhaps I’ve only eaten poorly prepared dosa before! Ha, I really would have no way of knowing. Sadly, I have never come across appams or hoppers at all. I so wish we had a wider variety of local dining options!

      3. http://www.ohtastensee.com/2010/06/22/sarahs-yeasted-appams/

        http://maneadige.blogspot.sg/2008/12/paper-plain-dosa.html

        I’m sending you two images. Dosas and appams are country cousins. And as you can imagine there are a hundred variations. The biggest difference though is that homemade dosas are softer, healthier versions of the huge, crunchy, unsubstantial, restaurant versions.
        And to confuse you a little more- the same batter can be steamed to make the super healthy, protein-rich idli. http://www.sailusfood.com/2005/11/21/idli-sambar-coconut-chutney/
        R

  5. I’m trying to cling onto summer but it’s rainy and much colder here than it has been for a long time…:( I’ve eaten probably the last of the peaches and nectarines but I have got lots of berries stashed in the freezer :)
    That peach/tom salad looks divine and I adore Ethiopian food.

  6. Alas, summer has just this week fled these shores. I might still be able to squeeze a last joyful tomato and peach salad out of it before I put on my warmest jumper and put on the heating again. I love the look of that salad – it’s a great last hurrah!

  7. I’m totally with you! Especially because it’s been warmer here the last couple days than it was in August. And corn, heavenly fresh corn, is everywhere! I wait all year for that to happen. Though I’ve gotta get some summer fruit while there’s still time, I’m usually boring and just get ‘nanas, but then in the middle of January I’m cursing my summer self for not living it up more. We ate Ethiopian food the other day! So good.

  8. Nice and summery salad Hannah…I always like fruits in salad…
    I have tried Bai5 and liked it…not too sweet but refreshing and flavorful.
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead :D

  9. i totally hear you.. its 90s this week in the northwest after weeks of 60s.. we slept with 3 fans in t he room yesterday. the third for the dogs who were sleeping under the bed:)
    i can ethiopian in any season. my parents have never tasted stevia anything and pleasantly liked the no sugar so delicious ice creams. they are now missing all the ice creams back home and mom has been bugging the larger markets to carry some non dairy milks and ice creams:)) (this in central india and she already found some flavored almond milk)!

  10. I’ve seen the tomato/peach combo before but have never tasted it. Yours looks refreshing!
    Good info on the no sugar coconut ice creams. I’m not a fan of any sugar free desserts but it’s good info to pass on.

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