Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

An elegant Fall cocktail made with homemade pear syrup spiced with cinnamon and star anise. A garnish of fresh rosemary adds an herbal note which balances the warm, spicy sweetness.

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Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad With Feta

A bean salad doesn’t have to be boring. Creamy white beans absorb the bright flavor of a vinaigrette in just a few minutes. Paired with briny olives, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, and served in lettuce cups, they make a quick and substantial dinner.

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Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes cooked in individual cast iron skillets. They puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown before we spoon in homemade lemon curd and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.

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Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

Spiced Poached Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary

An elegant Fall cocktail made with homemade pear syrup spiced with cinnamon and star anise. A garnish of fresh rosemary adds an herbal note which balances the warm, spicy sweetness. 

Some people hate to see summer end. To those intrepid folks the first chilly day signals the end of everything fun; swimming in the ocean, riding with the top down, prancing in cabana wear.

Well, those people are wrong. Summer is horrible. It’s hot. It’s humid. The only good thing about summer is the tomatoes. And corn. The rest of summer can suck it. Okay fine, swimming is fun but who has time? And yes, if I had a convertible I would probably enjoy driving with the top down, but I have a Subaru and it doesn’t even have a sun roof.

Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad With Feta

Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad With Feta

Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad With FetaA white bean salad doesn’t have to be boring. Creamy cannellinis absorb the bright flavor of a vinaigrette in just a few minutes. Paired with briny olives, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, and served in lettuce cups, they make a quick and substantial dinner.

Note: This recipe is part of our series for Serious Eats.

We’re as guilty as anyone else of “lazy salad syndrome”. If we can get away with opening a box of pre-rinsed greens and throwing on a dab of supermarket dressing, we’ll do it. As a side salad, that might just about be acceptable. But if we’re making a salad as its own dish – for a quick summer meal, for example – it’s inexcusably lame. But with just a little effort and really no time at all, I can prepare this white bean salad with ingredients I already have in the pantry. Most of the ingredients for this recipe are kitchen staples, and the only things I need fresh are cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and lettuce.

Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

These mini Dutch Baby pancakes are puffy and beautifully golden brown. They’re just right for breakfast, brunch or dessert. We filled ours with homemade lemon curd and fresh blueberries.


When I tell you I’m currently obsessed with mini Dutch babies, do you picture me chasing a tiny child in wooden clogs through a small European town? As delightful as that sounds, you can rest assured: the children of the Netherlands are safe. [Note from Matt: just in case, though, lock up your kinderen.] I’m actually referring to Dutch Baby pancakes (also known as German (Deutsch, y’see) Pancakes, or a Dutch Puff).

Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Dutch Baby fillings can be sweet or savory. Try one with french ham and melted Gruyere cheese.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Lemon-Garlic Tomato and Chicken Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Lemon-Garlic Tomato and Chicken Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

Grilled chicken doesn’t always need a long marinade to be full of flavor. These spend just a few minutes in a lemony-garlicky mix before they’re grilled to charred perfection. The hot chicken absorbs the flavor of the fresh basil chimichurri, and the grilled cherry tomatoes bring sweetness and acid.

(This recipe appeared earlier on Serious Eats.)

We need only the slightest of excuses to cook outside in the peak of heat-wave summer. Turn the stove on? Ah, no, thank you. Making a quick-marinated chicken dish that we can throw on the grill is an ideal solution. And, if we can use the Mediterranean heroes of the summer vegetable garden—tomatoes and basil—so much the better. Not only do tomatoes and basil taste great together, they also have a symbiotic relationship in the garden; companion gardening with the two plants in proximity improves their resistance to pests.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken and Tomato Kebabs with Basil Chimichurri

Prepping basil and parsley for the chimichurri

Lemon and Black Sesame Buttermilk Pound Cake

Lemon and Black Sesame Buttermilk Pound Cake

lemon sesame seed pound cakeLemon Sesame Seed Pound Cake! An unconventional combination which really works. Buttermilk keeps the cake tender, and lemon in the cake, syrup and glaze gives it a triple lemon tang.

I discovered this afternoon why I love buttermilk.

At my grandparents’ house, the small conservatory at the back was where we’d hang out on a summer’s day. It was walled with sofas, chairs and cabinets, as well as their vinyl collection and record player. I didn’t have any interest in most of the music, but they also had some comedy records — daft 1950s British singles by Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins and Terry Scott — and a couple of American albums, one of which included Bob Newhart’s one-sided telephone conversations. In retrospect, it was probably the first time I’d heard a genuine American accent other than on the occasional episode of Dallas or Dynasty. The last joke on the Bob Newhart* album was just called “Buttermilk” and was about 20 seconds long and went like this: “I discovered this afternoon … (pause) … why … (pause) I don’t like buttermilk.” (Long pause for laughter) “… It’s the way the glass looks when you’re through drinking it.”

Lemon and Black Sesame Buttermilk Pound Cake

A quarter cup of seeds give the batter a little crunch.

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