September 2015 “In My Kitchen”

September 2015 “In My Kitchen”

After a break of a couple of months, I am happy to be back in my kitchen. And, happy to be communicating with you again. I’ve missed my readers and fellow bloggers, I’m looking forward to catching up with you. It’s been a very busy summer, filled with what I call “non-cooking” plus a fair amount of travel for both work and pleasure.

September always  marks an ocean shift for me, I sense change in the air. It’s not just the weather (it’s Indian Summer) and a new season. It is the promise of new beginnings. Do you feel that? I think it’s a hold over from school days when September meant new notebooks, pencils, teachers, and reunions with friends.

My blog has it’s first anniversary this month, hard to believe that it has been an entire year!

All the best summer food is fresh, simple, and only lightly cooked (if at all). Here’s a sample of what has been cooking in my kitchen.

Chicken marinated in lime juice and grilled with zucchini, served with a fresh green sauce thickened with avocado.

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini with Green Sauce

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini with Green Sauce

Grilled steak with potato hobo packs (also on the grill), served with pickled shallots and chiles.

Grilled Rib Eye Steaks the Hobo Potato Packs and Pickled Chilies

Grilled Rib Eye Steaks the Hobo Potato Packs and Pickled Chilies

Mexican shredded vegetable salad made for a friend’s daughter’s engagement party.

Mexican Vegetable Salad

Mexican Vegetable Salad

Grilled salmon from off the boats at the harbor in Fort Bragg. The season ends this month so we are enjoying it at every opportunity.

Grilled local salmon

Grilled local salmon

The salmon was marinated briefly in leftover pickle juice from a jar of last year’s beets. It added the lovely pink color you can see here plus a tartness the countered the fish’s richness.

Corn and green bean salad with pickled shallots and jalapeños.

Corn and green bean salad with pickled shallots

Corn and green bean salad with pickled shallots

In my kitchen there are lots of lovely farm fresh tomatoes and two Hass avocados. The tomatoes are best dressed with good olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. All that is needed to make a complete meal is some fresh local cheese and sourdough bread. I cannot eat enough fresh tomatoes as they are now at their peak. The season is too short and winter tomatoes are horrid.

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In my kitchen are the last of the summer’s strawberries. There’s time to make one more batch of strawberry preserves before the season ends.

Organic Strawberries

Organic Strawberries

In my kitchen I have some new tools.

I found this spatula the other day, it’s a new twist on my favorite well-worn fish spatula (the scratched one on the right). The outer edge of the new one has a silicone coating, so you can use it on non-stick pans without scratching them. It makes cooking eggs a breeze, the silicone edge will allow you to scrape the edges of the pan for scrambled eggs, and slide the thin edge under the egg for fried ones.

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These measuring spoons are just the right size and shape for reaching into the jars that herbs and spices come in. Trying to tap ground spices out of the jar onto larger spoons is frequently a messy job. These fit nicely into the jar and there is even a 3/4 tsp. measure.IMG_3488

I’ve been looking for a spiral whisk for a long time. My mother had one (I’m not sure where it went to) and it was amazing for whisking eggs. I finally found one on-line. IMG_3487

And what is this contraption? It’s a “Spiralizer” otherwise known as a spiral vegetable slicer. This one is by Paderno, there are several types available. Paderno was one of the first and gets a high rating on Amazon. You use it to make the famous zucchini noodles that have taken the internet by storm. There are lots of other uses as well and I look forward to experimenting with it. Anyone have any wonderful recipes to share?

Spiralizer

Spiralizer

What’s happening in your kitchen and how has your summer or winter been? A change of seasons is in the air.

This post is part of the on going series “In My Kitchen” hosted by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Follow the link to read about September in kitchens around the world.