Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Summer Recipes

Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer.  The kids are back at school, football season kicks off today, and, as my daughter informed me just moments ago, pumpkin spice lattes have returned to Starbucks.

I'm usually not as ambitious or adventurous in the kitchen during the summer, but did stumble upon a few recipes that have earned a spot in the regular rotation.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad from skinnytaste.com became an instant family favorite this summer.  You just can't go wrong with tomatoes, black beans, avocados, corn, and a delicious cilantro-lime flavor. I've served it both as a side dish at dinner and alone for a light lunch. The photo is from the skinnytaste website.

Another chilled vegetable recipe I've made multiple times this summer is Honey-Mustard Green Beans with Pecans from Real Simple. It's very easy to prepare, but must be done an hour or so ahead to allow time for the beans to chill.

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Lemon and Caper Sauce was also a big hit. This recipe, from Simply Scratch  via Pinterest, would work well with any mild white fish. I plan to make it often! Next time, however, I won't serve it with the honey-mustard beans... the plate looks lovely, but the flavors don't really complement one another.

Finally, I have to share the recipe for this Banana-Sour Cream Cake from Kraft. I'm not generally a fan of recipes that begin with a cake mix, but will make an exception in this case... it's rich and very delicious! Instead of baking it in a 9 x 13 pan and cutting it in half, I used two square pans and adjusted the baking time.

Have you added any new recipes to your repertoire this summer?


Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has a food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up over the weekend.


26 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about adding tilapia to my menu this week! I'll have to give this recipe a try, although I might have to omit the capers. Not a fan!

    I make that Black Bean Salad quite a bit during the summer months, but for whatever reason, I haven't made it this year! I usually serve it as an appetizer with Fritos or tortilla chips, so it's not quite as healthy as yours. ;)

    It's hot & humid here and still feels very much like summer. Football begins here in Huskerland! Go Big Red! :)

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    1. Les - I'm sure the tilapia would still be very tasty without the capers - the shallots, lemon and parsley would still give it plenty of flavor.

      The Black Bean Salad would be great as an appetizer! I'd just need to chop the ingredients a little finer.

      Syracuse opens their football season today, too... vs Penn State. I love fall:-)

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  2. I love fall too and the whole idea of getting back to baking bread and making soups and stews. We're on opposites of the football field today.

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    1. Beth F - Becoming more comfortable with yeast breads will be my goal for fall/winter this year, and I seriously think I could live on soup. Can't wait for the cooler weather!

      The football game today should be an interesting matchup. We're looking at a new coach, new quarterback... and Penn State is always a formidable opponent.

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  3. These all sound yummy. Especially the cake :)!

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    1. Jama - The cake was delicious, but I would only make it when you expect a crowd. Leftovers would be deadly!

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  4. bean salad - new idea for the (still) warm days ahead...

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    1. Patty - I'm sure I'll be making this at least once or twice more before the season ends.

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  6. We've hardly had any summer weather so I hate to see fall come. That black bean salad looks right up my alley.

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    1. Kathy - Our weather has been crazy this summer, too, but that black bean salad is a treat any time!

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  7. I think my favorite summer recipe is to take a nice fresh local tomato, dice it, toss it in a skillet, heat it until it releases its juices and is bubbling, then crack an egg in it and poach the egg. Serve both over polenta. YUM.

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    1. Amy - That sounds amazing... why have I never thought of that combination before??

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    2. Someone posted it on Twitter a couple of years ago, and it's become my go-to summer breakfast. I should add some oregano.

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  8. Banana sour cream cake - yum!

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    1. Carole - It's so good, it's practically sinful!

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  9. I love black bean and corn salad/salsa, too. This summer I've been eating egg and tomato sandwiches for breakfast and using up my homemade pesto. Since I'm the only one in the house who really likes pesto, I have to eat most of it myself! Take whole wheat bread, toasted or a whole wheat wrap, warmed. Spread a nice layer of pesto on it, top with a fried egg (over hard is how I like it) and slices of garden tomato. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Yummy! My latest food addiction!

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    1. Laurie - Oh my goodness... that sounds delicious!!! I'm the only real pesto lover in this house, too.

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  10. The bean & corn salad is gorgeous. I'll bet we'd really like thos green beans, too.

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    1. Joy - The green beans are so good! My daughter even took the recipe back to college.. she made some this weekend.

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  11. I may have to try that cake recipe - sour cream in cake is usually a very good idea... I need to try your green bean recipe too, before they're out of season again. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Cecelia - Sour cream does wonders for a cake! There's a chocolate sour cream cake recipe somewhere in my files that is to die for...really need to dig it out this fall.

      The green bean recipe is definitely a keeper, too. My daughter is living in an off-campus apartment for the first time this semester and just asked me to send it to her.

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  12. Yum, yum, yum! I'm going to be making the Banana Sour Cream Cake soon minus the nuts since I'm allergic. It looks so delicious. I just finished lunch but after your post I'm hungry again. Lol.

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    1. Darlene - With or without the nuts, that was one delicious cake recipe!

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  13. That fish looks really good. With all the radioactive talk dealing with the Pacific ocean lately, it might be awhile before I enjoy fish again. Sounds extreme but the latest article on the subject is a little scary!

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    1. Ti - Way too many scary articles out there about our food supply lately... sigh. Makes you want to start your own garden and farm.

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