Well, folks, it’s finally here; fall is just a few days away. As usual, stores have been stocking fall, Halloween, and (!) Thanksgiving decorations for weeks as well as advertising pumpkin-flavored everything. We had a glorious day of fall weather last weekend (during which I convinced the hubby to let me put up my fall decorations, yay!), but this week it’s been back to hot weather (though admittedly not quite as hot as before). Still, I’m looking forward to the air slowly getting crisper and cooler. In honor of the end of summer, I’m posting two very summery recipes for you to say goodbye with.
But first…let’s talk about some upcoming deals! As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, tomorrow (9/19) is National Talk Like a Pirate Day. As usual, Krispy Kreme is offering some free donuts for dressing or talking like a pirate. (Get more details at their website.)
From now through Sunday (9/21) between 2 and 6 PM, Starbucks is offering a buy one, get one free fall drink special. This is good for hot or cold fall flavored drinks, so you can get a nice treat no matter what the weather in your area is like.
Lastly, September 22 is National Ice Cream Cone Day. Because of that, Sonic is offering 1/2 price vanilla cones all day long. That seems like a pretty good way to let go of the summer.
My first summery dish is a twist on falafel using summer’s ever-present vegetable, zucchini. We had these sandwiches a couple of months ago, but their delicious flavor is still in my mind. I’ve recently changed my strategy for dealing with potential recipes. I’ve always been a fan of writing my recipes out on 3×5 cards. I like having a consistent format, plus I prefer to keep all of my recipes in a central location. Lately though, I’ve been pickier about committing to writing down a recipe. Thank goodness for Pinterest! For iffier recipes (As in, I think it looks good, but I’m not 100% sure if the hubby and I will really like it.), I’ve been pinning the recipe to a hidden Pinterest board. (I use a hidden board because I’m pinning for content and not worrying if the picture is as drool-inspiring as what I keep on my regular boards.) This lets me keep a recipe handy, but not expend time writing it down until I’m sure we like it. I was a little surprised at how much both of us enjoyed this, but after just one bite, I knew that I would be writing this one down and keeping it for a long time. Besides being incredibly easy to make, this dish goes a long way (8 servings) and is very inexpensive. I especially love that you’re eating a bunch of vegetables but they have so much flavor, you won’t miss the meat. Enough talk, here’s the recipe.
Zucchini Patty Sandwiches (from Whole Living)
1 15 1/2 oz. can rinsed, drained chickpeas
1 c. bread crumbs
1 grated zucchini
1 small grated red onion
1 lightly beaten egg
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 toasted whole wheat pitas
1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
8 leaves lettuce
1 c. mint leaves
1. In a bowl, mash the chickpeas til smooth. Stir in the bread crumbs, zucchini, onion, egg, and salt. Form into eight 4 x 1/2 in. patties.
2. Saute the patties in the oil til they’re golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes per side.
3. Halve the pitas and stuff them each with 1 patty, 1 lettuce leaf, some yogurt, and some mint. (We served ours with yogurt, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Yum!)
And of course, my last summer recipe is for ice cream. While we were on vacation, my mom and I made a delicious ice cream featuring two of my favorite summer flavors: coconut and pineapple! Though the ice cream was a little too rich for us, we still really enjoyed the flavor, and I’ll definitely make it again. The mixture is very easy to make and yields a small batch of this delicious, sweet treat.
1 c. heavy whipping cream (Next time, I’ll use half & half so it’s not quite as rich.)
1 well-stirred 15 oz. can cream of coconut
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 .c drained, crushed pineapple
1/4 c. coconut
1. In a saucepan, combine the cream (or half & half), cream of coconut, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, til the mix begins to steam. Do not let it come to a boil.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the milk, cornstarch, milk powder, and vanilla. Stir til smooth and both powders are dissolved.
3. Add the cornstarch mix to the saucepan and bring the mix to a boil over low heat. Whisk til smooth and simmer 2 minutes or til thickened. If the mix is lumpy, strain through a sieve. Stir in the pineapple and coconut.
4. Transfer the mixture to a storage container or bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mix. Refrigerate til completely chilled.
5. Once chilled, freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. You can serve it immediately or freeze it til it’s hard.
Lastly, I found a great summer song to close this post and this season with. It’s by Ariana Grande and is called Daydreamin’. Though the lyrics say she’s daydreaming about her date that evening, I’d rather daydream about the upcoming fall season and the food that goes with it. (Chili anyone?) Either way, I really enjoy the song’s easygoing, retro feel. What are you daydreaming about this week?