still here

Woah. Woah. I don’t even know what happened but summer is here. Along the way there was a spring cleaning overhaul of the apartment, a major Arabic proficiency exam, trips out of town and visits in town and was also a bit of writing papers till 4 in the morning so that I could attend all my brother’s college graduation festivities, which were of course all totally worth it. UNC Chapel Hill is simply gorgeous in May and I couldn’t be prouder of my brother who graduated with honors and also had far and away the most interesting bio of all his policy major classmates (because theirs read like a resume and his was about his love of homebrewing, score). Also I got a corner piece of the cake at the reception (double score).

I have been cooking amidst it all, believe it or not, just gotten a little lazy about the blogging part…so hopefully I’ll start to catch up a little. I’m heading back to Morocco in a month or so, so there will [inchallah] be more Moroccan recipes and food notes and photos and thoughts, but in the meantime I am enjoying a more relaxed schedule and cooking almost every day (also taking a stab at container gardening, so hopefully that will yield some yummy results before long)…

A few recipes are lined up and getting ready to go but in the meantime thought I’d share a few menus using the latest tasty elements gleaned from my CSA box:

best time for a summer meal: after the rain, before the sunset; best place: out on the balcony

Here you see roasted asparagus (simpler is better: bake with olive oil, salt and pepper at 375 degrees for 10 minutes and eat with your fingers) and new potatoes (cut in quarters, parboil till soft then fry till crispy with rosemary and salt and oil) and my favorite new salad: arugula or your fresh greens of choice with apples or strawberries (whichever are handiest), dollops of goat cheese, lavender salt, and instead of a mixed vinaigrette, keep it summer-simple by drizzling it with good olive oil and an exciting balsamic or other vinegar (my favorites are basil vinegar and dark chocolate vinaigrette, which is especially tasty with the fruit).

my creativity got lost in the mix for a while but it is back like a phoenix with this, the greatest summer appetizer i have ever created

All you need is sliced crisp apples (Pink Lady are my favorite) with a piece of earthy peppery arugula, dolce de leche, dark chocolate balsamic vinaigrette (or a thin syrup or shaved dark chocolate, if you don’t have chocolate balsamic), and – best of all – bacon-flavored toothpicks (bacon flavor optional). Like a very small but eclectic party in your mouth.

time for my closeup
beautiful disaster (that's right, I have also been listening to a ton of 90's alternative rock throwback music lately)

Oh dear, I attempted this fabulous recipe and well, as they say, things fall apart. Literally. Fortunately with strawberries, cream, and chocolate, you can’t really go wrong, even if things aren’t especially pretty. This is just the time of year for these three elements to be enjoyed in perfect harmony with a tasty Vinho Verde (or a fresh mint julep, pictured above) outdoors somewhere…


3 thoughts on “still here

  1. You can buy the chocolate infused olive oil (and more!) at “The Art of Oil” in Boone, NC or via their website!

    Looks yummy!!!


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