All Things Bright and Beautiful

Summer provides a revitalizing palette for my soul. (Ahhhh…) Besides the brilliant backdrop of greens and blues from our lawn, lake, and sky, there’s a veritable rainbow of fresh produce to cook with — and eat.

Serenity mixed with intensity.

Looking back through the ol’ blog archives (which I do every once in awhile to ensure that my writing and photographic integrity are still intact) I was tickled to rediscover these blasts from the past in somewhat “rainbow” order:

Regarding the Ranier cherries in the first photo (with a batch of ‘flat belly water’ in the background —see previous post) and the bell peppers below….

Sometimes colors meld into each other, transitioning from one hue to the next like “in between” colors of the rainbow. Love when that happens! Gradual is the name of the game here.

The striated cherries were a lovely snack all week and the peppers are soon to be stuffed. (Sorry, no recipe — “throw-together” supper tonight.)

What’s your favorite color of the rainbow and/or summer food to eat?

Enjoying subtle transitions,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ Summer 2019

In My Kitchen… it’s Summertime and the living is easy. (Sing along if you know it!) Roadside farmer’s market stands are popping up everywhere with a vibrant array of vegetables and I feel blessed to have access to their bounty.

My own garden is coming along nicely, too. The tomatoes and cherry tomatoes (front and center) were picked just outside our back door this morning. Although my plot isn’t as large and prolific as most of my friends’, it feels good (and tastes twice as good) to grow my own. The Man Of Few Words and I were also blessed when some of our lake neighbors offered to water everything while we were away over the Fourth of July. Good friends.

Good eatin’ when we got home, too!

In My Kitchen… is (was) a bowlful of Potato Salad with Dill Pickles courtesy of Karen from The Backroad Journal. (It was her mother’s recipe and it was dang good!) Apparently adding dill pickles is a Southern “thang”… a fellow at the Mission recently raved about it and how much he missed that flavor. Guess I know what I’ll be making for our next church potluck dinner. :)

In My Kitchen… I debated whether or not to show some of the kitchen gadgets I’ve acquired since Spring. Most of you probably have them in your kitchens already, but they were new to me and too fabulous not to share. First up, my fish spatulas…

I’ve read about them, pondered how to use one if I had one (and/or how often or where I’d store it), but curiosity finally got the best of me. Plus, The Man Of Few Words keeps catching fish! The one on the left is from Pampered Chef and features a longer oval handle. The one on the right is from T-Fal and has a beveled edge. Which one to keep? I kept ’em both!

A lake girl can never have too many fish spatulas.

In My Kitchen… BLT’s are in progress with my new/used Black & Decker griddle — look away, my vegan and vegetarian friends, sorry! — another “find” at the Mission. I tried to take a photo of just the griddle, but it was rather shy (or difficult) and BLT’s are one of our favorite summer “sammiches.” Plus, it cooks and cleans like a dream. No more spatters, stove jobs, or skillet scrubbing to make one sandwich.

I also tried to depict my infusion pitcher, but the Oklahoma sunlight (and pitcher) wouldn’t cooperate. Right now I’m infusing a batch of Flat Belly Water. Ever heard of it? The first recipe I found called for 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup strawberries, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and a liter of filtered water. Check. Then I did more research.

Also known as “Flat Tummy Water” (and/or the Flat Tummy Detox), many of the recipes required ginger, cucumbers, and mint. The strawberry/blueberry version also seems to be turning out rather “purple-ish muddled-looking.” Now I don’t know who or WHAT to believe! However, I do know that drinking more water — no matter what flavor or color — during the summer is beneficial. Plus, I came home from Minnesota with more “middle” than usual as always (aarrgh!) and consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, and water helps. Do whatever works for you!

Last but not least, In My Kitchen… is this set of dishcloths, a potholder, and a towel that properly depict SUMMER — a vibrant “thank you gift” from a lake guest. (How thoughtful!) May your days be as colorful and unexpectedly blessed, no matter what season.

Thanks, too, to Sherry of Sherry’s Pickings for hostessing In My Kitchen each month, and for being so amenable as to include my seasonal inspirations, xo. I’ve missed you and everyone worldwide there! Looking forward to catching up.

Enjoying lake life,

~ Kim

Frozen Pineapple Cilantro Mojito

Cilantro Mojito

One of the most refreshing beverages I had last summer was this Frozen Pineapple Cilantro Mojito. (Just brought home the ingredients to make a batch this weekend… and yes, I know it’s only Wednesday… some things are worth the wait. ;)

Now that our temps have soared to 100º F, I’m ready for more. (Cocktails, not heat!)

Credit goes to “Baking A Moment” and this recipe. Many thanks! Ahhhhh…

Enjoying a lil’ heat relief,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ July 2014

Lox & Bagel Pizza 2

(Kindly hover for the hocus pocus ;)

In My Kitchen… is Lox & ‘Bagel’ Pizza.

This lil’ combo was a rainy day project, and a mighty tasty one, too. (Recipe follows.)

I was craving smoked salmon (when am I not?!) and when it rains my oven is on!

In My Kitchen… is fresh tomato pasta sauce.

With a smidge of fresh basil and oregano, a few cloves of garlic, a grind of the pepper mill and a pinch of sea salt, standing over the stove soon leads to sauce-dom!

But when the sun is shining…

In My Kitchen… I’m nowhere to be found.

Our dear friends brought over a mouth-watering shrimp boil and I ‘filled in’ the rest — salad greens & homemade Ranch dressing with a kick (thank you, Colleen!), Tandoori chicken skewers (thanks, Dennis!), a delectable dipping oil with focaccia, my beloved olives ;) and the quintessential dessert: chocolate chip cookies. A picnic table repast!

By the way, I did discover a couple of ‘finds’ since the last IMK. Look closely and you’ll see a glorious lil’ copper pot doubling as a serving tray for the aforementioned cookies, plus a pair of rustic-looking placemats in the first photo. Long live thrift stores!

Okay, here’s that pizza recipe…

Lox & Bagel Pizza

1 (7.5 oz.) gluten free pizza crust mix, prepared per pkg. instructions
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. light cream
2 oz. freshly grated Parmesan
1 small fresh tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
Toppings:
Smoked salmon
Capers
Green onions with tops, sliced diagonally
Fresh basil, cut ala chiffonade (ribbons)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Make pizza crust as directed (or not — I subbed Feta cheese for the recommended grated Cheddar.) Press dough onto an ungreased baking sheet to form a thin crust with slightly raised edges.

Mix cream cheese and cream until smooth; spread over crust. Top with tomato and onion slices. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 13-15 minutes.

Top with smoked salmon, capers, green onions, and basil. Eat!

In My Kitchen is a monthly event cordially hostessed by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Please see the links in her sidebar and do pop in to say hello — kitchens from around the world are at your fingertips!

Enjoying summer fun in my kitchen — & out,

~ Kim

© 2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

BLT Bruschetta (Among Other Things)

BLT Bruschetta

Have you ever made a batch of something and it (and the mess on your kitchen counter) kept… growing?  Goulash and potato salad come to mind.  I’ve never been able to make either without total kitchen counter chaos and enough to feed a family of ten.

Summer is a the perfect time to slow down, scale back, and simplify.  Yes?

One afternoon I decided to make bruschetta.  (Thanks for the how-to, Claudia!)  Since my kitchen was already heating up, I made mine on the grill.  (They’re delicious either way.)

After tending to the thick slices of browning baguette (the whole loaf — no sense firing up the grill for two pieces of bread), I came inside with visions of “BLT’s” dancing in my head.  Bacon, lettuce, and tomato.  Simple enough.

Fried the bacon, sliced the tomatoes, rinsed/drained/patted dry the arugula, dotted the assembly with mayo, drizzled olive oil, and ground some black pepper over the top.  Good to go.

But, there were still six slices of bruschetta left.  (By the way, Bruschetta means “to roast over coals” — gotta watch ’em closely.)  Just sayin’.

How about portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, olives, and baby spinach — with Balsamic vinegar?  An armload of ingredients and another trip to the fridge later and more slicing, layering, and drizzling ensued.

(The crispy critter on the left is mine.)

Portobello Olive Balsamic Bruschetta

At this point, my cutting board was teeming with bits of leftover produce and there were still three empty bruschetta.  What to do?  I diced all of the above (sans bacon for a vegetarian version), sliced green onions (after another trip to the fridge), mixed the aforementioned in a bowl, added olive oil and balsamic, spooned it onto the bread and grated Asiago over the top.  Done deal.

Except to clean the kitchen.

Asiago Green Onion Bruschetta

May I sit down now?  Please?  Before summer’s completely over?

Deck Dining

Ahhhhh… yes.

Some days the dishes can wait.

Enjoying bruschetta adventures,

~ Kim

P.S.  During the month of August I’ll be devoting serious time to my piano.  Can’t be in two places at once (simplify…), in case you don’t see me around the block.  Have a great rest of the summer!

An Off The Cuff Post (and Best, Easiest, Tastiest Grilling Recipe So Far This Summer)

Green Things

One of the things I love about summer is the spontaneity inherent in the season.  Grab something and throw it on the grill!

(Even better if it’s flavored with an impromptu compound butter…)

In this particular case, I was trimming haricot verts on the veranda when my step-son mentioned his “pork chop packets” — fresh green beans, carrots, and compound butter, topped with a boneless center-cut pork chop.  Oh my!  I took it a step farther and seared the chops before encasing them in foil.  Sorry, no “after” photo… they were devoured in a heartbeat.  (Vegetarian version expounded on below…)

Summer Veggies with Compound Butter

As for the compound butter, anything goes.  Key words:  have at it… spontaneous… impromptu!

This batch included softened butter smashed with sliced green onions, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, and freshly ground pepper — but use whatever tickles ya or whatever’s on hand.  Throw it in the fridge in plastic wrap for a bit to let the flavors “marry,” then add a dab to the packet before adding the veggies (to keep them from sticking), top with a seared chop and a generous dollop of compound butter, seal, and you’re good to grill.

(Note:  Be sure to seal the foil packet well.  Turn once during grilling.  If in doubt about “doneness,” test chops with a meat thermometer before consuming.)

Compound Butter

Regarding the off the cuff portion of this post, I’m finally home again.  Missed ya bunches.  Couldn’t resist writing.  Plus, I’m making these again for supper tonight.  So, so good.  I also imagine they’d be good with chicken.  Or salmon.  Or steak.

Or, just veggies for my vegetarian pals. :)  Use your imagination…

On a personal note, I need to restructure myself and my blog a lil’ bit.  So many ideas, so little time — up until now!  After spending the equivalent to two months away from the place that makes me happiest since January, I’m feeling out of sorts.  Off my game.  Sluggish.  Can we say move it or lose it?!  (Photos may or may not be forthcoming, lol.)

More good things to come though, including the winner of my giveaway later this week.  (Giveaway is closed.)

Happy grilling and stay tuned for transformation…

Enjoying unpremeditated meal planning, writing, and rediscovery,

~Kimby

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Roll With It (Cantaloupe with Cannoli Cream)

Half the fun of cooking is trying something new, whether it works out or not, right?  (At least that’s my motto.)

“Experiment!” I proclaim from the rooftops.  Or deck…

After cannoli recipes started making the rounds last year, I decided to try canta-loni. :)  (Not to be confused with cantelloni or cannelloni — the cheese and/or meat stuffed noodle version.)

Thus, I set out with my melon ball scooper and an idea… plus a hearty dose of laughter.  Be forewarned… these little suckers are slippery!

Not only did I make the above-pictured version, I also got out the ol’ cheese-slicer-in-lieu-of-a-mandoline and attempted a “cantaloupe cannoli” — wrapping paper-thin melon slices around cannoli cream that tasted so good, there’s no photographic proof of the evidence.  (Ahem.)

I also imagined they’d be spectacular served with a slice of prosciutto and garnished with a slice of… basil?  mint?  cilantro?  (Such are the places my food imagination take me…)

My message is this:  Have fun in your kitchen this summer!

Don’t let your next great idea (and/or quest for the perfect food photo) reign you in… and for Pete’s sake, remember that food blogging isn’t “War and Peace.”

While I highly respect the passion and nutrition and well-being that’s put into everyone’s food, photography, and blog posts (thank you!), bear in mind:  it’s summer.

Have fun!

For a delightful cannoli filling, click here.  (FYI, I left out the cinnamon, allspice, and chocolate chips and substituted mascarpone for half the ricotta, but that’s not to say I won’t try the Alex Guarnaschelli‘s delectable original on a more “serious” day next time.)

For further proof of my kitchen flops (and fun), click here and here.

Then… get creative.  Get eatin’.  And for heaven’s sake, get out there and celebrate summer!

Enjoying experimenting, trial and error, and FUN,

~ Kim

P.S.  I sat on this photo (and idea) for almost a year.  Don’t waste precious time…

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