Cooking in the Heat of the Summer

Goodness me, cooking used to be something I loved but have fallen somewhat off the band wagon.  I think it’s much more enjoyable when you can make a recipe together or at least share it with other people.  Since most nights I’m cooking for one, it doesn’t always have the same effect (always, key word).  Most days I’m perfectly content with my grilled vegetables, sweet potato and eggs affair.  Well, I’m trying to get back in my groove and of course starting to cooking the heat of the summer.
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^^ don’t those colors just scream summer?
  • Yes, good plan – to start cooking again when we should be suffering through the hottest temperatures all year?  Well, why now?  Because summer produce, that’s why.  Maybe global warming has hit the east coast or we haven’t been graced with the August humidity just yet, or it just hasn’t been that bad of a summer so far.  What I think is more accurate is that I spend my time inside an air-conditioned office building, so my view of nature has been distorted.  But, between committing to and from work, my November Project workouts, and weekend jaunts, it’s been pretty nice.
But really, back to summer produce.
~ basil, blueberries, broccoli, CHERRIES, corn, cucumbers, EGGPLANT, green beans, PEACHES, plums, raspberries, summer squash (squash all day every day please), tomatoes, and watermelon ~
  • Doesn’t that all sound divine?  If you are really into summer produce, you could sign up for a CSA program in the city where you sign up for 6 or so months and receive a weekly shipment of fruits and vegetables.  You have no clue what may be in those boxes, but it’s neat to know that you essentially have access to the best quality and freshest produce from local farmers.  Most of these farmers also set up shop at our local farmer’s markets, my favorite being around Union Square.  I honestly could wander those all morning, thinking of new and exciting recipes to make.
  • So what recipes have I been obsessed with lately?  It’s all about the heat.  No really, because I don’t get enough of it outside, I’ve been supplementing by adding flavor into my weekly dishes.  From peppers to wasabi, I along with many fellow humans have a bit of a strange relationship with such hot and spicy products.
  • I think the Wall Street Journal summed it up perfectly in why we are attracted to spicy foods.  We go day to day with the same schedule, sometimes dreaming about the days we can set off and explore the world, but for now are plugging along in our corporate (or tech startup) worlds.  Eating spicy things, especially hot chili peppers enables to test out danger without too much risk and activate that adrenaline rush, while receiving those feelings of pleasure and pain.
  • Take me and wasabi for example. I like to dab it on my sushi rolls and more often than not, dab a bit too much on.  Once I shove one slice in my mouth and it’s like a fire alarm went off.  This usually results in me swallowing as quickly as possibly, holding back tears, and throwing back the nearest beverage.  But, instead of learning my lesson, I repeat the process.  It’s like a strange addiction, the heat satisfying some craving, clearing my senses, a rapid heat flowing throughout my body creating a fight or flight moment.
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^^ another example of heat with the momofuku chilled spicy noodles – sichuan sausage, spinach, cashews
  • Are you sold yet?  How about the countless health benefits spices offer or the fact that eating hot and spicy foods can help spur your metabolism or weight loss/maintenance?   From cayenne to black pepper, turmeric, dried red chili pepper flakes, and even cinnamon for those with a sweet tooth.
– antioxidants
– anti-inflammatory
– weight loss
– appetite management
Knowing all of this, what are some of the best pepper recipes for the summer (or really year round)?
Viva la Pepper! 
IMG_6288^^ hundred acre’s brunch take with poached eggscannellini bean & fall squash succotash,braised mustard greens, topped with pepper
 Hopefully I’ve inspired some to jump back into the kitchen, despite rising temps this month 🙂
A good spicy challenge strikes a balance between flavour and fear.” – Adam Richman
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One thought on “Cooking in the Heat of the Summer

  1. Well I don’t cook, so I DEFINITELY don’t cook in the summer 😉 But I’m really good at eating several pounds of blueberries a week.

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