Summer came early

I have always associated blueberries and summers in Vancouver. Usually blueberries are ready in August. But this year with the heat and dryness, the blueberries are ready for picking in late June. Crazy, I know!

We set out to put the kids to work. It was so nice that my mom happens to be in town too. We picked for maybe 30 or 40 minutes, and came home with almost 10 lbs of blueberries.

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Cold sesame noodles

It feels so luxurious to have so many days of sunshine in a row in Vancouver.  We’ve been having soooo many picnics lately.  I’ve spent many lunches and dinners at the edge of a water park or playground.

Here’s one of my favorite dishes we’ve tried lately.  It’s great to pack as a picnic food, or have for a super quick and easy dinner on a warm night in a West facing apartment that has been baking in the sun all afternoon.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame paste (I used tihini from a Greek grocer), almond butter, or peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon or more chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 lb of noodles (I used whole wheat spaghetti, but feel free to use whatever you noodles you like)
  • Fixings: here we used cucumbers, carrots, yellow bell peppers, green onion, cilantro, and a cooked chicken breast…but use whatever veggies or meats you like!

Direction:

1. Whisk the first 6 ingredients together.

2. Cook the noodles of your choice.  Run under cold water, drain well.

3. Toss the noodles with the sesame sauce.  Top the noodles with fixings of your choice.

 

 

Super easy summer soup: Chilled cucumber and avocado soup

Usually by Monday, our fridge is empty and I am scrambling to get something on the table for dinner.  Today was no exception.  I didn’t feel like dragging Joshua out to get a bunch of groceries, so we had to make do with whatever we had in the fridge.

I found 1/2 a cucumber left from sushi, a few slices of red onion left from a BBQ, and an avocado.  I recall reading a few chilled cucumber and avocado soup recipes on the internet, so I looked them up and made up my own version.

This soup was super easy and quick, and great for a hot summer day.  It was creamy, refreshing and delicious.  Joshua loved it too!  I think it would be very nice to also add some crab meat if you happen to have some on hand.  Oh, and dill would be nice too.

Apparently you could use buttermilk instead of milk, but of course, I didn’t have buttermilk on hand.  And some people use some chicken stock in place of a part of the milk.  I think you can do whatever you like, as it would be hard to go wrong with this soup.

Ingredients (to make 2 bowls of soup):

  • 1/2 an English cucumber, peeled and chopped into large chuncks
  • 1/2 a large avocado, chopped into large chuncks
  • 3 tablespoons of red onion
  • 1 cup of 1% milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yoghurt
  • Cilantro for decoration

Direction

Throw the cucumber, avocado, red onion, and milk into the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the soup in two chilled bowls.  Add a tablespoon of plain yoghurt and a few cilantro leaves to each bowl.

Super easy summer dessert: root beer granita with vanilla ice cream

This dessert is ridiculously easy to make, and oh so good on a hot summer day!

Ingredients

2 cups of root beer

Vanilla ice cream or frozen yoghurt

 

Direction

Pour root beer into a glass pan.  Place the pan in the freezer.  After an hour, use a fork to break up the ice forming in the pan.  Do this one more time after another hour.

To serve, use a fork to lighten the ice and place in the bottom of a glass.  Top with vanilla ice cream or frozen yoghurt.