Saturday, August 28, 2010

Here is Your Challenge

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a cook needs three basic tools in her kitchen: a great knife, a nice cutting board, and a decent soup pot.  The soup pot goes by another alias, the Dutch oven.  Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, when I clicked on that link and perused the Dutch ovens available from, I came across a gorgeous, gorgeous basil-green Staub cocotte.  I am now inventing reasons why I need this beauty, such as the luxury of being able to make a soup or stew in my old Le Creuset and a batch of baked rice in my new Staub.  (I love Luisa’s/Francis’s Baked Rice recipe, though I make a half-batch and I still use a full tablespoon of oil.)  As Tania might say, I covet you, green Staub cocotte.

But this post isn’t supposed to be about my greedy kitchen dreams; it’s about how you could win a gift certificate to spiff up your own set of kitchen tools!  Enough of you said nice things about my new Santoku knife that I thought it only fair that I give you the chance to win your own knife—or whatever else you might like from or any of the CSN Stores.

Quite Versatile

For those of you who are wondering, the hand model above did NOT come with my knife.  But I do love the spice market’s worth of seasonings that Matt gathered together to make his signature okra dish, the one I ask him to make every time we buy okra at the farmers’ market.  He’s so nice that he always says yes to my okra suggestion.  I don’t even have to wink or wiggle my eyebrows suggestively, which is good because I don’t really do coy.  And you know what?  Neither does he.  Maybe we’re both just lazy, but we’re happy with it.

Here is your challenge, if you feel up the to task.  If you’re interested in winning a $60 gift certificate to CSN Stores (and I don’t know why on earth you wouldn’t be!), leave a comment on this post telling me what your all-time favorite summer recipe is.  It could be as simple as a fresh peach or caprese salad, or it might be more elaborate, like a favorite recipe you make on the grill or a homemade ice cream that you churn by hand.  Whatever it is, make me hungry and if you like, provide a link!  This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada because that’s where CSN delivers.

I’ll pick a winner randomly in a week.  This contest will be open until September 4.  Good luck!


Abhishek Duggal said...

The Butter Bean Salad Recipe listed on

Thanks for the opportunity!

forsurveysonly at gmail dot com

Lindsey said...

I love Food Network's Carrot-Coconut Salad. It is light, and delicious. I also love to use Rainbow Carrots. The colors are beautiful!

Nicole said...

Mmmm, this is hard. I love so many summer dishes, including that shrimp and white bean salad I told you about! One of my favorite summer recipes is the Stewarts' lamb patty recipe. I know you're vegetarian, so it may not fit into your vision for this competition. But, the spices are perfectly balanced and brought out by serving the patties in a pita shell with yogurt and fresh, crunchy veggies. I miss the amazing Middle Eastern food in Detroit, and this recipe helps to tame my cravings. I'll send you the recipe if you want!

Rosiecat24 said...

Hi, everyone! What great suggestions for summer dishes.

Abhishek, I like butter beans a lot, but I've never used them in a salad. That sounds delicious.

Lindsey, I found this recipe for a Carrot-Coconut Salad on Food Network's website. It sounds delightful! Though I might be tempted to gild the lily and top it with peanuts too...

Ha, Nicole--I don't think I had a particular vision here :-) I just thought it would be fun to hear about much-loved summer recipes, especially as the season is drawing to a close. I always admire a recipe that gets the spicing just right. I'd love to see your recipe!

Unknown said...

my new favorite summer recipe is Cornmeal Cake - I've made it using orange juice. so good! I'm going to be trying it again today, but with peach juice.
also any fruit made into a crisp. yum!

thanks for the giveaway. I understand about lusting over a pot! I have a few on my wishlist also.

Laurie said...

My favourite summer food is slices of perfectly ripe field tomato topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, but that's not exactly a recipe.

We don't use a recipe for our favourite summer dish either. Hubby grills veggies and roasts garlic on the bbq. I cook pasta and chop tomatoes and herbs in the kitchen. Everything gets mixed together and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated parmesan. If we're feeling carnivorous, hubby also grills sausages to add to the mix. We've also tossed in chickpeas from time to time. This dish depends on what's in season, what's in the house and what we're in the mood for.

Kristen said...

My favorite is strawberry shortcake. I love to make it when strawberry season is at its peak and they are sweet and juicy and perfect. We like to make it on thinly sliced pound cake, and either make up some whipped cream, or out of a can is fine as long as it's real cream!

couponboss at gmail dot com

LAMusing said...

My favorite summer recipe is simple - a salad, including summer berries or other fruit, with a refreshing light vinaigrette and some nuts sprinkles on top. Add a little foccacia and I'm happy :)

Norma said...

I like BBQ in the summer - any BBQ! Pork ribs, burgers, chicken, etc. And sweet summer corn!

Unknown said...

wow, that's tough. i particularly love eating summers bounty raw (fruits, corn, tomtatoes...), but summer is not complete without burgers and zucchini bread. if i had to pick one recipe, i'd have to go with ellie krieger's cornmeal-crusted ratatouille :)

shirley said...

I LOVE fresh picked blackberries, and like to make cobbler out of them, or you can make blackberry dumpings.(SO GOOD)

Hillary said...

Sorbet! And I'm not picky. Any flavor will do. It's actually kind of a problem for me lately -- we eat A LOT of it at our house.

daine said...

Ok, I'm exempting myself from being able to win, since I won last time, but I want to share a summer recipe, especially after you showed a picture of okra.

Prepare some okra (I've never measured how much, probably around a pint) by cutting off the stem and the front tip. Slice it into rounds, approximately 1/2 cm (you can easily do 4 or 5 okra at the same time). Fry the okra in an iron skillet (with a generous splash of oil) until the okra is very well done, stirring occasionally. I work on the rest of the recipe while the okra is cooking. When it's done, turn off the heat and allow to cool. Cool to room temp. but do not put in the fridge (you want it to stay crispy).

Mix about 1 1/2 C. plain yogurt with sugar and salt (1 T. and 1 t. respectively should do). Put 1/2-1 t. turmeric and 1/4-1/2 t. cayenne on top of the yogurt, but DO NOT mix it in yet.

heat 1 T oil in a small skillet over high heat until the oil begins to smoke. When oil is ready, add 1 t. or so of mustard seeds to the skillet and cover immediately (you are trying to pop the seeds, and they will fly all over if you don't cover them). When the seeds stop popping, immediately pour the oil and mustard seeds over the turmeric and cayenne. Allow to cool a little before mixing. Refrigerate if not eating immediately.

Directly before eating, mix the okra into the yogurt and stir. This keeps the okra crispy. Eat with thin breads like naan or roti.

kenziesmum said...

my fave summertime recipe is a Greek Pasta Salad that is the easiest thing in the world to make! All you have to do is cook tri-colour rotini, let it cool then add a bottle of Renee's Greek Dressing, feta cheese, chopped red, green and yellow peppers and diced red onion!

Super refreshing on a hot day!

Carol W. said...

A favorite of ours is this Basmati Rice Salad. It's a great side dish. Here's the link to Epicurious:


Rosiecat24 said...

Hi, everyone! Wow, such awesome ideas for fantastic summer grub! This list is making me hungry.

Kathy, I love cornmeal in cakes, so we're on the same page here. Citrus and cornmeal go together so well.

Laurie, your tomato "recipe" totally counts ;-) I love it. I'll take some fresh mozzarella with mine!

Kristen, will you invite me over the next time you're having strawberries and pound cake? Pretty please?

LAMusing, your salad sounds perfect. Just lovely.

Norma, you've got classic taste in summer food.

Shannon, I'm with you: eat as much raw summer produce as possible, then fire up the stove. Cornmeal-crusted ratatouille? Hello, yum! Have you blogged about this recipe before?

Shirley, I've never had freshly picked blackberries :-( So sad!

Hillary, yum! Sorbet is so refreshing, so perfect for summer. Your sorbet looks fantastic. Let me just find my spoon here...

Daine, oh my! Your recipe sounds so good that I asked my local okra-grower if he might sell me some okra this week so I can make your fried okra goodness. I am so excited about this one.

kenziesmum, that sounds really good. I might have to run with that idea because I've got all this sour cream I need to use up--I might adapt your idea and make an on-the-spot dressing :-)

Carol W., that rice salad sounds like a wonderful side dish. I love walnuts in grain salads.

SolDucky said...

I don't know if mine counts as a recipe, per se, but my all-time favorite summer food is simple - garden tomatoes with lots of salt and fresh ground pepper, topped with a dollop of fresh cottage cheese. I could eat it all day long!

a said...

I've never been a great summer cook, and even though I've been trying to expand my warm-weather food abilities this summer I still fall back on Smitten Kitchen's pasta with asparagus and goat cheese. It's delicious and it takes about twenty minutes to make and I don't have to turn on my oven. Fabulous.

Sarah said...

I love salad with fresh strawberries, almonds, and poppyseed dressing.

Rosiecat24 said...

Hey, it's September 1, but summer is still going strong in Texas. Bring on the summer foods!

SolDucky, your recipe is a more upscale version of Laurie's :-) It sounds delicious! I love cottage cheese.

a, I think you don't give yourself enough credit for your seasonal cooking. Didn't you go on a huge strawberry binge a year or two ago? I did try the pasta recipe with cream cheese instead of goat cheese, but it didn't turn out like I'd hoped. Next time: goat cheese!

Sarah, I love green salads with strawberries. The almonds and poppyseeds make your version gourmet!

debbie said...

I make a tuna pasta salad. But I make it in so many ways, it never tastes the same. For a greek salad, I use feta cheese, black olives, cherry tomatoes, yellow peppers, fresh basil,oregano and thyme. I put on some vinegar, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.

Nick said...

Wow, haven't been here in a while but what a time to come back. You're right, that green cocotte looks awesome, although I have no idea what a cocotte is. I hope it works with peanut butter....

All-time favorite summer recipe? Easy:

Peanut Butter & Banana Pudding

Allison said...

I love ambroisa.


Amanda said...

I love grilled peaches with ice cream, just cut them in half and grill for a couple minutes, and then drizzle with melted jam and serve over ice cream!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Rosiecat24 said...

Happy Friday, everyone! Now that Labor Day weekend is here, it seems like the perfect time to indulge one more time in summer favorites. Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions.

Debbie, your salad sounds like my kind of lunch (though I'd substitute beans for the tuna because I'm a vegetarian). But I love all the flavors you put together!

Nick, I had to look up the word "cocotte." It's a pot! Your banana pudding sounds amazing--I can see why it vanished in minutes from the dessert table! Next time save me a scoop ;-)

Me too, allisonsbj3.

Ooh, Amanda, your grilled peaches sound dreamy. Peaches with jam and ice cream? Wow--that sounds so good.

carmen @ life blessons said...

Hmm, well during the summer I want to do things that require the least amount of cooking as possible! One recipe I love is this balsamic barley salad, because it's so simple and tasty!:

Unknown said...

I sadly do not have the recipe for these lovelies, but my husband and I were married 6 years ago (June 27th) at the Japanses Gardens in the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, and it was catered by The Gardens resteraunt. So fun doing the tasting for the food!

Sorry got off track...

My fav dish that was served at the reception was a nice dollop of their homemade chicken salad (it had lots of yummy stuff in it including mandarin oranges) served in an avocado half!

SOOOOOO yum! NIce thing is I can still go to The Gardens and have a nice lunch or brunch with the hubby and eat the same dish if they have it on special!


Theresa said...

I'm going with warm, homemade, chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I'll even add almonds that were ground up in Grandma Riley's nut grinder :)

lmurley2000 said...

we love cherry delight its a dessert

Cori Westphal said...

I love a good garden salsa. Just tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, a little lime juice and some cilantro. Simple and delish!

coriwestphal at msn dot com

Rosiecat24 said...

Hi, friends and new visitors!

carmen, your salad looks delicious--it's definitely the sort of recipe that grabs my attention. But I think I like your mealtime traditions even more. Those traditions are how our daily routine gets woven into a life of happiness.

Pixie, yum! Anything involving avocadoes works for me. Have you had a deep-fried avocado? I think it's not nearly as healthy as your chicken salad avocado, but it's the sort of thing that I think everyone should eat at least once in their lives :-)

A classic, Theresa! I never say no to a freshly baked cookie. Bonus nostalgia points for using the nut grinder! Man, that thing is a family antique now.

lmurley2000, this cherry delight of yours sounds intriguing...

coriwestphal, salsa is hard to beat. I say don't bother trying; just grab your salsa, some corn chips and something cold to drink--that's a perfect summer afternoon to me.