I’ve been a little bored lately if I’m being honest. Normally I spend a lot of time thinking about what to make for dinner or things I would like to make for friends if I’m entertaining or going to someone’s house because, honestly, cooking is a hobby of mine. It takes my mind off other things — work, bills, cleaning under the couch– and ultimately in the end it’s pretty rewarding to create a delicious meal for myself and others.

This summer, for the past six weeks (it’s been that long!?) I haven’t been able to cook almost at all. The weather has been absolutely amazing for gardening, playing croquet, BBQing outside and generally relaxing in the sun, but for me, many of these activities should be involving food or be wrapped up by delicious food. So while the rest of you read books and bask in the sun, I’m thinking of ways to serve new cocktails/mocktails, ice cream, interesting grilled delights and more. Since we anticipate the kitchen being done by the middle of next week (!!!) I am compiling a list of foods. Let me know if you’d like to try one of these and I’ll put you on the invite!

Five Things Alanna Wants to Make in the New Kitchen

  1. Ice cream! Time to break out the ice cream maker for Earl Grey and Lemon Cookie Dough Ice Cream. This is a very basic ice cream recipe that I can maybe add vanilla to and then it looks like you’re on your own for the cookie dough. Maybe a few baked cookies would be a nice accompaniment as well. And if this doesn’t work out, I’ll make the Roasted Beet and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with beets that are ready to be pulled from the garden!
  2. Homemade ricotta! My basil is ready to be picked, my tomatoes are still green but they’re getting there, and my cow making fresh mozzarella… well…. there is no cow. I have no idea how to make mozzarella, but I’ve heard it’s unbelievably easy to make fresh, beautiful ricotta. Maybe some grilled slices of bread brushed with olive oil (and garlic!?), a little fresh ricotta, tomato, and basil? Sounds like heaven to me. Maybe I’ll even make some no-knead bread myself.
  3. White Bean Dip! I suck at making hummus. I’m not very good at pesto either. I would imagine that my husband would be remarkably better at both of them because most cooking failures that I have mean that he’s really good at them. Like frying. Or making eggs. Some things are man’s work. This could be one of those things. I would serve this very, very chilled. Maybe even adding some lemon juice and/or rind to it. One of our wedding hors d’ oeuvres was a lemon white bean crostini and I only ever tried it at our tasting. I want more!
  4. Grilled Pizza! The husband and I have tried this before with success, but not anytime in the recent year at least. I’d like to make my own dough and use as many fresh ingredients from the backyard as possible. This guide gives information how to grill, how to make the dough from scratch, etc. The more cooking that gets us outside, the better in my opinion. We can save the frozen pizzas for winter when the house needs to be heated up!
  5. Curried Chicken Salad! This one is a stretch for me. Normally I dislike fruit in savory things, but this seems like a great way to use some extra chicken (maybe some extra grilled chicken breasts?) either as a meal or set out for guests to snack on before dinner. I’m willing to see if I like this, anyhow. If not, I’m pretty sure it’s something the husband will eat. Curry Chicken Salad sandwiches for the entire week, my dear?

Hurry up and get done, kitchen! I’m ready to start prepping and grilling! And serving. And mixing cocktails/mocktails. It’s summer, after all. So, who would like an invite?