Sunny Summer Pizza

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The summer squash are coming in at our community garden. Golden and sweet, their misshapen bodies offer some wonderful summer flavors. After excitedly harvesting several from the thicket of squash leaves, we were faced with the-“well now what?” moment. Grilled with some olive oil and rosemary, these squash are delicious but we wanted something a bit further out of the box, hence the creation of the summer sunny pizza! This light pizza starts with zesty basil pesto, and finishes with creamy fontina cheese and salty, crispy proscuitto. Sure to be a summer favorite, this makes for a beautiful weeknight dinner or an easy meal to share with friends and family.

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Honey, Vanilla and Orange Panna Cotta with Fresh Garden Strawberries

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The first strawberries of the year are coming in! These berries a small, alpine variety that are jewels of summer sweetness. Pop one in your mouth and you’ll hear the sound of an ice cream truck and feel the cool of your neighborhood pool on a hot July day.

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I wanted to do something special with these delicacies and I wanted to make sure that I highlighted them as the star of the show, rather than muddling their flavor. To that end, I went out of the box to create a fresh, colorful summer dessert that shows off the berries and compliments them with other sweets from the earth.

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Exciting News! Messy Kitchen is now on SideChef!

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In a very exciting turn of events I have been asked to be a Content Partner for the SideChef app! SideChef is a free app for both iOS and Android platforms aimed at helping folks cook at home. The app interactively guides you through recipes from various home cooks and chefs alike. Check it out here: http://www.sidechef.com/

I’ll be joining an impressive list of content partners including Abundant Harvest Organics, BravoTV, Garlic and Zest, Roots CSA, Vincenzo’s Plate, The Edgy Veg, Alexandra Cooks, Vodka and Biscuits, Bob’s Red Mill, Lodge Cast Iron, Bird Pick Tea & Herb, and more!

I’m finishing up my application steps but soon you’ll be seeing the Messy Kitchen logo on the list of partners! Check out the full list here: http://www.sidechef.com/partners/

This blog of mine is always surprising me. Messy Kitchen Happy Belly just started as a fun way to share recipes with friends and now it may be leading me on a different journey. Here’s to exploring all of life’s possibilities!

 

 

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri and Spiced Corn

 

final from topHere’s a great recipe for your Memorial Day celebrations that can be prepared inside or out. This recipe takes skirt steak, a relatively inexpensive cut of beef, and combines it with a flavorful chimichurri sauce to bring out the best in both. The spiced corn is a welcome compliment to the dish’s flavors and adds just a pinch of sweetness.

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Mom’s Crab Cakes

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I love crab cakes, but I don’t love greasy, hard crab cakes that leave you like the Clara Peller of the sea, “where’s the crab?!”. Here’s a great recipe that I whipped together with mom last weekend that solve the woes of the underwhelming crabby patty. These crab cakes are light, filled with veggies and herbs and tons of, you guessed it, sweet, juicy crab.

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An Innovative Irrigation System

I have big plans for my garden this year. Big plans that involve ruby red tomatoes, fragrant basil, sweet peas and, I might add, a very cool irrigation system. I realized (with the gentle suggestion of my husband) that I may have overextended myself this summer. A new large garden, a berry box across town, a full-time job, a cottage food business and a crazy volunteer schedule has left me with very little time to run about tending to all of these interests. Unfortunately, plants don’t care. They want their water and will punish you by curling into sad ghosts of their former selves if left unattended. I knew I couldn’t make it to both gardens every day, so we needed a new idea. Our first idea was to install water barrels and use gravity to get the work done but at our new community garden, we have a few unique design requirements that required us to get more creative.

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Savory Roasted Duck

This year was our first Easter hosting Easter dinner at our new home. I was definitely excited and wanted to do something unique for dinner. We had just hosted a dinner party for friends where we served up some primo steak so I was shying away from beef and I wanted to do something out of the ham and lamb world. I’ve always been a huge duck fan so I decided to go with a bird, but I wanted to do a savory rendition on a duck recipe. I spent far too long looking through recipes online and in the myriad of cookbooks I own and when it came down to it, I winged it and went with simple. I prepared this duck pretty similarly to a roasted chicken but with a bit more attention to crispy skin and prepping with aromatics, and I have to say it was delicious. The meat was tender and juicy, the skin was crispy and the simple preparation made for a special dinner that I didn’t have to spend hours tending to. I served our duck with roasted vegetables and a fresh pea salad for a beautiful spring dinner. One note, you’ll want to prep the bird the day before you plan to cook it. I hope this meal becomes a special treat for you and yours!

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