Cool, Colorful, Zingy Foods; Take that August!

Cakes and Breads / August 26, 2013

August has decided to only meet me halfway this year. I enjoy hot, moist, bone baking days. With these facts presented you assume that I’m usually on good terms with August. What I did to her to deserve this kind of treatment, I don’t know. We’ve had the wettest, coolest summer in years. My girlfriends are in heaven; me, not so much.

You’re wondering about me already. (But then if you’re reading my posts, I’m sure a confused smile has crossed your face many times.) Why would I embrace the soft trickle of sweat off my brown, or the rush of heat that flattens every well teased updo? Because after living in Seattle 8 years, and growing up in the Rockies, I AM TIRED OF BEING COLD. (Yes, I meant to hit the cap lock.)

Okay, Mother Nature is no match for me. Since I’m mostly made up of water, I am certainly not going to try and get in a tiz with her. My only weapon is to combat her mercury-challenged apathy and create an outdoor meal of pretty much cold everything. Aside from the meats grilling happily atop a metal grate, everything during this cold picnic was served chilled. Bright colors, intense flavors and plenty of variety; all presented under the cool trees at a campground on Cane Creek in Union County North Carolina.

Take a look at the 4 recipes below: Cold Pickled Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Chilled Roasted Carrots with Orange Coriander Glaze, Fingerling Potato Salad with Oregano Balsamic Vinaigrette. And we finished with a White Plum Apple Tart.

Aaaaahhhhh. Take that, August!

Pickled Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Prep the Tomatoes

Wash your tomatoes and remove the stems.
Poke 2-3 holes through your tomatoes with a skewer. This allows the brine to seep in. You could also peel the tomatoes, but they tend to turn to mush and peeling cherry tomatoes is a pain, trust.
Place the tomatoes in a sterilized jar (simply boil the jar or run through the dishwasher with no soap).
Add some fresh dill on top. You could also add some pearl onions or peppers or whatever you like.

Prepare Your Brine

In a small pot combine the following (adjust seasonings to your taste if you like)
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups filtered water
2 tbls salt
2 tbls sugar
4-8 garlic cloves, sliced
Pinch coriander
10  peppercorns


  • Pinch of dried fennel seeds
  • Small, small sprig of fresh dill for each bottle.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool 20 minutes.
  • Pour the brine into your jars over the tomatoes. It’s enough for about 3, maybe 4 pints depending on how much evaporated and how many tomatoes are stuffed into your jar.
  • Cover the jar with a sterilized lid and screw your ring on. Put them in the refrigerator and let them sit for at least 24 hours to soak up the goodness. They will last a long time refrigerated, a few months.
  • *Courtesy of and INSPIRED by the blog: Prudent Baby –

Roasted Carrots in Orange Coriander Glaze


5 or 5 large carrots washed and cut into long strips (I did not peel these but washed them thoroughly!)
1 ½ T olive oil or light oil if you prefer
Salt and pepper
¼ C orange juice
Zest from one orange
½ C simple syrup (I had this premade as I keep some in the fridge at all times – Simple syrup is 1 part water to 1 part sugar. Dissolve in water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and cool to room temp.)
1 pinch of salt
1t corn starch
¼ T cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar


  • Toss carrots in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on large baking sheet. Bake in 425 degree oven for 2 minutes. Remove and place in glass bowl and lets it for 15 minutes.
  • Add all liquid ingredients except vinegar for glaze in small saucepan and bring to boil, whisking the whole time.Add the cornstarch and stir until it starts to barely thicken, hardly any evidence of it happening but the mixture should have reduced by about a third. Then add the vinegar. Let it sit on stove for 20 minutes and cool slightly. Stir from time to time.
  • Toss with carrots, top with small slice of orange for garnish. Place in fridge and serve cold with other picnic foods.

Fingerling Potato Salad with Cream y Oregano Viniagrette


4 C Fingerling Potatoes, washed and halved into about ¾ inch pieces (some of the potatoes are very small
and don’t need cutting, others are a
bit too large and may need to be quartered.)
3 large celery stalks, angle cut
¼ white onions diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ T fresh thyme minced


¼ C fresh lemon juice
¼ C sunflower oil
1 dollop Duke’s mayonnaise
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
2 T sugar (white refined)
½ T cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar (from Olive This! In Charlotte NC)
½ T minced fresh oregano leaves


  • Boil fingerlings until tender. Drain and shock in cold water. Pat dry and place in bowl. Add the celery, onion, garlic,and fresh thyme. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Chill until ready to serve.

White Plum and Apple Tart


  • 1 sheet of puffed pastry (one square) thawed
  • 4 ripe white plums, sliced (no need to peel)
  • 2 fuji apples, peeled and diced
  • 3 T sugar
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t allspice
  • A touch of salt
  • ½ t vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Put pastry on baking parchment paper lined baking sheet dusted with flour. With a knife, trace around the perimeter of the square, about ½ inch inside the edge, and cut without going through the pasty. Place in freezer while you assemble fruit. About 10 minutes. Toss fruit and other ingredients together. Place in the middle of the puff pastry, arrange as needed and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

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