I love that every month or so copies of Country Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appetit, and Fine Cooking show up in my mailbox. They're great cooking, decorating, and even fashion and beauty inspiration.
And I've gotta tell ya...Betters Homes and Gardens has been kicking out some solid recipes the past few issues. The great thing about their recipes is that they use fresh, seasonal ingredients and they're fast and easy. The July issue has a watermelon feature and three different recipes using watermelon. I've already made one this week and I'm making the other in the next couple of days. They also have a corn feature with several recipes using fresh corn, from corn soup, to corn cakes, to corn salad. Just thought I'd list a few of the recipes and show the end products. The magazine is still on shelves, and it's worth the $4 just for the recipes.
Fine Cooking has a monthly feature for seasonal ingredients in simple recipes. They list a few seasonal ingredients, this month being canteloupe, spinach, berries, asparagus, and arugula, and cherries, and then offer a simple easy recipe to use each.
The spinach recipe was for a BLT Salad that I made a few nights ago. I sauteed some mushrooms that needed to be used up and also fried an egg to put on top for more protein and to make the salad more filling. We ate this as an entree in and of itself. We drank some freshly squeezed juice made from watermelon, canteloupe, apples, cucumber, and celery. I tossed a few mint springs into the juice to infuse it with more flavor, not that it was necessary, but because our mint plant is growing out of control, and I'm trying to throw mint in wherever I can.
I also made both the corn soup and a watermelon-avocado salad from the BHG July issue. The salad was alright. I've made better watermelon salads with spring greens, avocado, red onion, ricotta cheese, and a lemon balsalmic-olive oil dressing. But the soup...amazing. I made a corn soup from Bon Appetit a couple of years ago, and this one was much easier and quicker with essentially the same results. I also made us each a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to go with our soup and salad. We never eat them, so it was actually kind of nice. We paired the meal with Grand Traverse Select sweet Reisling.
As a side note and a recipe not from BHG or Fine Cooking...I mentioned above our very healthy mint plant. We bought mint thinking we'd made mojitos. Because we suck at gardening and have a difficult time getting even herbs to grow in pots, we assumed the plant would die after a few cuttings or at least would experience a stunt in its growth, meaning we never expected a healthy, growing plant. Well...surprise! I hate to see the mint go to waste, so a few days ago I read through some threads about how to use mint in savory recipes. Not a ton of options, but there was one option that was simple and sounded amazing. Toss a handful of cherry tomatoes into a small casserole dish. Throw in some garlic (I used minced out of a jar) and a fistful of mint leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the cherry tomatoes start to burst. And I did. Although next time I'll set the oven at a higher temp than 350 degrees, because it took nearly an hour for the tomatoes to split. I spread the mixture on baguette slices and coupled it with a few thin slices of fresh mozzerella sprinkled with sea salt. Divine. And no, it didn't taste minty. The mint takes on a savory flavor that could work as an alternative to parsley or basil. I might be making the same thing for lunch today. :-)