Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Tomato & Olive Relish

Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Tomato & Olive RelishHave you ever been to a party that starts out really fun but gets destroyed by some camera-toting loony?  You know the type I’m talking about, the person who keeps interrupting the fun to get people to smile for photos to add to his/her scrapbook or facebook page (or blog…) to prove how much fun the event was.

I felt like that person as I snapped pictures of this grilled flank steak.  See, this steak is a party on a plate.  It’s been grilled to rosy perfection, showered with sweet corn confetti, treated to decadent clumps of creamy blue cheese.  There it was, my dinner, having the time of its life, and there I was, the party spoiler, considering rearranging the corn with a pair of tweezers (just kidding–I’m not that far gone) and turning everyone’s happy party smile into a get-me-outta-here grimace.

So I called it a day, dropped the camera, and joined the party.  I wish I had a really stunning picture to illustrate how good this steak was, but often the tastiest food you see on blogs is the worst photographed because the cook/photographer just has to get in there and enjoy it.  You’ll just have to take my word/rambling analogy for it.

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Lemon-Dill Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumbers, Olives & Feta

Lemon-Dill Orzo Pasta Salad with Feta & Olives

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I feel my most complete when there’s a giant bowl of salad in the fridge.  Whether it’s used as a quick lunch, late morning pick-me-up, dinner side dish, or 2 am snack, I find all sorts of comfort in knowing there’s something tasty and relatively nutritious that’s ready and waiting.

My latest big-batch anytime meal is an orzo pasta salad loaded with cucumbers, black olives, and feta.  Dressed in a light ‘n bright lemon-dill vinaigrette, it’s packed with flavor without being heavy.  It’s perfect on its own or perfectly heavenly served with  grilled salmon.  Delicious eaten at a table with a napkin on your lap or scarfed off of the serving spoon standing over the kitchen sink.  In the backyard.  At a picnic.  Potluck.  Poolside.  Roadside.  You get the idea–it’s good.

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Cornmeal-Crusted French Toast with Maple-Blueberry Sauce

Cornmeal-Buttermilk French Toast with Maple-Blueberry SauceWeekend breakfasting doesn’t get much better than this–cornmeal-crusted, buttermilk-soaked French toast with maple-blueberry sauce, unless, maybe, it’s made over a campfire on a big skillet shared with bacon or sausage and you eat it surrounded by tall trees or looking out at a lake.

Excuse the digression.  Maple syrup and blueberries always lead me to daydreaming about camping.  Is there a better way to start the day than campfire coffee and a huge breakfast?  This French toast would be particularly good with its hearty cornmeal crunch that would stick with as you hike miles, blueberries and real maple syrup that scream of the North woods.  Ooops…there I go again.  I might need to skip town for a few days.

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On Blogging

Rush River Produce

I find my inspiration in wide skies.  Open water, blowing grasses.  Going to restaurants and packing picnics.  Reading books, flipping through magazines.  Hitting the farmer’s market or, sometimes, even the grocery store.

Editing css while crossing my fingers and praying my blog doesn’t explode is far less inspiring.  Exhilarating maybe, inspiring no.

Do you want to know the truth about writing a blog?  The truth is, it’s a lot of work.  And unless you know an awful lot about building websites, it’s a lot of work that exists within the framework of someone else’s work.

Which, I’ve learned, can change at a moment’s notice.

You might notice some changes around here in upcoming days/weeks.  I’m going to try my hardest to update StrawberryPlum and keep the food coming your way…

…without tearing every last hair from my head.


Sweet Corn Soup with Ricotta & Basil Oil

Sweet Corn Soup with Ricotta & Basil OIl

“It’s bi-color, super sweet, ma’am.  $3 for a half-dozen–you’re going to love it.”

Those words must have passed my lips hundreds of times a day the summer I worked at a farm stand selling sweet corn.  But, I said it with heart and I still would; good, fresh sweet corn on a summer day is something special.

You know what else is special?  This soup.  It’s special in its simplicity, just the pure essence of mid-summer corn, in a bowl.  I look forward to making it every summer, preferably from sweet corn bought off kids on the side of the road.

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