Fresh Pasta with Vegetables and a Deliciously Wicked Martini

We have enjoyed a very warm, relatively rain free summer this year in the Pacific Northwest and while I am sorry to see the days becoming shorter, I am eagerly anticipating fall.

This season we are working with fresh fruits and vegetables more than we have any other year in the past.  Living in the Orting Valley has been a wonderful experience, and I have enjoyed the local farms and their seasonal harvests.

Spring Vegetable Ragout with Fresh PastaSpring Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Pasta by Fine Cooking.  A delightfully fresh addition to any weeknight meal, that takes just a few minutes of prep time from start to table. The shopping list may take some to gather, however you will have a fantastic time walking the market in search of the freshest ingredients.  Shopping list; Pasta sheets, garlic, mixed spring veggies~your choice, shelled peas or fava beans, pea shoots or watercress sprigs (delicious), basil, chervil, mint, parsley, tarragon, butter, lemon zest and Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Full Recipe and method

If there is a vegetable in the mix, you simply do not care for, use the farmers market as your muse, your inspiration and toss in the flavors you love.

Keep in mind there is always the option of making the pasta yourself (as with any recipe that calls for pasta) however if you are using the fresh pasta sheet option, Trader Joe’s is a location I am aware of that carries them. Google for locations that carry them in your area.

Blueberry Peach CobblerBlueberry Peach Cobbler by Sunny Anderson for Food Network.  The colors and flavor combinations of this late summer dessert are the perfect base for a large dollop of French vanilla ice cream.  While the grill is cooling on the back porch, pull up a chair and enjoy.

This recipe calls for frozen peaches, and while there is nothing like a fresh, ripe, juicy peach, they are not always readily available year-round in your local grocer bin. The frozen peaches will do simply fine, buy a few extra and add them a peach margarita while your cobbler is in the oven. I generally use frozen fruit instead of ice. Shopping list; Peaches, blueberries, flour, sugar, nutmeg, vanilla extract, butter, egg, and sugar cubes.  Full Recipe and Method

Cucumber Lime MartiniCucumber Lime Martini by Cheeky Kitchen.   Saturday last, I drove into Seattle to spend time with a few friends and eat our way through the evening.  They threw a stellar fish fry for the neighborhood and luvies, blocking off the end of the street. Picnic tables were placed strategically, and folks sat on the benches, gathered crossed legged on the lawn and visited, talked and laughed with blues playing softly in the background.

The men donned aprons and fried up a cacophony of mouthwatering seafood and other delights.  Amid all of this a stunning blonde moved from table to table serving the most delicious Cucumber Martinis.  While I have sipped these fresh tasting delights before, sitting in the sun, laughing with friends old and new and discussing Seattle’s culinary destinations on a breeze filled late summer day, made the enjoyment of this libation all the sweeter.  Full recipe and method

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