I am WAY too tapped to post the new recipes today (I'll get to it, I promise!), but in the meantime, I would like to offer two product recommendations--something I rarely do on this blog--but they are well worth it. First of all, I proclaim the (soft) drink of the summer to be...drumroll, please...SIERRA MIST LEMON SQUEEZE!
It's so refreshing and delicious, particularly if you add a squeeze of fresh lime to it! I just wish it came in diet, too. (Maybe it does, but I haven't found it in my stores yet.) Anyway, if you want to try it, better get on it, because this flavor is seasonal and will only be available until September.
Secondly, I have to pass on a tip that I overheard at the grocery store. I was wandering down the cleaning products aisle, and I overheard this lady telling her friend that a certain product was the most amazing thing ever for cleaning pots and pans with baked-on residue. As a person who WEEKLY tries to destroy her pans (not to mention her oven!) with many baking projects, I had to see what they were talking about. The tidbit that I overheard that really got me was when the woman said, "Well, I do a lot of baking, and this is the only thing that I have ever found that really got my pans clean." Sign me up! She was talking about Dawn Power Dissolver. It comes in a dark blue bottle, it costs about two bucks, it smells like hell and is probably filled with many environmentally unfriendly chemicals, but it WORKS like a charm! And mind you, I bake fruit pies every week that despite all precautions, always seem to explode all over everything, and you practically have to take a jackhammer to the scorched residue. But with this stuff, you spray it on, let it sit for awhile, and when you come back later, the goo just melts off. Amazing! I have also used it on the stovetop around the burners that get pretty crusty. And I have heard that it does a great job at getting tomato residue off of plastic storage containers, but I haven't tried that yet. In any case, it's great stuff, and a real help for home cooks that have to do their own dishes, and a lot of 'em!
I can't end this post without one semi-recipe, something easy and seasonal, I think. Cyd acquired a ginormous bouquet of fresh dill at the farmers' market last week, and we have been trying to think of different ways to use it. Cyd prides herself on her compound butters, and they are a delicious way to preserve fresh herbs that are bountiful at this time of year. All you have to do is soften some butter and mix in whatever tickles your fancy. One of our favorite combinations includes dill and chives or scallions, minced garlic, and lemon zest. You can store it in a plastic container in the fridge, or you can shape it into a log, wrap it in parchment or plastic wrap and freeze it nearly indefinitely. We made a simple but simply fabulous appetizer with whole-grain toast points spread with the compound butter and topped with some cracked pepper smoked salmon. DELISH! It's also yummy on fish or chicken, or on veggies like asparagus. Just grill up nearly anything you encounter in your fridge or freezer, slather it with some of the compound butter, and you have an easy summer supper.
So consider those your seasonal tips of the day, brought to you by Sierra Mist, Dawn, and the butter producers and herb farmers of America. :-)