Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup (from Giada De Laurentiis @ Food Network)


Is there anything hotter than an August afternoon? I think the last thing anyone wants to be doing on hot afternoons like this is standing over a stove and getting dinner together. (and yet, sometimes, I still do it – why?) I’m not big on salads, and though I do like cool pasta and potato salads, I like soup better. Chilled soups are a little more limited, I think, than hot soups, but there’s still quite a few out there. I wanted a tomato soup, and this one had the added boost of orange juice and a dollop of sweetened Greek yogurt on top. This was quite, quite good. It’s very light, so a sandwich would have been nice to have with it, but it was just fine on its own too. I did add homemade croutons, just for the heartiness and the crunch, and that just made it even better. This is definitely a recipe I’ll keep for future summers.


Sweet Potato Biscuits & Chorizo Gravy (from Cook Like a Champion) and Roasted Corn


I’m not generally a big sausage fan, but I will make an exception for sausage gravy. I love sausage gravy. As for just plain sausage, I find that I prefer chorizo over anything else. So, when I saw this recipe combining the two, I had to give it a try. Oh, my goodness. The gravy is fantastic. I could have this for breakfast for days on end before getting tired of it. In fact, I had it for lunch the next day and then the day after that. I would have gone on having it, but I ran out of gravy. The sweet potato biscuits were just alright. I’ve made better sweet potato biscuits, and though these were tasty, they didn’t have the sweet potato flavor I was hoping for. But they baked up nicely, and I love the technique for getting pre-cut biscuits (roll the dough to a quarter-inch thinness then fold it over on itself before cutting the biscuits – brilliant!)


Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti (from Let’s Dish) and Steamed Carrots


This was . . . interesting. It wasn’t bad, just interesting. I’m glad I had the foresight to steam some carrots, because it really needed some veg to go with it (in fact, I wish we’d done more). Again, I am a sucker for anything buffalo-flavored, and this was a variation I hadn’t considered before. Not 100% sure I’d do it again, but it was definitely worth a first try. The topping there is mozzarella cheese, which it definitely needed, but I think the nice thing is that this is easily adjustable. Want more buffalo sauce? Okay, go for it. A little more blue cheese dressing, which is in the sauce? Sure, add a little more. It’s nice because you can play around with it, and it was very easy to get it all assembled. And the carrots did go very well with it.


Zucchini and Mushroom Saute with Pasta Sauce


This was intended to be stuffed zucchini boats, but I got lazy and skipped the boat part. Zucchini boats are fun to eat, but I’m not sure I’m thrilled with the making of them. This turned out pretty tasty anyway, so that’s okay. I had some chorizo left over from the biscuits and gravy, so I cooked that up and then set it aside to drain. Then I sliced up the zucchini and mushrooms and sauteed them. Once they were cooked, I added the chorizo to it and let that reheat. Meanwhile, I reheated some pasta sauce and crumbled some mozzarella. The veg mixture was spooned into bowls, the mozzarella was sprinkled on top, followed by a healthy spoonful of pasta sauce. Not terrific but it was tasty. And obviously fast and easy, which is often what I want on Friday nights. If I did this again, I’d use more chorizo (again, I used what I had, which was not a full sausage) and I’d add some rotini or fusilli or something. Or bread. Some kind of starch would have been nice and would have rounded out the meal. As it was, this was light but still filling, and I’d definitely do it again when I’m feeling particularly lazy.