Wow, what a summer it has been.  Lots of sun and fun memories from adventures outdoors!   This all equates to very little time for blogging.  As I suspect that you out there are also spending less time online, I thought I would do a summary of the best meals I’ve made over the month of August.  That way while we enjoy our last few weeks of summer cooking, you might find a recipe or two to try out before we turn to the comforts of fall cooking.

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Best Summer Cocktail: The Kitchn’s Strawberry Basil Margaritas.  As I had mentioned in my last post, these were served over the August long-weekend.  Very tasty and not too sweet!  It was also very pretty in the jug!

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Most Eye-appealing (& tasty) pasta:  Linguine with Tapenade, Tomatoes and Arugula from Everyday Food

You don’t have to be an olive lover to enjoy tapenade!  I think of it as the Mediterranean version of pesto, and it works great on pasta, as a dip with crostini, on sandwiches, etc.  This pasta was made with whole wheat spaghetti.

Ingredients (serves 4):

coarse salt and ground pepper, 1 lb. linguine, 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving, ¾ lb. cherry tomatoes, halved, ¼ c. plus 2 T. tapenade, 2 c. baby arugula, 2 T. chopped fresh parsley, 1½ oz. feta, crumbled (¼ c.)

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook linguine according to package instructions. Drain pasta.
2. In pot, heat oil over medium. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
3. Return pasta to pot, stir in tapenade, and cook until heated through. Add arugula and toss to combine. Season with salt & pepper.
4. Divide among four bowls, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with parsley and feta.
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Best Vegetarian Dish: Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu from Cooking Light.  I find that frying the tofu in a small amount of Pam gives it some texture so that it holds it’s shape better and also absorbs the flavours of the dish better.   Also soba noodles are a great alternative starch if you’re tired of rice/pasta/potatoes!  Oh I almost forgot – I added shelled edamame  for my hubby, for extra protein in case he wasn’t crazy about the tofu.  Turned out both the tofu and edamame were a hit!
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Best Twist on Fish:  Grilled garlic-lime fish tacos with corn-tomato relish!   If you can, make sure you give the fish lots of time to absorb the wonderful garlicy lime flavours.  I used extra marinade and let it sit for 45 minutes, as I feel that the more flavourful the fish, the better the tacos!  Serve this with a mexican inspired green salad and some homemade guacamole with tortilla chips!  I love to put cilantro in my guac.  What’s your favorite addition to guacamole?
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Best quick dish:  Cucumber and Mango Salad with Chili-spiced Pork .  I love having fruit for dinner!
Pork seems to get a bad reputation sometimes.  But we have to remember, if it’s a lean cut of pork (centre-loin chops, pork tenderloin, etc) it’s just as healthy as chicken.  It’s the fattier cuts like pork shoulder and bacon that we want to eat less often.
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Best New-take on a Potluck Salad:  Roasted Edamame Salad from Food Network.   Summer’s finest (fresh corn, tomatoes) and featured in this protein-rich salad.  It’s an unconventional pairing of flavours (you’d think cumin and cilantro would be seen here); however this roasted salad is one of my new favs!  You’ve got to try it!!
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Enjoy the end of August!!  I will be back with more supper recipes soon!
Happy Cooking!
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