Our Edinburgh summer weather has been pretty miserable (this video sums it up). When we moved here last year, we heard, “this is is the worst summer in years”. As soon as this June hit with record levels of rain and now moving through July with flooding, the Edinburghers are saying, ”no seriously, this is the worst summer we have had- ever”. It does not look encouraging for future summers.
On the plus side, Ben and I are never hot, we can sleep under a duvet every night, wear jackets and even wool sweaters. While my American friends and family are looking for ways to cool down we are trying to stay toasty and dry.
This quest means we have been craving some non-summery foods. I found myself wanting tuna noodle casserole this week. When I told Ben the Minnesotan in me was trying to get out, he had a really sweet response, “I love it when the Minnesotan in you comes out, it reminds me you are foreign and exotic and I love you. Peas tuna noodle hotdish sounds great.” I tried this recipe. Ben loved it.
We invited some friends over for Bastille Day brunch and I made the above cake. The original recipe called a triple-berry summer buttermilk bundt cake with lemon glaze (from Smitten Kitchen), mine was a double berry summer buttermilk (make my own bundt tin) cake. We do not have a bundt pan. I also opted against glaze. It was really tasty and the lemon zest was a great addition.
My Mom turned me onto Food and Wine, she has a subscription to the magazine and highly recommended the Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese, which lucky for those of us without a subscription can this and loads of others. For additional smokey flavour she suggests cooking it on the grill, another way to stay cool during those hot mid-west summers.
Both Ben and my cousin Jack have June birthdays, so when Jack was here, I made Food and Wine’s Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Walnut Crust. It was my first cheesecake and it was really nice.
YUMMERS PLUS… When I was at my brother’s, he prepared some really nice meals. He is an excellent cook and has an Architectural Digest-worthy kitchen. Two of the dishes which stood out were a Chicken-Peanut Stew from Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit fame. I want to get his new book, Yes, Chef- there was an excerpt in June’s Vogue (Chef Samuelsson and model wife-they are quite the good looking pair-were featured). For afters Johnners whipped up Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp with Pistachio Crust and threw in some strawberries for extra zing.