Mid-Summer Random Bites & Cherry Clafoutis

July and August are my favorite months at the MCG.

The garden is flourishing with tomatoes and more tomatoes.
even potatoes..............we harvested a huge crop of beautiful fingerlings, and kicked that potato beetle's ass.

Heart shaped potatoes always welcome.

I know you've seen a cherry clafoutis or two here before.

I couldn't resist trying this Paris pastry chef's recipe using almond meal, a sugar crust and heavy cream.

It was so good. Best version ever. Recipe here.

By this time in the season my daily lunches consist of any vegetable I can grill, including my cherry tomatoes (throw them in a grill pan, why not?).

In this case, grilled zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, basil, sea salt & pepper.
Throw in some balsamic vinegar at the last minute, while the veggies are still warm, and drape over fresh creamy mozzarella cheese.

I wish summer would never end. yum.

Weird Cookies:

I know many of you people have LOVED these gluten free, oil free, butter free, sugar free, so called "cookies", but I did not.
However, Henry really liked them (go figure!).

I thought they tasted like those healthy peanut butter bars you buy, very soft and strange tasting.

These popular cookies were supposed to be in the shape of little round truffles (bites), but I decided to flatten them to see if they would crisp up.

They did not.

If you like cookies the consistency of raw cookie dough, you might like these.

I was drawn to this recipe because some of my favorite bloggers/cooks have made them with much success, and I love chickpeas, so why not?

I think I over processed them in the food processor, because my cookies came out brown from the chocolate chips.

Here is the original recipe.
Make them if you dare.

Visits to the Jersey shore a few times here and there.

They are open for business and working hard to come back after Super Storm Sandy.
It looks like some places are closed for good, either they have no insurance, or have no heart left in it. It's been rough for the people who live there.

We found a cute little place in Brielle called Local Urban Kitchen.

Open for breakfast and lunch only. They serve everything using local ingredients, dairy and gluten free if that's your preference (or in my case, not), smoothies and juices and amazing salads and great breakfasts.

Ok, the best things I have eaten so far this summer and possibly all year, were and will be (because I plan on eating them again):

the grilled day boat octopus with fennel salad and local Jersey potatoes w/ caper and lemon sauce at Porta.

Geez Louise.

Truth be told, I am not an octopus lover. However, someone told me this dish was not to be missed, and believe me, it's true.
I ordered it twice in the same night, it was that good (as my appetizer and entree!).

Octopus can be found at Porta Pizzeria in Asbury Park (where everything is over the top good).

Best pizza of the summer goes to the Jersey white corn pie w/ fresh mozzarella at Razza in Jersey City.

Some nights there have been squash blossoms or "hair-looms" seen on top, but my favorite is straight up. Jersey corn.

Razza Ridiculous.

and on a last note:

This is our nephew Jake, he loves the quinoa salad w/ the avocado and black beans and is a fan of Stacey Snacks.

He is delicious and I could eat him up!

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mil said…

Lovely blog, enjoying every paragraph and then THE SURPRISE..
Anonymous said…
That clafouti, pizza and Jake are all fabulous!

(the cookies not so much!). :)
Anonymous said…
I love, am addicted to, Larabars. Peanut butter chocolate chip variety. Embarrassing, but I admit it. Ergo, I'd probably love your 'weird cookies'. Pour some ice cold milk for me and Henry to wash down the little truffle turds and stop your snickering.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Keep the cookies, but give me the octopus please. Day boat octopus? Does that mean they're caught in NJ waters? I had no idea. I must get to Porta asap. LOVE the nephew eating quinoa.
Keep the cookies I'll take your platter of grilled zucchini and mozzarella, everything about it I love. I would like to try that corn pizza though!
Jean said…
I loved this post- from garden to table with lots to chew on . . . or salivate about.
Natalia said…
Loved your summer blog Stacey - grilled fresh veggies are awesome! The cookies aren't something I'd try - for me, when I have cookies I like them with butter, salt and flour, although chickpeas in a recipe sure sound interesting.

Your nephew is super cute!

Casey said…
Stacey, came across this recipe and thought of this post. It marries your love for tomatoes and clafoutis!

Stacey Snacks said…
Hey Casey,

I made a cherry tomato clafoutis last summer.......so good.