I don't know if you've heard, but it's hot outside. Even if you're a total air conditioned shut-in, you know this from, well, Facebook. Because everyone felt the need to post the status update, "OMG! It's, like, rilly hot outside!"
There are a lot of folks out there who don't like to cook in the summertime. My step-mother, whose amazing cooking and baking really inspired me to get started in the kitchen myself, is one of those. I never quite understand it because she lives in central air conditioning. But who am I to judge?
I never stop cooking. Mostly because I've gotta eat. I only have an ancient window unit air conditioner in my studio-style living room/kitchen, but that's not going to stop me from preheating my oven to 350 and baking some cookies. One must have priorities. But I do try to pick good summer recipes.
From the book Vegan Brunch, I decided to make Courico Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa. Personally, I don't think of tacos as a breakfast food. I've heard tell, though, that throughout South and Central America, it's common practice to eat leftover dinner for breakfast, so I guess there's something to it. Maybe it's supposed to be breakfast-y because it has pineapples? Well, to me, that just makes it a great summer dinner food. So cool and fruity! I made a side of Viva Vegan!'s Cilantro-Lime Rice because I had cilantro from the taco recipe, leaving out green onions because I didn't have them on hand. Also, confession: it's Cilantro-Key-Lime Rice because, well, Key limes are what I had.
I never read a vegan blogger with a bad review of this one, have you? It's so freaking good. I ordered soy curls months ago expressly to make this recipe, and I'm glad I did. Soy curls are amazing. So... meaty! I'm going to have to order a lot of them, since they store forever. Rehydrate, cut 'em up, make some chili. For some reason, I keep thinking about making chili with them over everything else.
So, what's for dessert? Well, remember I mentioned those Key limes?
I never actually had a Key lime before. But there they were at Wegman's, and even though there is nothing local or organic about them, I couldn't resist. I wanted to try them! And, you know, they're tiny and kind of a pain to squeeze out without getting a ton of seeds in your measuring cup. And maybe I'm unsophisticated, but I'm not sure they taste very different from regular limes. Still, I made the Key-Lime Shortbread Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and they are addictively good. It's hard to eat just one.
I didn't have any bright green decorating sugar, only this light green kind, and it does ok, although its coarseness may be a bit much. Pretty little electric green crystals would be ideal. I can't honestly complain, though. This is a little delight of a cookie. Definitely worth baking in the summer for.
Speaking of things that are in no way local or organic, this guy at Wegman's had samples of a Frankenfruit he called "plumigranates." I've tried Googling it -- no dice. It's some kind of hybrid between plums and pomegranates. I shouldn't have bought any, I should really stick to the fruits at Phoenixville's Farmer's Market. But for some reason I bought a few.
These things are just ridiculously good. They taste like the most juicy, sweet plum you ever ate ever. I wouldn't mind being the Bride of THIS Frankenfruit -- they're that good. It's like that episode of Peewee Herman when he's going on about how much he loves fruit salad, and someone (Chairy, I think) says, "Well, why don't you marry it?" so he decides, okay, I WILL marry it! And they have a wedding with a bowl of fruit. That's what I'm looking to do with plumigranates. Don't look down on our love! Our love is pure! You'll see when you fall in love with a fruit from the wrong side of the tracks!