Summer

So I seriously suck at this…I just do.  I am so busy I barely ever have time to write. But that’s a good thing I think.  My family has grown in the past year, something that has made me beyond happy, and I am busy playing, travelling and cooking for all seven of us and I have little time to write or set up for elaborate pictures of what I have been cooking.  So here is a rundown in pics of summer thus far…

Jamaica in June

We got a smoker!!! I now smoke the shit out of all kinds of things.IMG_3986

More than a week in Long Beach, Michiana (Lake Michigan) with all five kids.

Cutest baby ever turning one (niece).

Zero complaints for the summer. It’s been hot as hell, as summer should be in Chicago, little rain and everyone is healthy and happy.

Now for some of the food…
The sour cherry crop was absolutely awesome, so awesome that I am still getting some even now at the farmer’s market. This is a cherry cobbler that was almost my favorite, not quite as favorite as my cherry pie, but a lot quicker.IMG_4377

Blueberry lavender pie, cause we picked 35 pounds of blueberries in Michigan.blueberrypie

Squash blossom, roasted tomato, baby zucchini and pesto pizza, grilled with a sunny side egg on top. Jim was not as wild about the egg as I was.

Smoked shit (all kinds of shit, brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, chicken wings…this is my new favorite thing. I mean seriously ribs do not get any better than being smoked with a good rub, basted in cider vinegar, dripping and molasses and brushed with homemade bbq sauce. The highlight of my summer.  Best thing the man could ever have gotten me.

So there is where my head has been the last few months. I am sure yours has been somewhere equally as fabulous. Hope you are enjoying it.

Make this cherry cobbler if you get your hands on sour cherries…if you can’t get some berries and still make this…it’s good and simple. But you’d be silly to eat it without ice cream.IMG_4595

Sour cherry cobbler (I made this one up)
About 8 cups of sour cherries, pitted
4 tablespoons of flour
¾ cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon of salt
Half stick of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

2 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cold butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons of salt
1/3 cup of butter milk

Mix cherries (and all their juices) with sugar, four, the ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Butter a large baking dish, I use a 13×9 stoneware baking dish, but any large baking dish will work. Dump half the cherry mixture in the pan and dot with half the cold butter cubes. Empty the rest of the cherry mixture into the dish and dot with remaining butter.
Whisk the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until it is crumbly. Mix together egg and buttermilk. Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork just until combined.
Drop topping by spoonfuls onto cherries. Sprinkle white sugar on top.
I bake this for about 45 minutes at 375, at least until the cherries have released their juices and the juice is thick and bubbly.

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