Maple Coconut Granola and a Glut of Peaches

Maple Coconut Granola (v+gf) & Summer Peaches | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonMaple Coconut Granola (v+gf) & Summer Peaches | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonMaple Coconut Granola (v+gf) & Summer Peaches | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Backyard Summer Peaches

“You know, you ought to make a peach pie while you’re here…”

Dad had just laid out an armful of fragrant, blushing peaches on the island. He said it offhandedly, as if the thought of homemade pie had just occurred to him, though we both knew full well that peach pie was one of his very favorite treats, that he’d been plotting this for some time, and that I’d unequivocally say yes.

I followed him out to the peach tree, which stood bigger than I remembered, the twisting branches heaving under the weight of dozens of resplendent, rosy-hued fruit. I happened to be back home in Santa Barbara for a long weekend right in the midst of the ephemeral peach season, a twelve minute period that falls sometime between late-June and early-July every year.

If you stand under those heavy, dappled branches for more than a moment during that fleeting season (really about two weeks long), you’ll hear the regular, sorrowful thunk of too-ripe-to-hold-on-any-longer peaches hitting the ground, as they all ripen at once. It’s a delicious battle every Summer to consume and give away as many sweet, flavorful, perfect peaches as possible before the yellowjackets set in at the end of the short-lived harvest. But for the moment, I was focused on pie, and picked as many peaches as I could carry.

Eleven peaches would make their way into a stunning lattice-topped pie, capping off Sunday dinner, while the rest of that splendid hoard would be eaten inelegantly, hunched over the sink, sticky, sweet, peach juice running down our chins…

Maple Coconut Granola (v+gf) & Summer Peaches | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonMaple Coconut Granola (v+gf) & Summer Peaches | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonMaple Coconut Granola (v+gf) & Summer Peaches | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon (more…)

Classic Cherry Blueberry Pie

Classic Cherry Blueberry Pie | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonClassic Cherry Blueberry Pie | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonClassic Cherry Blueberry Pie | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonClassic Cherry Blueberry Pie | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonClassic Cherry Blueberry Pie | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Not a lot of words today, but I do have pie!

I made this for the Fourth, the same day I stepped onto a plane with my one way ticket from San Francisco to start a new life with my love in Georgia, and a few years later, the same weekend we tied the knot in front of the historic courthouse steps and our friends and family (and a few looky loos) in my hometown. It’s a special holiday for us, and this year we celebrated with this cherry blueberry pie and spicy homemade ceviche, and the city was kind enough to light up the night with fireworks in honor of our anniversary…

The star of this pie is the flavorful, peak-season cherry blueberry filling, sweetened with dark brown sugar and a hint of vanilla and almond; dark, syrupy goodness that bubbles over the edges. Or maybe it’s the flakey, all-butter crust, my go-to pastry, and a recipe I know by heart and by feel, that never disappoints. Either way, this pie – as with all Summer fruit pies – is a juicy, flavorful stunner, just as worthy of a special celebration as a casual gathering with friends, or simply an excuse to use up a basket of berries.

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Ultimate Quinoa Veggie Cheeseburgers

Ultimate Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonUltimate Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonUltimate Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonUltimate Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonUltimate Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

We lugged our massive BBQ grill out of the storage shed a few weeks ago, and we’ve been grilling just about everything in sight since, from sticky, sweet BBQ chicken, to local salmon filets, fresh veggies, the first stone fruit to pop up in the market, and of course tons of burgers.

I love nothing more than cooking and eating outside, especially on long, warm summer days, when the sun doesn’t begin to set until nine or later this far north. Lately, we’ve made an almost daily habit of spending our evenings out on the back patio, enjoying a cocktail or beer and soaking up the warm weather while cooking casual weeknight dinners on the grill. Living in all-too-often gloomy, coastal Washington, it’s practically criminal to waste a single warm and sunny day, and the glut of sunshine feels downright glorious.

One of our favorite al fresco recipes are these quinoa veggie burgers. Make that veggie cheeseburgers, because, in this house, a burger is not a burger without a big slice – or two – of delicious, melted cheese.

When I first proposed these veggie burgers – a hearty, flavorful quinoa and white bean patty, topped with Sargento® Natural Cheese Slices, a smokey burger spread, buttery avocado slices, lettuce, and crispy homemade dill pickles – my carnivorous hubby was skeptical.

But when he promptly polished off one – then two – cheeseburgers in one sitting, and asked if there were more, I knew that I was onto something. That meat-loving man is always my best barometer of vegetarian recipes. (more…)