Okay, the summer is not quite out of reach yet, but the last few mornings I’ve been remembering one of the best songs (and videos) that I recall from my teen years (I’m showing my age here). If my life had a soundtrack, this song would definitely be on it.
I actually had to pull my fluffy robe out of the closet this morning. The sun is setting earlier as each day passes and the mornings are coming later. With some regret, I’ve begun closing the windows at night before going to bed since the weatherman has issued freeze warnings this week. Freeze warnings. Before Labor Day. Big sigh.
As if the need for a warm robe in the mornings isn’t indicator enough, Music On The Beach held its last concert of the season last night. I think this free event is one of Tahoe’s best kept “secrets”. So, Thursday evenings, all summer long, we hauled our beach blanket, a bottle of wine and snacky foods to the shores of Lake Tahoe to enjoy a spectacular sunset.
And some fine music, too.
The music venue, clearly, did not suck. Did I mention it was free?
Our favorite portable picnic dinner is Chicken-Out Salad from Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook. There are variations of this recipe posted all over the web, so I won’t bother posting it here. But, I suggest omitting the salt and reducing the Vegenaise in the recipe. Folding halved red grapes into the salad makes it extra special. We like to “Chicken-Out” with assorted crackers, sliced vegetables and pita halves.
Lately, I’ve been perusing Middle Eastern cookbooks. I adapted this recipe from Secrets of Cooking: Armenian/Lebanese/Persian. This dip is a nice break from the usual hummus and it’s a perfect picnic snack with sliced veggies and plain rice crackers.
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Mouhamara (Red Pepper And Walnut Spread)
2 cups walnut pieces
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 16-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 to 2 Tablespoons pomegranate concentrate* (I bought mine at Whole Foods)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons pine nuts to garnish along with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix. Finish mixing by hand for a coarse texture or continue to pulse for a finer texture.
Spread in a shallow serving dish and garnish with pine nuts, if desired.
*Note: Use less pomegranate concentrate if you prefer your Mouhamara a little less sweet.
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