Well the birthday song has been sang and the candles have been blown out – we officially have a 2 year old!!! My sweet baby boy is no longer a baby – technically, anyway, but forever and always in my mind – which didn’t start fully crushing my heart and soul until after Lincoln went to bed last night, and I may have shed a small tear or two. So bittersweet. MY BABY!!!
Anyway, we had a great weekend celebrating the L-man! His birthday was yesterday, but we had his party Saturday morning to make a whole weekend out of it. Lincoln’s favorite thing in the entire world right now is the whole Sesame Street gang so I snagged these boingy decorations from Nobbies which Ben hung all over the kitchen early Saturday morning.
Lincoln’s mind was completely blown when he saw all his “friends” hanging from shiny strings from the ceiling when he came down the stairs. He was so excited that he just kept running back and forth from room to room!
We had a Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole (thank you Ben for assembling and turning on at 4:30am!) for everyone to eat as they arrived, then we got to present opening. Asking a toddler to wait to open a big pile of gifts is not an easy thing. He was antsy to see what was under all that wrapping paper. ;)
Lincoln’s cousin’s helped open and break in everything from his new toy kitchen to the “chef’s knife” and vegetables we got to go along with it. I’ll write a separate post on the Family Channel with details including what he’s liked best – so far the Magnadoodle and toy kitchen are leading the pack!
It was a beautiful, hot summer afternoon so we spent the majority of it outdoors, playing with the sprinkler, grilling, and just running around in bare feet.
The birthday night ended with a jam sesh in the backyard…
And a little peanut butter spoon action. What more could a little boy ask for? ;) Happy birthday to my goofy, sweet, snuggly little man. I cannot BELIEVE you are already two!!
Moving on before I start crying again…!
The beginning of August not only marks my baby’s birthday, but a really, really good month to eat fresh. The late-summer heat is sending gardens into overdrive and I’ve received a few open invitations from friends and family members to come over and raid their gardens whenever I feel like it. Their vegetables are growing faster than they can eat them!
That said, every month in my Weekly Newsletter (<– sign up, it’s free!) I include a recipe roundup focusing on what’s in season that month, and it’s always a hit with subscribers. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to share that kind of thing here on the site but figured August is a great time to start!
I hate to say it, but August is the last true month of summer (don’t shoot the messenger!) and when I start really going crazy with fresh produce like berries, peaches, green beans, sweet corn and zucchini – foods you can get all year round nowadays, but don’t taste nearly as good as they do right now, in the dog days of summer.
Today I’ve gathered up 20 of my favorite recipes featuring the ingredients I mentioned above, plus a few more late-summer favorites, to give you a chance to enjoy as much fresh produce as you can this month, before the leaves begin to change.
Eek – I can’t even talk about it!
With that, I hope you find a recipe or two you can enjoy this month!
Sweet Corn with Maple-Bourbon Brown Butter and Bacon
Just when I thought fresh Iowa sweet corn couldn’t get any better, I added maple syrup, bourbon, brown butter AND bacon to it! Sweet Corn with Maple-Bourbon Brown Butter and Bacon is so delicious your husband won’t even mind that you swiped some of his whiskey stash to make it. At least mine didn’t…much. ;) August is sweet corn month, so have at it!
Roasted Poblano Salsa Chicken Enchiladas with Cucumber Pico de Gallo
August is one of the busiest months for pepper production and my Roasted Poblano Salsa Chicken Enchiladas with Cucumber Pico de Gallo highlights beautiful, mild poblano peppers (and cucumbers and tomatoes which are also everywhere right now!) I shared this enchilada recipe, gosh, almost 5 months ago and I still think about it at least every other day. Need to make them again P-R-O-N-T-O.
Saucy Smothered Southern Chicken with Parmesan Grits
Bell peppers are selling for next to nothing around here and they’re out of this world good when seared with mushrooms and onions then piled onto creamy parmesan grits and smothered in pan sauce. Like seriously, GAHHH. I love this dish!
Vegetable Fajita Tostada Bowls
Vegetable Fajita Toastada Bowls are great not only because they highlight fresh summer vegetables, but also because they’re nearly no heat required – just a quick sear of peppers and onions in a skillet and you’re done. Great for hot August nights.
I was sitting in front of a display of peaches at Hy-Vee during a recent Iowa Food and Family cookbook giveaway and couldn’t stop commenting on how fragrant they were, even from 5+ feet away. So delicious, especially at this time each summer! Slice an armful into Peach-a-Berry Cobbler then serve as an easy, rustic summer treat.
Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes
The memory of eating sweet peaches drizzled with cream as a child inspired the recipe for Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes, which is one of my all-time favorite recipes here on IGE. You cannot go wrong with homemade whipped cream. There is nothing like it!
Peach Caprese Salad
Fruit and cheese pair perfectly and this fruity twist on the classic caprese salad is going to drive you wild. Choose peaches that are really fragrant and slightly soft to make sure you’re getting the sweetest ones. I could seriously eat this salad every single day in August. Who knows, maybe I will!
Triple Berry Summer Salad
Every time I post a salad recipe with fruit or berries I get at least one commenter who says they’ve never thought to combine the two. My answer? You MUST! Triple Berry Summer Salad ups the ante by including creamy avocado, tangy goat cheese, and crunchy sliced almonds in addition to three types of sweet summer berries. This salad is killer and perfect for enjoying the late-summer berry bounty.
Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies
I couldn’t love these cutie Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies more if I tried. Squishy, cakey cookies sandwiching decadent cream cheese frosting. Does a better use of August’s zucchini harvest exist?! (Psst, the answer is no!)
Sweet Chili Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken with Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice
August is a great time to eat cauliflower, which is not only crazy high in vitamin C but also contains nutrients that help reduce inflammation (which this Celiac definitely needs!) Nutrition aside, cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables I can think of. You can cut it into mashed potatoes or grate it then cook like rice, like in my Sweet Chili Coconut Lime Grilled Chicken with Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice. We go bonkers for this summer grill recipe.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Speaking of swapping cauliflower for rice – I did just that using my favorite fried rice recipe and I can’t tell you how many people have written to tell me that their family had no idea they were eating cauliflower instead of rice. Huzzah! I don’t know if I could make it through dinner without exploding if my family didn’t realize – there’s no way I could contain that amount of glee. (PS this dish is ready in 20 minutes!)
15 Minute Green Beans and Bacon
‘Tis the season for green beans! Have you seen the mountains of them at your Farmer’s Market or grocery store lately? Pick up a bunch then suate ’em with bacon and onions for an easy side dish with dinner. You’ll never eat them another way again.
Healthier Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Yep, you read that right. Healthier Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins! Squishy, secretly healthy (for a muffin, anyway!) and chock full of zucchini and two types of chocolate. These muffins are, pardon my 1995 vocabulary, DA BOMB.
Marinated Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Watermelon Salsa
Summer = watermelon season, so I usually spend most of August face planted in a cold juicy wedge pretending September isn’t just around the corner. Deny, deny, deny with this delicious, spa-feeling dish.
Perfect Grilled Steak with Herb Butter
After a few rainy weeks around here, herb hill officially has a mind of its own. Our herb plants are growing way faster than we can eat them, so I’m thinking about making a few big batches of fresh herb butter, like I used in my Perfect Grilled Steak with Herb Butter Recipe, to pull out long after the growing season ends. Grilled steak, fresh herb butter, plus a cold beer – pretty much sums August up to me!
Bacon, Leek and Mushroom Risotto
Summer might not scream risotto to you, but occasionally when it’s really hot out, and the AC is blasting, I crave comfort foods to warm me up. It makes sense in my mind. Anyway, Bacon, Leek and Mushroom Risotto is a great dish to use up late-summer leeks, which are one of my favorite foods. They play great with bacon and mushrooms, and really make the dish sing!
Leek and Mushroom Chicken Skillet
Ben and I are creatures of habit – that is to say we find ourselves making a lot of the same dishes over and over for dinner during the week. One of those dishes is Leek and Mushroom Chicken Skillet. It’s easy and comes together quickly, which means the hot stove isn’t on for a long period of time, plus anything with a pan sauce this good drizzled on top is a no brainer repeater for me!
Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
I know, I know – soup in August? Some people (raising my hand!) enjoy soup year round but even if you don’t, consider whipping up a batch of my Roasted Tomato Soup with late-summer’s best and juiciest tomato crop and freezing a batch for the fall and season that shall not be named. Using super-ripe, local tomatoes really make a difference taste-wise – this soup is absolutely delicious.
Italian Tomato-Basil Stuffed Zucchini
Raise your hand if you have more than 5 zucchini crowding your kitchen counter at the moment, and have no idea what to do with them? Hollow a few out and make my Italian Tomato-Basil Stuffed Zucchini. This light and healthy recipe features yummy fresh herbs and vegetables.
Grilled Chicken with Mom’s Barley-Corn Salad
Just the sight of my Grilled Chicken with Mom’s Barley-Corn Salad screams summer, don’t you think? Packed with fresh and colorful vegetables, this grilled recipe needs to happen at your house ASAP BFC (before Fall comes.) Swap the barley for rice to make it gluten-free!