Cute to Cunning: Grilled Peach and Ricotta Salad with Arugula, Walnuts and Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette

My arms were full but they were so cute.  Perched on the edge of a table at the farmers market, you couldn’t walk passed without giving at least an endearing glance at the little cartons of donut peaches.  They would become dinner.

I love salads with oomph.  It’s hard to accomplish without bacon, but it’s possible if you have cheese and grill marks.  Both were at my fingertips.

I started with the cheese.  The thought of creating it yourself in your own kitchen is extremely exciting.  What’s fantastic about homemade ricotta, is that it’s delicious and incredibly simple to make.  I’m not joking.  I’d never tried it before because I hadn’t taken the 3 minutes to buy cheesecloth (the only specialty item required).  That’s actually the hardest step, buying the cheesecloth.  So, once that laborious process is over, you can get into comfy clothes, make ricotta and drizzle the leftover (nutritious) whey on your dog’s dinner.  (Yes whey.)

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Kumquat Marmalade with Thyme – A Kumquat’s Destiny Fulfilled

I wouldn’t call myself a jam maker.  But, when I saw a bowl of kumquats on the kitchen counter left over from my extensive photo shoot with kiwis (they didn’t make the cut), I knew I had to do something with them.  I have a love/hate relationship with kumquats.  One moment, I’ll eat one that is fantastically tart and bursting with sweet, citrus flavor.  Then, I’ll reach for another and I’m suddenly aware that I’m eating a miniature, oval shaped orange with its skin.  The tartness and pithiness practically slaps me across the face and I’m left feeling confused and alone.  I’m being a little dramatic.  What it boils down to is that I knew I’d be staring at that bowl of kumquats on the counter until they spoiled, the orange pile only slightly dented from the curious passerby.  I can’t stand watching a fruit or vegetable spoil.  I made marmalade.

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