A Southern Grace: beat the heat with a cat o' nine tails

August 10, 2008

beat the heat with a cat o' nine tails


Wow. When I first decided to host an event, I convinced myself that I'd be satisfied with even ten entries. Never in a million years would I have expected 64 of you to participate! (That's right, we had three late-comers, but I'm a softie like that...) I'm astounded and ever so grateful!

Now, let's get to it!

The only logical place to begin is with the starters (and a few miscellaneous sides):

I received two versions of salsa. The first was created by kellypea of Sass & Veracity, and she dubbed it SoCal NON-Cowboy Caviar. You won’t find sugar anywhere near her salsa/salad/salsa salad, but you’d better not skip the salsa verde.

Lucy from Sweets, Savories, etc. sent in the second salsa, inspired by the Southwestern Egg Rolls from Chili’s (one of my favorite chain restaurants). It’s appropriately named Southwestern Salsa, and contains all the goodies you find in one of those egg rolls and more.

One of my favorite foods to come out of Greece is Tzadziki Sauce—it’s so versatile and tasty. This particular version comes from one of my go-to sources for authentic Greek dishes--Erinn from Sunday Dish. She does it right!

Susan and Kenny from Life at Quail Hollow made good use of their copious tomatoes with this Tomatoes and Goat Cheese appetizer. Stunning presentation!

The next starter is a real looker--Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Rolls made by Jude of Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate. She dared to take a Gordon Ramsay recipe and change it up a bit, adding almonds instead of pine nuts. I, for one, am glad she did—think of that crunch, people!

Lore from Culinarty sent in our final hors d'oeuvre. She made Cheese Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes. These are so lovely that I’m even willing to overlook the use of a hard-boiled egg.

I wasn’t sure where to stick the entry from Sandi of WhistleStop CafĂ©. Frankly, Dilly Beans are one of my favorite foods, and you’ll find me eating them at all times of the day. Yes, the beans get cooked, and yes, the brine is boiled, but I love these things, so I’m making an executive decision as the sole judge and allowing it!

Let’s move on to the cold soups:

I'm not kidding when I say that avocados are my weakness. If I see them in the ingredient list, I'm hooked. Antonia of FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD must've known this about me, because she offered up some magical Chilled Avocado Soup. Apparently the recipe came from her old milkman—if you ask me, he was a keeper!

Nuria from Spanish Recipes made a unique Green Gazpacho, utilizing some fennel and other lovely verdant veggies. The smell of this soup may take her back to her childhood, but it would probably take me to cloud nine!

How about a different but equally enticing gazpacho? This one comes from TS and JS of [eatingclub] vancouver. Would you look at that texture? Their father wasn’t interested in any cold soup, but I sure am.

The final gazpacho was a Citrus Gazpacho, sent to me from Sarah of Fritter. She almost set something on fire, but not her kitchen—her mouth! Be careful with those hot peppers!

I really, really hope to have some golden tomatoes soon, mostly because I want to make this Chilled Golden Tomato Bisque from Louise of Livin’ Local. She mentions the mantra “start with the best ingredients and don’t mess them up,” which I’ve never heard before but really like.

From there, let's move on to the salads. There were lots of salads, which makes perfect sense, wouldn't you say?

Elle from Elle’s New England Kitchen brought back this Fresh Summer Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Feta, and Pita Bread Wedges. The New England weather hasn’t been too harsh lately, but this would hit the spot whatever the temperature outside.

Marilyn from Simmer Till Done has a great option for those of you green-thumbers who have cukes taking over your gardens. Her Cucumber-Feta-Tomato Salad is easy-peasy and definitely appropriate for feeding a crowd.

The Olympics have started up in Beijing, and Christine of Kits Chow made her take on a Beijing Cucumber Salad after hearing a reference to it on the radio. Looks good to me!

Mary from Shazam in the Kitchen made a salad right up my alley--Black Bean, Corn, and Cabbage Salad. Great flavors, great textures, and healthy to boot. I can see why she’s been eating this for years.

One of the best things about summer is the fresh fruit it brings. This salad of Summer Fruits made by OhioMom of Cooking in Cleveland would certainly hit the spot on a hot day. Isn’t that kiwi beautiful? I think it’s gotta be one of the most photogenic fruits.

If you like Greek flavors, you’re gonna love this Greek Salad submitted by nicisme from Cherrapeno. You can rest assured at its authenticity since she first had it on her honeymoon on a Greek island!

Another awesome greens-less salad is this Tomato, Pepper, Cucumber, and Feta Salad made by Laura of The Spiced Life. If, by chance, you’re wealthy and have a pantry full of balsamico, she recommends putting a drizzle of it right on top.

Dorit of prettybaking in Israel experiences some fierce heat during the summer, so we can definitely take her at her word that her Mango Salad is a refreshing treat. Take a look—it won’t take much convincing.

This aptly-named dish sent in by Nikki of canarygirl is downright gorgeous. I’ve never seen canned lentils, but she had some in her pantry and made excellent use of them. The bit of cloves in Michelle’s Incredible Lentil Salad is an awesome touch.

Coming to us all the way from South Africa is Jeanne of Cook Sister! She offers a Carrot and Coriander Salad, which hit the spot for her after a particularly trying commute home from work. Whether you call it coriander or cilantro, it’s still my favorite herb.

Caprese Salad is a quick, beautiful, delicious, and healthy dish made by Jescel from Spice of Life. Her post is particularly heartfelt, stressing how essential it is that we maintain some sort of personal contact in this technology-focused world.

I love me some beans, and Mindy from Coffee & Queso sent in her favorite summer side, a Tuscan Cannellini and Tuna Salad. It takes her back to her time spent studying abroad in Tuscany—I can barely contain my jealousy!

Jessica of FoodMayhem added a dazzling new dish to her repertoire with this Asian Pear Beet Salad. I’m loving those colors and the unique combination of tastes sounds pretty enticing.

Another fruity and minty salad (a Cantaloupe Salad with Avocado and Mint, to be exact) was sent in by cookinpanda of Flexitarian Menu. She tried a unique variety of melon--the Crenshaw--and deemed it to be very similar to the cantaloupe. It doesn’t matter what you call it--she had me at avocado.

Marie of A Year From Oak Cottage wrote a really lovely post about the importance of being kind—you really should read her beautiful words. They’re so beautiful that I’m willing to look past the boiling required for the potatoes in her Tomato, Potato, Corn, and Basil Salad. Simple and delicious.

I’m not surprised that Deeba from Passionate About Baking was able to overcome the heat with this Explosive Mango-Nectarine Salad. Her vinaigrette sounds amazing!

Our last salad comes from Ann of Redacted Recipes. Her Cool as a Cucumber, Melon, and Tomato Salad combines all sorts of textures, colors, and flavors to yield a completely appetizing dish.

Main dishes were scarce, but it's all about quality, not quantity:

Susan of Slice of Sueshe brought back her Cheesecake Factory-inspired Chinese Chicken Salad. Skip the fried wonton skins and use leftover cooked chicken and you’ve got a perfect no-heat-required summer meal.

In an effort to cope with the unacceptable lack of Mexican mercados in her vicinity, Francie Baker of Frantic Home Cook made this Bulgur Salad with Feta and Shrimp. If you can’t have Mexican, I think it’s a filling and suitable alternative.

Sharon from Culinary Adventures of a New Wife made a fancy-shmancy Tuscan Fagioli con Tonno. Don't you think food names sound more sophisticated when they're in Italian?

Chipotle is an eye-catching word for me. If I see it, I'm intrigued. Mrs. L from Pages, Pucks and Pantry made a Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad that sounds downright drool-worthy and completely good for you. That chicken was already cooked, right, Mrs. L?

Michelle of Big Black Dogs has improved the boring ol' BLT and made a BBLT--Bacon, Basil, Lettuce, and Tomato. I, for one, think basil would make all the difference for this quick-fix meal.

Every meal needs a beverage:

How about a Fuzzy Peach Melba? Cathy of Noble Pig has made one heck of a beautiful version, obviously inspired by the delicious dessert of the same name. What an excellent use for a plethora of peaches.

To me, Lassi brings to mind the loveable dog that frequently saves young Timmy. To Nazarina of giddy gastronome, an Iced Mango Lassi is a refreshing and delicious yogurt-based drink. I like 'em both.

Tiffany of The Garden Apartment got a mega watermelon, so she put it to good use. She made both a fantastic Watermelon Rum Colada and a Watermelon Granita. She admits to using the stove to make her simple syrup, but that’s okay--there’s always the microwave option!

Last, but in no way (no way) least, are the desserts:

First up, a cupcake fake-out! Rindy R. from Kitchen Klique created this Mint Chocolate "Cupcake" using just four ingredients and has me convinced that it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Although it's not all that hot in South Africa right now, this Strawberry Yogurt Tart from Nina of Nina’s Kitchen would hit the spot in any weather. She used a kettle to heat some water, but again, a microwave will do the trick.

Lynne of And Then I Do The Dishes brings us her Lemon-Lime Frozen Yogurt. I don't know about you, but I've always found lemon-lime-flavored anything to be refreshing, and I'm sure this is no exception.

Gloria from Canela Kitchen’s Recipes made a similar frozen concoction--Lemon Pie Ice Cream. I personally think this would be incredible on top of a hunk of warm blueberry pie.

Linda of make like sweeter! introduced me to a new delight--Halawa Tamr, or Walnut and Date Balls. They’re suitable for people on any diet, whether it be gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, or dairy-free.

How about some cheesecake? Kevin of Closet Cooking prepared a gorgeous No-Bake Cheesecake, bejeweled with plump blueberries. I’m especially loving the addition of maple syrup to his crust.

Emiline of Sugar Plum will make your mouth water for her Greek Frozen Yogurt with Honey-Drizzled Currants. She was a bit surprised by the sourness of the currants, but I’m sure that was quickly taken care of with the honey drizzle. It’s also important to mention that she wrote her post with a piece of her finger missing—what a trooper.

Oakley Rhodes of Lemonbasil threw together this Minty "Ugly Fruit" Smoothie using some produce that was on the brink of biting it. She made a pretty good save, wouldn't you say? It’s great when something ugly morphs into something beautiful.

We're in serious need of some chocolate here! Luckily for us, Jessica from Fearless Kitchen created some Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream, making wonderful use of that glorious ingredient known as Nutella.

I love a good pina colada, but I'd love a slice of Lisa's Pina Colada Pie even more. It’s easy and quick—which is usually an important characteristic for me—as well as refreshing and creamy. Check out her blog The Cutting Edge of Ordinary for more great eats.

Something named Diet "Buster" Bars is bound to be delicious, and that's certainly true for this decadent creation from Cathy of Where's My Damn Answer. The possibilities for add-ins are endless, and I think each one deserves to be tested.

Elvis is getting a lot of recognition in Blogland these days. Bunny from Bunny's Warm Oven made an Elvis Parfait that the King (and everyone else) would no doubt love.

Sophie from Flour Arrangements just got a new oven, but she didn't need it for her No Bake Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies. These would be appropriate for any season.

I love being introduced to exotic new foods, and Mike of Mike's Table has done just that with his Dragon Fruit and Coconut Sherbet. Isn’t his presentation magnificent?

Need more chocolate? I do. Check out Christie's awesome contribution--Chocolate and ANZAC Ice Cream Sandwiches. (Also awesome? Christie's blog, Fig and Cherry. Go see for yourself.)

If you're like me and your experience with figs begins and ends with Fig Newtons, you'll be excited by what Amy and Johnny of We Are Never Full made for the event--Figs with Yogurt, Honey, and Pistachio. This is a wonderfully elegant dessert, even if, like Amy and Johnny, you’re not a dessert person.

Melanie of My Kitchen Cafe recreated her delightful Frozen Key Lime Pie. I'll tell you one thing--I wouldn't have any problem devouring this before it got soft on me. And just look at that color!

Do you know what a paleta is? I didn't, but fortunately, Krysta of Evil Chef Mom was kind enough to educate me. She made these unique Banana & Dulce de Leche Paletas. Just hearing the words “dulce de leche” makes me weak in the knees.

Indigo from Happy Love Strawberry sent in a double whammy--Pineapple Sorbet and Coconut Ice Cream. I know sorbet is better for you, but give me that ice cream (even if it does require a bit of heat)!

Would you believe I've never tasted saffron? Mansi of Fun and Food certainly has, and she used it in this Shrikhand, a traditional Indian yogurt and saffron dessert. Not only is this a simple and delicious dish, but it also has the added bonus of being calcium-dense!

Whether you say "pee-cans" or "pa-cahns," these Pralines made by Lisa of My Own Sweet Thyme will please your palate. This is one of the best uses for the microwave that I’ve ever seen.

It's about time for a little more chocolate, wouldn't you say? Here's what Gigi of gigi cakes created--Milk Chocolate Malted Ice Cream. We’re lucky to have a picture of this ice cream, since it seems that Gigi’s ice creams have a tendency to be eaten before the camera can even come out of its case!

Susan of Sticky, Chewy, Creamy, Gooey made some stunning Mango-Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream. Doesn't that sound like a stellar combination? It’s quite the looker, too, and makes me wish I had my very own mango tree.

This Mixed Fruit and Yoghurt Parfait made by Zhulaiha of ovenhaven could double as a breakfast or healthy dessert. She says she prefers to call it her “These Are a Few Of My Favourite Things Parfait,” which is a nice reference to one of my favorite movies of all time.

I adore avocados. So does Jescel from Spice Of Life (and the aforementioned Caprese Salad), so she made an Avocado Shake. Does this healthy concoction count as a dessert? I vote yes, although I might get caught eating it for breakfast.

Amy from Tart Reform consulted a Robin Miller cookbook to make her Frozen Lime Pie. So simple, so delicious, and I’m loving the green sprinkles she threw in for color.

Have you ever heard of using cream cheese to make ice cream? Tartasacher from mil postres (1000 Desserts) created this Cheese Ice Cream with Red Sauce Fruits, which sounds like it’d be tangy and smooth and all together heavenly.

Finally, we have these No Bake Granola Bars from Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, which are perfect for any type of weather and any time of day. The variety of things you could add also make these appropriate for anyone’s tastes!

There you have it, folks--one whopper of a beat-the-heat round-up.

Perhaps you’re curious about the prize-winner, yes? When I said I’d be picking an entry based on deliciousness, relevance, perhaps some visual appeal, and any other random factor I deemed important, I assumed I’d have only a few entries from which to choose. As it is, there are just way too many amazing creations to justify singling one out, so I had to change my plans. The last thing I want to do is hurt feelings or create hostility (especially when it’s directed toward me...). So, I meticulously and painstakingly wrote out the names of all the contributors and drew one out of a bag.

Drum roll, please...

The winning entry is:

Sarah, from the lovely blog Fritter! Milady, if you’d like your prize (New South Grilling), please send me an email with some contact information. Don’t worry--I’m an extremely precautious and discrete person and I promise not to sell your address to any junk mail purveyors or stalkers.

Thanks again to everyone who participated (and even those who thought about contributing but got distracted)--I’m much obliged!


Sharon said...

Congrats to you for such a great roundup and to Sarah for beating the odds! I'm lovin' all these entries and its about time I shut my oven off. I end up sweating every time, and who wants to be served dinner by a sweaty woman?!

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a great resource this post is! Grace, what a lot of work you did putting it together, but it's forever living in my delicious bookmarks and I know I'll be coming back to you for this, over and over.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

What great pics! Fabulous job Grace!

Anonymous said...

Really great event-- thanks for hosting it, Grace! And congrats to Sarah!

OhioMom said...

Awesome!!! I have to finish my housework, but I will definitely be back to check out these delicious dishes.

Great roundup :)

The Blonde Duck said...

That must have taken forever to write! But it looks wonderful--you've got me ready for lunch at 8:30 a.m.! I'm glad you enjoyed Pumble's late entry!

Ann said...


Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

Great "Round up" You deserve a big applause for all your work and effort on this one!! Great recipes by everyone who played!!

Bunny said...

Grace ,fantastic event and turn out! Congratulations Sarah! This was alot of fun Grace and the recipes....WOW!!!

Albany Jane said...

Sweet! Now I know what I'm cooking for the rest of summer!

Mary said...

What a super event! Everything looks so delicious! Congratulations Sarah!

Marilyn said...

Congratulations, Sarah - what an enticing crowd to beat! Thanks Grace for hosting such a yummy event. Great job!

Deborah said...

I'm so glad you got so many participants! I was going to send over my salsa, but my brain is not with me these days. But you sure did get quite a turn out!!

Lucy..♥ said...

What a great roundup & wonderful "beat the heat" entries...

Thank you, Grace, for a timely event!! :-)

Congrat's to Sarah

Elle said...

Congrats, Sarah!

What a delicious and refreshing round up!

Susan @ SGCC said...

What a great roundup! So many fantastic dishes. I want to try all of them! Thanks so much for hosting this fun event. Excellent job, Grace!

Lisa said...

Definitely some fabulous food here! How great to have so many wonderful choices in one place for those days it is just too hot to cook. You really did good with this one Grace. Thanks!

April was in CA now MA said...

Oh man...what to try first! I think I'll go with a dessert.

Thanks for a beautiful round-up Grace!

Abitofafoodie said...

What a great roundup! How fantastic. I don't know where to start with all those delicious recipes. Too bad that here in England, the sun summer seems to have vanished and it is all rather chilly.
Hope it will warm up soon and when it does, I know right where to come for inspiration!

Mansi said...

that's one heck of a roundup grace! so many interestig recipes to choose from! thanks for the effort girl:)

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Wow, congratulations Grace! What a wonderful line-up :)

Anonymous said...

Now I have about a zillion new recipes to make...they are so beautiful. Thanks for doing this and giving us all some great idea...that key lime pie color..WOW!

I can't imagine how tired your fingers are from adding the links. Ouch!

Sarah said...

Wow, thank you so much, Grace! I am honored to be a part of such an excellent round-up and can't wait to cook from New Southern Grilling (once the temp goes down, of course)! This round-up has given me an introduction to so many wonderful blogs and recipes; thank you for hosting such a terrific event!

Allison Jones said...

What a turnout! Thanks for hosting!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing the legwork to gather and post all of these yummy recipes. With the heat 'round here nearing triple digits, I'm sure a few of these will make it to my table this week.

Anonymous said...

So many great recipes to try! Thanks for doing all this work.

And yes, Costco Rotisserie chicken...they cook it for you so you don't have to (or some such saying!)

pam said...

Grace, what a fabulous round-up! I can't believe I didn't get organized enough to enter!

Anonymous said...

Great job on the round up. These are some good looking no-bake dishes. I think I'm going to have to try one of the desserts first, though. :-)

LyB said...

Such creative entries! Everything looks delicious, and there's so much variety. This was such a fun event! Grace, you're the best. :)

Anonymous said...

Great round-up! This is so impressive! I now have so many ideas to make things without heat for the next few weeks.

La Bella Cooks said...

I am loving all the gorgeous food and photography! Congrats to the winner :)

Sophie said...

What a fun roundup, so many beautiful photos! Congrats to the winner :). Thanks for still including me :D.

Laura said...

Wow, 64. I think I'd be torn between total excitement and sheer panic at the round up! But I live in fear of trying to do a round up anyway--perhaps because Blogger and I rarely get along. Good job with it, though, it was a great event and a gorgeous round up.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Grace! What a resounding success! Congrats to Sarah for taking the prize. I just kept tick, tick, ticking off all the recipes I'd like to make in the near future as I looked at those photos! Looking forward to the next event!

Paula said...

WOW! That is one awesome event! I just looked through all of them, and there are just so many yummy things to try. I fear I'll never leave my kitchen ... but at least I'll be happy and well fed! Great event!

sherry said...

wow! thanks to you, we can all enjoy some great food the next few months. fun post. cheers!

Marie Rayner said...

What a fabulous roundup Grace!!! Just wonderful! I am loving it, and oh, before I forget, congrats to Sarah for winning the prize!

Anonymous said...

What a great turnout you got! Makes me seriously wish it was warm enough here to make those dishes *drools*. Might have to save some for summer ;)

Lore said...

After seeing these refreshing treats I'm more than convinced we can take this obnoxious heat down! Thanks for hosting Grace :)

Gloria Baker said...

Grace, absolutely nice and lovely round up!! are so many yummy recipes!! Congrats to you!! xxxand thanks, Gloria

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is one fabulous round-up. They all look so good I don't know where to begin. Great job by everyone.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

What a great roundup! So many fabulous entries - I'm inspired to go not cook.

Lori said...

This was a great idea! Definitely a resource for hot days! Thanks for rounding up!

Anonymous said...

These recipes are AMAZING! I'm only about a quarter of the way through and have bookmarked so many. Excellent event! I know I said it before, but it's really one of the best I've seen. Hostess with the mostest, right? ;)

Jescel said...

WOW.. is all i can say. thank you for putting this together.

Anonymous said...

OMG, what a HUGE and delicious round up!! Great event, I can't believe we missed out on this one! Bummer! :(
Now I have a full menu for all out blistering hot days! You know Grace, you could publish a book just on this subject!

Nic said...

Grace - I've really enjoyed this round-up, what a lot of fabulous food!
Thank you so much.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This is a tremendous roundup and a great resource for the no-heat-required impaired like myself. Great work!

Chef Jeena said...

Wow great round up Grace! :-)

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Wow, what a great turnout -- thank you for hosting the event and giving us this great round-up! I'll be click-happy for the next couple of hours (just don't tell my boss).

Cate said...

Wow, so many great entries! I'm always looking for new ideas when it comes to keeping the kitchen cool in the dead of summer, and this is going to be a great spot to revisit. Great roundup!

toontz said...

It looks like I missed all the fun...maybe I will make the next one! Great recipes!

Anonymous said...

Good LAWD what a fantastic roundup! So many scrumptious things to try!!! May I just say that that chocolate malted ice-cream is seriously--SERIOUSLY killing me? omfg. This round up is totally bookmarked for future reference. NEAR future. Great job, sweetie! :D

Y said...

What a mammoth roundup! I wish I'd had the time to enter. Looking forward to utilising some of the ideas from the entries when the heat finally hits us here (it's freeeezing at the moment!).

Emily said...

YAY! Great roundup, Grace! Hopefully people will get some good ideas out of this.

Gigi said...

Wow! Amazing entries. Grace you did a wonderful job of hosting a great event. All those wonderful no heat foods ...I'm in heaven.

Anonymous said...

yeah that was a stupendous assortment of cool and delicious looking dishes, wow what an inspiring post!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Wow! Fantabulous round-up! Usually I'd say that we are not a "cold-food" type of family... but there are a lot of good stuff here! =D

Jaime said...

wonderful roundup and quite the successful event, i'd say! you should be proud :)

lubnakarim06 said...

First time here. Nic and yum blog. I love the feel the heat event. All my fav things. hope to participate in the next event hosted by u.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a round up. Good on you Grace, that's a fantastic effort.

So many wonderful recipes, I'm overwhelmed!

Anonymous said...

Dang - I kept saying I was going to participate, but imagine that... I didn't. Ugh. What a great event! I'm so glad you had a great turnout.

test it comm said...

Great roundup!

Deeba PAB said...

AWESOME ROUND-UP Grace. Great to have such a fab resource under 1 roof...well done. Must have been a load of hard work!!Fabulous!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, so many great recipes. I'll save this post for sure! There are so many beautiful photos of yummy food. Great round-up!

Robin said...

Wow what a great success you had here. I hope to be home for the next one! Love all the new recipes I need to try out!

Susan said...

What a great collection!

Anonymous said...