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I am very fortunate to have wonderful friends – one group of which make arrangements to get together regularly for lunch. When life doesn’t intervene to postpone our carefully made plans, we usually meet in a restaurant, but I recently invited these fabulous ladies to dine out on the back deck – one of my favorite spots in our home, during one of my favorite times of the year to be outside.

I chose a light menu, cool and inviting to compliment the perfect outdoor weather, and then completed our unassuming meal with a bowl Parmesan Ice Cream with a Balsamic Vinegar Drizzle (https://recipedoodle.com/2015/05/18/parmesan-ice-cream-with-balsamic-vinegar-drizzle/).


tangy tomato basil soup

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 garlic clove

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

fresh basil leaves

Combine buttermilk, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, tomatoes, green onions and garlic in blender. Season with salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.

Divide soup among bowls and top evenly with yogurt and basil leaves.


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light



ricotta peas ans marinated mushrooms on toasted bread

4 green onions, sliced

1 cup green peas

2 cups mixed mushrooms

1 red chili pepper, sliced thin

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 baguette, sliced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

pea shoots for serving

Blanch the green onions and peas until tender, about 3 minutes, drain and reserve.

Prepare the mushrooms: wipe off dirt with a damp paper towel. Chop and sauté in a little oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add chilies, cook for 1 minute, add salt and pepper to taste, followed by the vinegar. Simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from pan and stir in 1/4 cup olive oil.

Mix ricotta with pea mixture, season with salt and pepper.

Grill the baguette slices, top with the ricotta mixture, some marinated mushrooms and top with the pea shoots.