Stone Fruit Ricotta Crostinis

Do you ever just need a break from it all? I don’t mean, like, go all Eat Pray Love on me. More like, when you wake up one day and you just have this moment of clarity. You don’t feel like cooking, or thinking about cooking, or writing about cooking, or photographing cooking. And it is summer and you are traveling for weeks on end – work, vacations, weddings, blah blah blah. And so you just don’t.

You hear me? Or is it just me? Well, that’s been my summer so far. And I am perfectly okay with it. I certainly have not sworn off cooking, and I have eaten well, in my home and otherwise.

But today — today we are back. Playing and experimenting and taste testing. It feels good.

I can hardly call this a recipe, but it’s a start. Pack these up for your next picnic or outdoor movie or winery visit. Or serve them at a party. Embrace the art of not cooking.

Stone Fruit Ricotta Crostini

For each person:
2 slices baguette or small ciabatta bread, grilled or toasted
2 tablespoons ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper
About 4 thin slices stone fruit (eg, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries), peeled if desired
1 slice prosciutto or Serrano ham,  if desired, torn into pieces
Honey, balsamic vinegar, arugala, if desired

Spread ricotta on bread. Sprinkle with pepper. If desired, drizzle lightly with honey or balsamic vinegar. Place fruit slices over ricotta. Top with prosciutto. If desired, garnish with arugala, or serve alongside.

Cowboy Krispies Treats

Confession: I love marshmallows. Okay, that’s not exactly a confession to anyone who knows me. When I bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, one of the first things I made was homemade marshmallows, which I’d never been able to do before. They were fluffy and sticky and gooey… and worth every penny.

Two of my favorite treats happen to involve marshmallows: s’mores and Rice Krispies treats. Each has just three ingredients, yet they stand up to every other snack, dessert, finger food, party fare, or inappropriate breakfast food I’ve tried in their place.

I didn’t think Rice Krispies treats could be improved upon until a recent visit to Buzz Bakery, when a barista greeted me with a hug, a large iced black tea, and “Cowboy Krispy” bigger than my fist. After the day I’d had, I’m not sure which I needed more.

Cowboy Krispies Treats are a rift on the classic cereal bars we all grew up with, but with kicks of salt and chocolate to keep you on your toes. When I needed a treat to bring to an Independence Day cookout, I knew these would be a hit — with marshmallows, chocolate, potato chips *and* pretzels all in the same treat, they were destined for greatness.

The beauty of this recipe is both its simplicity and its flexibility. Adjust the ingredients to suit your own tastes and what’s in your cupboard. Enjoy!

Cowboy Krispies Treats

1/2 c.(1 stick) butter

1 pkg marshmallows

6 c. toasted rice cereal (I use Rice Krispies)

1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1 c. slightly crushed kettle-style potato chips with sea salt

1/2 c. pretzel twists

Lightly coat a 9×13 pan with butter, or spray with cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add cereal and stir until well-coated. Stir in chocolate chips. Fold in chips and pretzels.

Using a buttered spatula, waxed paper, or your hands, press mixture into prepared pan. Cool. Cut into 18 squares.