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The Passionate Pursuit of Delight

Tag: summer

Peach, Zucchini, and Basil Pizza

Peach, zucchini, and basil pizzaIs there anything better than eating a peach on a hot summer day?  During August I cannot drive by a fruit stand without veering off the road to pick up a few peaches. When I get home with an armload of them all I can think about is how to work peaches into every meal.

Bowl of peaches

Cutting up peaches for breakfast is a no-brainer. For lunch I will toss sliced peaches into a salad of greens and grains.  When it came time for dinner though, I couldn’t resist incorporating peaches into a savory pizza. I had a small zucchini from the garden, tons of basil, and fresh mozzarella which adds creamy contrast to the freshness of the summer produce. The balsamic reduction adds a nice tang to the cooked pizza.

If you buy the pizza dough this dinner will come together in no time and is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

peach zucchini basil pizza ingredients

Peach, Zucchini, and Basil Pizza

1 lb. of pizza dough, homemade or store-bought

2 tsp olive oil

Dash of salt

1 small to medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8” rounds

2 peaches, thinly sliced

3 oz. of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup fresh basil, leaves rolled up and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a pizza stone in oven while the oven preheats. You can also bake pizza on a baking sheet rather than on a pizza stone but spray baking sheet with cooking spray before cooking.

Divide dough into two pieces. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel and then sprinkle with flour. Roll dough out so the crust is thin. Sprinkle 1 tsp of olive oil over crust and spread oil around using your fingers or a pastry brush. Sprinkle dough with a dash of salt. Place half of each of the zucchini rounds, peach slices, and cheese on the pizza.

Transfer pizza to pizza stone or baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. While the pizza bakes place balsamic vinegar is a small saucepan on medium heat and cook down until it reduces and thickens. Remove from heat and let cool. Rotate pizza and cook for another 5 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy and cheese is bubbly. Remove pizza from oven.

Repeat steps with the other half of the dough and remaining ingredients and place in oven to bake when the first pizza comes out of the oven.

Once the pizza is out of the oven drizzle half of the balsamic vinegar reduction and basil over the top of the pizza. Cut into wedges or squares and serve.

Serves 2-4

peach and zucchini pizza

Will Walk for Wildflowers

wildflowers_cecret

I do my best thinking while I am walking. I always have. For this reason I try to get outside for a little while every single day of the year. But, it is summertime now and I love to take advantage of the cool mountain air when the temperatures are sweltering in the Salt Lake valley as they have been much of the last eight weeks.

Indian Paintbrush

 

Summer in the Wasatch Mountains is famous for the glorious display of wildflowers in the Albion Basin. A short drive from Salt Lake City up Little Cottonwood Canyon just past Alta Ski Resort you will see a gravel road which leads to the Cecret Lake trail head. Little Cottonwood Canyon is a watershed area so leave your furry friends at home.

Cecret LakeDuring weekends in July and August you will want to arrive early as this hike is very popular and traffic and parking can be frustrating. But, I recommend that you take advantage those long summer days during the week and get to the trailhead by 7:00a. You can get to Cecret Lake and back before work.  I did this recently and it was glorious. Only a few cars were in the parking lot and not many hikers on the trail. The soft morning light was a bonus for snapping photos of the picturesque wildflowers.

Wildflower TrailThe trail to Cecret Lake is less than two miles out and back. I once enticed my children on this hike by bribing them with an Egg McMuffin picnic breakfast once we reached the lake. You will want to bring a day pack with water, a light jacket (it can be chilly at that elevation even when it is scorching hot in the valley), sturdy shoes, some nuts and dried fruit (just in case), and your camera. I promise that you will be so glad that you did.

There is something humbling about spending time in the mountains where our true scale in relation to nature can quickly put the woes and aggravations of daily life into sharp perspective. It’s amazing out there. Go get you some.

More information about the Cecret Lake trail.

A hike is good for the soul

Weekend Recharge: Kayaking 

fun, kayak, summer

Kayaking at Currant Creek Reservoir

Last Sunday was the type of summer day that I dream about all winter long. The sky was blue and a gentle breeze of warm, scented air awakened me. We got up early and packed a picnic lunch. We had loaded the kayaks on the car the night before so we would be ready to roll first thing in the morning.

fun, kayak, summer

Where It Is

Currant Creek Recreation Area boasts a beautiful reservoir, campground, and thanks to the 7,683 ft. elevation, a welcome break from the triple digit temperatures. We had the reservoir to ourselves except for a few people fishing. The water was as smooth as glass and only our oars disturbed the surface. The air smelled deliciously of pine.

summer fun kayak

Why You Should Go

We paddled over to the boat launch and into a cove that is adjacent to the campground. Someone had tied a rope swing to a tree. I considered climbing on shore and hurling myself into the water. But, once I dipped my toes into the icy cold water I decided that staying in the kayak was a better course of action. We paddled nearly all the perimeter of the reservoir we headed back. When we got back to shore we guzzled our cold drinks and refueled with garden tomato sandwiches.

After relaxing at the water’s edge for a while, we loaded up our gear and headed back to the cabin with tired arms, a full belly, and sun-kissed cheeks.

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