the fleeting summer and a recipe: balsamic roasted summer vegetables

I have the post-vacation blues this week. I expected to be in a bit of a funk for a day or so, but it’s sticking around a bit longer than it should.

Is this what I get for having such a restful, carefree vacation?

We spent last week in Rosemary Beach, a gorgeous beach town in Florida’s panhandle. Some good friends of ours, with children around the same ages of Madeline and Oliver, came with us on the trip and shared the house with us. The house was huge,  three stories, and only a three minute walk to the beach and a two minute walk to the pool.  I brought my laptop but I let it sit, powered off and unopened, and eventually it became piled high with random articles of clothing. I finished one book and read another two books during the more relaxed moments of the trip. It rained many of the days, but that just gave me more time to read. I made sandcastles with my son, and I watched my daughter play on her boogie board until her shoulders were browned. I spent hours over cups of coffee – or glasses of wine or mojitos or sangria – deep in conversation with my dear friend. I didn’t exercise once, unless you count climbing the three sets of wooden stairs up and over the sand dunes each day.

It was a good week.

It’s hard to come back to my daily routine and responsibilities after such a blissful week away. I anticipated perhaps a day of getting adjusted, but not this. I don’t think it’s just post-vacation melancholy. It feels like something more.

I can feel summer dissipating.

The heat is still here. It’s not going anywhere until October, or maybe late September if we’re really lucky. It’s the sense of summer freedom that is disappearing, slipping away like a handful of sugary, white beach sand through my fingers. The fact that school starts in less than 3 weeks is a harsh reminder that the end of summer is near. Back-to-school supplies are in the stores and the meet-the-teacher date has been set. I had to order my daughter’s new school uniforms this week.

I love fall, I really do. It’s my favorite season. But I haven’t had enough summer yet.

I need more time.

Yield: Serves 6-8.

Balsamic Roasted Summer Vegetables


2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2-3 large yellow crookneck squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Spread out on even layer on a large baking sheet and sprinkle vegetables with a generous pinch or 2 of salt and 2-3 grinds of fresh ground black pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring at least once during roasting.

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17 Responses to “pan-fried onion and chive dip”

  1. Leigh — December 6, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    I can attest to how wonderful this dip was. I’m totally wishing I had some right now. You are a great hostess, lady!

  2. May Ling Wu — December 6, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    This looks amazing! Will have to take it to my next potluck!

  3. Brian @ A Thought For Food — December 6, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    This has all the good things in life… butter, sour cream, mayo. My heart hurts just thinking about it… but gosh darn it, when has that stopped me from enjoying things in life? Nom!

  4. Jennifer (Savor) — December 6, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    OMG – gorgeous!

  5. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — December 6, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

    I LOVE this dip recipe, it is beyond amazing. Thank you for reminding me to make it again soon! 😉 Your photos are gorgeous by the way!

  6. Ina is the best and all of her recipes are wonderful for entertaining. Homemade onion dip versus the store bought version is so much better. Your photos look great! Wish I had a bowl of dip and chips right now.

  7. Tes — December 7, 2010 @ 6:51 am

    Love your photographs!
    This sounds super simple but looks so delicious 🙂

  8. Kristina @ spabettie — December 7, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    this sounds and looks perfectly delicious… I WILL be making this before the year end!! 🙂

    Happy Holidays !

  9. briarrose — December 7, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    What an interesting dip. So tasty.

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  11. Nancy@acommunaltable — December 8, 2010 @ 12:08 am

    Wonderful remake of a classic – and much, much more delicious!!
    I am like you – even though I am a personal chef, when I have people over I don’t want to have too much to do in the kitchen and so make ahead dishes are the best!!

  12. Jara — December 8, 2010 @ 12:27 am

    I adore anything and everything with onions. It’s something I’m known for in my family and this couldn’t be more my style. I definitely have to make this dip for my next family party. thanks for sharing! 🙂

  13. Jason Phelps — December 8, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    I can’t find anything wrong with this at all! I’m always looking for new appetizers to try. Party on Sunday.


  14. Aggie — December 8, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

    The BC onion dip is one of the first “entertaining” recipes I have ever tried! I love that you added chives…the color is so pretty! One of my all time favorite dips!! (great photos!)

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — December 8th, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

      Thanks, Aggie! Her recipes never let me down.

  15. Chris — December 12, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    I am going to have to try this with the rotisserie onions that I made yesterday! Thanks for sharing.

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