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Friday, August 21, 2015

Kernels of Truth

Summer Corn Pancakes
Nothing says August like sweet, juicy corn. Cornbread, corn salad, corn fritters, corn pudding, corn pancakes, creamed corn and the almighty corn on the cob make it the most versatile ingredient of summer. When corn is at the height of its season, I get massive amounts from the corn farmer so that our family can enjoy and share summer corn all winter long. I cook the cobs in batches and remove the kernels and freeze measured amounts. I'm so grateful come winter!

Right now I'm adding those delicious fresh kernels to my popular recipe for summer corn pancakes. I generously top them with butter and maple syrup and serve them with crispy bacon and fried green tomatoes. This recipe along with many other recipes -- that utilizes the seasons bounty -- is in my newest cookbook, This Book Cooks a Mom's Choice award winner!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer's Garden Jewel

Simple. Sublime. Summer.
I dream about this time of year when it isn't this time of year! And it's mostly due to the summer tomato season. They take over the landscape of our vegetable garden just like they take over the major portion of our plates. I drool for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, can't wait to make my recipe for tomato pie and salivate for juicy slices smothered with homemade mayonnaise and topped with garden-fresh basil leaves. I love to eat them raw, roasted, fried, and can't wait to turn them into sauce and savory, sweet jam. Every day for the duration of their growing season, I eat a tomato in some manner, naked or embellished. I love them so much I'm writing a cookbook all about tomatoes! I'd love to know what your doing with this seasons most popular summer fruit. Enter our Call for recipes! and send us your favorite recipe using tomatoes.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Must Have: Basil Pesto


Fresh basil is a summer favorite. I use it in a variety of ways, but typically I pair it with tomatoes, because I love the combination of flavors. So for a quick and easy summer supper, toss the pesto with hot fusilli, use just enough to coat the pasta. (I like to use fusilli because the shape allows it to catch the pesto perfectly.) Toss the pesto coated pasta with chunks of ripe tomatoes and cubed Brie. Serve immediately with slices of Ciabatta or your favorite crusty bread.

2½ cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
2 large garlic cloves
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste

In a food processor, combine basil leaves, garlic cloves, chopped almonds and Parmesan cheese. While the motor is running drizzle olive oil through the feed tube and whirl until the mixture is well combined. Season with salt. 

About 1 cup


Friday, July 31, 2015

The Power of Red, Granata Recipe Gives Reason to Crack a Watermelon





WATERMELON GRANATA

It's mouth-watering and refreshing, beautiful, delicious and super simple to make! Plan accordingly the granata has to stay in the freezer for several hours before serving.

½ cup water
⅓ cup sugar
5 cups watermelon

Coconut Ice cream
Lime zest

1.    In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.
2.    Place watermelon in a food processor and add the sugar water and process until nearly smooth.
3.    Transfer the mixture to a container with a tight fitting lid. Place it in the in the freezer for several hours or until slight firm, with a bit of a slush factor. It helps to periodically move the mixture around using a fork as it tends to freeze unevenly.
4.    Evenly divide watermelon granata evenly among 6 serving bowls and top with coconut ice cream and shaved lime zest if desired. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Market Haul: Blueberries

  Blueberries: A Visionary Fruit

Studies in Europe have documented the relationship between bilberries (the European cousin of blueberries) and improved eyesight. In fact, most researchers believe that the substance, anthocyanin (the blue pigment of the blueberry) is responsible for eyesight improvement. In a recent study, researchers at Tufts University analyzed 60 fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant capability – blueberries came out on top! They are loaded with vitamin C, very low in calories (about 80 calories per cup) and are a good source of dietary fiber. Moreover, Pterostilbene (pronounced – TARE – on – STILL – bean) a powerful antioxidant found in blueberries is already known to help fight cancer and may also help to lower cholesterol.

James Joseph once director of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University researched the potential of blueberries to improve short-term memory loss and the decline of motor skills associated with aging. “The blueberry has emerged as a very powerful food in the aging battle," said Joseph. "Given the possibility that blueberries may reverse short-term memory loss and forestall other effects of aging, their potential may be very great." This delicious berry contains more age-proofing, disease-fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable.

What are you waiting for? Now that it has been established that blueberries have powerful health benefits and they are nutritional stars, here are a few tip and possibilities.

There are several varieties of blueberries, one of the most common is the highbrush variety that grows in the Eastern seaboard of the United States, primarily from Maine to Florida. The blueberry season runs from May through October. Choose blueberries that are firm - shake the container, if the blueberries don’t move freely, this indicates they are soft and possibly moldy. Ripe blueberries should be stored (covered) in the refrigerator. They will keep for about a week, but like most delicate fruit they should be eaten within one-two days of purchase. Wash blueberries just prior to use.

Classic favorites include blueberry pie, muffins and cobblers. But blueberries are also delicious tossed with fresh fruit, as a landscape for salad greens, cereal or yogurt or try adding a cup of blueberries to your breakfast smoothie. Blueberries have gained such popularity you can buy blueberry bagels and blueberry ice cream, they also come dried (like cranberries) and blueberry juice is available in most grocery stores. There is even blueberry wine!