27 Jul 3 Melon Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed cantaloupe
  • 3 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3 cups cubed honeydew
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8-ounce container mozzarella bocconcini, drained and cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1.  Place the melon cubes in a large bowl. Add the basil and combine well.

2.  Drizzle the honey over the melon. Add the mozzarella, jalapeno (if desired), and salt. Toss again and serve. Serves 4-6

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20 Jul Blueberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (soft blue cheeses like gorgonzola work well in chunks, too)

Directions

1.  Pick over the spinach leaves, removing any bruised or wilting leaves and large, fibrous stems. Clean and dry the spinach leaves. Place them in a large serving bowl or divide between 6 to 8 individual salad plates.

2.  Sprinkle spinach with blueberries and blue cheese. Drizzle on dressing of your choice and serve immediately. Vinaigrette or Blue Cheese dressing works well.

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20 Jul Tips for Buying and Storing Blueberries

Choosing Blueberries
Even perfectly ripe blueberries don’t have much of a scent, so use your eyes first.
First- Look for dark blue blueberries that have a slight white-silvery bloom on them. Avoid purplish or greenish berries and pint containers that include them since it’s a sign that the blueberries were picked indiscriminately and not at their peak.
Second- Use your hand. Blueberries should feel heavy for their amount.
Third- Give a few berries a taste. They should burst when you bite them and be tart but sweet.

Storing Blueberries
Pick through the blueberries when you get them home and remove any smashed, cut, or damaged blueberries (they will mold quickly and damage the other berries). Blueberries are best used as soon as possible. Store them on the counter in a colander over a bowl with an ice pack in it to help keep them cool if you’re going to eat them within a day or two. Otherwise, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge, but not in the drawer where it gets too humid. Just-picked blueberries will keep up to a week properly stored.
Note: Do not rinse or wash blueberries until you’re ready to use them – the moisture will shorten their storage span considerably!

Freezing Blueberries
Freezing your own ample blueberry harvest is easy. Rinse blueberries and pat them dry. Lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Put them in the freezer until frozen solid, usually overnight does it. Transfer to resealable plastic bags, squeezing out as much air as possible, and keep frozen until ready to use. For most baked goods, you can use the berries straight from the freezer – they’ll defrost as the pie or tart or cake bakes.

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13 Jul Fresh Peach Crisp

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1.  Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Slice peeled, pitted peaches into the prepared baking dish.

3.  Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

4.  Sprinkle crumbs evenly over peaches in baking dish.

5.  Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and peaches are tender. Serve peach crisp warm with cream or whipped topping.

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06 Jul Roasted Cherry Tomato Chutney on Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 2-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 pints cherry and/or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 -ounce container bite-size fresh mozzarella balls, cut up
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken broth

Directions

1.  Brush cut sides of squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a large baking dish. Prick the skin all over with a fork. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degrees oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.

2.  Place cherry tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic and salt to taste; stir well to coat. Place tomato mixture in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in oven with the squash for the last 20 minutes.

3.  In a large skillet, bring the chicken broth to boiling; add onion. Cook about 3 minutes or just until tender. Remove skillet from heat. Add roasted tomatoes to the skillet with the onion. Using a fork gently press down on tomatoes to pop their skin and release their juice. Add mozzarella, basil and mint to the tomato mixture; toss well.

4.  Using a fork, remove the squash pulp from shell. Top squash with tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.

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29 Jun Tips for Storing Peaches

Store peaches on the counter at room temperature until they are the ripeness you prefer. When ripe, peaches should be stored in the crisper bin of your refrigerator where they will keep for up to five days.

Freezing-Peel and slice them, lay them on a baking tray and stick in the freezer for a few hours until they’re frozen through. Transfer the peach wedges to a resealable plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. They’ll keep at least 6 months (longer in a free-standing freezer) and are perfect to use in baking.

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29 Jun Tips for Preparing Tomatoes

Ripen at Room Temperature -let your tomatoes ripen at room temperature so that none of the wonderful flavor is lost. In a hurry? A tomato will ripen faster when you pair it with an apple in a covered bowl.

Peel Easily – If a recipe calls for peeling, plunge tomatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for a few seconds and remove. Place in a bowl of ice water until cool. The skin will come right off.

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29 Jun Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Simplicity has never looked so beautiful. A stunning combination of skin-on peaches and heirloom tomatoes of various colors, sizes, and shapes creates a sweet-savory salad that pairs well with grilled pork

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2 pound ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1/4 pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
  • 1/4 pound heirloom cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons small basil leaves or torn basil

Directions

1.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

2.  Combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over peach mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

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22 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Peaches

  • Buy ripe or nearly ripe peaches. If they’re very hard, they are likely picked green and won’t develop the right taste or texture.
  • When you get home, inspect each piece of fruit. A split or bruise means the peach will go bad quickly and ruin any peach it touches. Eat or preserve these right away.
  • Peaches can be stored touching other peaches, but they shouldn’t touch other types of fruit.
  • While peaches can keep on the counter for a few days, buy only as many as you can eat (or preserve).
  • To prolong freshness, you can store peaches in the crisper, but only for a few days. Just put them directly in the crisper. Don’t put them in a bag.
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22 Jun Farmers’ Market Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Halved Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 2 small Zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 small Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup Fresh Corn Kernels
  • 1 cup Diced Firm, Ripe Fresh Peaches (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Green Onions
  • 1 (8-oz.) package Penne Pasta*
  • 2 cups Shredded Smoked Chicken (about 10 oz.)

Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼  cup chopped Fresh basil
  • ¼  cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

1.  Toss together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter.  *1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini may be substituted

Cook the pasta al dente (1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify) so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette.

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