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July 10, 2017
This is about...
        I LOVE POTATO SALAD. I love it so much that I only make it once a year, for fear that I 'll eat bowls and bowls of it. The only exception is a family picnic where I know I won't be left alone with it sitting in my fridge just calling out to me.
        THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE VERSION of the classic. You start by throwing a bunch of small red waxy potatoes in cold water, bringing them to a boil and simmering until tender. Cool, peel the skins off and mix with an addictive combo of scallions, Dijon mustard, parsley and hard-boiled egg yolks mashed into alot of Hellmann's mayonnaise. And yes, it HAS to be Hellmans. NO “MIRACULOUS” WHIPS WILL DO HERE. I know that‘s an east coast brand—I think on the west coast it’s called Best Foods.
        If you make it and end up with leftovers, don’t be surprised.....
July 3, 2017
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Red, Rose and Blue Sangria for the 4th!---YUM!
        IT’S THE 4TH! AND, MOST PEOPLE GO RED, WHITE AND BLUE FOR THIS HOLIDAY. But ME? I’d rather go RED,ROSE AND BLUE. Fresh and fruity with a hint of alcohol—that’s just what I‘m looking for. And, I don’t think you can do any better than A COOL, SWEET SANGRIA.
        I’ve veered off the beaten path a little with this version of the Spanish summertime classic. Traditionally you stir in the slices of fruit with the wine and any liquor you might choose, then let the flavors sit and blend together. Here, I’VE ADDED A FRUITY PUREE THAT TURNS THE DRINK A PRETTY LIGHT RED. Not to mention adding additional sweetness without any extra sugar....
June 26, 2017
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        EGGPLANT PARMESAN IS ALWAYS DELICIOUS, but NO one is going to give it a PASSING GRADE for being healthy or low calorie. That’s why THIS VERSION IS SO GREAT. IT TAKES THE “HEAVY” OUT of eggplant parmesan by eliminating the breading and frying, and roasting the vegetable instead.
        To en”light”en this dish, you simply brush each eggplant slice with a thin coating of olive oil and bake until browned on both sides, concentrating and elevating that eggplant flavor to star status. No veggies swimming in oil here. An added bonus? You won’t have to hit the gym or walk a couple of miles before sitting down to a plate of it.
        Layered casseroles are usually so time consuming, but THIS ONE WON’T TAKE ALL AFTERNOON TO ASSEMBLE....
June 19, 2017
This is about...
        MY MOTHER WAS NOT MUCH OF A COOK. OK, suffice it to say she could barely boil water without burning the pot. But she could make a decent pudding cake—FROM A MIX. Because they were so easy to put together, we had a lot of these when I was growing up, always chocolate or lemon. Back then she used the PY-O-MY brand, alas, along with all the other brands, no longer available. I have a feeling, though, that my fond memory of them probably wouldn’t live up to my expectations anyway.
        Still, I’VE ALWAYS HAD A SOFT SPOT IN MY HEART FOR THEM. I even concocted a fudgy version for a PILLSBURY BAKE-OFF. I used their brownie mix to make what I called the “THICK AND FUDGY TRIPLE CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE." Chosen as a finalist and flown out to San Francisco for the contest, The San Francisco Chronicle, and a lot of Pillsbury employees thought I was going to win, but I didn’t—came close though. And my recipe was on the back of a Pillsbury brownie mix box, which was a total WOW for me.
        Pudding cakes have been around for a long time....
June 12, 2017
This is about...
A Grilled SHRIMP TOSTADA with Pineapple Mango Salsa !
        I’ve probably mentioned this way too many times, but I’M A JERSEY GIRL. I had the opportunity to live high on a hill above the town of Atlantic Highlands on the Jersey shore for over a decade. I lived in an old Queen Anne Victorian built in 1890 with a turret, lots of gabled roofs and a gazebo. I could even see the harbor and beyond to NYC from my house.
        This town had a SECRET restaurant on First Avenue. The only sign was a copper colored horseshoe emblazoned on the darkened entrance door. When I first moved there, I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT IT WAS—A STORE, A RESIDENCE, A PRIVATE CLUB? It seemed that you needed some kind of SECRET PASSWORD for access. As it turned out, IT WAS A SOUTHWESTERN RESTAURANT, THE COPPER CANYON, named after a Mexican canyon the owner had fell in love with.
        My FAVORITE dish was always their grilled shrimp tostada.. ..
June 5, 2017
This is about...
An EASY Dutch Baby Pancake topped with an EASY Blueberry Sauce!
        BLUEBERRIES ARE MY FAVORTIE BERRY. And right now they’re on sale. As usual I ended up buying way too many of them. So I’M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO USE THEM UP. I love blueberry pies, muffins, crumbles, and I have an amazing blueberry cake that you can find in the recipe section. Right now though, I don’t have a lot of time to invest in making a dessert. So I’m transforming this batch of berries into a yummy sauce that I’m going to spread over an impressive Dutch baby pancake, which is basically A HUGE EGGY POPOVER.
        Both are super easy to make....
May 29, 2017
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Green Bean FRIES and Cauliflower POPCORN!

        IT’S MEMORIAL DAY! And it’s officially the unofficial beginning of summer. YAY! And what does summer always bring with it? Lot’s of outdoor parties and picnics. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to one where there weren’t a couple bags of potato chips, cheetos or some other crunchy, salty, fried treat on the table. We all love them, but how about venturing off the beaten path alittle bit and adding a few healthy food-fakes to the menu?
        First up: GREEN BEAN FRIES. You dry the beans really well, coat with some beaten egg, and then roll in some parmesan cheese and bake. What could be bad?
May 22, 2017
This is about...
        I GUESS THE GODS COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE because after all of my WHINING about HOW COLD IT’S BEEN, we’re gonna get boomeranged into A BIG BLAST of sweltering heat.
        THE TIMING, of course, IS LESS THAN IDEAL. The annual GARDINER CUPCAKE FESTIVAL is this weekend, and I have to TRANSPORT A TON OF CUPCAKES IN MY CAR, IN THAT HEAT. I’m not happy. I’ll be WEARING MY WINTER COAT in the car, WITH THE A/C CRANKED. So the ones inside the car will be fine. But the ones in the trunk? That’s another story. I can only PRAY, that after being holed up in that hot box for an hour, that they don’t arrive like SOGGY LITTLE PUDDLES OF CAKE....

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May 15, 2017
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Easy Homemade Chicken Pot “Pie” ---YUM!
        I’M TRYING HARD TO GET IN THE MOOD FOR SPRING, BUT I JUST CAN’T. It’s too darn cold and damp around here! The calendar says it’s the middle of May. But what we’re experiencing is more like the middle of February, 45 degrees and rainy. And you’re not going to tell me that snowflakes falling on the mountain tops is typical May weather here—because it’s not. I was even wearing a winter coat and earmuffs 2 days ago.
        So, I’M STILL CRAVING ALL THAT’S WARM AND COMFORTING. A cold, fresh radish and arugula salad—nope. An early spring pea soup—nope. I want a homemade chicken pot pie for dinner. I know it’s more of a wintry meal, but I’m going for it, even if it is almost Memorial Day.
May 8, 2017
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Raspberry Rhubarb JAM!
        IT’S RHUBARB SEASON! When I was a kid, we grew it on the side of my house. It came up every spring like clockwork. And we always did the same thing with it. We’d cut off the leaves, cut up the stalks, and cook it down with some water and a lot of sugar. After it chilled in the fridge, WE HAD A FRUITY PUDDING. We didn’t have many plants, so it was a special treat we only had a few times a year.
        We never used the leaves. My Mom told me THEY WERE POISONOUS, but I never knew why. I did a little research and learned that the leaves contain HIGH AMOUNTS OF OXALIC ACID, which can be VERY TOXIC to humans. SO DON’T EAT THE LEAVES! But, the stems have ALMOST NO oxalic acid in them, so they’re PERFECTLY SAFE to eat.
        Over the years, I’ve expanded my rhubarb repertoire. I really like...