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June 12, 2017
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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
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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
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        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...
May 1, 2017
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Spring AT LAST!   Roasted ASPARAGUS!
        IT WAS A PRETTY ROUGH WINTER UP HERE. And I’ve been more than a little gun shy, bracing for just one more snow storm. So, even though the local shops have been sporting tons of spring produce for weeks-- asparagus, strawberries, ramps and early peas, just to name a few, I’VE BEEN IN NO MOOD FOR ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY SPRINGY. Warm and cozy was all that I could think about.
        But now, thank goodness, the daffodils and crocuses are in bloom. And, with the thermometer having boasted a few 80 degree days in Woodstock, albeit sandwiched between some below freezing ones, I think it’s safe to say that WINTER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.
        We’ve made it—SPRING AT LAST! And it’s May First-- MAY DAY!   My cravings have finally shifted from those dark meaty long cooked stews to everything colorful and fresh. WHAT COMES TO MIND FIRST? bright green ASPARAGUS....
April 24, 2017
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        I’ve lived in Woodstock for a long time now, but DEEP DOWN I'M STILL A JERSEY GIRL. There are a lot of things that you can only find in the Garden State. THE BEST TOMATOES come from there. SPRINGSTEEN, the sweetest BLUEBERRIES and SALT WATER TAFFY come from there. And then, there’s THE CRUMB BUNS!
        EVERY WEEKEND OF MY YOUNG LIFE, my sister and I went to stay with our maternal grandparents. And every Sunday morning, WE HAD CRUMB BUNS from the local bakery. They were the BEST! A thin, yeasty layer of cake topped with a lot of tender sweet crumbs that had a slight crunch on the top, all dusted generously with powdered sugar.
April 17, 2017
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        FOR ME, EVERY HOLIDAY and I mean every holiday, IS AN EXCUSE TO go off course and EAT ANYTHING I WANT. Whatever celebratory occasion is up next--it’s Easter this time around—I think that that’s my green light to eat the cake, cookies, ice cream, buttery, and fried, salty stuff, that I normally try to limit on the non-holidays. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this practice. But that doesn’t justify me doing it—does it? EVEN THOUGH I TRY TO BE GOOD there’s so much temptation surrounding me, that I usually give in to some of it, if I don’t completely fall off the cliff.
        Once the day is over though, and I’m living in the real food world again, I TRY TO JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON AS FAST AS I CAN. I know from years of experience, that if I explain away the leftovers, as “ONCE THEY'RE GONE, I'M DONE!” that that just leads me down A SLIPPERY SLOPE STRAIGHT INTO A BAG OF FRITOS