August 2012

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After arriving at the hotel, we decided to go to an easily accessible site first, the Eiffel Tower. We bought a carnet of tickets (10 tickets) and took the metro outside of our hotel, Line 6. It took us to the stop Bir-Hakeim which is the correct stop for the Eiffel Tower. It is a short walk from the metro station to the tower. 

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This was our first look at the iconic Paris landmark. This was a great first location because it was easy to find and difficult to get lost. As long as I could see it, I knew how to get back to the metro. Surrounding the tower is a park. We walked down the shady path, near some lounging parisians, and snapped a few more photos. 

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I think what we were most surprised by was the color. I really thought that it would be black. However, it was not. We walked past the enormous line of people waiting to go up the tower. At the time, only one elevator was working. We were exhausted and decided to not wait in line to go up. I hate waiting in lines. We were a little sad at how dark and overcast it was for our pictures. We walked to the other side of the tower to take a few more pictures. 

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I guess we got really lucky because by the time we walked to the other side, the sky cleared. We took a seat on a bench (there are quite a few) out of sheer exhaustion from the jet lag. We decided that we should find a place for lunch and walked around a bit looking for a place that looked good. We settled on a small restaurant that featured authentic French food. I did not take pictures because I am not a meat and potatoes person, and that is what this place served. Plus I get awful and each bite made me feel worse. 

We went back to the hotel after lunch because we felt as though we would not enjoy the rest of the day without a nap. We slept for a few hours and awoke to a gorgeous evening. We decided to head to the Arc de Triomphe and then took a stroll down the Champs Elysee. 

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It was very crowded. We walked and enjoyed the shops, stopping in all of the eyewear boutiques. We decided to take the metro back to the hotel to rest for the plans for day 2, Giverny. 

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I love farm markets. They are one of my favorite things about summer. If you know anything about me, you know that I hate winter. I don’t like wearing a coat everywhere I go and I hate when the bottom of my pants are wet and/or have a salt stain at the bottom. I also hate getting into cold cars. I think in the winter, I am only warm in the shower. 

Summer on the other hand is my favorite. I can leave the house without a coat or gloves. Plus, I can wear sandals! There is nothing like produce in the summer. It is exciting and fresh and tastes a thousand times better. I like to make simple preparations so that we can actually taste the delicious fresh food. This is one of those recipes. It is a delicious mix of summer vegetables that is the perfect side dish to any meal. 

Prep the vegetables first. The onions, beans, colored peppers, yellow zucchini, green zucchini, and garlic are from Beth at Oak Hill Harvest. The corn and hot banana peppers are from Bedner’s

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Start with a large sauté pan and heat about 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom.  Add some thinly sliced onions to the pan. Cook until translucent. 

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Add some peppers to the pan and cook until slightly tender. 


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Add the green beans (I used green and purple because that is what Beth had. Yum!). 

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Add the green and yellow zucchini and cook until tender. (or just yellow or green)

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Add some mushrooms and cook until tender. 

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Add the corn and a smashed garlic clove. Cook for several minutes. Add red chili flakes if desired. Add some coconut spread and salt to taste. 

Serve hot or cold. 

Mixed Sautéed Farm Fresh Vegetables

by Jessica

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Keywords: saute side gluten-free vegan vegetarian zucchini corn green beans summer

Ingredients (3 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 banana pepper, sliced
  • 2-3 colored peppers, sliced
  • 1 whole zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 portobello mushroom, sliced
  • 2 cup of green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • corn kernels from 2 corn cobs
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Coconut Spread


In a large saute pan, heat olive oil on medium.

Add onions and sauté until tender. Add the peppers and cook until tender. Add green beans. Cook for several minutes. Add zucchini and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add mushrooms. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add corn and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. Salt to taste. Remove the garlic. Add red pepper flakes and the coconut spread.

Serve hot.

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I love to cook, but I hate to come up with dinner ideas. I like cooking where I can be creative and have time to make something new and exciting. I hate cooking after work, especially when we are having something boring or I just don’t feel like cooking. For some reason, in the summer I have trouble planning meals. I buy some ingredients and some delicious looking produce at the farm market, but I really have no idea what we will eat each day.

When I made this recipe, I had no idea what we would have. I just started cutting some vegetables. I decided that we should have some protein, so I defrosted a boneless, skinless chicken breast and got creative.

I have never actually had coconut shrimp, but that was the inspiration. I thought that the sweetness of the coconut would pair well with the nuttiness of almond meal. It did. This chicken is crunchy, salty, and slightly sweet.

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I started by setting up a dredging station. I mixed almond flour with some coconut. This was about 1/2 cup of almond meal/flour and 1/4 cup of coconut.

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In a separate dish, I mixed two eggs (they were very small) with about 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. I combined them with a fork.

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Meanwhile, I heated some olive oil in a pan on medium.

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Then I prepped my chicken. I used one organic boneless, skinless chicken breast and sliced it very thin to make four pieces of chicken. I salted both sides.  You could just buy the thinly sliced chicken. I typically use one piece of chicken for 2-4 servings because I feel like meat should be an accent to the meal.

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I start by dredging one piece of chicken in the egg and milk mixture.

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I like to test the oil prior to adding my chicken. I did this by dripping a small piece of breading in the pan. When it sizzles around the breading, the pan is ready. I add the chicken and cook until it is browned on one side and flip.

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I typically check the internal temperature before removing the chicken from the pan.

I served this over slightly spicy veggies.


Coconut Almond Chicken

by Jessica

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6-10 minutes

Keywords: saute entree gluten-free almond flour chicken coconut

Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 4 thin pieces
  • salt
  • olive oil


In a small plate or bowl, combine almond meal and coconut.

In a small bowl, mix the egg and milk until combined.

Coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat on medium.

Dip the chicken, one piece at a time in the egg mixture, then the almond mixture. Repeat.

Add the chicken to the hot oil. Cook until brown. Flip and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Serve hot or cold.

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When my mom decided that she was going to retire, she also decided that we should take a trip to Europe. We knew that we wanted to go to Spain because I love it there. I studied at la Universidad de Salamanca when I was in college. I also knew that I wanted to take the least number of flights possible. Delta started offering a nonstop flight from Pittsburgh to Paris. It sounded like a great option after the luggage nightmare I had last time I went to Europe. We talked about the trip for months, but never booked anything. I started checking flight prices about 6 months before we left and watched them to find a good price. We ended up choosing the dates that we were on our trip based on the ticket prices, leading us to leave Pittsburgh on August 1 and return on August 16.

Flying to Paris direct from Pittsburgh was an excellent experience. The flight was no full, so there was room on the plane. The only downfall was that the inflight movie was on a large screen in front of us, not one that we were able to choose on a mini screen attached to the seat in front. It was a low stress way to travel to Europe.

Being that our flight landed in Paris, we chose to stay in Paris for a few days. We stayed at the Mercure Austerlitz Bibliotheque, which we booked through It was not in the city center, nor in the Latin Quarter, as I had chosen on Priceline, but it was in the 13th, directly across the street from a metro stop Quai de la Gare, line 6. This was so convenient because we could walk out the door of the hotel and be at the metro stop in less than a minute. In addition, it is within walking distance to the RER station Gare d’Austerlitz. The free wifi in the room worked wonderfully, the best of all the hotels on our trip. We were easily able to use FaceTime with our husbands at home. While the breakfast is a little expensive, as it is in most hotels, each room has a refrigerator containing free water and soda and there is a patisserie next door for pan chocolate.

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Probably the best part about our location was the restaurant on the corner. We went there three times. The salads are excellent, the breakfast is reasonable and delicious, and the cheese plate is fantastic!

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It features outdoor seating, however the indoor seating is very nice as well. It also has heaters outside if the evening is a bit chilly. The waiter stated that outdoor seating is available throughout the year. They were very accommodating to our inability to speak french. The cheese on the plate were Saint Nectain, Cantal, Camental, and Blue d’Advengne (I am unsure of the spelling, the waiter wrote it for me).

Getting from CDG airport to the hotel was a little tricky. I knew very little about Paris prior to leaving, so I decided to book a shuttle. I choose SuperShuttle . It was a little pricy, and tricky to find the office. We had to ask several people to find it. I thought there would be a SuperShuttle sign however, it was in the VEA office so you actually have to look for Disney information and VEA. When we found the office, we were lead to a waiting area with chairs and waited for everyone on our shuttle to arrive and the driver. The wait was about 15 minutes. The shuttle trip was pleasant. The driver was very friendly. He even suggested a place to get crepes! I would choose this again if I were traveling with a lot of bags. Otherwise, I would use the train because I am now familiar with the system. It was so nice to have them pick us up when we left Paris because we had a 7:40 flight. Finding transportation at 4:30 a.m. was not something I wanted to do.

My travel tip: take a picture of your luggage before you leave. That way, if it goes missing, you can show the picture to the airline when you are filing your claim. (Note: We did not loose our luggage from Pittsburgh to Paris, I lost my bag when we returned home.)


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This is the Osprey Porter 46 from REI. I highly recommend it. It fit everything I needed for 2 weeks with space left over. I was amazed at how much it holds. It has straps to use as a backpack. It is well made because on the way home, I forgot to tuck away the straps. My bag was missing and they still came back in perfect condition. My other favorite feature, it has adjustable straps that allow your to compress the bag and use it as a carry on.

To be continued…

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When corn season comes around, I think one thing… Chowda! Pierre is from Maine, so I feel like that makes him a bit of an expert on the subject. I on the other hand, grew up eating Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder. It is a little embarrassing that I still love it. 

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When I started making Chowder, I did what I always do. I read tons of recipes online and then made my own way of doing it. I learned by accident that the corn and potatoes make the soup thicker and creamier without adding flour. I really did not want to add flour (although I am fairly certain there is a thickening agent in my beloved Chunky can). This soup is nothing like what comes in a can. I know that when I eat chowder, I tend to add hot sauce. I wanted to make my version slightly spicy without adding hot sauce. 

To me, chowder should have a bacon flavor. I don’t actually like bacon in my chowder, so when I sautee my veggies, I use a mixture of bacon fat and extra virgin olive oil. The bacon fat gives the finished product a slightly smokey flavor without the gross texture of soggy bacon. 

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A second ingredient that gives this chowder a smokey quality with a hint of spice is the poblano peppers. I like to remove that translucent layer of skin by charring the peppers on all sides. I do this in my toaster oven under the broiler. I occasionally do this on the grill. If you have a gas stove, you can do this by placing the pepper directly on the burner. I broil each side until it is bubbly and charred. 

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Then, I place them in a plastic or paper bag and allow them to sit for 10-20 minutes. This helps the translucent film to lift off of the pepper.

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I peel off the skin and chop the peppers. 

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In an 8 quart pot, I add a small amount of bacon fat and extra virgin olive oil and heat on medium. 

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I use about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. 

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I use about 1/2 of an onion, diced and about 4 small, locally grown carrots, diced. I cook them until they are tender. Salt to taste. 

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While the carrots and onions are cooking, I cut potatoes and corn. I cut 5 small, locally grown potatoes very small and thin. If they are small and thin, they will breakdown during cooking and add to the thickness and richness of the broth. I also cut the kernels off of three corn cobs. It is very important to keep the cobs. (Note: The corn, hot peppers, and potatoes were purchased from Bedner’s at the McDonald Farmer’s Market). 

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I add the corn and potatoes to the carrots and onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Salt to taste. 

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After the veggies have started to cook. I cover them with water and add the corn cobs. Adding the corn cobs gives the broth a stronger corn flavor and also adds to the creamy texture of the soup. In addition, because I like heat, I added some very hot chili peppers cut very small. You can definitely omit this if you are not into spicy food. Also, add a bay leaf and the poblano peppers. Then, I let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes. 

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I add salt to taste, cayenne pepper (you can omit), and smoked paprika. I think smoked paprika is essential. Remove the corn cobs. 

At this point, I like to add some type of shellfish that still has the shell on and is raw. I choose fresh, raw shrimp because it was available at the grocery store and was fresh that day. I simply put the shrimp on top of the soup and let them simmer for 1-2 minutes per side until they were pink. Then, I remove them from the soup and peel them. I do not add them into the broth because I do not like chewy shrimp.

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After removing the shrimp, I chop some tilapia filets into bite sized pieces. I add them to the soup and allow to cook thoroughly. Then I add milk and cream. I add milk because it gives it the white color without all the fat of using only cream. Then I add cream to taste. I use about 1 cup of milk and about 1/4 cup of cream. I bring it back to a boil and taste for seasoning. Then, to make it extra silky, I add a small piece of butter. 

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 I serve this with a slice of crusty bread. 

If you are not able to use dairy, I have made this using coconut milk (from the can). It is just as delicious, with a very slight hint of coconut flavor. I have also used red curry paste in this recipe and it is fantastic, especially with a garnish of cilantro!

This is thinner than the Chunky soup but has a richer taste. We eat very small bowls of it. It is a great end of summer and early fall recipe to use that great, local corn!

Seafood Corn Chowder

by Jessica

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: soup/stew entree side gluten-free nut-free soy-free shrimp summer fall

Ingredients (6-8 servings)

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3-5 small carrots or 1-2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 ears of corn, remove the kernels and save the cobs
  • 5-6 small potatoes, quartered and sliced very thinly
  • 2-3 chili peppers, diced (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 pound of raw shrimp with the shells on
  • 1/2 pound of tilapia, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place poblano peppers under the broiler until all sides are charred and bubbling. Place in a plastic or brown paper bag for 10-20 minutes. Peel off the thin, translucent layer of skin. Chop and set aside.

In an 8 quart sauce pan, add the oil and bacon fat on medium. When the pan is warm, add the onions and carrots. Cook until they are tender. Salt to taste.

Add the corn kernels and potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Salt to taste.

Add water to cover the vegetables. Add the corn cobs to the water as well as the bay leaf, chili peppers, and the poblano peppers. Simmer on medium until the potatoes are cooked through. Add cayenne, smoked paprika, and salt to taste.

Remove the corn cobs and add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp in the broth for about 1-2 minutes per side until they are pink and slightly curled. Remove the shrimp and peel. Set aside.

Add the tilapia. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the milk and cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the butter.

Serve with a few pieces of shrimp on top. This does not freeze well but is good for about 2 days in the refrigerator.

You can substitute coconut milk for the regular milk and cream. It gives the soup a sweeter flavor.

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I married someone who could eat pasta every single day. In fact, I think he ate it almost everyday before he met me. I like pasta however, I can’t eat it all the time. I get tired of things. I have tried spaghetti squash, it is just not my favorite. 

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Last weekend, Beth from Oak Hill Harvest gave me this yellow zucchini. I have never cooked with a yellow zucchini before. I have used tons of regular, green zucchinis. She challenged me to come up with a good recipe for it. I thought it might be a good swap for pasta. So I got to work. 

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I cut the yellow zucchini in half and then got out the mandolin. I sliced it very thinly. If you do not have a mandolin, you could slice it with your knife or use a cheese slicer. 

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I stacked the slices and then cut them lengthwise so that they mimicked the size and shape of spaghetti. 

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After prepping the yellow zucchini, I got out a skillet and heated about 1 tablespoon of oil on medium. 

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Then, to add some flavor to the “pasta”, I added a piece of crushed garlic and some red pepper flakes. 

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After about 1 minute, I removed the garlic. I just wanted the oil to be flavored so the “pasta” would have a slight garlic flavor. 

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I sautéed the zucchini until it was still firm. Don’t let it go too long, it will become a mushy mess. 

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I added a little salt and a handful of parmigiano reggiano cheese. I served this smothered in sauce as a side to chicken parmesan or eggplant parmesan and green beans. 

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Zucchini “Pasta”

by Jessica

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: saute entree side gluten-free vegetarian zucchini summer

Ingredients (2-3 servings)

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)
  • handful parmesan cheese


Slice the zucchini thinly lengthwise. Then, stack the slices and cut lengthwise again to make spaghetti-sized slices.

In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium. Add garlic and red pepper. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Remove the garlic and add the zucchini. Sauté, stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes. It should still be slightly firm. Add salt and cheese. Stir.

Serve with your favorite sauce.

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After returning from France and Spain, my head was spinning with so many recipe ideas. I decided to start with this one. This salad was so good. I think I said it out loud at least 5 times while I was eating it. It is tart, tangy, sweet, crunchy, and creamy. There was an explosion of flavor in my mouth with each bite.

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I made the candied walnuts using this Taste of Home recipe. I substituted walnuts for pecans and used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

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They are tasty. If you do not have time to make them, you could just buy some candied nuts or use regular, salted nuts. They are not the star of the salad. They do make it better, but the real star is the goat cheese fill triangles. They are flakey, crunchy, creamy, and tangy with a hint of sweetness.

I used a honey mustard salad dressing. The recipe is below. I like it to be really tangy (i.e. more vinegar). I used champagne vinegar, you could substitute regular vinegar.

To make them, you need one roll of filo dough out of a box of two rolls. Defrost it in the refrigerator over night. They must be kept moist so when working with them, keep them under a damp towel.

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Cut the sheets in half.


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Take one half and spray with olive oil or brush with butter. Add one to two more layers, following the same process. Put a small piece (about 1 tablespoon) of goat cheese in one corner of the sheet.

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Fold over the filo, lengthwise, to cover the cheese.


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Then, begin fold the cheese over to form a triangle. (Like a paper football or flag)

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Continue folding until you reach the end. To seal, spray with olive oil or brush with butter.

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Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey.

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These are such a delicious accent to a salad. I have been disinterested in homemade salads lately. I much prefer the ones that I make at Whole Foods salad bar however, this was way better than those. Don’t skip the filo triangles, they make the salad. They are pretty easy but look fancy.

Goat Cheese Filo Triangles

by Jessica

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer salad snack filo goat cheese summer


Ingredients (14-18)

  • 1/2 package filo dough, defrosted
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese
  • olive oil spray or melted butter
  • honey


Heat the oven to 350.

Cut filo sheets in half length-wise. When not working with them, keep them covered with a damp cloth.

Take one filo sheet and spray it with oil or brush it with butter. Layer two more sheets, adding oil or butter to each sheet.

Put a small piece (about 1 tablespoon) of goat cheese in one corner. Fold the sheets over, lengthwise. Begin folding the end with the goat cheese to form a triangle (like a flag or paper football). Continue folding until you reach the end. To seal, add oil or butter.

Place on a greased cookie sheet. Continue until you have used all of the filo.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Serve hot or cold. Store in the refrigerator. Serve on a salad with fresh fruit or as an appetizer.

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Honey Mustard Dressing

by Jessica

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Keywords: salad honey summer


Ingredients (2-4 servings)

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (I like whole grain)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


Whisk together mustard, honey, and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking. Salt to taste.

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Check out Heather’s version at SugarDishMe here! She made her own version and it looks fab!


You probably don’t know that I studied abroad in Spain while I was in college. During that time, I tried some amazing food. Pan con Tomate is one of my favorites. It allows me to enjoy fresh tomatoes. It is a shame I forgot about it for seven years. 

A traditional dish in Spain is Pan con Tomate. It is typically crusty bread, smeared with tomato and sometimes olive oil or garlic. It is served at breakfast or as a tapa in the evening. It is a delicious way to use tomatoes. I like to make it in a slightly different, more upscale way that could easily be served as an appetizer at a party. 

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I start with a baguette. I cut the baguette that I used here into thirds. This is a serving for two people (1/3 baguette=2 people). I then slice it in half. This baguette happens to come from my favorite baker, Mediterra

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I like to spray each side with olive oil. You could brush it on or use some butter. 

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I then place the bread, oiled side down, in a medium pan to toast it. While it is toasting, I make the tomato part of pan con tomate. 

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I take 2 tomatoes (again for two people=1 per person). These are tomatoes I picked up at the farmers market this weekend. I cut them into fourths and put them in the blender.

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I add about 1/4 of a clove of garlic and blend until it is a smooth puree. Salt to taste.

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I remove the perfectly toasted bread from the pan. Sometimes I rub the toasted bread with garlic. 

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Then I cut it into strips. 

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I serve it with the tomate. Sometimes I drizzle the tomate with extra virgin olive oil. I serve it and we dip away. It is a delicious way to enjoy your farm fresh tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! 

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This weekend, we went to the McDonald Farmer’s Market. It is a very small market, with typically only a few vendors however, we can get lots of high-quality and often interesting fruits and vegetables there. It is located in McDonald, PA at the trail station. It typically runs from 9-1 from mid-July through the end of September.

We met my favorite farmer at this market. We have been buying vegetables from her since we moved into our house. I have never met someone as passionate about produce as Beth. Beth and her husband own Oak Hill Farm located just outside of Avella, PA. Beth focuses on growing hydroponic plants in her amazing greenhouse while her husband focuses on raising angus.

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I had the opportunity to visit the farm. The greenhouse is amazing. It is evident that growing hydroponic lettuce is Beth’s passion. It is kept in immaculate condition and has rows of hydroponic lettuce. From the ceiling, hang tomato plants. In addition to the inside space, Beth has outdoor gardens as well where she grows unique items that often cannot be found at other farm markets. She always has a variety of garlic, which she plants using the Farmer’s Almanac and the phases of the moon. She also grows a variety of squash, tomatoes, and peppers. Look at this huge bulb of garlic!


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One of my favorite things to do is to buy a vegetable or fruit that I have never cooked with before and experiment. This week, Beth had tomatillos. I have eaten tomatillo salsa, but I had never made it before. This was the week. I scoured the internet and found many recipes. After reading a few, I set off to make my own recipe. I had two options: raw or cooked. I decided to go with using the tomatillos raw because I tend to prefer salsas that use raw ingredients to cooked. From there, I added my usual salsa ingredients to the blender until I liked the flavor of my salsa verde.

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I removed the husk from the 6 tomatillos that I purchased and washed them. Then I gathered a clove of garlic, the juice of two limes, a half of an onion, 4 jalapeños (they were very mild or I would have only used 1), cilantro, and salt.

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I quartered my tomatillos and added them to the blender along with the other ingredients. It is important to salt to taste so I add salt gradually. Tomatillos are very acidic tasting so I used a little more salt to balance the flavor.

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I used all of the cilantro pictured. I used most of the stems, too. They also have a great flavor. I added the tomatillos and garlic first so that it would become liquid prior to adding the other ingredients. I blended until mostly smooth and tasted with a chip to ensure the right balance of flavors.

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This tasted fantastic with chips. It may be even better with some food straight off the grill.

tomatillo salsa: salsa verde

by Jessica

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: N/A

Keywords: blender raw appetizer side snack tomatillo Cinco de Mayo summer

Ingredients (3 cups salsa)

  • 6 tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 large handful of cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno (more or less to taste) if you do not like spicy food, discard the seeds


Add tomatillos to the blender. Process until liquid. Add remaining ingredients. Process until combined. Salt to taste. Serve with chips or grilled food.

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The dessert that we had most frequently in our house growing up was crisp. It is my mom’s signature dish. She makes it for everything. It is delicious and always a hit with any crowd. It can be made with almost any fruit. It works best with blueberries, apples, raspberries, peaches, and nectarines.


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It is very easy to make and can easily be adapted to be gluten free. In fact, one of my favorite renditions of this recipe is using half oat flour and half almond flour with a fruit mixture of rhubarb and strawberries.

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The amount of sugar in this recipe should be adjusted based on the sweetness of the fruit. I used 1/4 cup of  sugar in this version because I used fresh, juicy, summer fruit that is naturally quite sweet. Had I used granny smith apples, I would have used 1/2 cup of sugar.

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I almost always use a stoneware dish (corning ware or other bakeware that is not glass or metal). Spray it with cooking spray. I have forgotten to do this and it turned out fine. Add 3 cups of fruit. I used 2 cups of blueberries and 2 nectarines, diced.

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In a small bowl, combine 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup), 1/2 cup of flour, and 1/2 cup of sugar with a fork or pastry cutter. Dump the crumble on top of the fruit mixture.

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Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 400 until bubbly and slightly brown (about 30-45 minutes).

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Allow to cool slightly before serving. It can be served both warm and cold. It is best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Store leftovers (if there are any) in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Nectarine Crisp

by Jessica

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert nectarine blueberries summer


Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 nectarines, diced
  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (less if using very ripe fruit)
  • cinnamon to taste


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a medium stoneware baker with cooking spray. Add fruit.

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, and butter with a fork or pastry cutter until clumped together. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until bubbly and slightly brown.

Allow to cool slightly and serve warm or cold.

Store leftover crisp in the refrigerator.

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