Tortellini Salad with Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes, and Eggplant

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Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day!!! Always a fun day for me. This month I was assigned…. Feast on the Cheap!

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Feast on the Cheap is a wonderful food blog actually run by two people: “a mother-daughter duo starring a professional caterer and a fledgling foodie.” Mary Anne is the mom and her daughter is Mariel. Both have impressive and distinguished careers, Mary Anne as a nurse and a professional caterer, and Mariel as a professional writer for a number of well-known publications. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through their blog this month!

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I have been jonesing for eggplant lately, so I went through their recipe index specifically hoping to find something eggplant, and I scored big with this pasta salad. Mary Anne created this recipe, and made the brilliant decision to use tortellini for the pasta, which is just beyond delicious. The eggplant is sweated and roasted, so there is no trace of bitterness – just flavor. This salad comes together and just sings. So much flavor, and such terrific textures from the roasted veggies and the chewy, cheesy tortellini.

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As I write this, I’m growing impatient for tomorrow at noon to roll around, simply so I can eat the leftovers for lunch! And I *just* ate dinner, y’all – not even hungry. That’s how good this is.

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I highly urge you to try it very soon, while eggplant and fresh tomatoes are looking lovely for their season. I also highly urge you to check out Feast on the Cheap! It’s definitely going in my reader. Enjoy!

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Source: slightly adapted from Feast on the Cheap

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant (about ½ lb.) cut into ½ inch dice, peeled if desired
Kosher salt, to taste
Dried oregano, to taste
Olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
3 medium tomatoes, (about ¾ lb.) cored, seeded, and cut into ½ inch dice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp brown sugar
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
½ cup fresh basil, roughly torn
1 lb. cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Directions:
“Sweat” the diced eggplant: spread the eggplant on a cookie rack lined with paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Blot dry with fresh paper towels. Transfer to a cookie sheet and toss with about 2 tsp of olive oil. Spread evenly into a single layer and sprinkle lightly with the dried oregano, as much or as little as you prefer. Cover with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F and position a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Place the foil covered eggplant in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside, after you remove the aluminum foil.
While the eggplant is roasting, preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then saute the shallot until soft. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the brown sugar, crushed pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Saute another 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and have rendered their juices. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Add the cooked tortellini to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Now add all the veggies to the pasta: the eggplant, the tomato mixture, and the roasted peppers. Add the basil and the cheese and toss thoroughly and gently to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Browned Butter Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Treats #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper, where our theme this week is Back to School!! At present, the most affected I am by anything Back to School is seeing pictures of friends’ kids on my Facebook newsfeed in first day of school outfits every late August. I have no kids myself and I’m not in school of any kind. So I thought that today, I would reminisce a little! Because yes, my sister and I did attend public school growing up, and yes, my mom had to figure out the whole school lunch and afternoon snack thing for us, too.

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And since my parents were quite adamant that we eat healthfully, our afternoon snack usually consisted of apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Something I did not consider much of a treat, thank you very much. I would have *much* preferred something in the sweet treats or dessert category awaiting me as I got home from school each day. And yes, I did make my feelings known, to no avail.

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So today I’m blogging a more sophisticated version of one of my childhood faves, the crispy rice treat, something I would have loooooooved to see show up as my after-school snack, but alas, never did. However, a caveat here – upon reaching adulthood, I must freely admit my mom was right to feed us a more healthful afternoon snack, and were I to have kids, I would/will do the same as she did.

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So in conclusion, I must say two things: first of all, thank you Mom, for feeding us healthy after-school snacks that gave us energy and nutrition and thanks for putting up with our grumbling and at-the-time pure ungratefulness; and secondly, these crispy rice treats are delicious, very easy to make, and would make any kid or adult very happy to have them as an occasional treat. Enjoy!

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And of course do not forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang!

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Ingredients:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 (10 oz.) bag of marshmallows, large or small, doesn’t matter
½ cup smooth, all-natural peanut butter
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Directions:
Grease a 9×13” pan. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat until just browned. You’ll know because the popping and sputtering will be slowing down and little browned bits will appear. If you are new to browning butter, I would advise using a stainless steel pan for this step so you can see it brown and know when to stop. When the butter has browned, be sure to stir or whisk the browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate them. You want that tastiness in your final treat.
After the butter has browned, add the marshmallows, peanut butter, and salt. Stir with a large spoon or spatula until the mixture is silky smooth and flecked throughout with the browned bits.
Add the cereal to a large mixing bowl. Once the marshmallow mixture is smooth, carefully pour it over the cereal and stir to thoroughly coat the cereal.
Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan. With buttered or oiled fingertips, gently press the mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan. Let cool and set for at least 30 minutes before slicing into squares and serving.
This will last (maybe!) well wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Back to School Beginnings

Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Plum Poppy Seed Muffins

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Ahh, stone fruit. Those delicious, juicy, sweet things with a maddeningly short growing season. So many stone fruits to choose from, and so little time to enjoy them. Last year I was all about the peaches, so this year I vowed to be more about plums and nectarines. Maybe next year is apricots? But then what about pluots? It gets complicated….

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Next year can be figured out later; today we shall have these tasty muffins with lots and lots of plum chunks. And poppy seeds too, just for good measure.

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These muffins are not savory per se, but they are not high on the sweet factor. Over the years it seems that muffins have inched closer and closer to cupcakes, some so much so that the lines of distinction have grown exceedingly blurry, and oftentimes muffins seem like little more than an excuse to eat cake for breakfast.

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Not today, my friends. These muffins are taking a stand and declaring themselves to be MUFFINS, and muffins alone. They are emphatically stating that they will not tolerate being confused with their distant look-alike cousins. These are decidedly breakfast food, and they are well aware that we shouldn’t be consuming tons of sugar first thing in the morning.

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That said, they are quite delicious, with a soft and impossibly moist texture, studded with ripe plum chunks that pop, and just a hint of sweetness. Enjoy while plums are still in season!

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Source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Ingredients:
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 large egg
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tbs poppy seeds
2 cups pitted and diced plums, from about ¾ lb of whole plums

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
First step is to brown the butter. Cut the butter into chunks and add to a stainless steel small pot or skillet. Place over medium heat and let it melt. Once it’s melted completely, the butter will start popping and bubbling and sputtering – this is the water evaporating out. You will see the butter turn a nice brown color and there will be little browned bits hanging out at the bottom of the pan. Once the sputtering and popping has died down to a minimum, shut off the heat. Let it cool slightly.
Add the egg and both sugars to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Now add the butter, including those browned bits floating around, plus the sour cream. Whisk to combine. If your butter is still very warm, drizzle it in slowly while constantly whisking.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds. Add to the sour cream mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix, and a few lumps are okay. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the plums.
Use an ice cream scoop (helps to grease it lightly first) to evenly distribute the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rest the muffins in the pan for about 2 minutes, no more than 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely. Store any leftovers in an airtight food storage container.

Guest Post – Breakfast Bacon Enchiladas

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This week I have had the pleasure and honor of guest posting over at the wonderful and popular blog, Cupcakes and Kale Chips! Brianne is a fellow Sunday Supper member, who has one of the best food blog Facebook pages ever. Definitely head over and “like” her, then give her blog some love too. You won’t be sorry!

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Since August 30th, 2014 is National Bacon Day, I chose to make these Breakfast Bacon Enchiladas for her blog. I mean, it’s bacon…. In an enchilada!!! Crazy good.

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You can read all about them plus get the recipe over on Cupcakes and Kale Chips! Don’t miss them – because they’re also terrific for lunch or dinner. Just sayin’! Enjoy!

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Peach Salsa #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper, where this week we are Preserving Summer Produce! This theme is very good for me, because …… I’m really ready for fall. Okay, there I said it – it’s my shameful secret. This happens to me every year about this time. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I start becoming a tad ungrateful for all the beautiful summer bounty and I just want to make chili and watch a football game. And then bake something with apples…

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So thanks to my Sunday Supper gang for encouraging me to use up that summer produce while I still have access to it, and put off thinking about fall cooking and baking for a few more weeks, as I very well should.

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My grocery store is selling lovely, local Jersey peaches, so this week I snapped some up and made you this homemade, from-scratch peach salsa. I don’t know about you, but I have *always* been sorely disappointed by store-bought fruit salsas. I have a couple of brands I trust when it comes to store-bought regular tomato-based salsas, but it seems that the minute you add the word “mango” or “peach” to the label, well, brace yourself, cuz it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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There is no disappointment with this homemade peach salsa. Oh my, it is divine. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness to salty, with the peaches being front and center without overpowering the whole thing. So perfect.

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Oh, and this is so easy to make, too! The stovetop and food processer do most of the work for you. And I really can’t stress how delicious it is. That said, it’s not terribly spicy at all – probably very kid friendly. Leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapeno, or just add a second jalapeno if you prefer it hotter. So please try this one while you can still get fresh, in-season peaches. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week.

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Oh and be sure you give some love to my wonderful Sunday Supper peeps!

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
1 lb. peaches (about 3 medium-to-large)
1 lb. plum tomatoes, halved
1-2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded if desired, and halved
½ a red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thick slices
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
¼ red onion, peeled and root tip discarded
1 cup water
2 tsp fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

Directions:
First you will need to peel the peaches. To do this, bring a medium to large stockpot of water to a boil – you need just enough water to cover the peaches. Using a small paring knife, make an “X” on the bottom of each peach, a shallow cut that just cuts the skin. Submerge the peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. Lift them out with a slotted spoon to a plate or cutting board. Let them cool a few minutes, just until you can comfortably handle them. Starting at the bottom where you made the “X”, peel off the skins. They should come off easily; if a few little stubborn bits are insisting upon hanging on for dear life at the top, don’t fuss over it. Life’s too short. Now pit the peaches and cut them into quarters.
Add the peaches, tomatoes, jalapeno(s), bell pepper, onion, and water to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes (I did a combination of covered and uncovered). Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully transfer all the solid pieces to your food processor. Add the lime juice and pulse on and off until combined but still somewhat chunky. If it’s too thick, add some of the water left in the stockpot.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Let it cool the rest of the way to room temperature, then either serve or store in the refrigerator.
This is fantastic as just a dip for chips, but it’s also wonderful on chicken or fish – as tacos or by themselves. Oh and it makes a ton – about 2 cups!

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.


Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?
It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

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It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve discovered that sweet corn can be a legitimate dessert ingredient, and now I’m completely fascinated and obsessed. Sweet corn ice cream immediately went onto my bucket list, and I’m happy to say I can now cross one more item off.

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A few weeks back I was out with Matt and some friends on the North Fork of Long Island, and we stopped at this lovely not-so-little farmer’s market where they happened to be featuring perfect, gorgeous sweet corn. I snapped up several ears, which were brought home and promptly turned into sweet, creamy, corny ice cream that we are still enjoying.

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This ice cream is really delicious, and possibly unusual, depending on your palette, and the fact that I still have some weeks later should not be taken as a bad sign or an indictment on the ice cream. I think it’s mostly because I put the ice cream into a food storage container that likely wasn’t meant to sit in the freezer – and thus, it’s very difficult to open and actually get to the ice cream!

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I hope y’all will enjoy this one – perfect for hot summer days and perfect for using up the sweet corn while we still have it!

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Source: adapted from Scoop Adventures by Lindsay Clendaniel

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 ½ tbs unsalted butter
Generous pinch of kosher salt

Directions:
Add the corn kernels and the milk to your blender. Puree until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, butter and salt. Heat over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Do not let this boil.
Meanwhile, whisk the yolks in a small bowl. When the corn and milk mixture is hot but not boiling, slowly pour about 1 cup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. This will temper your egg yolks and make sure they don’t scramble. Now slowly pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Put the heat on medium-low, and slowly stir with a spatula until the custard is thick and coats the back of the spoon, about 7-10 minutes.
Set a strainer over a large mixing bowl and pour the whole mixture through the strainer. Add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to the mixture and bring to room temperature, stirring occasionally. You can hasten this process by sitting the mixing bowl in an ice bath. Once this custard base is at room temperature, chill it thoroughly in the refrigerator. Once chilled, churn it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and let sit for a few more hours to firm up.

Grilled Cherry Tomato, Garlic and Goat Cheese Toasts

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So, picky eater that I was growing up, I actually rarely objected to tomatoes – in fact, I would even go so far as to say that I liked them as a child. When I was in grad school, in my early twenties, I did a summer abroad program in Austria, and every afternoon I would venture out to the closest farmer’s market and buy a large, gorgeous, in-season, juicy red tomato. I’d stand out in what Europeans think is a hot sun and eat the whole thing like it was an apple, juices running down my hands and dripping off my elbow to the ground. It was my afternoon snack; it was a daily moment of pure happiness, the kind that the freshest and most beautiful food can bring.

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So imagine this – I married a certified tomato hater. Apparently, Matt had zero tolerance for them growing up, even to the point he would pick them out of his sandwiches or fast food burgers. (Actually, when I think about it, that habit of his lasted well beyond childhood…)

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Determined spitfire that I am though, I saw this as a challenge rather than an incompatibility, and I wasn’t content to file it in the agree-to-disagree cabinet, despite the fact that no marriage doesn’t have such a filing cabinet, ours included. I pestered asked inquisitive questions about his dislike of tomatoes until he finally told me in detail why he hated them so much; turns out he had eaten one too many out of season tomatoes and then decided that all tomatoes were tasteless and mealy.

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This is pretty easy to correct, right? I simply make sure we only eat raw tomatoes, in any form, when they are perfectly in season, and I’m fortunate that I can get local tomatoes from either Jersey or Long Island, so they don’t suffer in transit to our local grocery store or farmer’s market. And now, Matt loves in-season, good-quality tomatoes (especially heirlooms). Yea!!

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And thus, I can make lovely appetizers like this one, and Matt will happily eat it and love it. You should too before summer tomatoes disappear for another year.

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Source: adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:
About 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
8 oz. goat cheese, softened
1 tbs minced herbs, such as parsley, thyme, basil, or a combination
1 tsp minced garlic
1 loaf of round country bread, sliced somewhat thickly, then each individual slice cut in half crosswise
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
A few sprigs or leaves of herbs, for garnish

Directions:
Soak some wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Thread the cherry tomatoes onto the skewers, then set them on a plate. Brush them well with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill them a few minutes on each side, turning as you go, until they are charred and the skins are starting to bust. Don’t take them too far – you don’t want them cooked completely through. They should still have some bite to them; we’re not making tomato sauce here.
When done, remove the skewers to a plate and let them cool slightly. Then use a fork to carefully remove the tomatoes from the skewers.
Meanwhile, preheat a small skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add a nice film of olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the garlic slices and cook them slowly, until they are golden and softened, about 5 minutes (but watch closely as you do not want to burn the garlic!). Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
Also meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, minced herbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
Once the tomatoes have come off the grill, place the bread slices on the grill, just to toast and get some marks. This will take about a minute per side. When the bread comes off the grill, immediately rub at least one side (or both sides if you prefer) with the cut garlic.
To assemble, use a butter knife to spread some of the goat cheese onto one side of the bread. Sprinkle a few of the sliced, cooked garlic on top, then top it with 3-4 cherry tomatoes, pressing slightly to nestle them into the cheese. Place the assembled breads onto a platter and garnish with herbs. Serve immediately.

Nectarine Raspberry Dutch Baby

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Happy Friday, happy month of August, and happy WEEKEND!!! What are your weekend plans? And how’s your weather predicted to be? It’s supposed to rain on and off where I am; I was originally slated to run a very athletic 5K with Matt on Saturday, to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, but in training I got a lovely little shin splint. So, no 5K for me. Matt decided to skip it also, as he freely admits he hasn’t properly trained for it, so we’re blowing off the world and holing up in a romantic hotel and spa this weekend. After the Soundgarden/Nine Inch Nails concert tonight, that is!!! I’m just, oh, a teensy bit excited for all this. :)

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Oh, and this also will conclude my week of No Longer Neglecting Raspberries on this blog! This is the third raspberry recipe I’m bringing to the table for the week. I started with a delicious chicken and raspberry salad, where raspberries worked double duty – a salad ingredient and pureed to make the vinaigrette! Delicious and light and perfect for summer.

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Then yesterday we made homemade soda using fresh raspberries, which was awesome. And now today, we are eating breakfast. And we’re including some stone fruit, because ‘tis the season for that too. This Dutch baby was outstanding, as pretty much all Dutch babies are. The large amounts of fruit made this particular baby a bit less wrinkly than most, but they also made it a bit thicker in the middle, which hurt no one’s feelings in my house. Make sure you try this one before we lose the berry and stone fruit season for the year! (Sniff). Enjoy!

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Source: The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker

Ingredients:
3 large eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 2 tbs whole milk
3 tbs white wine
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 medium nectarines, pitted and cut into chunks (no need to peel them – you’re welcome ;))
4 tbs unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 F. On the stovetop, heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the flour, cinnamon, milk, and wine and whisk again to combine. Fold in the raspberries and nectarines.
Melt the butter in the preheated cast-iron skillet and swirl the pan to coat it well. Pour the batter into the skillet, making sure to spread the fruit evenly. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges, and serve hot.

Raspberry Vanilla Soda

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Ah, soda. Or pop. Or coke. Whatever you and your region call it, it remains many a human being’s guilty pleasure. Fortunately, it’s easy to make at home, where you can control the ingredients. Oh, and homemade soda has way more flavor, tastes really fresh, and isn’t full of chemicals that make you feel like you can’t stop drinking it.

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I found this little gem in Joanne Chang’s cookbook, Flour, Too, and knew I had to try it once raspberry season hit. It didn’t disappoint. So richly flavorful, with strong vanilla overtones that surprisingly don’t fight the tart raspberries. I can assure you, this is a soda you will not find at your local convenience store!

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And, like I said earlier, this isn’t really addictive. I mean, it’s really good, so you do want to keep enjoying it of course, but it’s so much easier to practice moderation on homemade soda than on the commercially made cans.

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Oh, and Matt wanted me to be sure and tell you guys: apparently this is extremely tasty with a little vodka thrown in! So enjoy (spiked or not)!

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Source: slightly adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh raspberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1 to 1 ¼ cups club soda for each drink

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, vanilla seeds and the bean itself, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour.
Pick out the vanilla beans and then transfer this mixture to a blender. Puree, then strain the mixture through a sieve placed over a small bowl or large glass measuring cup to remove most of the raspberry seeds. Add the lemon and lime juices to the raspberry puree and stir to combine. Refrigerate the syrup if not using immediately.
For each drink put 3 tbs raspberry syrup in the bottom of a drinking glass, then fill the glass with ice. Pour in the club soda. Stir gently with a long spoon until well mixed, then serve immediately.

Chicken Raspberry Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

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At the beginning of summer, I compiled all my summer produce recipes and categorized them by produce item for you in a Summer Produce Recipe Round-Up. And that is when I realized just how much I’ve been neglecting the lovely little raspberry on this blog. Oops!

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Since raspberry season has rolled back around, I think it’s time to correct that. And thus, for the remainder of this week, I will be bringing you raspberry recipes. Starting with this scrumptious dinner salad.

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I tend to associate raspberries either with sweets, or with just snacking. But let us not forget how tart they can be, which makes them perfect for savory summer meals. Here in this salad they are featured twice: pureed as part of the salad dressing, and then left whole and tossed in as a component of the salad itself.

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I *really* loved this one. Even though my northeastern US summer hasn’t been all that hot, taken as a whole, I’ve been obsessing over light dinner salad fare the past couple months. I just haven’t wanted to turn on the stove much, I guess. This one was perfect. Enjoy!

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Source: adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
2 whole chicken breasts, butterflied open
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking the chicken
1 pint of fresh raspberries, divided
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs honey
1 large head of butter or Boston lettuce, cored and torn into pieces
4 oz. baby spinach or baby arugula
¼ cup shelled pepitas, toasted and cooled

Directions:
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Preheat a grill pan, outdoor grill, or sauté pan to medium-high heat. Brush or drizzle your cooking surface with oil, then cook the chicken until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total, flipping once halfway through. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes while you make the dressing.
For the dressing, add ½ cup of the raspberries to a blender, along with the ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree until very smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Slice the chicken thinly. Now assemble the salad. In a large bowl add the lettuce, spinach or arugula, plus the remaining raspberries. Lay the chicken on top, then drizzle dressing over all. Add the pepitas as garnish. Toss the salad to coat it with dressing, adding more as needed. Serve immediately.