One-Pot Stop: Cauliflower-Parsnip Soup

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Once the mercury dips even the tiniest bit and a cool breeze flutters across my face, I want absolutely nothing to do with the crisp, refreshing salads and tart, juicy berries of summer. All I want is something warm and cozy to snuggle up with against the chilly winds of fall. While the change in diet may be delicious, it isn’t exactly waistline-friendly.

I tend to gravitate toward greasy sandwiches, cheesy pastas, and hearty meat dishes. Anything that can be whipped up easily and can be stretched across a few meals is ok in my book. I …

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Five Ingredient Feast: Grilled Watermelon Salad

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A scorching late-August or early September day slowly fades into a balmy summer night, and the smell of grill residue lingers in the air. Your bathing suit is infinitely damp from spontaneous cannonballs in the pool and your stomach begins to growl after a full day of sun-soaked bliss. Grass clippings from the latest mow stick to your bare feet as you wander toward the picnic table in search of a snack. Dad just threw the burgers and hotdogs on the barbeque, you can hear them hissing against the hot metal grates. Your eyes dart past the cooler of ice …

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Procrastination Cooking: Homemade Tomato Sauce

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There are only two things I can think of to do with a 5-lb bag of plum tomatoes: make jars of salsa or a pot of spaghetti sauce. If I make fresh salsa, I run into the inevitable corn-chip-to-salsa-ratio problem where I run out of corn chips, buy a new bag, then run out of salsa. You can never have the perfect amount of chips and salsa. If I make spaghetti sauce, I can freeze it and have delicious, homemade sauce in the fall.

As you may have already figured out, in this week’s CSA box I got a …

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Look Ma, No Oven!: Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

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You can’t very well end a meal without dessert. Whether it’s a glamorous five-course meal complete with tinkling china and sparkling crystal or a half-hearted, half-microwaved Pot Noodle, I feel like you just have to end on a sweet note. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. A small square of dark chocolate or an apple usually suffices.

But why shouldn’t it be grand? If your meal is simple, a special treat afterward can make everything feel all the more special. If your meal is a more lavish, more Henry VIII affair, well, I wouldn’t expect you to serve …

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5 Ingredient Feast: Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blackberries and Mint

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Ice cream is one of those foods that is pretty much universally loved. I mean, who doesn’t love ice cream? Certainly not my family. We absolutely adore it. When, as a baby, it was found that I was lactose intolerant, my mother lamented the fact that I could never eat ice cream. Later, when I was a little older and had – thankfully – grown out of my lactose intolerance, my sister and I would spend a week or so each summer visiting our Nana. The last thing my dad always said before our parents dropped us off was, …

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You’re Invited: Backyard Movie Night

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image from Cinema Retro

I have fond memories of going to the drive-in movies with my parents on summer nights. We’d drive twenty minutes to a field in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania (or so it felt). We’d be dressed in our pajamas, with pillows and blankets in tow.

We’d pop the trunk and fold down the back seats of our sedan (we thought it was so cool to sit in the trunk) and tune to the right radio station just in time for the corny commercials. The first movie was always family friendly, but I tried really hard to …

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You’re Invited: The Chip-n-Dip Party

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Photo by J. Baumstein

There’s something about Mad Men‘s Peter Campbell that gives me the heebie jeebies. Yes, he’s incredibly dashing in those navy business suits, and yes, his control and influence in the meeting room is impressive. However, maybe he’s just a little too much of everything. His drive and motivation quickly turn to jealousy and anger, causing him to manipulate situations, undermine his fellow employees, and even lash out irrationally from season to season. And those giant blue eyes, although aesthetically pleasing are just a bit too big, a bit too clear, a bit too I-am-peering-into-your-soul-and-seeing-all-of-your-dirty-desires. Maybe …

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You’re Invited: Breakfast Club

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Throwing a brunch party (or Breakfast Club, as I like to call it) is a great excuse to hit up the farmers’ market and catch up with friends. Brunch parties are the least intimidating of food parties. A few quality ingredients and make-ahead dishes are all you need to break the fast (a pitcher of bloody marys wouldn’t hurt, either).  Many towns and cities host farmers’ markets on Fridays and Saturdays (the Union Square Greenmarket is a personal favorite). Set out early to get some freshly baked bread (cranberry pecan, whole wheat flax, poppy seed) and homemade preserves in seasonal …

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You’re Invited: Pinterest Party

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What do Mod Podge, chocolate chips, pudding, pretzels, chalkboard paint, scrapbook paper, and Sterilite drawers have in common? Well, pretty much nothing other than that they are all items that can be found on the Pinterest home page. Like any savvy blog-reading college student, you’ve probably given Pinterest a whirl, I’m sure, and if not – well why not? If you have clicked through the wonders that Pinterest has to offer, you may understand the stressful moment many Pinners reach, when they realize they’ve pinned so many DIY projects, recipes, and more that they haven’t even done. This is such …

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You’re Invited: Summer Luau Party

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The only thing I really want to do when it’s hot and humid outside is jump into the cool, refreshing ocean and swim until my fingers look like my great-grandmother’s. We are officially in the midst of summer so the hot and humid weather is not going away anytime soon. With extra time on our hands and plenty of available friends, what could be better than throwing a summer party? Except maybe throwing a summer party by a pool, beach, or lake. AND, why not add to all that craziness and make it a themed party – the ultimate summer …

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