End of the Summer Labor Day Round Up

WatermelonSaladLabor Day is always bittersweet. A long weekend that marks the unofficial start of fall but also the end of summer. The city becomes almost barren as people flock to beaches and summer homes, trying to squeeze in those last few moments of sunshine. The summer always flies by, but this year has been exceptionally brief. Maybe it was because of our overambitious travel schedule–I can count two weekends between Memorial Day and now when we were actually home in Brooklyn all weekend–or maybe it’s because this summer was so mild it never felt like a summer. We escaped to the Rockaways once, only for a few hours. No summer movies, street festivals, far too few BBQs. Everything just went so fast. Soon we leave for vacation and my fear is the fall will also quickly pass and we’ll arrive back smack in the middle of another brutal winter.

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Canning Peach Salsa – Take 2

Peach Salsa

I have a confession. A couple of years ago I shared a peach salsa recipe. The original recipe was from Put ‘Em Up, still one of my favorite canning books. But the truth is, that was the only year I made that particular salsa. For the last two years I’ve been making a completely different peach salsa. And hiding it from you. Pretending Put ‘Em Up’s recipe was the best one out there. But no. I’ve found better. Can you forgive me?

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for EGG CREAM!

Vanilla Egg Cream

I had my first egg cream at 26. Don’t laugh. I didn’t actually even know what it was until probably a few months before that first sip. In fact, I actually thought it involved a real egg. Eww. I mean really, egg cream? How does that at all sound inviting? But one sip at the Lexington Candy Shop and I was in love. I’ve had dozens, maybe over a hundred, always seeking perfection. It was only a few weeks ago that I finally attempted to make my own.

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Not So Perfect (But Delicious) Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

One of my favorite things about being part of the Secret Recipe Club is getting to know new blogs. When I was assigned to The Egg Farm, I knew I found a new favorite blog. Mary is an amazing person. Over a decade ago she was diagnosed with a terminal illness that has since been upgraded to incurable and progressive. Yet, even still Mary knows how to enjoy life. Four years ago she bought a 5 acre farm in California and has been living there ever since.

With a blog called the egg farm, a lot of her recipes involve, of course, eggs! One of my favorite food groups. As always I had more ambitious plans. Mary’s Potatoes O’Brien and Eggs looks amazing and I’ve yet to attempt hash, like Mary’s Homemade Corned Beef Hash. Sadly, as with most best intentions, life gets in the way. The past few weeks have been a bit hectic and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. All good things of course–vacation, family visits, weddings–but less time to spend trying new things in the kitchen. For quick and easy I was instantly drawn to Mary’s Perfect Deviled Eggs.

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Fresh Corn and Black Bean Salad with Feta

Black Bean and Corn Salad with Feta

This has been an unusually mild summer. I’ve hardly had the air conditioning on all summer except for a few nights. There’s been a calm breeze and sometimes even a bit chilly at night. Still, with longer days, slaving away at a stove to make dinner isn’t exactly ideal. Sometimes raw is the way to go.  I’m not talking crazy fancy, restaurant raw food but a simple chopped salad. One of the best things about fresh produce is it needs very little seasoning to make it spectacular.

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