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Strolling through the Farmers’ Market is one of my favorite things to do. I love looking at all the produce, letting myself be inspired by what’s available and in season. I also love people watching, which makes Saturdays a uniquely rewarding excursion. But back to the produce . . .

This particular weekend, I wanted one green tomato. I decided I would get my green-tomato-fry-on and see what came of it. The result: a flavorful, veggie-packed, unhealthy treat. It has the same effect as splitting a funnel cake and a huge plate of hand-sliced potato chips at the county fair with your mom. Not that I would know what that felt like . . .

I also have to admit that I don’t really know any other way to use green tomatoes, so if anyone wants to share a recipe or idea in the comments section, I’d be much obliged!

Starting with sliced tomatoes and jalapeños.

I made three “baths” — if you will — for the tomatoes. The first is flour spiced with all-seasons salt; the second is beaten egg; the third is cornmeal with a blackened cajun seasoning mix. I dunked the tomatoes in this order as well. Then, it was into the cast iron pan for some heroic fry action.

         

I fried the jalapeños the same way, although they take very little time to brown, so be vigilant!

To construct the sandwich, I basically layered cheese, jalapeños, tomatoes, red onion, sliced avocado, and some spicy mayo between two slices of bread. I grilled it like a grilled cheese, and the result is the following greasy, tasty, once-in-a-looong-while meal! Not pictured: a tall glass of milk to cool the jalapeño burn. Enjoy!

I have uncovered a secret weapon in the grocery store that I’d like to share with you. Behold!

This gluten-free baking mix got me thinking about how I could use it creatively . . and given my love of pancakes for dinner, I think I found a way to shake things up a bit.

Gluten-free Corn Cakes

1 c. Pamela’s gluten-free pancake mix

2 ears of cooked corn (cut the kernels off them)

1 small sweet red pepper

1/2 green jalapeño pepper

4 green onions

chili powder, ground cumin, sweet paprika, and salt to taste

1 egg

3/4 c. water

Mix it all together in a medium bowl and let sit for about 3-4 minutes.

Pour enough oil into a skillet to evenly coat the bottom. Heat on medium. Once the skillet is hot, spoon the batter onto the skillet, turn over when you can see a little bit of golden brown on the bottom edge.

To serve, garnish with some fresh avocado slices and some homemade pico de gallo. Trust me, your taste buds are going to go wild!

Holy smokes Batman! This is out-of-this-world good! I scored the peaches at the Saturday Farmers’ Market, and was inspired by one of my favorite bakers: Joy.

Peach Mascarpone Pie

Crust:

Pie crust recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out the dough from the fridge and let sit on the counter for 7-10 minutes before working it. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. You want to create a circle that, when gently placed into your pie pan, will slightly overlap the edges. Press it gently (it’s the key word!) into the form of the pan. If the dough breaks into chunks while you’re rolling it, don’t worry! Simply place the dough into your pie pan and work it gently with your fingers until it evenly covers the bottom, walls, and rim of the pan.

Next, use a fork to jab tiny holes in the bottom and sides of the pie. (This is so that it doesn’t bubble.) Finally, using the index and thumb of one hand, and the index finger of the other, crimp the edges of the dough to form a uniform scalloped edge.

  

Before you place it into the preheated oven, cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil so that it covers the dough. Then, pour pie weights or dried beans into it. This will ensure that the dough maintains the form of the pan while you bake it. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes. You should see a light golden color on the edges. At this time, remove the crust from the oven, and take out the weights/beans and the parchment/foil. Return the crust to the oven for 5-7 minutes more to let the bottom set. You want the crust to be golden in color. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Let cool completely!

Filling: 

1 c. mascarpone cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (DIY for next time here!)

6 fresh peaches, sliced

extra honey for drizzling (optional)

Combine the mascarpone and sour cream in a medium bowl and beat on low until smooth. Add honey and vanilla and stir with a spoon to combine it. Spread mixture evenly across the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Arrange sliced peaches in a design of your choice along the top. Drizzle with a little more honey, if you desire, and invite friends over for dessert!

   

I don’t care what people are saying about cupcakes, tarts, or cookies. Pie is still hottest thing since sliced bread.

This summer my sibs and I went to a beautiful pie shop in Brooklyn called Four and Twenty Blackbirds. They offer a rotating assortment of homemade pies (and slices), as well as other sweet and savory goodies. Naturally, we had to strategize our order so that we could taste as many as possible. Leave it to the middle kiddos to mess it up and order the same pie!! Sheesh :)

We sampled the Black Bottom Oatmeal, the Salted Honey, and the Strawberry Balsamic pies. We devoured them, as evidenced below:

In light of my love for pie — which, unlike the number is totally rational (he he) — I wanted to share with you a simple, delicious recipe for pie crust. I also use it for quiche, since it’s not sweet at all. Feel free to adapt it to meet your needs.

Pastry Crust (makes enough for two crusts)
2 sticks of cold butter
pinch of salt
2 3/4c. flour
1/4c. ice cold water
Instructions:
Mix dry ingredients together and add butter. Cut in the butter until it has become incorporated into the flour so as to give it a more “grainy” texture.
Some people prefer to use a food processor, but I like to do it by hand with a pastry blender/knife. Once it’s been thoroughly mixed add half of the ice water. You don’t always have to use up all the liquid and you may or may not need more flour. Get the dough to where it isn’t sticky (too much water) or overly dry (too much flour), as you want it to malleable. By this time the dough with be getting slightly warm, so either make a big ball or separate for 2 pies depending on how many you need. Cover them individually with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour, and up to twenty-four. Take it out of the fridge for 7-10 min. so that it has a chance to soften slightly prior to working the dough on a floured surface.

“The Art of Pesto” by Kinfolk / Tiger in a Jar

And just in case you didn’t get the recipe the first, third, or eighteenth time you watched this:

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED
A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Special equipment: large mezzaluna for chopping

**This pesto relies heavily on the cheese and nothing else for salt. However, if you are going to use it in another dish (such as pasta) you might want to taste how the flavors play out and then maybe add a pinch of salt to the pesto. Enjoy! **

Lemons, tangerines, and grapefruits can all go into this recipe. I’ve played with the combinations, but if you want to go purely lemon on this one, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks to Joy the Baker for her awesome recipe!


Lemon-Tangerine Curd

(or substitute another citrus fruit)

Ingredients: (makes about 3/4 c.)

2 egg yolks

1 egg

5 T. sugar

1/4 c. lemon juice

zest of half a lemon, as well as half a tangerine

4 T. unsalted butter

pinch of salt

Directions:

Combine sugar and zest on a clean cutting board.  With your fingers or the back of a spoon, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is very fragrant.

In a saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together egg yolks, egg, tangerine sugar, juices, butter and salt.  Whisk over the heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  This takes about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. If you wish, you may pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.  If you prefer the zest, skip the strainer. Transfer curd to a small jar or airtight container and let sit until cool and thicker in texture.  Cover and refrigerate. Curd will last in fridge for about a week.

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