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Cold Cherry Soup

by BnB Finder July 29th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Cold Cherry Soup

Sweet soup -- that's meant to be served cold. If you've never cooled off with a dish like that on a hot summer evening, try this sweet and spicy soup made with fresh cherries, quality maple syrup, and a touch of black currant liqueur. Cherries are at their best now, at least where I live. Drawing juice from whole fresh ginger may be an uncommon process in western cooking, but it isn't difficult; you can find instructions here. The recipe comes to us from the Hawthorne Inn in Concord, Massachusetts, a

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Shrimp & Avocado Cocktail- An Indulgent Start to Dinner

by TT July 28th, 2014| Appetizers, Recipes, Salads
shrimp avocado cocktailJuly has been the month of cold dishes.  Icy cold from the refrigerator, refreshing on the palate sort of dishes. I will end this month with another delightfully cooling dish, but this one is special.  It isn't an any night of the week dish (at least in my opinion.)  Rather this is a special occasion, dinner for two sort of recipe.  Of course, I could be biased, as this was the first course for my husband and my anniversary dinner.

However, I think I can make a case for the elevated status of this dish.

  1. Ingredient #1- shrimp.  Although shrimp is
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Lemon Pepper Potato Salad

by Jane Wangersky July 24th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
potato saladIt’s too hot to turn on the oven and make my lemon pepper oven fries, which is a shame because they’d go so well with the burgers we’re going to be grilling in the backyard . . . but that doesn’t mean we can’t have potatoes flavored with lemon and pepper. This occurred to me as I was thinking about potato salads made with vinaigrette instead of creamy mayonnaise-based dressings. Why not make one with a lemon pepper vinaigrette?

You may be able to find lemon pepper easily in the store -- if so, you’re way ahead of me. (They
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10 Fitch Tropical Breakfast Sorbet

by BnB Finder July 22nd, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
file4041257954147Where I live, we handle winter a lot better than summer -- we're much more used to winter. Lately, it's been too hot even for coffee or tea at breakfast. That's the kind of day when our thoughts turn to breakfasts like this. Though this sorbet is much like ice cream, the creaminess comes from ripe bananas -- and coconut milk, which, like most of the ingredients, comes out of a can. You don't need an ice cream maker; your freezer does the work overnight. If you'd like a getaway that's also quick and easy to plan, try this
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Yogurt & Blueberries- A Cool & Light Summer Lunch

by TT July 21st, 2014| Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes
yogurt blueberriesMany of my summer lunches tend to be produce-oriented.  As the options for fruits and vegetables increase in late July and August, I choose my meals based on a couple key questions.  One, do I want a cold or warm dish? Two, how filling do I want the dish to be?  As it is just past the midpoint of July, I have a handful of produce options.  One of these options is blueberries.

Typically, you may not think of blueberries as a key lunch component.  However, I have incorporate blueberries into many a lunch dish.  I quite often will have
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Make Pickles in Your Refrigerator – It’s Easy

by Jane Wangersky July 17th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
fridge picklesAs I’ve mentioned before, I’m (maybe a little too) wary of trying to can or preserve anything at home, which is why the only jam I make is the freezer kind. I’ve been doing this for years, but until recently I wasn’t really aware that freezer jam had a counterpart: refrigerator pickles. (I had noticed that when I marinated cooked beets in vinegar and spices, they seemed to keep for weeks in the fridge -- these pickles are made in somewhat the same way.)

Though I’m not as crazy about pickles as I was in my teens, they’re still one
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Gazpacho with Grilled Lime Shrimp

by BnB Finder July 15th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Gazapacho with Grilled Lime Shrimp

Gazpacho -- a cold soup, usually tomato-based and including raw vegetables -- evolved in Spain and has become popular all over the world. The reason is simple: Coming from a country with a killer summer, it's perfect for the hottest days of the year. This recipe takes it a step further, adding shrimp flavored in a zesty marinade and hot off the grill, for a dish that's elegant enough for company and still surprisingly simple. From the Swiss Woods B&B in Lititz, Pennsylvania, voted "the coolest small town in America" in 2013, where

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Marinated Tofu

by TT July 14th, 2014| Main Dishes, Recipes
marinated tofuSometimes in the summer I just want a dish that is completely cold.  I don't want to turn on the oven or even reheat in the microwave. I simply want to take ingredients from the pantry and refrigerator and create a cooling meal.  That can be done quite simply by making a lunch of a piece of fruit and cheese and crackers.  However, that isn't always filling enough.  It takes sustenance to power through an afternoon of work!

Thus, I ponder, how can I have a heartier meal that still is cool and refreshing?  Today's recipe is one way that
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Make Your Own Jam With Gelatin – And No Sugar

by Jane Wangersky July 10th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
jamjarThough I'm usually a DIY kind of home cook, I don't make my own jam -- much. There's a fear of spoilage that seems to run in my family and keep me from wanting to can anything for winter. Still, nearly every summer, around the time when the raspberries get plentiful in the backyard, I make a batch or two of freezer jam. If you're not familiar with this, it's just what it sounds like -- if you plan on keeping the jam more than about a week, it'll have to go into the freezer. Like almost any homemade
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Fruit Smoothie Ice Cream Tart: Sweet and Easy

by BnB Finder July 8th, 2014| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
Fruit Smoothie Ice Cream Tart

This special dessert takes some time and planning, but it features what has got to be the easiest homemade pie crust ever baked (at just 10 minutes' oven time, it won't heat up the kitchen too much either). And it's just what you need to cool down on a hot summer night. Plain old vanilla ice cream gets blended with fresh fruit for three layers of flavor. Pettigru Place Bed & Breakfast, in Greenville, South Carolina, is the original home of  this recipe. They offer you a peaceful English garden within walking distance

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Cold Cherry Soup

by TT July 7th, 2014| Recipes, Soups & Stews
cold cherry soupLast week I had an unusual occurrence.  I had no children at home for dinner. I had no husband at home for dinner.  I had no plans for myself outside of the house.  My first instinct was to fill this void with a social outing, but then I thought about the beauty of a quiet house on a weekday night.  With temps in the 90s and lots of humidity, it seemed like a fine idea to stay inside with a bit of air conditioning, some good food, and a book.

With an opportunity to cook for only myself I was
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Salsa Aspic: Hot and Cool

by Jane Wangersky July 3rd, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
aspicYou might think of this as really thick salsa. Or maybe as Jello for the main course. Or as something like cranberry sauce -- it’s made of fruit (tomatoes are fruit), it’s jellied, and it’s meant to be served along with meat or another main dish. However you look it at, this side dish is perfect for dinner on a hot night, packing both coolness and spice.

Aspic has been largely unknown for years -- a friend nearly as old as me had never heard of it -- but I’m not sure why. Maybe the availability of instant gelatin desserts
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