Watermelon and Peach Salsa #FoodNetwork

watermelon salad with peaches, cucumbers, and lime.

  It's roundup day for the Food Network's blog, FN Dish, and the theme is watermelon. I confess I wasn't a lover of watermelon until the last couple of years. When I was kid I could never understand what the fuss was all about. It was messy, full of huge black seeds, and not sweet enough for me. Times change, so do our taste buds. Now we have seedless watermelons at our fingertips, and they're plenty sweet for me now. All summer long, I almost always have watermelon in the refrigerator for ...

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Gazpacho Shooters #SundaySupper

Gazpacho Shooters

Gazpacho shooters are a perfect way to kick off a summer party. I like to start a summer party with cheese, crackers, hummus, and some grapes or cherries. Just as I put the meat / fish on the grill for the non-vegetarians in the group (which is usually everyone), I bring out a pitcher of gazpacho and little glasses. If the gazpacho is more puree than chunky, guests can drink it right from the glass. But I like my gazpacho a little chunky, so I serve it in a short glass with a spoon.   ...

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Strawberry Coconut Soup with Mint: #SundaySupper

Strawberry coconut lime soup with mint

Make this strawberry coconut soup the day before a party and chill until you're ready to serve. Just add mint slivers at the last minute. As the weather heats up, we all look to simplify our cooking lives. Recipes that can be made quickly with only a few ingredients become stars. Bonus points if no actual cooking is required. This week on Sunday Supper, we're celebrating dishes that have five ingredients or less. Salt, pepper, water, and cooking oil are given a free pass. This ...

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Watercress and Buttermilk Vichyssoise: #ProgressiveEats

Watercress and buttermilk vichyssoise with a dollop of mascarpone, served as a starter in shooter glasses.

Move over kale, there's a new powerhouse in town. Well, it's actually been around for a long time. In fact, Hippocrates built his first hospital near a natural spring because it was a natural habitat for this green. I'm talking about watercress. What? The limp, frail little thing found in English tea sandwiches with crusts trimmed off? Yes. It's Clark Kent before he ducked into a phone booth to morph into Superman. Through the centuries, this peppery green was a staple for both the ...

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Restaurant Style Salsa

Restaurant Style Salsa

  We're in countdown mode for Super Bowl Sunday. My team's not going to be on the field, but I like both teams (entirely because I like Seattle and I used to live in Boston). Clearly, I don't care who wins - it's all about the food for me. We're going to a party in Tahoe this year, hosted by some close friends. My assignment is to bring an appetizer, so I've been on the hunt for something easy but really good. And this salsa is a winner, from Julie at Confessions of a Cooking ...

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Countdown: Best Party Snacks and Appetizers

best snacks and appetizers

A roundup of best posts of party snacks and appetizers from 2014. These were readers' top favorite snacks and appetizers that I posted this year. A group of us from Secret Recipe Club are doing a fun series of recipe roundups for the rest of the year. I wanted to do it as a way of looking back at where my cooking has taken me. For you, it might be a reminder of some forgotten posts, or ones you've ...

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Jamming with Sunchowder’s Emporia

sunchowder emporia gift box

There's an age-old rhythm to making jams and pickles that plants us in the seasons, the land, and our heritage. It's the rhythm that grows out of rituals practiced by countless generations pouring potions of pickling spices, vinegar, and sugar over freshly picked cucumbers nestled in large jars. Every time I slip a thermometer into a roiling pot of fruit, sugar, and spices, I flash back to my 4-year-old self, obediently sitting on a high stool, watching a woman who was like a grandmother to me ...

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Spicy Red Pepper Jam

red pepper jam

Red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onions all come together in this spicy jam. Transforming summer vegetables into jam is great fun, and this is one I make every year. It's actually almost equal parts sweet red peppers and tomatoes, so technically I suppose it's a spicy red pepper-tomato jam. But whenever I make it, I'm more aware of the peppers and the heat from the garlic, so I tend to omit mention of tomatoes in the title. It feels misleading. I actually got the recipe from a chef ...

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Blackberries, Blue Cheese & Endive Appetizer

Endive leaf scoops filled with blue cheese and blackberries - recipe.

Endive appetizer with blue cheese and blackberries, drizzled with a blackberry sauce. Summer demands easy entertaining and food that refreshes. I'm generally carrying a fan around the house to stay cool on days the San Francisco fog stays out at sea (I have a svelte little tower model by Wexford that I love), and have loads of things I'd rather do than slave in a hot kitchen for hours on end during the hottest part of the day. So on days that sizzle, when friends stop by for a casual ...

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Gluten-Free Mexican Street Corn Fritters

Corn and zucchini fritters topped with kale-avocado-mango salad.

Twist on Mexican street corn: Gluten-free corn and zucchini fritters using corn flour topped with a mango and avocado salsa. These little guys totally rock for a small, summertime dinner party. Just throw the batter together a few hours ahead (although it doesn't have to be made that far in advance), cover the bowl with some plastic, and bring it back out 30 minutes before you plan to cook up the fritters. Just be sure to bring the batter to room temperature for an even cooking. Form ...

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Cucumber-Watercress Soup: #SundaySupper

cucumber watercress soup gazpacho

Chilled cucumbers and watercress soup blended with Greek yogurt and buttermilk, topped with salsa for a hot summer night. Time to chill out! Hot summer days are here with trips to the beach with cartons of sunblock and beer, picnics in the country, and sylvan hikes in the mountains. This holiday weekend our stepson (Kevin), his lovely wife (Suzanne), their 5 kids (4 very active boys and 1 very active little girl who dances every moment she can), and one 20-week-old puppy are visiting. ...

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Mango Soup with Coconut and Lime

mango coconut lime soup

Blended mango, coconut milk and lime juice come together for a chilled tropical mango soup. Let's go to Hawaii! Too expensive? Then make this soup and close your eyes. The combination of mango, coconut and lime will take your taste buds there for almost free. I love fruit soups and later the summer I always make plum soup, but a couple of years ago I started making this mango soup. It was finalist in a recipe contest on Food52, and I posted it about it here, but like anything else I ...

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