Mary Ann's Blog

Summer Cherry Tomato Salad

So often when people think of how to use tomatoes, they think of sauces, soups, and other warm meals. But instead of heating up the kitchen this summer, I recommend using all those tomatoes from your garden to cool off with a fresh cherry tomato salad that's perfect for a…

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How Many Ways Can You Serve A Tomato

Finally. Fresh garden tomatoes are really here. No more cardboard tasting, placid looking, paperweight tomatoes need you succumb to. Farmer markets tempt you with everything from cherry tomatoes to heirlooms that we have never heard of. Tomatoes aren’t just round or…

Too Hot To Cook

These sweltering days call for boycotting the kitchen. Even standing at the outdoor grill is just adding fuel to the fire. And darn, the heat kills your appetite too. My answer is to head to your air-conditioned grocery store and get one of those rotisserie chickens. It w…

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Zucchini Empire

I swear those zucchini I planted are on steroids! You got to get them when they are small, not baseball size because small means not only tender, but a lot less of those pesky seeds and a not so watery texture. If I let my guard down, even for a day, they multiply like ra…

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How To Make Really Good Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta is not cheese; it is a by-product of the cheese making process and is as important to many regional Italian dishes as olive oil and tomatoes. Ricotta is made from the whey of cow or sheep milk. Think of whey as the leftovers from the cheese making process. Re-coo…

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Happy Birthday America!

Next to Christmas, the 4thof July is my favorite holiday. It’s not so much about the cookouts, parades or fireworks that makes it so but this once a year national reminder that being an American is a precious gift that we too often take for granted. And it is nice t…

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Battuto: The Four Evangelists of Italian Cooking

When Italians cook, they start with something called a battuto, a mince of ordinary vegetables like onions, celery, carrots and garlic, that create a foundation for extraordinary flavors that really make a dish come together. These ingredients are often referred to as the…

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Net Zero

I planted my own strawberries last year and for all the work that went into it, I probably realized maybe a quart of perfect red berries that had not been pecked at by birds and ravished by chipmunks. So this year I was in attack mode and put a solar electric fence around…

Let The Good Times Roll

Good ol’ cinnamon rolls… that’s what the world needs right now. Banish those troubling thoughts of trade wars, a slumping economy, horrendous traffic and rising gas prices. Instead focus on big, golden brown cinnamon scented yeasty soft buns filled with…

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It’s Easy Being Green

Ever wonder why that broccoli or those green beans that you just cooked look so dull on a plate? It’s the acidic compounds present in them that come in contact with chlorophyll and that is what turns veggies a dull color. Keep the green in them by several methods; d…

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