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Carolyn Malcoun's Blog

July 31, 2009 (All day)

When I planned my first garden a few years ago, I asked my friend Jessica for advice on how much of each vegetable I should plant. She said very matter-of-factly, “Only plant two summer squash seeds. If both grow into plants, you rip one out.” I thought she was crazy. One plant? I had so many delicious summer squash recipes that I wanted to try.

I ignored her advice and planted six. All six survived—and produced prolifically. I was completely overwhelmed with fresh squash, as were my friends, who by the end of the summer politely declined my continuous offers of free squash.

This year, I followed my friend’s advice so my crop is more manageable. But if you have any extra check out the cooking tips below or send them my way and I’ll try them in these...

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July 29, 2009 (All day)

One of my first food memories is going out to our garden with my dad to pluck sun-ripened tomatoes off the vines. My dad’s tomato recipes were ultra-simple—he’d barely dress the tomatoes with red-wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and let them sit for about 30 minutes until the juices from the tomatoes released into the dressing. Then we’d dig in, sopping up the liquid with warm bread. It was so simple, and so utterly delicious.

That’s the great thing about tomatoes—it takes very little embellishment to make them shine when they're freshly picked and in season. The following recipes highlight their amazing flavor without a lot of fanfare.

Skillet-Seared...

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July 24, 2009 (All day)

Last summer my husband and I were talking and he casually mentioned that the hillside at his dad’s cabin, a mere 30 minutes from our apartment, was covered in raspberry bushes. I don’t know what was worse—that he waited 5 years to tell me or that I never noticed that they were there.

That afternoon I hightailed it to the raspberry haven, dressed in long sleeves (those raspberry bushes are thorny!), and picked my heart out. In the days that followed, we ate raspberries—with pork chops, in salads, bars and spoonbread.

Here are my favorite raspberry recipes so you can have your own raspberry fest. Even if you are just picking the raspberries up at the store, these dishes will be equally delicious. (Love other berries too?...

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July 16, 2009 - 4:36am

I love biting into a wedge of sweet summer watermelon and letting the juice dribble down my chin. (I’ve been known to compete in seed-spitting contests with my friends, too.)

As enjoyable as that is, watermelon can be even more delicious when it’s prepared in unexpected ways—with a little fanfare added. I once devoured a bowlful of Watermelon Salsa by myself…in one sitting. I also love watermelon in sweet treats, like frosty beverages and creamy-frozen desserts.

Health bonus: Watermelon averages 40% more of the cancer-fighter lycopene per serving than tomatoes. Lycopene in watermelon is easily absorbed without cooking, unlike that in tomatoes, and is...

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July 7, 2009 - 4:36am

One of my favorite summer activities is berry picking, particularly blueberry picking (best summer fruit EVER!). A local blueberry farm has live music two nights a week, so my friends and I go to picnic and pick berries. We’re there for a few hours, and I always manage to pick way too many blueberries (even though I employ the “put-5-in-the-basket, put-handful-in-mouth” strategy).

Since my husband has high blood pressure, we eat a lot of blueberries—find out how they might help blood pressure and heart health. We freeze a bunch more and I love cooking with blueberries too. Here are a few of my favorite summer blueberry...

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