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Carolyn Malcoun's Blog (Page 24)

August 21, 2009 - 11:00am

My husband laughed when I told him this, but when I “grow up” I want to be a school-lunch lady. Not the kind of school-lunch lady I remember from my school days: hairnet askew, dishing up “turkey gravy” over a pile of (surely instant) mashed potatoes. (Ew, did I really eat that?) I want to be the kind of lunch lady who cooks food from scratch and brings the kids to the school garden to pick fruits and vegetables they’ll actually eat that day.

(Get healthy eating guidelines for kids, plus recipes and more here.)

Though there are some school-lunch programs like the one I dream about, they’re few and far between. The National School Lunch Program feeds 30 million kids each day and is seriously underfunded. And the recent recession has forced many school districts to...

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August 12, 2009 - 11:04am

I like to call last summer “the summer of preservation.” My most exciting project was sharing with a friend a bulk order of Amish peaches from Pennsylvania. Big, super-sweet and juicy, they were some of the best peaches I’ve ever had. When peaches are ripe this time of year you can usually find them on special for a dollar or two per pound at most supermarkets. If you pick some up and want some ideas to use them, here’s what I did with my amazing peaches:

- Since the peaches were ripe, time was of the essence. First I got to work peeling and freezing some of them, so we could enjoy them later in the year.

- Then, in between eating them out of hand, my husband, Dan, and I invited a few friends over and cooked up some...

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August 4, 2009 (All day)

A good melon can be downright magical. This week I bought a cantaloupe and I’m greeted with its heady fragrance each time I open the fridge. My husband and I love melons so much we’ve been known to devour an entire, perfectly ripe cantaloupe in one sitting. At farmers’ markets I'm discovering other melon varieties, too, like canary and galia. Here are tips about five of my favorite melon varieties and recipes to enjoy them in. Get more recipes for melons and other fresh summer produce from EatingWell.

Cantaloupes have bright orange, firm, sweet flesh. These round melons have tan netting over yellow/green background. Try it in: Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad

Cut into...

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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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