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by Sarah Steimer

This vendor (I forget the name!) is one of our first stops at the market. This farm has some of my favorite heirloom tomatoes and a great selection of dried beans. Plus the one farmer has talked me into buying more food than I care to admit. Pictured here (starting from the background) are squash blossoms, broccoli, cranberry beans, tomatillos, basil and tomatoes.

This vendor (I forget the name!) is one of our first stops at the market. This farm has some of my favorite heirloom tomatoes and a great selection of dried beans. Plus the one farmer has talked me into buying more food than I care to admit. Pictured here (starting from the background) are squash blossoms, broccoli, cranberry beans, tomatillos, basil and tomatoes.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Chilled cherry soup

This sweet, cool cherry soup is great for breakfast, dessert or as a starter at dinner.

  • 2 pounds cherries, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 dollops Greek yogurt
  • 4 sprigs mint for garnish

Combine the cherries in a medium saucepan with water barely to cover, 2 cups or less. Add the cornstarch, a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the sugar and lemon zest. Puree the mixture in a blender. Chill, then serve cold, with a dollop of yogurt and a mint sprig for each bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: How to Cook Everything

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by Caitlin Saniga

What’s your favorite part of lemon meringue pie? Mine’s the meringue. And that’s basically what pavlova is: a big pile of meringue (topped with fruit). Fun fact: This dessert is big in Australia and New Zealand and is said to have been named after famous Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova during one of her tours through the region.

  • 5 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced, pitted cherries
  • basil or mint for garnish, if desired

This was one of my first attempts at pavlova. I didn’t beat the egg whites nearly long enough, so my mound was fairly flat. When the pavlova baked, some bubbled over the edge of the pan. Don’t make my mistake! Beat the egg whites until they’re almost hard. When you “spread” the mixture on the baking sheet, it should be kind of difficult because the egg whites are almost solid. This will ensure that the mound remains standing through the bake time. Also! Notice the magnets holding down the edges of the parchment paper. I found this trick handy! But don’t forget to remove the magnets before baking.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Trace a 7- or 8-inch circle on parchment paper and line a baking sheet. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer (with a whisk attachment if you have one) until foamy and thick, about 3 minutes. Pour in half of the caster sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and beat until the mixture forms firm peaks, another 2 or 3 minutes on high.

Using an offset spatula, spread the meringue on the parchment, using the circle as a guide, to create a uniform mound.

This is what the pavlova looks like after a night of sitting in the oven. The top gets all crackled and crispy. It’s the best! Also, a note about caster sugar: It’s a super-fine sugar that dissolves quickly in liquids. If you can’t find any at the store, make your own by running white sugar through the food processor.

Using a fine-mesh strainer or sifter, shake powdered sugar over the meringue.

Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Bake for another 35 minutes, until slightly golden, and turn off the oven, leaving the meringue to dry out overnight. Do not open the oven door! Use the oven light to check on things instead.

Serve the next day with the strawberries and cherries, and garnish with basil or mint. You should be able to slice the pavlova with a flat-edge knife. Store leftovers at room temperature, loosely covered with parchment paper for up to 1 week.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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by Sarah Steimer

The ginger and other spices in these bars make them very seriously pop. Very, very dangerous and serious like James Bond - in a speedo!

For the crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

For the filling

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups plum puree (go here for that)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Line a 7 X 11 inch brownie pan/baking dish with a parchment paper – I used an 8 x 8 inch pan, which was perfectly fine. Line the paper so it covers the sides & bottom and is little extra on all sides so it can lift out easily.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and ginger with your hands (or a food processor) until it resembles loose crumbs. Press the mix into the baking dish to cover all sides and form a smooth/even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Bake the refrigerated crust for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the crust barely starts to brown on sides. Remove the baked crust from oven and let cool – but do not turn off the oven.

Sift flour and salt together. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Add the lime juice then add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold the puree into the mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Do no beat but make sure that everything is combined well.

Pour the filling on top of the cooled crust and tap the dish once to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until just set and the edges start to turn brown.
Allow the dessert to completely cool before cutting. Refrigerate (or else it will be too sticky).
Recipe adapted from: Sinfully Spicy
Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

If you don't like the red-brown splotches from the cinnamon, or if you just don't like cinnamon, you could easily cut it out of the recipe. But the spice adds a nice fall flavor.

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples

As always, when making chips, don't let the slices overlap or they won't crisp.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Using a serrated knife or mandoline, thinly slice the apples crosswise, discarding the seeds and both ends of the apple. (I went with the serrated knife, but I have to imagine a mandoline would have made things lots easier.) Arrange slices in a single layer on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets; sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake the apple slices, turning every half-hour, until dry, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and transfer to racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 30 chips.

Recipe: Every Day With Rachel Ray

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

*Throughout September, “Snacks to Pack” will feature our favorite snack recipes for packing in lunches or eating on the go. All of them can be found here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Did I sing "She's My Cherry Pie" in my head the whole time I made this? No...

  • galette
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted and halved cherries
  • 5 apricots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • handful of slivered almonds
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Toss the fruit with the brown sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Roll galette dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 15-inch circle (does not have to be perfect). Place on a baking sheet.

I'm not usually an apricot fan, but I much prefer them cooked I now know.

Layer the fruit in the dough, leaving about 2-3 inches around the edge. Top with slivered almonds. Fold the dough in those 2-3 inches. Brush the crust with the egg and sprinkle granulated sugar lightly over top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

Serves about six.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photos: Sarah Steimer

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by Caitlin Saniga

After years of happily avoiding grapefruit, I decided to give it a shot when I found this recipe. The cinnamon-sugar tames the tartness, and the broiling gives the fruit a whole new toasty dimension.

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar

My mom has a grapefruit spoon, which is pointy and has a knifelike edge. Wish I had one of those today.

Turn on the broiler, and position one of the racks (if possible) 6 inches from the heat source.

Halve the grapefruit, then run a sharp knife around the inside edge to loosen the flesh from the skin. Place the halves in an oven-proof dish.

Mix the cinnamon with the sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over each grapefruit half, and broil for 12-15 minutes, until the sugar is caramelized and the edges are golden brown. Keep the oven door open a crack during broiling. Let fruit cool for about 3 minutes before serving. Sprinkle more sugar over the top if you want.

Makes 2 halves.

Recipe adapted from: Cook Your Dream

Photos: Caitlin Saniga

This recipe appeared in Seasonal Sundays (RealSustenance.com).

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