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Nona Nielsen-Parker is the Production Manager at Atwater’s — known around Baltimore for their signature soups, salads and sandwiches made with ingredients from local farms. Vegan Chilled Gazpacho, Summer Corn & Chicken, Atwater’s Parmesan & Tomato…. Is your mouth watering, yet? Want the secrets to Atwater’s deliciousness? Nona dished five tips for amazing soup with us… Don’t Just Chop the Veggies. Roast all or some of the vegetables before adding them into the soup.Use Homemade Stocks. They’re easy to make and it doesn’t matter which one you use as your base: chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom.Time Your Herbs. Add dry herbs at the beginning, fresh herbs at the end.Salting and Peppering is a Process. Salt and Pepper in each step, only add salt at the end if needed.Make in Advance. Make soups 1 or 2 days ahead. If it sits, it’s better. Nona kindly shared two delicious vegan fall soup recipes…

The summer is ending with a challenging week. Changing to a “familiar, but not so familiar” back-to-school schedule (but it’s so wonderful to see all the posts of smiling kids in their 1st day outfits). The weather threw curves at us. And for some, September 1st means a return to offices for the first time in a year and a half. We are all totally due for a relaxing holiday weekend, and we have found the perfect accompaniment… BOOZY POPSICLES! Ice pops, made with your favorite fruits and drinks, but turned into an adult version with the added kick of your favorite alcohol. HOW TO MAKE THEM: So easy! Puree all the ingredients in a blender, except alcohol. Make sure all your fruit pieces are completely pureed; lumps of fruit will freeze into small rocks. Add the alcohol and use a funnel to pour the mixture into freezable bags. Freeze…

The local peach crop is in and this is one of the sweetest crops we can remember – can’t get enough of them! Chilled or grilled, baked, blended or puréed, they work in salads, entrées and desserts. We love this combination of fruits and veggies for a refreshing summer salad. Summer Peach, Berry and Feta Salad with Maple Dressing Dressing:1 T maple syrup¼ C olive oil3 T balsamic vinegar½ t kosher salt½ t ground black pepper Salad:4 fresh peaches, halved and pitted3 T maple syrup8 C spring mix salad greens½ C Feta cheese, crumbled½ C cherry tomatoes, halved (if desired — we definitely say yes!)½ C blueberries or blackberries Optional: ½ C pecans, toasted and chopped Brush peach halves with 3 T of the maple syrup and grill on a well-greased grill for 8 minutes or until tender. Turn frequently. Cool and cut each half into wedges.Whisk together all dressing…

As the song goes, you say ‘tomato’ and I say… tomato jam! While traveling with our kids this summer, my youngest started getting more adventurous with her restaurant entrees. She quickly grew tired of the kids menu chicken tenders and fries… this six-year-old wanted veggie platters with hummus, heirloom tomatoes, BLTs, corn chowder, and fritters. One evening we got to our destination really late and ended up in a hotel bar at 9:30 PM. The menu wasn’t exactly kid-friendly, so she decided on shrimp cocktail. Instead of horseradish-laden cocktail sauce, the shrimp came with a slightly sweet tomato jam. She was hooked. In addition to being a delightful surprise for shrimp cocktail, tomato jam is delicious on sandwiches, AMAZING on BLTs, delicious on top of cheese and crackers, and the perfect condiment for your summer picnic. It also helps use up that bumper crop of August plum tomatoes! We made…

Off to the beach and our project this week has been to find some new dinner recipes to cook for 7 adults and 2 kids. As much as we like to dine out, the restaurants are really busy this year, and it’s hard on little kids to have a long wait for dinner. So cooking in, and trying to make it as easy as possible! The requirements are: Fancy enough for adults to enjoy (must go well with wine!), basic enough in flavors for the little kidsMinimal prep time, preferably some prep in the morning, and a short cooking time after the beachEasy to find ingredients and basic cooking pans and utensils (who knows what the local stores and the rental house have)Minimal, easy and quick clean up We subscribe to the Charm City Cook newsletter and always find great tips and news from Amy Langrehr. So when Amy suggested…

Leah Eskin, writes the food column, Home of the Range, which runs weekly in the Chicago Tribune. She is the author of a memoir, Slices of Life: A Food Writer Cooks through Many a Conundrum – a book of recipes and the stories that go with them (the names Emergency Cherry Pie and Beach House Spaghetti give hints to the tales.) Leah is a Baltimore resident and happy to do readings, coaching and teaching at book clubs and events if you contact her. She graciously shared her recipe for Sweet Cherry Pie with Women’s Daily Post, just in time to enjoy the local crop of sweet cherries! (top photo Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune) SWEET CHERRY PIE Prep: 1 lazy afternoonBake: 50 minutesMakes: 1 9-inch pie, serves 8 Ingredients Pie pastry (recipe follows)2 pounds (about 5 cups) fresh sweet cherries, pitted¾ cup granulated sugar3 tablespoons cornstarch1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice1 teaspoon…

We’re on a bit of a cicada kick this week… and we’re definitely craving the Cicada Crunch Extreme Shake from The Bus Stop! Located at Spring Meadow Farms in Upperco, this family-owned adorable ice cream stand is known for their (cool) milkshake concoctions. (Chances are you’ve definitely seen one of their sweet treats pop up on a friend’s insta!) This month’s featured extreme milkshake is the Cicada Crunch. Don’t worry! There aren’t any cicadas in it. It’s a vanilla milkshake with Cap’n Crunch cereal throughout, topped with a crunch bar, KitKat and a gummy worm for fun. The Bus Stop is also offering make-your-own extreme milkshakes — delivered straight to your door! — through a new partnership with Cream Cruiser. Cicada Crunch isn’t one of the available delivery flavors, but they offer plenty of other delicious options! Find out more on their website: https://busstopmd.com/.

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