Recipes

Have a Blueberry Blast

They're cool, tangy, and sweet—all at the same time. Best of all, when you go blueberry picking you can just reach out and pluck them. They are so much easier to pick than strawberries. There's no kneeling in the straw and mud only to find that critters have eaten the underside of your berries. Besides being fun and easy to pick, blueberries are splendid for you, too. They are rich in vitamin C and other important nutrients. Blueberries are in season for Virginia from mid-June to mid-July, so grab a bucket to fill with sweet berries.

Strawberry Time

Kids have a big advantage when it comes to picking strawberries because they grow close to the ground. With just a little know-how, you can be a berry good berry picker.

Tips for picking terrific berries:

  • Break the stem about a half an inch from the top of the berry.
  • Don't pick berries that are mushy-soft, nibbled on by insects or birds, green or pink
  • Don't pile your berries in a big bucket. Strawberries are heavy and have delicate skins. They can get bruised if they are piled thick, one on top of another.
  • Keep your berries cool, either in the shade or the refrigerator.
  • Don't wash them until you are ready to use them.
  • If you are going to eat your strawberries right away, you can go picking any time.
  • If you need your berries to last for longer, try to pick in the morning or in the early evening when it's cooler.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen so you don't become red as a berry yourself.

Strawberries taste wonderfully good and are high in vitamin C, which helps your body heal, resist infections, and keeps your bones, gums, and teeth healthy. There are lots of ways to enjoy strawberries: in muffins, jam, salad, salsa, and simply by themselves.

Foods and Cooking in Ancient Egypt

By Clive Gifford

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"The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted from around 3000 BC all the way to 30 BC, and despite being built over 2000 years ago many of their grand structures still stand today. The food that drove this civilization to success was as fiery and spicy as the Egyptians themselves. This book contains easy-to-follow recipes from the ancient Egyptian recipe book such as the flavorful, seed-based Dukkah dip."
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Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories

By Esmeralda Santiago

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Twenty-five heartwarming stories tell of deliverance from political oppression, a first Christmas in America, and memorable feasts. Includes recipes and songs from many traditions.

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Christmas Memories with Recipes

By Maron L. Waxman

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Join Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, and 23 other chefs who share their smashing (sometimes literally) stories and recipes from their Christmas' past.

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Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel

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A #1 bestseller in Mexico in 1990, this charming, imaginative, and just plain fun novel of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico includes unique recipes at the beginning of each chapter for a variety of traditional dishes.

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I Love Coffee! Over 100 Easy and Delicious Coffee Drinks

By Susan Zimmer

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"...brimful with a wealth of coffee understanding from the 'ground' up, from bean to cup, including international coffees and brewing techniques best suited to a variety of preferences, all topped off with plenty of problem-solving tips and delectable full-color photographs."

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Starbucks Passion for Coffee: A Starbucks Coffee Cookbook

By Dave Olsen

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Remember the NPR April Fool's Day broadcast when they promised Starbucks coffee would be piped hot and fresh into every home? In the 10-plus years since this book was written, Starbucks may not have reached that level of saturation, but with outlets in book shops and discount retail chains, it's certainly coming close. In addition to company history, the Starbucks exec provides 30 recipes for excellent sweets to go with remarkable coffee.

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Columbus Day: A Day of Discovery

Columbus Day is sometimes called Discoverers' Day. In the spirit of discovery, take some time to learn about the world as it was in the days of the European explorers. You can make a compass, learn about the stars, read about other explorers and discoverers, and find how even our way of eating has changed since the Europeans came to the Americas looking for gold, glory, and, yes, tasty cooking spices.

Pizza Without Tomato Sauce?

The explorers who came to the Americas found the food enjoyed by the native people to be very different from what they knew at home. They had never seen tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, maize (corn), pineapples, chili peppers, or even cocoa. The vegetable dishes from the Europe they knew relied on parsnips, cabbages, peas, carrots, turnips, and onions. After being at sea and living off of a diet of lentil soup, salt beef from a barrel, salted sardines, hardtack, and other delights, the fresh, new foods of the islands would have been an astonishing change.

The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book

Slow cookers make everyday and special event cooking so much easier that they justify their place among your kitchen gadgets.  Plus, slow cookers come in a variety of sizes, from one quart to six quarts. Get the size that suits most of your needs or go ahead and get both.  Two slow cookers can produce a memorable meal for a party. For example, a smaller one is perfect for seafood dip or fondue while a larger one supplies barbeque beef for sandwiches or coq au vin.  Whichever model(s) you choose, it’s good to have the slow-cooker option for less stress and more flavorful food.