In the South, folks like their iced tea sweet and their cornbread savory. Here in New England, we take our iced tea with lemon, and we love our cornbread sweet and cakey. This cornbread with fresh corn and herbs from my garden is more in the style of a Southern cornbread, the kind you eat with chili or barbecue. Although the recipe calls for fresh corn, if you live in a place like New England, with a very short corn season, go ahead and use frozen organic corn kernels. You can freeze leftover cornbread, and use it to stuff a chicken or turkey, make croutons, thicken a soup or stew, or make breadcrumbs. This cornbread bakes in a standard square baking pan, and you can make it, start to finish, in 30 minutes.
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Chelsea, my summer intern, returns to her real life as a student at Brown University in a couple of weeks. At the beginning of June, we put waffles on our must-do list, and it seemed we had all the time in the world to get around to making them. Last week, almost at the end of Chelsea's internship, Wafflepalooza finally came to town. These waffles, the first of five recipes we made (and ate) in one day, bring together zucchini, cinnamon and sugar. There's plenty of vegetable here, if you know what you're looking for, but if your kids aren't into green healthy things, you might forget to mention zucchini, and they'll probably never guess. When the zucchini glut hits, make a big batch of these waffles; freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan, then pack them in a ziplock bag or container. Reheat by popping the waffles in the toaster.
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I know what you're thinking: it's summer, it's hot, and it's definitely not the season for bread pudding. Au contraire, dear readers. This bread pudding oozes chocolate, and chocolate knows no seasonal boundaries. Thanks to the slow cooker, you can make this in the middle of August without heating up your kitchen. Almost any type of bread will work in this recipe; cut the crust off very crusty bread, as I did, or use challah or brioche or leftover croissants, or even day-old hamburger buns. Serve this when it's warm and gooey, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top. Oh, joy.
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I'm really enjoying cooking one day a week with Chelsea, my summer intern. She's a human biology major at Brown University, where she'll be a junior in September. This isn't the first time we've cooked together; when she was in middle school, Chelsea and her mom came to my family cooking classes with other local kids and their parents. She's interested in easy, economical and healthy recipes she and her roommates can make during the school year, so we're trying some new things and fine-tuning some of her favorites. The basic quick and easy garlic naan pizza was Chelsea's idea; we added our own marinated roasted peppers, plus basil from the garden. Naan is a soft bread, a bit puffy; my grocery store sells white, wheat, or garlic (and you know which one makes the best pizza). Buy ready-to-eat naan in the bakery department of your supermarket; if you can't find it, use pita bread instead.
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