Gazpacho, the Spicy Version

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If ever there was a perfect summer soup, it’s Spicy Gazpacho — a chunky, chilled soup filled with chopped fresh vegetables.  What a great way to enjoy your mouthwatering garden produce, those prolific summer cucumbers and tomatoes!  Adding just a touch of spicy jalapeno pepper heat to beautifully complement the tomato sweetness and you’ve got summer in a bowl.

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Cheese Straws

cheese straws #1Cheese Straws are a satisfyingly-cheesy cracker that can be made using a variety of cheeses, but traditionally with a sharp cheddar. Add just a sprinkle of cayenne to give them a touch of heat, and they’re perfect.  Cayenne and real Cheddar sets these crackers apart — far apart — from any store-bought crackers in a box. Cheese Straws are remarkably light yet crunchy, and quite addicting for cheese lovers of all types.

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Soft Beef Burrito

soft-beef-burritoBurritos are delicious, filling, and oh! so adaptable. You can literally put anything inside a tortilla, roll it up, and have a great, satisfying meal. They are wonderful for meals on the run, too, since they come in their own handy, edible wrapper! Just don’t put too much salsa inside, however, or…, well…, trust me on that!

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Blackberry Pie

blackberry bushTo my mind, there are very few activities as satisfying as standing among heavily-laden blackberry bushes in the afternoon sun eagerly filling a bowl with warm, juicy fruit. Brilliant purple jewels, soft and sweet. Eat a few, drop a few into the bowl, eat a few, drop a few more into the bowl. Even at that rate, alternately eating and filling, your bowl fills quickly, providing more than enough to make a succulent, luscious, beautiful, perfect pie.

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Apple Crisp

This is one of the first desserts I ever made.  It’s simple, fast to prepare, and oh so satisfying. Especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Among the countless apple crisp recipes, this one is the quickest, most simple combination, with a pure, decidedly apple flavor. Don’t even try to make a low-fat version of this treat, it’s perfect just as it is.

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Chewy Chocolate Brownies

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a really good brownie? There are countless recipes around, and countless ideas about what makes a brownie “perfect.” But with a cakey, dense, and chocolatey cookie, it’s hard to imagine how that combination could go wrong.  My personal preference is for chewy, not crumbly, with a rich chocolate flavor.  That’s what this recipe will provide, my idea of perfection in a simple chocolate brownie.

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