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Day 275: Zuppa Toscana. An easy slow cooker recipe for the Olive Garden favorite--Zuppa Toscana.

Day 275: Zuppa Toscana

It tastes better than the restaurant and is really fast and easy to make. Don't you just love soup in the winter? It is one of the few redeeming things about winter, in my opinion. Because at this point I think we can all agree winter isn't just that magical anymore! The snow in my backyard is crusty, my car is beyond dirty and my pasty skin could use a little sun :) But back to's awesome.

This soup is a copy cat of the Olive Garden favorite. Easy Slow Cooker Recipe for Zuppa ToscanaMakes 4-6 servingsIdeal slow cooker size: 4-5 quartCooking time: 6 hours on low, 3 hours on high *I lay a piece of kale on a cutting board and then cut off the leaf portion and discard the rib and stem. The Minimalist - 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling. Prep Schools: how to make quick pickles. July 28, 2010|By James P.

Prep Schools: how to make quick pickles

DeWan, Special to Tribune Newspapers A recently immigrated Irish friend was over for sandwiches, and I asked if she'd like a pickle on the side. She said she'd never had one, but would love to try it. She took one bite of the tart, crunchy spear — my favorite among the popular commercial brands — and proclaimed, "It tastes more like a cleaning product than food. " Clearly, pickles aren't for everyone. Why you need to learn it The best reason for quick pickling at this time of year is the abundance of fresh vegetables found in farmers markets and backyards all summer long. At the same time, it's good to remember that pickling is one of the oldest means of food preservation. Quick pickles, which we're making today, are done for flavor rather than preservation. Steps to follow: Because we're not making these pickles to be preserved, we can avoid the laborious canning process with its boiling and sterilizing and its accompanying nagging fear of lurking botulism.

Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving - Interactive Feature. You'll need ring molds and plenty of time to make this decadent tart, which is featured in "The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook.

Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving - Interactive Feature

" The dish, created by Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef of the famed Le Bernardin restaurant in New York City, was served at a tribute dinner for chefs Eric Ripert and Maguy Le Coze. What makes this tart particularly appealing — besides its taste and texture — is that each component can be prepared a day or two in advance and then assembled at the last minute. Ingredients Crust: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting 1 cup almond flour 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces 2 large egg yolks 2 tablespoons water 1/2 cup salted cashews, crushed Caramel Filling: 1 1/4 cups sugar 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon glucose syrup 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 3/4 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce. Though there have been no gluts of tomatoes this year, the plants we did get in are doing very well.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

I canned a bit of diced tomatoes to use for salsa throughout the winter, as we do not like canned salsa. The other big thing we use is sauce for pizza and pasta. I do not like just pureeing tomatoes and trying to get them cooked down and thickened up at the last minute-usually we have pizza or pasta when we are running short on time, so I needed a grab and go sauce. I found a recipe for an oven roasted sauce, and tweaked it a bit to our taste.

It turned out beautifully and was very simple. First, cut up enough tomatoes to generously fill a 9X13 or standard sized rectangular casserole dish. Let everything rest on the counter until it cools enough you can handle it.