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What's Blossoming? What's Cooking?

By Carrie Dugan

What's Blossoming? What's Cooking?

This summer, our staff planted a delicious array of fresh fruits and veggies in their gardens and got creative in the kitchen, turning those fruits and veggies into delicious recipes. If you're looking for something sweet or something savory, read below and heat up your kitchen with these yummy summer recipes!


Pickled Jalapeños


  • 1 cup white vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cloves garlic smashed

  • 2 tbsps sugar

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 8 jalapeño peppers thinly sliced


  • Combine the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil.

  • Add jalapeño slices, stir, and remove from heat.

  • Let sit for at least 8 minutes then use tongs to remove the jalapenos from the pot to a jar; cover with the brining liquid to fill the jar.

  • Store in the fridge for up to two months.


Sweet Tomato Jam


  • 3 lbs firm, ripe tomatoes, cored and diced (should be about 8 cups)

  • 1 cup honey

  • Scant 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ lemon zest

  • 2 tbsps lemon juice

  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split

  • Salt to taste


  • Prepare jars.

  • In a large nonreactive pot, combine all ingredients (adding both vanilla seeds and pods). Simmer over medium-low heat until very thick – about 2-3 hours.

  • Fish out vanilla beans, and add more lemon zest and salt as needed.

  • Spoon into sterilized cans.

  • Eat with cheese!


Fruit Smoothie


  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

  • 1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt

  • ¾ cup 2% reduced-fat milk

  • 2 tbsps white sugar

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • Blend blueberries, yogurt, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a blender until frothy.

  • Divide between glasses and serve.


Marie's Eggplant Parm


  • 1 Eggplant

  • Salt

  • Flour

  • 1-2 eggs

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • Tomatoes

  • Mozzarella

  • Oregano


  • Slice ¼ inch rounds of eggplant and salt both sides.

  • Prepare a bowl of flour, a bowl of eggs (scrambled), and a bowl of breadcrumbs.

  • Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Dip each piece of eggplant in the flour, then the eggs, and then the breadcrumbs, and place on the baking sheet.

  • After all slices are prepared and on the baking sheet, drizzle EVOO on each slice.

  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

  • While baking, slice a couple of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

  • When the eggplant is just about done baking, take it out of the oven, and top each piece with a slice of mozzarella and a slice of tomato (feel free to use tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella if you prefer). Sprinkle some dried oregano on top

  • Bake another 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts.

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