Rhubarb-Banana Olive Oil Bread

A lighter fruit-filled treat for car trips, beach picnics, or early morning coffee.
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My friend Pam is a multi-talented woman. She enjoys a stunning alto solo voice; cooks like a fiend; entertains largely and comfortably; cultivates a wry wit; is an avid reader; makes a devoted wife, mom, church member, and friend; plays a mean piano, and –the thing I might most envy– is the epitome of organization. What most people don’t know about Miss Pam is she’s also a fine gardener who loves and generously shares the bounty of her craft. While summers here in the front range are late and short with cool nights, she still manages to get a crop or two in each year despite two black Labrador retrievers romping all over her big backyard. Best sous and husband Dave and I are often the recipients of her largesse when the weather warms and the other day Pam’s husband Lee drove over for a visit toting some of her rhubarb along as a gift to us. As rhubarb keeps pretty darned well in the fridge, I didn’t worry about using it quickly. Needing a snack on the not-too-sweet side yesterday, though, I soon heard that rhubarb calling my name, whispering, “bake, bake, bake…” and pulled it out to see just exactly how much she’d sent. To be on the safe side, I chopped it up and measured it to find I easily had a cup plus. Not enough for a pie or a cobbler, there was plenty for a simple cake or quick bread if I included another fruit in the mix. With a side-eyed sniff at the counter, it was apparent the partner needed to be bananas. Then again, I’d never heard of rhubarb and bananas. You? Turns out: It’s a match made in heaven.

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egg salad blt sandwiches for the start of summer and beyond

Summer in a Sandwich
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There’s nothing like a BLT in the summer and I thought I’d just about exhausted the possibilities for variations on that particular theme until one day I had some leftover bacon and was nursing a sudden yen for egg salad at the same time. Next thing I knew, there were egg salad BLTs on the table and much happy wonder to be had right alongside them. I mean, it is bacon and eggs, after all! I think they’re now on the permanent lunch or lazy dinner rotation and not only for summer.

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Quick Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Farro

…or what to do with TRADER JOE’S 10-Minute Farro
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I don’t stop making soup once the weather warms up; I still need my bowls of goodness once every week or two for dinner (on the deck now with a chilly-willy white wine, growing greens, and candles) and for effortless, healthful lunches. I love best sous and hub Dave to roast a whole chicken on the grill and make a stunning salad as much as the next woman and I’m forever your person for homemade soft serve coffee ice cream or pistachio gelato, too. But woman can’t live on grilled meat and ice cream and that’s where it’s handy to have a vegetable-heavy whole meal chicken or other soup in your back pocket. And I like to invent things — Steven Raichlen –my favorite grill guy after Dave– would surely disagree with me, but grilling gets a little same old, same old. Soup is ever-changing. It might be unfair, but it’s how it is for me.

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