Best Tomato Recipes

It’s Hotter than Georgia Asphalt

Tomato recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

It’s super hot and the peak of summer. We may be wilting, but tomatoes are thriving! A garden-ripe, fresh tomato is the absolute ultimate in summer produce. Out of season tomatoes are flavorless rock-hard orbs shipped from some other hemisphere. Out of season tomatoes are pure disappointment. In season, tomatoes are bursting with flavor, juicy and luscious. There is nothing as wonderful as the full, rich, almost wine-like flavor of a vine ripe tomato. So, when it’s tomato season, I heartily endorse eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible. (more…)

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Blueberry Muffins with Yogurt

Blueberry Benefits and Nutrition

Blueberry recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

Blueberries are the Doris Day of summer fruit – happy-go-lucky, bright bouncing balls of flavor. Blackberries are moody, musky, and complex. Raspberries are posh and fancy. Watermelon is refreshing, juicy, and crisp. Cantaloupe is just a bit exotic. Peaches are downright racy — seductive, sexy, and sensual.

Blueberries however, are rated G. They are all-American, signify summer and are good and good for you. Blueberries will put a smile on your face. And, the season in the Southeast is now! (more…)

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What’s in Season: Cucumber Fruit Salad

Cucumber Recipes on www.virginiawillis.com

 Cool as a Cucumber

Did you know that cucumbers are more than 90% water AND the phrase “cool as a cucumber” is a scientific fact! The inside temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. I love cucumbers and will snack on them, especially during the summer. They are good and good for you! Cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. They are available year-round from “somewhere else” or grown in a hothouse, but they are, like much other summer produce best at peak season. I love their crisp, juicy, and refreshing texture and grassy melon-like flavor. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Butterbean Basil Hummus

Butterbeans vs. Lima Beans

Butterbean Basil Hummus on www.virginiawillis.com

Everybody Likes Butterbeans….

Butterbeans are one of my favorite things to eat on this Earth. Yes – that includes fine Belgian chocolates, French delicacies, other Southern classics like fried chicken with rice and gravy or Georgia peaches picked fresh from the tree. When I am feeling down in the dumps, sick, or homesick, I cook a pot of butterbeans.

My family always planted a large garden. In the evenings during the summer, we’d sit on the screened-in porch shelling the butterbeans or field peas that Dede had picked early that morning.  Meme would put them on the stove with a hunk of fatback and chopped Vidalia onion. They’d simmer slowly until creamy and tender, bathed in an opaque salty, smoky broth. Once they were tender, my grandmother would ladle a spoonful of rice into a pale blue shallow bowl, then top it with a heaping mound of butterbeans and steaming broth. At some point the rim of the bowl was chipped, but that precious butterbean bowl now rests aside my finest china and crystal in the china cabinet.
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