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Pumpkin cranberry scones

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Pumpkin cranberry scones with orange zest icing made with self-rising flour and pumpkin pie filling are easy to make and have all the right flavors of fall.

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Scottish shortbread cookies

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Scotland’s polls have opened to the referendum vote that will decide if Scotland will be a nation independent of Great Britain. It’s too close to know what the result will be once the 4.2 million voters have cast their ballot. The world is watching, not just for its economic ramifications, but because Scottish culture is well-loved – tartan plaid, bag pipes, the Loch Ness Monster, Robert Burns, and Scottish shortbread are just a a few of the ways the Scots have fed imaginations for centuries.

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Homemade tomato soup

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This creamy homemade tomato soup made with no dairy and just a few ingredients has a great “mouth feel.” You’ll never want to open another can of tomato soup again.

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Chocolate zucchini cake

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For those of you fortunate to be near a farmers’ market, or even better with an overflowing garden of your own, use up the abundance of zucchini with this decadent chocolate zucchini cake.

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These mini muffins only take 10 minutes to mix, 10 minutes to bake. Plus they are packed with energy and low in sugar.

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rwbsalsa

Red, white, and blue dishes make a Fourth of July picnic feel festive. Combine strawberries, jicama, and blueberries into a salsa for blue tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

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For a refreshing summer salad, combine cucumber, avocado, and mint with a little olive oil and lime juice.

We’ve been holding our church services at Spontaneous Celebrations, a community center in Jamaica Plain. I was standing outside after the service in the bright sunshine with Rebecca and Jenny when I noticed there were huge bunches of mint growing between the sidewalk and the bottom of the stairs.

Mint can take over a garden like an invasive weed, so I had no qualms about helping myself to a bunch of mint. It’s wonderful to not only have a mint in a vase to perfume the air but also to keep it handy to chop into salads, or add to a glass of refreshing ice water or lemonade.

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