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Steamy but not explicit spoof of "Fifty Shades" has romance, laughs, and my favorite recipes.

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Good Food News plus Sweet Sixteen Oatmeal-Raisin Bars

There's good news just below the surface of the latest reports on food prices: the healthiest food costs less now. Although food prices surged in 2011, according to the USDA, grocery prices went up on some aisles and down on others. Fresh produce prices actually dropped. Rising energy prices show most in food that requires the most energy to produce, so you can find bargains and shrink your carbon footprint at the same time.

But first, check out the new recipe for cholesterol-free Sweet-Sixteen Oatmeal-Raisin Bars. Make sixteen healthy snack bars in just sixteen minutes. Sweet!

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Halloween pumpkins and Ready Up Rice and Lentils for breakfast

edible Indian River pumpkin makes a fine Jack o' Lantern tooHalloween has always been one of my favorite holidays: creative and fun without big expectations. And now that I'm focused on thrifty, healthy food, I love it more than ever. There may be free food on your doorstep tonight, and I'm not talking candy or Tricker-or-Treaters! Read below for more, plus get the new, super-easy recipe for a hot breakfast that's perfect for chilly mornings.

Veg o' the Week: Pumpkin. Did you buy cooking pumpkins for your Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations? If you have a farmers' market nearby that's open on Halloween, it may not be too late to get the best prices of the year on these decorative, delicious, and nutritious vegetables. I buy several, keeping most of them whole as decoration until after Thanksgiving. In the picture below, the edible pumpkins Jack Be Little,

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Two Food Days, plus Apple-Raisin Pockets: like a hand-held pie without the fat

Many dessert recipes cut fat, dairy, or expense by using artificial ingredients to create something that looks and tastes roughly--but not quite--like the original. This week's recipe takes a different approach. Make Apple-Raisin Pockets using a dough based on healthy bread to wrap apple filling instead of butter-laden pastry. Read below for news of Food Days (yes, that's plural). (This newsletter also includes a  super-easy pickle recipe from guest blogger Marlene Samuels of Expendable Edibles and information about the current giveaway, Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen.)

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Apple Walnut Crumble recipe, easier and healthier than pie, plus Steve Jobs, organic farming

´╗┐Lady Gaga tweeted that she was going to eat apples all day to honor Steve Jobs, the Apple visionary and founder who passed away Wednesday. I say eat apples all fall and take time to reflect on simplicity and elegance. Get started with my streamlined Apple Walnut Crumble, which is easier and healthier than apple pie. Read on for that recipe, plus the scoop on arugula, organic farming, and a new food-centric memoir.

bowl of apples with iPod and iPhone a tribute to Steve Jobs

Apple Walnut Crumble. Welcome fall with this quick, lighter version of the classic Dutch Apple Cake. It has more apples plus healthy walnuts, half the butter and flour, and less than half the sugar. Instead of wasting time peeling apples,

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Mexican Grilled Peach Sorbet recipe, Tomatoland giveaway

I've been in a cooking frenzy this week, experimenting with Whisk Sourdough Bread (nearly ready!), homemade graham crackers, eggplant burgers, and grilling fruit. Read below for the first of these new recipes: Mexican Grilled Peach Sorbet. When not cooking, I tore through Tomatoland, the riveting new book on industrial tomato farming in Florida and sustainable options along the East Coast. See my review below and enter the drawing to win a copy. Also read about upcoming events and a job opening.

Recipe: Mexican Grilled Peach Sorbet. Less is more with this high-flavor, low-fat peach sorbet. It's a fully adult confection, with the mysterious heat of the chipotle and a smoky grilled tang providing high contrast to the ripe peaches and its refreshing chill. Cinnamon adds another layer of sophistication, making Mexican Grilled Peach Sorbet a light yet robust finish for a gourmet dinner.

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