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Get cooking: The recipes from our feature story 

Tomato-and-Goat-Cheese Salad

3 large tomatoes (preferably heirlooms of varying colors)
8 oz chèvre
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tsp honey
1 shallot, minced
1 handful thyme, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp mustard
white pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Slice tomatoes crosswise, about a half-inch thick. Warm the chèvre in the microwave for ten seconds, or until it is soft and pliable but not melted. Add cream, white pepper and salt. Whisk until smooth and spreadable. For the vinaigrette, combine honey, minced shallot, thyme, mustard and vinegar in a medium-size bowl and whisk. Then slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously, until emulsified. To toast the walnuts, add a pat of butter to a skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts, and stir to coat with melted butter. Cook until fragrant, about three to four minutes. Remove from heat when the nuts slightly change color, and put them in a bowl with a bit of salt. Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper to taste. Layer the salad, alternating between the cheese and tomatoes. Garnish with walnuts, and drizzle with dressing.

Whole Roasted Chicken with Potatoes

1 whole chicken with gizzards removed
4-5 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2 lemons
1 small yellow onion
1 head of garlic
kosher salt
4 tbsp butter at room temperature
kitchen twine

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash the chicken inside and out with tap water, then dry thoroughly with paper towels. Rub the inside of the chicken with butter, salt and pepper, taking care to butter and season under the skin. Cut the lemon, garlic and onion in half, then stuff them into the chicken cavity along with a sprig of rosemary and four or five sprigs of thyme. Truss the chicken, and put into the oven for an hour and a half for a two- to three-pound chicken, or until the skin is golden brown and the bird has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

1 lb red waxy or new potatoes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz butter
2 sprigs thyme, chopped

Cube the potatoes, leaving skins on. Add potatoes, thyme and olive oil in a bowl and toss with a dash of salt. Melt butter in skillet until it stops foaming, then add potatoes. Fill the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet or baking dish, and cook with the chicken.

Gooey Butter Cake

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a nine-by-thirteen-inch baking pan. Sift confectioner's sugar into a mixing bowl, add flour and stir to mix. Add the butter (and pine nuts if using), and beat at a low speed with the paddle attachment until a smooth dough forms. Transfer dough to the buttered pan, and press evenly into the bottom. The crust should be a quarter-inch thick, and reach roughly a half inch up the sides. Poke the unbaked crust with the tines of a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming. Bake until golden brown, about twenty minutes, rotating if necessary.

6 tbsp, plus 2 tsp, light corn syrup
1 tbsp, plus 2 tsp, vanilla extract
3 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 cups, plus 6 tbsp, all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, whisk the corn syrup with vanilla and 4 tbsp water. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about five to seven minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in eggs. Alternately add flour and the corn syrup mixture, while scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Spoon topping in large dollops over the risen cake, and use an offset spatula to gently spread it in an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake will rise and fall in waves and have a golden-brown top. It will still be liquid in the center when done baking. Allow to cool in the pan before sprinkling with confectioner's sugar.

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