I want to break my dependence on single serving beverages. I get thirsty when I’m running errands so I grab an iced tea at the store. Aluminum cans and glass bottles are more readily recyclable than plastics, which I try to avoid, but I’m still contributing small containers to the huge pool of Things That Must Be Recycled. Most iced tea brands use plastic packaging; many recent articles inform us that only a small fraction of plastics are actually recycled and repurposed. Continue reading →
Ever skip a recipe with “grilled” in the title because you either don’t have a grill or don’t want to bother with grill setup? Me, too, except in this case my grill is currently snoozing and I’m too lazy to replace the tank. Cast iron grill pan to the rescue, and failing that, the oven broiler. Both of these are great substitutes for grilling. Smoky flavor will not be imparted but with items like shrimp which take minutes if not seconds to cook, that won’t matter. Continue reading →
The challenge : creamy desserts that are free of dairy and without cashews, dates, chocolate, chickpeas or soy. The reason : friends who are dairy intolerant. And weary of the usual ground dates and soaked cashew substitutes for fudgy chewy creamy things. My search for nondairy creaminess also extends to cooking for clients who are either intolerant or seeking a more plant-based diet. Today’s dessert tarts do have eggs and are not vegan, but they make use of two nifty items readily available in groceries these days—vegan butter ( let’s not call it margarine which sounds so seventies) and almond milk whipped cream.
Vidalia onions, those paper-skinned squatty sweet onions from Georgia, are back for a limited time. Eat them raw (they’re so mild you won’t suffer from onion after effects) while you can. Use this easy chutney recipe for preserving their goodness for months to come. You’ll dream of late spring when you slather it atop your grilled burgers in summer, your roasted vegetables in fall and your bean soups in cold weather months.
This spring vegetable dish can be called either a frittata or a crustless quiche, for those of us too lazy to make crust or simply wanting the delicious innards of a quiche without the extra starch from a pastry shell.
Despite my aversion to most things pink, I managed to pull together a pretty pink Strawberry Vinaigrette a few weeks ago, but I was determined that this rhubarb ice cream would not be uniformly pink—there would be bits of fruit, and hefty bits of black pepper. Mostly creamy white, with bits of pinky red tart rhubarb. Success!
Weekends are for big, hearty breakfasts. That’s the mantra at my house, whether it’s early or late (brunch) or a breakfast for dinner. There is extra time to gather colorful, seasonal ingredients and there is time to make something out of the ordinary. The local farmer’s markets have offered spectacular strawberries and tender asparagus from Agriberry Farms, crisp greens (these are from Schuyler Greens and purchased at Little House Green Grocery), fat radishes from Lakeside’s Tiny Acre and pastured eggs. Continue reading →
Homemade vinaigrette in your fridge will inspire you to eat more salad. That’s a fact and I am witness to this truth. There is a very good reason to save jars and that is to fill them with dressings and vinaigrettes you have made in your very own kitchen, with love and care and seasonal ingredients. Local spring carrots would make a fine carrot honey vinaigrette. Last spring it was Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette and today the focus is on local berries.
The less done to fresh asparagus, the better. Brief blanching, quick roasting or a few hops in the saute pan will do. If you’re lucky enough to score some tender, first-of-the-season asparagus, no cooking at all is just fine. Shaved in a salad or finely diced, as in this Asparagus Salsa Verde, asparagus has a pleasantly grassy flavor and gentle crunch that is unlike any other vegetable. It needs a bright wake up from citrus or acid to come to life. This salsa combines fresh asparagus with lime juice and green as far as the eye can see—except for a few bits of red onion for flavor and contrast. Continue reading →
Soup is one of those meals enjoyed year round, with seasonal ingredients and temperatures to suit the weather. In summertime, Cucumber Vichyssoise is green and cooling. Autumn calls for Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider and Chipotle Spice and winter brings big steaming bowls of White Bean and Cabbage Soup. Spring soups are less heavy, more on the broth spectrum, with light veggies and bright herby flavors. Such is today’s Hot and Sour Scallop Soup, as incendiary as you like with hot pepper and fresh ginger. Continue reading →