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 →
Cooking doesn’t always need to involve heat. Chopping, tossing and blending are all easy methods of cool food preparation, with no flame in sight. The work of a good blender is the only electricity involved in making this refreshing summer soup featuring just-picked basil and chilled buttermilk. Continue reading →
Maybe you’ve started to entertain again, safely and with distance between your guests. Maybe you are getting more adept at preparing elaborate home brunches, weary of dining options limited to carryout. Or maybe you just want some homemade cake. If you fall into any of these maybes, here is a summery cake for you with fresh raspberries and raspberry fruit spread for a double dose of berry. Continue reading →
Homemade cocktail mixers are the most handy items taking up valued space in your fridge, ever chilled and at the ready for adding to spirits, fizzy beverages or enjoyed over ice as a solo drink. 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.
It’s easy to get spoiled when you live in a climate where stone fruits, specifically peaches and nectarines, are available at local roadside stands and markets. I cannot remember the last time I purchased those fruits from the grocery store. Why would I, when the aroma and texture of Virginia stone fruit beckons, with white and yellow peaches and nectarines and cute smooshed donut peaches nestled in rustic baskets calling to me each time I make a run for vegetables. Continue reading →
In Virginia and Maryland, the blue crab capitals of the Eastern seaboard, there are two types of crab aficionados. Those who grab a pile of crabs, spread them out on newspaper and then pick for hours on end and those like me who like our crabmeat in a nice little tub labeled “jumbo lump”. Continue reading →
When the heat index hit triple digits this summer, the idea of generating more heat in the house with actual cooking seemed foreign to me. All this lovely local produce needed to be enjoyed with a minimum of fuss and bother. Enter the chunky flavorful salad dressing with feta and herbs. Continue reading →