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Hot Cross Buns and Fresh Bay Leaves

Hot Cross Buns and Fresh Bay Leaves

Today I got a hankering for hot cross buns, which I have not made in quite awhile--it is that time of year that we see them for sale. Well, the recipe I use is an old one, from my first book Cooking with Herbs co-authored with Carolyn Dille. The ingredient that makes these buns unique is fresh bay leaves. Really, you will have to try them; I have made a few updates in the recipe which you can read below.

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Dandelions--Welcome this Spring Bitter!

Dandelions--Welcome this Spring Bitter!

I enjoy bitter--bitter herbs, bitter foods and bitters, the magic digestive elixirs. They are spring tonics and dandelions are one of my favorites--I've been harvesting the leaves, flowers and roots since they first emerged and using them in soups, sauces, egg dishes, with pasta and grains and stuffing them into quesadillas and enchiladas. Get out there and harvest some goodness for your health and well being!

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Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style

Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style

Recently, someone gave me a bag of farro. I have cooked farro, which is a type of wheat berry, as well as kamut and spelt in my past, however not in a long time. So I read about farro and cooked up a pot of it and then I made the following delightfully tasty recipe for Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style.

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Wild Weed and Seasonal Green Recipes

Wild Weed and Seasonal Green Recipes

In our recent wild weeds class, we made a soup, salsa verde and salad. Here is a recipe for a soup featuring wild edibles and seasonal greens, a short video and links to salsa verde and green goodness soup. Happy foraging!

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Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens

Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens

Just finished teaching a folk school class on Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. We foraged for weeds and combined them with some seasonal herbs and greens to make tasty edibles: Spring Greens Soup, Salsa Verde and Salad of Wild Weeds, Seasonal Herbs and Salad Greens.

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Seeds and Winter Gardening Thoughts

Seeds and Winter Gardening Thoughts

I've been thinking a lot about seeds lately due to the fact that I have a pile of seed catalogs sitting here awaiting perusal. I also recently finished reading "From Our Seeds & Their Keepers" by Bevin Cohen, which has definitely inspired me to start saving more seed than I do.

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Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

This is the time of year when we want to nestle in and stay at home and eat warming comfort foods. At our house we eat lots of soups and stews, beans and rice, grains and pasta. this pasta sauce first appeared in Cooking with Herbs in 1981! It has been prepared countless times and with many variations and still remains a family favorite.

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Awesome Easy Cranberry-Orange Relish

Awesome Easy Cranberry-Orange Relish

Cranberries are a staple of the Thanksgiving table. I am not one to appreciate a quivery, jelly-like mass. I go for the gusto--texture, flavor and freshness. This is the best cranberry relish that I have ever eaten--has three simple seasonal ingredients-- and it takes just 5 minutes to make!

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Thankful for Sage, the Herb for Thanksgiving

Thankful for Sage, the Herb for Thanksgiving

If you haven't decided on a dressing recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner--this is what I'm making this Thursday--it is a bit different from the norm and downright tasty! Fresh herbs make all the difference--and sage is the featured herb!

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Hoecakes are Better than Cornbread!

Hoecakes are Better than Cornbread!

Many folks have asked me to share this recipe, which Tina Marie Wilcox and I prepared at the Herb Harvest Fall Festival. They are great hot off the griddle. Quite honestly, I like them better than cornbread--they are fun to eat--and they travel well and are less crumbly than cornbread. You can make them large or small depending upon what you are doing with them They make a killer grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of onion and/or tomato!

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Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring the Southern U.S.

Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring the Southern U.S.

Gearing up for the Herb Harvest Fall Festival at the Ozark Folk Center. This year we are highlighting the foods of the Southern United States--south of historic U.S. 40. Here is a sneak preview of a classic buttermilk pie--infused with herbal flavors.

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Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil

I haven't met a lemon basil that I didn't like. These basils are all predominantly lemon-flavored and do not have any of the anise taste that the others do. 'Mrs. Burns' is my first choice, a sturdy, dependable plant with lovely lemon aroma and flavor.

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Summer Fruits: From Salads to Shortcakes

Summer Fruits: From Salads to Shortcakes

When I eat a dead-ripe peach, it is usually over the sink with the juice dripping down my chin and hands. When I am feeling more civilized, I do enjoy peeling a peach over the sink and then slicing...

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Quintessential Summer Food: Deviled Eggs

Quintessential Summer Food: Deviled Eggs

What food do we think of for picnics, barbecues, potlucks and cool summer fare on hot summer days? Yep, deviled eggs are perhaps more American than apple pie. And every single person I know has their own recipe... here's our family favorite... with a list of variations.

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Bee Balm works for Insect Stings

Bee Balm works for Insect Stings

Monarda fistulosa isn't just called bee balm because it attracts bees and other pollinators--it also helps to ease their stings.

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Weeds: The Gardeners Never-Ending Task

Weeds: The Gardener's Never-Ending Task

We have had lots of rain here in my Maryland, zone 7 garden. And with the rain, the weeds and grass have grown in leaps and bounds--way bigger than all of the carefully planted vegetables, herbs and flowers. So I spent the last three days weeding, which gave me lots of time to reflect on the subject.

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Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

While in Tarrytown, New York, attending the HSA Conference, we made a visit to Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, which was well worthwhile the trip. If you are in the area, by all means, make an effort to visit these handsome gardens and experience the many aspects of a well laid out and attractive, yet working farm from greenhouse crops to field crops and orchard to flower and herb gardens.

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The Glories of Spring in the Garden

The Glories of Spring in the Garden

This is a thrilling time of year for gardeners. Each day we delight in the plants around us--what is popping up, producing food,budding, then flowering--not to mention what we are sowing and transplanting baby seedlings. It is both a relief and great joy to finally have our hands in the earth and have to scrub the dirt from our hands and tools. Now, if only the rain would give us a break, so I can get back out there!...

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Celebrate National HerbDay with a Dozen Favorite Perennial Herbs

Celebrate National HerbDay with a Dozen Favorite Perennial Herbs

On this last day of April, we are heading into the merry month of May and spring has finally arrived for real. Gardeners across the country are rejoicing--and I am delighted to see perennial herbs popping up here and there in the kitchen garden--these plants are fairly hardy so most of them make it through the cold of winter. We anxiously await their leafing out and we welcome them every spring, dear old friends that they are.

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Everyday is Earth Day in the Garden

Everyday is Earth Day in the Garden

After a very cold spring, this gardener decided to spend Earth Day in the garden with my hands in the earth. It was a perfect spring day--sunny and cool--at least the gale-force winds seem to have abated. Yesterday and today up until 1:09 pm this afternoon, we were in a 2nd quarter moon, in the sign of Cancer, which is a fruitful planting sign, so I wanted to get my aboveground plants transplanted and seeds sown before the moon traveled into Leo which is a barren sign.

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