In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen
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Capsicum, Herb of the Year 2016

Capsicum, Herb of the Year 2016

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The International Herb Association has chosen Capsicum as Herb of the Year for 2016. I am a confessed chilehead and have been perusing seed catalogs for my favorite chiles, as well as for new selections (or new to me) to feature in this year's garden beds. See my favorites--and why they are thus so. Here's to a hot and spicy year ahead!

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Seedsheet’s Remarkable Growth

Seedsheet’s Remarkable Growth

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Seedsheet started last year with the seed of an idea and a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Vegetable gardeners responded to make the Seedsheet a big success.

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Hoshigaki: The Art of Drying Persimmons

Hoshigaki: The Art of Drying Persimmons

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Last blog post, I wrote about the gift of persimmons with a recipe for persimmon mousse and a smoothie. My daughter Lucie has a persimmon tree in her backyard and after harvesting them, decided to preserve them by drying. Check out the beauty of this ancient food preservation technique... and art form!

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Pick a Vegetable Growing Resolution for 2016

Pick a Vegetable Growing Resolution for 2016

Happy New Gardening Year to you! It’s normal to be both excited and overwhelmed at the prospect of planning and planting a new vegetable garden. Instead of making a long list of vegetable growing resolutions, why not just pick one of these?

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A Gift of Persimmons

A Gift of Persimmons

A few weeks ago, my daughter Lucie sent me a box of 'Hachiya' persimmons grown in her backyard in California. These sweet, delectable fruits are truly a gift--and my anticipation built as they ripened. See how to make an easy, elegant persimmon mousse with just three ingredients!

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Cole Play: Crops for Winter Gardening

Cole Play: Crops for Winter Gardening

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Let me tell you, we are eating some greens here in Maryland. We've had an extremely mild winter here in the Mid-Atlantic East Coast, so the cole crops, brassicas are just honking in the garden. Floating row cover truly extends the winter growing season and I am an advocate of it. It also keeps the ever-present grazing deer and rabbits from beating me to the harvest. Here are a few inspired and delectable dishes that I have prepared from the bounty.

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Warming Vegetarian Chili for Winter Solstice

Warming Vegetarian Chili for Winter Solstice

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I've been preparing this veggie chili for many years now--and so have tweaked and perfected the recipe. I recently made it at the IHA conference featuring Capsicum, Herb of the Year 2016 and I had more than a handful of folks tell me that it was the best chili that they had ever eaten. Every year, I attend a local potluck, solstice party held by some friends and I bring the chili--here is the updated recipe--be sure to try it soon!

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Edible Gifts from the Vegetable Garden

Edible Gifts from the Vegetable Garden

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If you’re looking for some simple last-minute gifts for the holiday season, look no farther than your vegetable or herb garden. Dried herbs, peppers and winter produce are edible gifts that are especially appreciated this time of year.

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Bittersweet Chocolate and Chipotle Bark with Salted Pistachios

Bittersweet Chocolate and Chipotle Bark with Salted Pistachios

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After writing about making chocolate chipotle bark with salted pistachios, I have had requests for the recipe. I'm sharing the recipe here--it makes a brilliant gift for your favorite chilehead, chocoholic or gourmet cook! It is easy to make and one batch makes enough for two or three gifts.

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Cardone is a Special Vegetable

Cardone is a Special Vegetable

Cardone, also called cardoon, is a vegetable that looks like celery, needs cooking before eating and is considered a delicacy at Christmas time.

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Green Friday

Green Friday

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While many folks were out experiencing "Black Friday"--I spent time in the out doors with family doing chores--and enjoying a beautiful day in nature. The next two days are great root moon planting days so if you haven't planted your garlic, now is a good time to do it!

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 All the Trimmings: Seasonal Side Dishes for the Holidays

All the Trimmings: Seasonal Side Dishes for the Holidays

We give thanks for the garden bounty and the farmers' markets for local organic produce and to the farmers everywhere for growing our food. Thanksgiving isn't all about turkey--here are some tasty side dish ideas to prepare for the people you love throughout the upcoming holidays.

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Fast Growing Greens Ready to Eat

Fast Growing Greens Ready to Eat

If you planted a container of garlic indoors in early November, the first batch of greens is ready for harvest. Here are 10 ways to use these inexpensive herbs to add flavor to your Thanksgiving menu.

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International Herb Association Conference in Fernandina Beach, Florida

International Herb Association Conference in Fernandina Beach, Florida

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Here's a brief synopsis of a wonderful trip to Fernandina Beach, Florida for the recent IHA conference--a good time was had by all gathered--and we so enjoyed the warm weather and sunshine (a break from the cold temps back in my Maryland garden!).

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How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

How to Make Hot Pepper Sauce

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What’s a gardener to do when the season isn’t long enough for Tabasco peppers to turn ripe-red? Make vinegar pepper sauce instead.

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Chile Pepper Season

Chile Pepper Season

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Just before it frosted in my Maryland zone 7 garden, we harvested all of the chiles that were mature--and some that were still green. Many chiles were snipped from the plants into buckets, however, some plants covered with small chiles were just pulled up by the roots and hung to dry. Been processing them by various methods and have saved some out in the refrigerator to bring to the IHA Conference in Florida next week.

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An Asian Market Tour Serves Up Vegetable Inspiration

An Asian Market Tour Serves Up Vegetable Inspiration

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A guided tour through the endless aisles of a large Asian market serves as inspiration for next season’s vegetable garden. Join in and you might find something you’d like to add to your spring planting list, too.

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Gardening for the Homebrewer Book Review

Gardening for the Homebrewer Book Review

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Fall’s the perfect time to take the garden harvest and transform it into flavorful beers, wines, ciders and a little-known recipe for “the champagne of Britain.”

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Rose Hips

Rose Hips

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If you don't grow roses and harvest their hips in your own garden, the hedgerows, overgrown pastures and woods' edge are full of wild rose hips this time of year, that are yours for the labor of harvesting. Take advantage of this free crop, which is chockablock full of vitamin C!

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More on Fermenting Chiles

More on Fermenting Chiles

My last post I showed you how to ferment chile peppers. This brief video shows a few more fermentation lids, how to tell when chiles are ready and how to store them.

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