In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen
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More Tomatoes!

More Tomatoes!

The tomatoes are peaking here in my Maryland zone 7 garden. A bit of cooler temps slowed them down a bit... however we are picking and eating them everyday--and sharing them. I know there are infinite ways of eating tomatoes. Besides just sliced with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, here are a few ways that I am enjoying these mouthwatering fruits.

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Tomato Time!

Tomato Time!

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Well it is that time of year again... the tomatoes have started coming in so that I feel abundantly blessed. By next week, I might feel tomato deluge. I love a dead-ripe, juicy homegrown tomato--there is nothing like it--here's a few ways that I am eating them without having to cook much.

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You Can Grow a Lot of Hot Weather Plants Down Here in the Ozarks

You Can Grow a Lot of Hot Weather Plants Down Here in the Ozarks

I'm still here in the Ozarks after teaching summer folk school classes last week. This gardening season, the gardeners planted lots of plants here with the upcoming Herb Harvest Fall Festival in mind. This year the featured countries are Central America, the Caribbean basin and Mexico, so plants from those regions are growing here. Those regions of the world are hot and tropical and those plants seem to be doing well here in the Ozarks where the hot temperatures have been extreme.

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A Taste of Slow Food Nations

A Taste of Slow Food Nations

Slow Food Nations took over downtown Denver on a hot July weekend to entertain, educate and inspire about 20,000 visitors. Just like the dozens of booths lining the Taste Marketplace, here’s a festival nibble to whet your appetite.

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How to “Grow” Black Garlic

How to “Grow” Black Garlic

If you saw a head of black garlic would you think it was garlic gone bad or would you eat it up?

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Botanical Waters (Aguas Frescas): Celebrate the Season with Flavorful Healthy Beverages

Botanical Waters (Aguas Frescas): Celebrate the Season with Flavorful Healthy Beverages

We are having hot weather, which means we should be hydrating a lot. I'm harvesting the mints and monardas and lemon balm and these herbs are wonderfully refreshing when infused in water. Add a little fresh seasonal fruit--and you have a fiesta in a glass--full of vitamins and minerals and delicious! I call these herb-and-fruit-infusions botanical waters or flavored waters.

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Summer Solstice in the Garden

Summer Solstice in the Garden

Today is the longest day of the year--15 hours and 18 minutes to be exact. It is the official beginning of summer on the calendar, however, many of our gardens have already begun to produce summer bounty.

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Harvest Nettle Seeds to Make a Tasty Condiment: Gomasio with Nettle Seeds & Sea Vegetables

Harvest Nettle Seeds to Make a Tasty Condiment: Gomasio with Nettle Seeds & Sea Vegetables

With the onset of warm weather, I allow the nettle patch to flower and make seed. Since the seeds are edible, I like to harvest and dry them, which is a bit labor intensive, however well worth the effort. The way that I like to use them best is to combine them with sesame seeds and sea salt and sometimes, seaweed, to make an incredibly tasty and nutritive version of gomasio.

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Stock Up on Garlic Scapes Now

Stock Up on Garlic Scapes Now

While farmers markets will be filled with fresh produce through the gardening season, some items have a limited run. Look for garlic scapes at markets now and grab a bunch to enjoy this season and through the winter.

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Nettles: Last Harvest until Fall

Nettles: Last Harvest until Fall

Once nettles flower and set seed, most sources say they are too bitter to eat and that the leaves become stringy and gritty with calcium oxalate. Right now I am after the seeds so I can make gomasio and also I want to cut them back so that I will have a fall crop.

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Herbs Rock in Little Rock!

Herbs Rock in Little Rock!

The first weekend in May, the Herb Society of America held their annual conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The theme was "Herbs Rock in Little Rock!" and indeed they do. The Little Rock and Ozark Units and the planning committee did a great job from herbal wreaths, homemade vinegars and shrubs as centerpieces to setting up a fun vendor space featuring all things herbal, a great lineup of speakers, dinner at the governor's mansion and three field trips.

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Basic Vinaigrette & Variations

Basic Vinaigrette & Variations

Vinaigrettes are so easy to make and are far better than store-bought bottled dressings. This is my "little black dress" dressing--my family's favorite--simple and tasteful.

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Salad Days

Salad Days

Spring is one of my favorite seasons--not just for the abounding, burgeoning green--the gustatory delights are bountiful too! There is nothing like a variety of fresh grown greens, just harvested, washed quickly and served immediately, dressed very simply. Right now, the palate is assuaged with all of the tastes since salad greens run the gamut from sweet to sour and bitter and are full of mineral salts.

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How to Grow the Flavor of the Year

How to Grow the Flavor of the Year

Cucumbers have been around for more than 3,000 years, and they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve. Whether you grow full-size beauties or container-size munchers, you can grow the 2017 Flavor of the Year in your vegetable garden. Here’s how.

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Nettles Make Beautiful Soup!

Nettles Make Beautiful Soup!

There are so many wonderful things about spring--and it delights me to have fresh, mineral-rich and vitamin-laden green herbs pop up for us to bring into the kitchen and make those seasonal dishes that we can't have the rest of the year. Nettles are a favorite of mine, and while I quite savor a nettle spanakopita and a salsa verde made with nettle, chickweed, dandelion, and sorrel or oxalis--nettle soup is a great comfort food besides being a spring tonic.

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Cilantro Recipe: Mango Habanero Salsa with Cilantro

Cilantro Recipe: Mango Habanero Salsa with Cilantro

In my blog on Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017, I promised to post a recipe. Here is a bright and flavorful salsa that is great with chips, on a taco salad or quesadilla, and with anything from the grill!

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Seasonal Foods for Spring: Strawberries & Rhubarb

Seasonal Foods for Spring: Strawberries & Rhubarb

Besides the stirring of life in the garden, the welcome appearance of the harbingers of spring, other signs of the season are produce like fresh salad greens both cultivated and wild, leeks and spring onions, morels, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb.

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Just Released: Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017

Just Released: Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017

Every year the International Herb Association chooses an herb of the year to feature, as well as publishes a book on the selected herb so we can all get to know the particular herb up close and personal. This year we celebrate cilantro & coriander (one is the herb leaf and the other is the herb seed--both from the same plant--so we get two for one this year!)

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Strawberry Shrub

Strawberry Shrub

In my travels down South lately, I've been doing programs on capturing the essence of herbs. One easy, seasonal recipe that I have been preparing with an enthusiastic response is strawberry shrub with lemon balm. It is simple, mouthwatering and a perfect blend of seasonal flavors.

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The Foodscape Revolution

The Foodscape Revolution

If you’ve been relegating your fruits, vegetables and herbs to the backyard garden, it’s time to rethink that vegetable gardening approach. Foodscaping is the vegetable gardening trend that encourages gardeners to mix edible plants with ornamentals throughout the landscape.

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