In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen
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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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Pansies

Pansies

These happy little faces are harbingers of spring and this year the National Gardening Bureau has announced that 2017 is the Year of the Pansy.

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Sponges Make Seed Sprouting Seem Like Magic

Sponges Make Seed Sprouting Seem Like Magic

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Seeds can sprout just about anywhere, even on colorful sponges. This easy indoor gardening project is a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and other spring holidays.

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California Farmers Markets

California Farmers' Markets

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In Maryland, my local farmers' markets close up for the winter season. In warmer climes like California and the southern states, markets go on year round. For we gardeners who are awaiting the growing season with baited breath--here are some mouthwatering shots of produce taken at the Santa Cruz farmers' market.

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Homemade Kombucha Know-how

Homemade Kombucha Know-how

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Whether you’ve been enjoying kombucha for years or you’re new to the idea of drinking fermented sweet tea, The Big Book of Kombucha is your complete guide to the art of brewing and enjoying this healthful beverage.

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Cilantro & Citrus--Great Salad Combo!

Cilantro & Citrus--Great Salad Combo!

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It is January and here in my zone 7 garden, my fall-sown coriander seed is still producing cilantro leaves. While they are not huge and hearty as they are in spring and fall--I am still gathering fresh leaves to brighten winter salads. Here is one of my favorite salad recipes.

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Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017

Cilantro & Coriander, Herb of the Year 2017

This year we celebrate Cilantro & Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) as Herb of the Year 2017. The leaf of the coriander plant is known as cilantro throughout much of the western world. It is often called coriander leaf and Chinese parsley in other parts of the globe. The seed is known as coriander and has been used as a spice--from as far back as the ancient Egyptians and was mentioned in the Bible. It's time to order your seed to have it in time for early spring planting!

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