August 15, 2015 |
Plant some fall vegetables. Last week, we talked about cooling the soil. Now, it's time to do some last-minute summer planting. Select seeds for short-season, cold-tolerant plants, like beets or carrots that need less than 60 days to mature. They will need even more time, sometimes as much as two weeks more, to get to eating size as the days get shorter and cooler. (I promise you they will - both the carrots and the days.) Once the seeds sprout, provide a little protection by using row cover or shade cloth.
July 8, 2015 |
Comic HeadKrack from "Dish Nation" was in town yesterday to tout a new, hotter Philly time slot for the popular Fox tabloid talk show. "Dish Nation" is moving from midnight to 7 p.m. because it's been doing so well in the ratings. HeadKrack, also a regular DJ on the nationally syndicated radio program "The Rickey Smiley Morning Show" appeared on "Good Day Philadelphia" yesterday with Fox 29 anchors Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley . He thanked Philly for giving him and the show that coveted new spot on Channel 29. "It was originally a dirty little secret - airing in the middle of the night - just getting buried after 11 p.m., but people are starting to recognize," HeadKrack told me yesterday.
June 26, 2015 |
IF YOU'RE growing your own or getting produce through a CSA, you've probably got the whole vegetable to consider. Using it all can yield more value and variation. Not only are stalks, stems and leaves tasty, but some have entirely different flavors than their more popular parts. Broccoli stalks are sweeter than their florets. Feathery carrot tops taste like herbs and can be used as such. Beet greens mellow when sauteed; raw, they can add a peppery flavor to salads. To gather the makings of a great vegetable stock, keep a plastic bag in the freezer to add vegetable scraps or unused pieces (broccoli stalks, onion pieces, carrots, celery ribs and leaves)
March 27, 2015 |
As our second cooking class got underway at Roberto Clemente Middle School, I was amazed at how quickly these eighth graders had gotten the hang of things. They filed in, stashed their backpacks, donned their aprons, washed hands, and turned to the recipe. "We're making the winter minestrone today," announced Tatiana Castillo, 13, completely in charge. A new student joined us, our only boy, Raul Camacho, 14, who sports a thick shock of dyed-blue hair and hip black glasses. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he was quiet and serious, and actually a calming addition to our group.
February 18, 2015 |
VERNON WILKINS travels the city on buses, subways and foot, selling $1 carrot cupcakes he bakes from scratch, using a recipe he has made nearly every day - the exact same way - for the past 35 years. "I never ever, ever, ever changed or skimped on my recipe," he said. "I buy fresh products every day. I go to the market every day. One of my favorite sayings in life is, 'If it's not broke, don't fix it,' and that's how I managed to be successful so long. " In the beginning, Wilkins, 60, sold carrot cake in his West Philly store.
November 7, 2014
YOU DON'T have to hunt wild mushrooms to enjoy earthy dishes. In Happy Herbivore: Holidays & Gatherings (BenBella Books) Lindsay Nixon has portobellos stand in for beef in a warming dish she pairs with polenta (recipe below) or mashed potatoes. PORTOBELLO POT ROAST 2 cups vegetable broth, divided 1 small onion, sliced thin 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 to 3 carrots, sliced 1 parsnip, sliced (optional) 4 portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed, cut into strips 1 cup water 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme 1 sprig fresh rosemary Vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
April 18, 2014 |
It's not enough to get kids to just fork down their vegetables. I want them to embrace carrots and onions and peas, to get excited about green beans and sweet potatoes and beets. So my plan for the fourth cooking class at Henry Lawton Elementary School was to take familiar vegetables and prepare them in an unfamiliar way. I chose a soup made with onion, carrots, and sweet potatoes to demonstrate how different vegetables can feel in your mouth when made a certain way, in this case, all blended together; and how different they can taste when seasoned with spices, in this case curry and paprika.
November 28, 2013 |
The good news: Bianca Perez announced that she made the chicken and spinach quesadillas she learned in class for her family last week! The bad news: A plastic bag left in our school kitchen with half a bag of chips, half a bag of pretzels, and a package of snowball cupcakes was described as a "breakfast/lunch combo," as in, half eaten for breakfast, the rest for lunch, as a veteran teacher told me. And right there, in those two moments, was...
November 8, 2013 |
"What is that ?" Bianca Perez exclaimed as I pulled a cream-colored, bottlenecked gourd from the grocery bag. "Butternut squash," I said. "Does it taste like peanut butter?" asked Mark Ramirez. "Not really, but it does look like a peanut," I said. Moroccan stew with butternut squash, carrots, and quinoa was the project for our fourth cooking class at Bayard Taylor school in North Philadelphia. None of my five aspiring fifth-grade cooks had ever tasted butternut squash or quinoa.
August 21, 2013 |
Like most big employers across the country, Pennsylvania State University has spent several million dollars over the last decade on voluntary wellness programs, hoping to cut health costs and improve workers' health. The strategy hasn't worked. "Only a very small percentage of faculty and staff have participated," university president Rodney Erickson wrote this month to all 17,500 employees and their 22,700 dependents. So Penn State, like a small but fast-growing number of employers, is switching from carrots to sticks.