December 20, 2013 |
I knew I had a battle ahead of me for our next-to-last cooking class with fifth graders at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia - and it wasn't with the kids. Throughout our lessons over the last nine weeks, we had been fighting with our electric oven and all its digital bells and whistles. The thing seemed to have a mind of its own; its ability to hold a consistent temperature was as unpredictable as a moody teenager. But I was determined to teach the kids this simple recipe for baked chicken thighs and potatoes because, with a working oven, it's such an easy family dinner - just prep and pop in the oven - and it appeals to even finicky eaters.
October 19, 2013 |
Tend the vegetable garden. We've been lucky the harvest season has lasted this far into October. I'm still waiting to harvest the carrots and sweet potatoes, hoping they'll get as large as possible before frost. I've picked and enjoyed the various tomatoes daily. But when all the stems and vines eventually wither and die, gather them up and dispose of them to make sure that pest problems aren't left to overwinter in the garden. Put away the cages, tepees, and trellises. If you haven't done it yet, take notes about where you planted each crop so you can rotate them to different locations in the garden next year.
September 6, 2013 |
Birthday cake in the kitchen today to celebrate September birthdays! Try my homemade cheesecake in the break room refrigerator. Enjoy! Happy Fall - Apple cider doughnuts at the front desk! If you are one of the 150 million full-time or part-time workers in the United States, you can probably relate to the high-fat, low-fiber, loaded-with-carbs goodies that often make their way into the workplace. Employers frequently entice employees to meetings with pizza lunches, doughnuts, and sodas, and employees often want to share food to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and good will.
July 19, 2013 |
CSAs, short for community supported agriculture, help farmers finance their growing expenses while offering participants great, fresh produce at peak season. Inna Spivakova and her boyfriend, Dan Manders, have been members of the Greensgrow CSA for three years now. They chose it because, while Greensgrow is an urban farm in Kensington, the CSA, started in 2002, is stocked by area farmers (more than 50 within 150 miles, according to its website). They also liked the option of getting a half share every other week, instead of weekly.
July 5, 2013 |
It was one of the first pasta dinners I made after my sister and brother-in-law announced they were going vegan. We were in their kitchen in southern Maine, where I spent last year helping them with their homestead, and I was making a sauce from the best of the early summer produce, right from the huge garden outside. It was based on the classic French side dish of braised lettuce and peas, but I turned it Italian by tossing it with curly pasta and a touch of mint. As it neared readiness, I needed to make ask them to make one - OK, two - little exceptions to their diet in service of the dish and its integrity.
May 24, 2013 |
Deborah Madison - gardener, author, restaurateur and chef - is famous for her love of vegetables and deep knowledge of vegetarian cooking. But ask her about veggie burgers, and you get a surprising blast. "I hate the word 'veggie.' I don't even like the word 'burger,' " she says, "and I'm not really into veggie burgers. " Like it or not, the veggie burger is everywhere these days, from fast-food chains to hipster hangouts and places in between, including the frozen-food case in the supermarket.
May 21, 2013 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I'm a new mom of a pretty fun but challenging 6-month-old boy. I am a naturally decisive person; however, the anxiety I'm feeling over making the "right" decisions or providing him the "right" things has been difficult to cope with. For example, since I've gone back to work, I haven't been able to pump enough milk and I've needed to start supplementing with formula. I intellectually know this is fine and many babies have formula, but for some reason I'm beating myself up over it. Why can't I produce enough milk, why can't I provide what I'm supposed to for him, etc.?
May 17, 2013 |
THE RULE in journalism is that two of anything is sheer coincidence, but three of anything is an ironclad trend. Here's one for you: We now have three movies in theaters about momentous historic events that occurred in 1947 - "42" and Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball, "Midnight's Children" and the 1947 partition of Pakistan and India, and now "Kon-Tiki," a dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl's historic 1947 Pacific rafting trip, which proved...
April 26, 2013 |
I was chopping vegetables for dinner recently when my 14-year-old daughter, Grace, disappeared with the stem end of the bok choy. She returned five minutes later with paper, a stamping ink pad, and the pilfered vegetable. "Look, Mom," she said, and held up a stunner: The bok choy head, refuse to me, had stamped a beautiful blooming rose onto the paper. It was then that I discovered what some crafters have long known - the beauties of stamping with food. Part of the pleasure derives from the experimentation, and part from the element of surprise when an ordinary vegetable produces a beautiful image.
April 25, 2013 |
Who's your favorite expert on cooking vegetables? For many, it has long been Deborah Madison, of The Greens Cookbook , Local Flavors , the landmark Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone , and more. As a gardener, former farmer's market manager, and chef (with cooking chops honed at Chez Panisse and Greens), Madison knows her produce and what to do with it. In her latest book, Vegetable Literacy (Ten Speed Press; $40), she aims to bring us closer to her level of knowledge by helping us think about the subject in a new way. It's a must-have book for anyone interested in plant-based cooking.