Dandelions are more than mere weeds -- they're one of the more useful wild plants, and they're readily available in your backyard. Check out this list of projects to see why dandelions are just dandy.
I've spent more than my share of time in the kitchen, particularly over the past few years. Along the way, I've learned a thing or ten, tips and techniques that I've uncovered either by trial and error or by working with others with greater savvy than I. Being at ease in the kitchen is a skill that comes with time; none of us is born with the knowledge.
But you can shortcut your way to being a kitchen ninja, thanks to Kate Payne. Kate first came to our collective rescue with The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, where she taught us all how to keep a happy, healthy home, with bonus sanity-saving tips on things like how to fold a fitted sheet. (My previous method involved rolling it up in a wad and cramming it in the closet.)
I first met Kate when she and her wife, the talented photog JoAnn Santangelo, came to the Bay Area to promote that book. At Blue Chair Fruit, we had a not-your-grandmother's tea party with finger sandwiches, scones ... and homemade tea liqueur courtesy of yours truly.
Since then, Kate and I have maintained a friendship, and last year she and I did a panel at BlogHer Food 13 with Sarah Tetreault on how to maximize yield of your food through a variety of preservation techniques.
This is the sort of thing Kate does best -- frugality through common sense methods. And with her new book, The Hip Girl's Guide to the Kitchen, she applies the same clarity to the most important room in the house.
Summertime is upon us, and it's time to bust out the grill and sear up some sausage. Making your own is easier than you think, and the rewards are worth the effort.
Sweet or tart, cherries are the bomb, and the harbinger of stone fruit season. If you have more than you can simply pop in your mouth, here's a whole bushel of ways to put them up.
Do you have a Meat Club? Since last year, a loose collective of San Francisco Bay Area-based food fanatics, including myself, have been getting together periodically to play with our meat. Er, you know what I mean.
It all started at the judging for last year's Good Food Awards. We tasters were all given a copy of Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller's In The Charcuterie, and discussion flowed as we drew inspiration from it. For our first project we made the ciccioli terrine recipe, and since then have done various pâtés and sausages, including boudin blanc.
Mind you, to date, there has historically been only one other man involved in said meat club, and he has only participated once, so our sessions have been comprised of up to 10 women, and me. Insert sausage party joke here.
Anyway, when I was approached to be part of a virtual book tour for the new Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, by Jeffrey Weiss, I knew what had to be done. We were going to make meat, Spanish-style, and that's all there was to it.
The book is truly stunning, rich with imagery and containing the best and most comprehensive look at Spanish gastronomy, with a keen eye on the cured meats, conserves and pickles that comprise the country's cuisine. Having spent a month in Spain, I was instantly smitten.
We ended up going with the simplest sausage recipe, chorizo fresco, partially because it was our first foray into this book, and because many of the other sausages involve curing in special chambers, and none of us has an appropriate setup at this time. And anyway, who doesn't want chorizo?
Strawberries! Everybody's favorite bright red berry is finally in season, and there are just oh so many things to do with them. Grab a flat or 10 while they're abundant, and tuck into these DIY projects, from jam to sauces to drinks and more.
Bye bye, April showers. You know what that means. Spring is in full bloom, and edible flowers are bursting out all over. We've got a great big bouquet of blossoms for you to forage and incorporate in DIY projects.
If you walk alongside waterways in the American East, you may see bright green blades protruding up from the leaf cover this time of year. Ramps, or wild leeks, are one of the earliest wild foods to forage, and a great delicacy they are. They're the surest sign that spring is really ramping up.
Once again it's Three Things Thursday. This week, I'm focusing on the darling vegetable of spring, peas. Whether pickled, pestoed or pulverized into a hummus, here are three ways to embrace the peaness.