To be able to grow citrus in my climate is a dream. A dear friend passed on a tiny yuzu sprout that he started from seed that I have tucked away in my herb bed hoping for some of this deliciously sour and fragrant Japanese fruit, albeit many, many years from now. This month on the pages of Martha Stewart Living there is an article about stylish California citrus grower, Alta Tingle, discussing her passion for all things lime. [Read more...]
Sea salt infused with lemon and rosemary makes a great addition to chicken or lamb dishes. I also like it in grain dishes like quinoa and since I’m eating mostly vegetarian these days, it’s fun to have it to spice up a salad or a roasted veggie dish.
Gardening in a small space sometimes leaves me feeling envy for the the expansive veggie gardens and fruit orchards that I seem to see on endless magazine pages and websites. My new home doesn’t have much room for a backyard garden and not a lick of room for one in the front. I have to pick and choose what I want to grow very carefully, be it things I love but are hard to find at the market, or veggies that just taste a whole lot better when picked fresh. I was just thinking about this today as I get ready to start my vegetable seeds and then I read an article in Martha Stewart Living’s March 2013 issue about professional forager, Tama Matsuoka Wong. Fascinating!
I’ve often been interested in foraging, and have certainly gone on my fair share of mushroom hunts, but this is a great way to augment my limited garden production. I love that Tama not only collects a variety of wild edibles for restaurants but also teaches school children this skill. Tama has a new book out, Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market (Clarkson Potter, 2012), that I’ll be rushing to pick up. Particularly when I can see the range of edibles she describes.
Please welcome guest blogger, Michelle Pino, from Skana Spa who has stopped by today to share an all-natural recipe for an avocado and carrot face mask.
A Fresh Face For Your Valentine
Are you feeling a little less fresh-faced than usual? The brisk air from winter can leave your skin and face feeling dry and dreary. With Valentines Day right around the corner you may need a little something to get you feeling rejuvenated and confident without spending a ton of money. Or hey, maybe you just need a little pick me up. I have a wonderful, all natural face mask recipe that might be just what you are looking for- it’s easy, it’s cheap and it will feel GREAT! This recipe will be good for one use.
It’s around this time of year, when I the vegetable garden is gone to sleep for the year, that I depend on herbs for fresh favours. I grow such abundance that no matter how much I freeze and dry, I am always left with a whole bunch to give away. This year I thought of sharing herbs in a new way: flavored vinegars. Now my friends and family will have a bottle of my homegrown herbs to last them until next year, when the garden becomes lush and fruitful again.
Please welcome guest blogger, Megan Carroll of A Kitschy Kitchen, where sells the most fabulous vintage-inspired aprons along with other great handmade creations. Not only can she help you look good in the kitchen, but today she’s also going to teach us how to make the best pumpkin soup you’ve ever tasted! I can’t wait to make this one.
Feeding and fostering a healthy relationship with food can be a complex thing with young children. Finding ways and strategies to make meals interesting can sometimes be challenging but when you find something that works, run with it.
For us it was a book, Pumpkin Soup. It was about friendship, responsibility and sharing. The unifying element was food. From peeling the pumpkin and putting it into the pot to stirring the soup and adding the salt, everyone had a job to do. But when that fell apart and they couldn’t share, the soup was all-wrong. My kids loved this story and because of that I started making pumpkin soup for them. Having something that they could identify with and that we could talk about made it much more approachable.
Please welcome guest blogger, Lindsay Jewell from My Own Ideas, who joins us today to share this colorful zucchini relish recipe. I can’t wait to try this one myself!
Everyone who grows zucchini plants knows that when the season is at its peak it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the volume of your harvest, and to forget how much you’ve been looking forward to fresh zucchinis all year long. To prepare for what I like to call the month of zucchinis with minimal waste, I’ve managed to collect a few tried-and-true recipes that I use each year to help me get through our bounty, bit by bit, until it has all been effectively consumed or preserved. [Read more...]
Sprouting is a quick and easy way to grow some nutritious, crunchy veg to add to your diet in the winter months. I’ve previously shared how much I love using my automatic sprouter but it’s just as easy with a mason jar and a windowsill. While I like my automatic sprouter for masses of alfalfa, fenugreek, clover, radish, and broccoli sprouts that grow tall and last for weeks in the tray, mason jar sprouting is a good choice for crunchy beans and peas. If you start today you will be adding them to the salad bowl or wok in about 4 days.
Many places sell a bean mix that contain a variety of different lentils, peas and beans. I used mung beans (these are the beans that sprout the long white bean sprouts you typically find in Asian food) and green peas as I like the combination of starchy and sweet favour. Plus they both sprout in 3-4 days so they are compatible for timing.
Fill a 1L mason jar 1/4 of the way with dried organic beans/peas. Cover them with water and leave on your counter to soak overnight, 8-12 hours. Cut a square of cheesecloth and secure it tightly with a canning jar ring. Strain off water and set back down on your counter. Rinse the jar contents now 4 x per day, straining off all the liquid.
After 4 days or so, the contents of the jar sprout and jar will start to fill up – it’s time to eat them! Add raw to salads and sandwiches or toss into stir-fries and soups. I have also heard of people adding them to smoothies although I’m not tripping over myself to try that one. Any other ideas on how to use these sprouts in recipes?
In my quest to use natural products made as simply as possible, I bought a kit from Scentimental Creations to make my own lip balm. It was so easy that I had 4 pots and 1 tube of lip balm in about 20 minutes. I made 2 types of lip balm:
Chocolate Mint: add 2 drops each peppermint and spearmint essential oils, 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder to give it a rich brown shade, and 1/2 tsp of honey to make lips shiny.
Milk Chocolate Mint SPF 25: as above but add 1/2 teaspoon of titanium dioxide before pouring into the pots which will make the balm the colour of milk chocolate and give lips protection in the sun.
The kit contains a moisture oil blend, beeswax, carnauba wax, 5ml essential oil blend (mint medley), 4 containers, and instructions. I LOVE the recipe but if you want to make your own (or want to skip the beeswax) here is a great recipe for Vegan Lip Balm.