If you’re reading this, I’d like to thank you for following along for the last few months as I cooked, ate, explored and wrote about my experiences pursuing my passion for food and health. It’s nice to take note of the little accomplishments along the way so that you can one day appreciate the grand view. Enjoy this weekend doing what you love to do!
Category Archives: Projects
August 6, 2012 – 3:54 pm
Heat up your food with homemade hot sauce! This very simple preparation requires no cooking and yields a bright spicy sauce for your meals.
July 30, 2012 – 3:00 pm
After receiving possibly the best gift ever: a kit that allows me to simply grow my own mushrooms at home, I’ve been following the successes of the pair behind Back to the Roots. Their business is local and clever, and admirably supports sustainability as well as a way for children to learn about nature and food. I urge you to check out their site and grow your own oyster mushrooms from a box. Here are a couple pics from the beginning of my mushroom growing adventure, plus simple directions as found inside the kit or online.
Grows up to 1.5 lbs
July 26, 2012 – 3:00 pm
Ever try fermentation as a way to prepare your veggies? It’s a healthful technique that keep vegetables (or pickles) nice and crisp and also provides friendly cultures that help nourish your body. You can absolutely play around with the combination of vegetables and spices that you pack into your crock. For this recipe, I use a Perfect Pickler, which can be found at Rainbow Grocery as well as online.
Makes 6 Cups
July 13, 2012 – 3:00 pm
Part 3 of the Grilled Whole Salmon leftovers series. In this recipe, I’ve used the salmon head that was set aside in the original fish prep for a rich stock that can be made into soups or frozen for later use.
June 27, 2012 – 5:26 pm
Braiding garlic is easy and produces a beautiful way to display it in your kitchen for a year or more. At Eatwell Farms, we used a piece of twine to form a “backbone” to the braid and left the stalks splayed out to each side, however you can also make a more compact one without by simply using the stalks for structure. Here’s how:
June 25, 2012 – 8:09 pm
Eatwell Farms is located about an hour and a half from of San Francisco, in Dixon, California. They are a CSA, and for members, host special events throughout the growing seasons. Last weekend, we visited the farm to pull garlic from the ground and braid it into beautiful garlands to be hung in the kitchen and used all year long. We met other friendly CSA members, toured the farm and dined on freshly picked vegetables, among other goodies. Eatwell Farms grows about 50 different crops and also keeps close to 3,000 laying chickens on their property. Eggs can be ordered in your boxes, however the sales from them only cover the costs of room and board for the animals. The benefit for the farm actually comes from the amount saved in organic fertilizer by simply moving the coops throughout their many acres. We learned that the effort that goes into cultivating healthy soil pays for itself in the healthy produce that springs from it. Please enjoy these few images of the farm and stay tuned for future posts about specific recipes inspired by it’s bounty. I encourage you to check out the Eatwell Farms website for more information about their business and to become a member today!
June 18, 2012 – 6:30 pm
No part of the precious avocado should go to waste – that is my mantra. As you’ve seen in previous posts, skins get composted in my worm bin. The flesh, of course, gets eaten, but now you may also sprout that seed to grow your very own avocado tree. Follow these initial steps and stay tuned for the next Phase in a later post. Happy sprouting!
Sprouting The Seed
- 1 organic avocado seed, rinsed
- 1 small glass jar
- 3 wooden toothpicks
- water to fill jar
- Thoroughly wash your avocado seed.
- Poke the toothpicks into the seed so that they are evenly spaced around the middle.
- Suspend the seed with the heavy side down over the jar of water, (About 3cm of the seed should be sitting in water).
- Place the seed out of direct sunlight and top up the water as needed.
- In 2-6 weeks, roots and a stem should start to sprout.
June 11, 2012 – 6:52 pm
Kombucha – another adventure into the world of fermentation. Again I relied on Cultures for Health for their vast knowledge about the process as well as their online store, where I purchased my starter culture. In this post, I walk through the first phase of Kombucha making – re-hydrating the culture. After this sample continues to grow and produce a clone, I’ll be ready to start a real (larger) batch of Kombucha tea. Stay tuned!
Re-hydrating The Kombucha Culture
- quart, half gallon or gallon jar (preferably glass)
- large wooden stirring utensil / spoon
- 1 6-in square piece of clean cotton cloth
- 1 large rubber band
- Kombucha culture
- 2 Oolong or English Breakfast tea bags
- 1/4 cup (white) cane sugar
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 3 cups hot water
- Combine water and sugar in jar and stir until dissolved.
- Place tea in jar and allow to steep while water cools to room temperature.
- Remove the tea bags, then add vinegar and stir.
- Add Kombucha starter – it may float or sink (either position is fine).
- Cover the top of the jar with the cloth and secure with rubber band.
- Set jar in a warm place (75 – 80 degrees), undisturbed and out of direct sunlight, for 10 – 28 days, until a new culture forms. (It is not uncommon for this process to take the full 28 days or more if the surrounding temperature stays below 70 degrees).
June 4, 2012 – 6:46 pm
I was fortunate enough to visit the Bouverie Preserve yesterday for an event called The Art of Eating, to benefit the Audobon Canyon Ranch. It was a beautiful afternoon of outdoor food and wine tasting and live auctions.
“This year we celebrate ‘Women Who Change the Way We Eat.’ The name of the event is based on MFK Fisher’s book, The Art of Eating, a collection of her works that changed the way we think about eating and drinking in America. MFK Fisher was a close friend of David Bouverie and spent the last two decades of her life living on his private estate, which he donated to Audubon Canyon Ranch in 1979.
David Bouverie was born in 1912 in England. He came to the States as a 26-year-old architect who hoped to construct pre-fabricated homes. He wanted a private home for himself in the country with a perennial stream. After searching the San Francisco area, he found his property in Sonoma County.
The main home is still as it was when Bouverie was alive except for two outside sculptures that were donated to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. David Bouverie would have been 100 years old this year.
Audobon Canyon Ranch is a non-profit organization that owns a system of wildlife sanctuaries, manages approximately 5,000 acres of wildlands in Marin and Sonoma Counties and provides first-hand nature-based educational experiences to more than 6,000 Bay Area schoolchildren annually at no cost to the schools.”
I paired up with Chef Eve Love of Marin Sun Farms to serve 250 guests juicy spring chickens fresh from the ranch. Eve had brined and then roasted 350 pounds of bird in the days leading up to June 3rd, but in a tent kitchen set up on the property, we finished roasting, warming and butchering, then plating with a carrot, beet & lentil salad by The Girl & The Fig’s Chef Sondra Bernstein. Here are some tips for making your own juicy roast chickens at home. And if you haven’t read any of MFK Fisher’s work, I recommend you pick up a copy of “The Gastronomical Me,” “How To Cook A Wolf,” or even the entire “The Art of Eating” collection for some serious food and cooking inspiration.
Makes 3 whole roast chickens
- 1 cup sea salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- enough lukewarm water to fill a bucket to submerge chickens
- 3 whole spring chickens
- ground black pepper
- ground mustard seed
- ground dried onion
- ground dried garlic
- ground dried oregano
- 1 cup olive oil
- Dissolve salt and sugar in a few inches of water in a bucket or crock large enough to submerge chickens.
- Add chickens and remaining water and set in cooler for 24 hours.
- Remove chickens and let dry thoroughly in a cooler or refrigerator.
- Combine spices in your desired quantity with the olive oil and rub over chickens.
- Roast breast-side up in a 350 degree oven for about 45 – 60 minutes, until cooked through and browned.