Growing your own herbs is the easiest and most beneficial type of edible gardening you can do on a small scale. You don’t need much space, time, or money to grow herbs, and if you like to cook, you will use them nearly every day. Basil is one of my favorite herbs. I am currently growing two types, Genovese and lemon, and I use them all the time. Yesterday, I put torn basil leaves all over my delivery pizza. See, you don’t even have to cook to use garden herbs.
These tips are for growing basil both in containers and in the ground. I’ve successfully grown basil using these guidelines in diverse climates all over the country- south Texas, the Pacific Northwest, and southern Illinois.
This recipe comes from Joyce Goldstein's Cucina Ebraica, a cookbook about the cuisine of Italian Jews. Goldstein writes that for this book, she sought recipes with a long history. The name of this particular dish, Pollo Ezechiele, hints at its Jewish biblical origins. Goldstein explains that for much of Italian history, chicken was more expensive than other meats, so the chicken repertoire of Italian Jews of the past was limited. They tended to use the least expensive cuts, like giblets and other odd pieces that could be ground up and shaped into meatballs. Roasted and fried chicken were reserved for holiday and Sabbath meals. I imagine Ezechiele's Chicken may have been a special occasion meal in times past.
This recipe for s'more nut bars is definitely a keeper. It comes from the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, which I have been reading about all over the food blogosphere ever since it came out. The book includes recipes from the New York bakery that is the namesake of the book. I'm sure I'll be making more recipes from this book (already the brownies and chocolate stout shake-- alas, I didn't take photos), and maybe then I'll spend a little more time discussing the authors' genius. For now though, I want to tell you about one of my favorite (dare I say my MOST favorite?) source for recipes and other food related info, Cook's Illustrated [www.cooksillustrated.com]. Cook's is a subscription based cooking magazine that comes in both print and online format. They have a test kitchen in which they make recipes over and over, systematically varying ingredients and using scientific know-how to create impeccable recipes. They also conduct reviews of kitchen equipment and taste tests. All of their reviews, taste tests, and recipes come with articles explaining the details of the process. I always check to see if Cook’s has a review if I’m buying a new kitchen tool, and I pore over the taste tests before I go to the grocery store.
For me, one of the great pleasures of spring and summer is picking and eating berries. Strawberries are the earliest berries ready for harvest everywhere I've lived, so every year, eager for the season, I find myself on my hands and knees in a strawberry field, covered in mud with red stained teeth and nails. As with most produce, strawberries are best when they are in season, from late spring to early summer. While you can get them year-round in grocery stores, store-bought strawberries never compare favorably with freshly picked ones. That said, if you know what to look for, you can find respectable strawberries everywhere from the field to the farm stand to the supermarket.
Choosing fresh strawberries:
Color, while important, is not the most reliable indicator of strawberry flavor. Deep red color on the whole berry, up to the greens, indicates ripeness, not sweetness. Even after berries are picked off the vine, they continue to develop anthocyanins, the pigments that make strawberries red. However, they do not continue to produce sugars, so a strawberry can be very red and ripe, but still not sweet. So how do you choose scrumptious strawberries? Give 'em a whiff. Sniff for a strong, sweet, strawberry smell. The most fragrant berries will also be the most flavorful.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.