Chive Flower and Cucumber Salad

Chive Flower Cucumber Salad

As the weather continues to warm and spring vegetables slip away to summer, I look forward to the simple foods that summer's bounty brings. Just this weekend, I found the first cucumbers at my local farmers' market — little baby cukes that would be perfect for pickling if not for the fact that they were even more perfect for eating straight up and slicing into a salad. (My own cucumber plants are about 3" tall at this point and more than a month away from first fruiting. Sigh - … [Read more...]

Spiked Strawberry Limonade Spritzers

Spiked Strawberry Limonade Spritzers

People, it's supposed to reach 95°F this weekend here in the Ohio Valley. And not just for one freaky day, but 90's for the entire long weekend. Makes me swoon. And it means that I'll be out in the garden Saturday morning pulling radishes and picking sugar snaps for freezing, just in case the weather signals the premature end to the spring garden (the arugula is already beginning to bolt). It could also bring an abrupt end to strawberry season, so I'll be buying extra this weekend. … [Read more...]

Pesto Pea Pasta Salad

pesto-pea-pasta-salad-recipe

As I was planting my basil garden this past weekend, dreaming of all the summer dishes it would soon be a part of, I remembered that I still had pesto in the freezer from last year's basil crop. D'oh! (forehead slap) I do what might be considered a medium level of preserving, both canning and freezing. I make the effort in the fall and winter to use up the more time-sensitive freezer goodies, like sliced peppers and squash, but the other freezer-hardy items — like small jelly jars of … [Read more...]

Scenes from a Yard in Mid-May

garlic scapes + robin's egg shell

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Strawberry Basil Scones

strawberry-basil-scones-recipe

I'm an enthusiastic fan of eating seasonally, and support the incoming/outgoing nature of fresh produce as the year progresses. Even my cherished heirloom tomatoes:  I desperately long for their arrival in July, but by November, fully caprese-salad-and-fresh-salsa sated, I wave a loving adieu to the bounty of summer, eager for the cranberries and chestnuts and butternut squash of late autumn. But there's one — no, two — crops whose late-spring/early-summer departure from the … [Read more...]

Red Lentil Caraway Soup

Red Lentil Caraway Soup

I've been mercifully spared from food allergies. They're tough, folks, those food allergies and sensitivities (those of you that have them are probably nodding along with me right now). When she was young, my niece had a terrible time with food allergies. For a good stretch, the only thing she would eat that she could eat was potato chips. (My idea of food heaven on earth, all health things being equal; her parents, however, were not happy.) Nevertheless, she grew to be a gorgeous, size 2 … [Read more...]

Soba Noodle Salad with Orange Miso Vinaigrette

Soba Noodle Salad with Orange Miso Vinaigrette

Spring inspires spontaneity and an inventive spirit. The calendar shows we are now closer to summer than winter, and I'm feeling it — the desire to stop planning the clock and live more in the moment grows as the thermometer creeps upward. One of the many things to love about having a home garden is walking out into the backyard, the sun strong on your shoulders, surveying nature's bounty, and planning the mealtime menu. It taps the base instincts, foraging and hunting (and … [Read more...]

Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Compote with Polenta Shortcakes

Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Compote with Polenta Shortcakes

I've never had rhubarb. Thaaat's right. Not once. The blushing stalk has escaped my spring produce greedy grabs for many years. Food that needs to be mixed with something else — in rhubarb's case, sugar — in order to be palatable makes me suspicious. And did you know that rhubarb's leaves are toxic? That's why they're sold stripped down to the stalk at the store. All in all, rhubarb has been a can-spare. And next to the strawberry ... well, my friends, everything … [Read more...]

Pasta Salad with Avocado Tzatziki

Pasta Salad with Avocado Tzatziki

I have some bad habits I really need to break. Note:  being cured from soup addiction is not one of them. I don't check my tire pressure often enough. I don't rinse out my mixing bowls right away, so things get crusty. (I know, ew.)  I have paperwork clutter-blindness (I can step right over the catalog that fell to the floor a week ago without noticing). But the one habit I feel compelled to tackle immediately is my reliance on the big box grocery stores, like Kroger, Whole … [Read more...]