Food & Drink

Recipe: Making Daily Whole Wheat Bread


You'll notice this post is titled "Making Daily Bread" and not "Making Bread Daily." I'm a do-it-yourselfer, but I'm not a martyr. Some pioneers in the organic/local/sustainable food movement note that while, in some ways, people are going back to doing things they way their grandparents did -- fresh, real food that's made and sometimes [...]

Breaking Society’s Dependence On Corporate Food


I went on a bit of a rampage a couple of weekends ago, tossing out a dramatic amount of the food in our refrigerator -- even food I thought was good. Why? Because I was angry. I had been away and brought back a big jug of orange juice. It was received with much joy [...]

Making Meyer Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

I'm sure I've raved before about the incredible Meyer lemon tree that came with our house in California. It was legendary -- we couldn't keep up with its prolific production if we tried (see above). When people came over, they were given leave to pick at will, and take home as much as they could [...]

Commander’s Palace Beignets Recipe


The first (and only) time I visited Commander's Palace, in New Orleans' Garden District, it was for Sunday Jazz Brunch on the occasion of a friend's 40th birthday. I'd flown down from New York for a whirlwind weekend of celebration, having packed my "sophisticated" New York clothes. As soon as I walked into the dining room, [...]

Making Haggis From Scratch


If you've even heard of the Scottish delicacy called Haggis, you are probably grossed out by the description. I think people enjoy describing it in the most off-putting words possible, just to scare others, and maybe make themselves seem cool and adventurous for trying it. To be honest, it's no more exotic than any other [...]

The Frost, Fall 2013


Just a few weeks ago, I was reveling in the cool temperatures of Central Texas fall, when the garden began to flourish again after the punishing heat of the summer. Tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeños and even cucumbers flowered prolifically, while my cool season plantings of bok choy and chard were coming along nicely. That's a sweet [...]

The Find


There's a certain type of story you'll encounter a lot in DIY or crafting circles. I call it "The Find." The story generally starts at a garage sale, in a grandparent's attic or barn, by the side of the road, or at some other unlikely location for discovering anything of value. But there is is... [...]

Recipe: Kid-Friendly Pressure Cooker Picadillo


A few years ago, my cousin turned me on to the pleasures of pressure cooking. If you're going to make soups, stocks, stews, legumes, or even risotto, it's a huge time-saver. It makes it possible to make things on weeknights that you'd usually hold for the weekend because of too-long cooking times. This also means [...]

Baby Fruits — So Much Potential


Is there anything cuter than a baby cucumber? Well, I think a baby watermelon is actually much cuter. And, potentially sweeter. C'mon baby fruits! I've had the hardest time with both of these plants as they apparently need much more water than I'd been giving them (at least in our typical-for-this-time-of-year 100° temps. But now [...]

No Waste: Cooking With Sweet Potato Greens


Remember way back at the beginning of this gardening season, before daily 100-degree heat advisories set in? I had finally filled up my raised beds with soil and, lacking any other planting opportunities, I plunked some sprouting store-bought sweet potatoes in the ground in my enthusiasm. Yeah, they didn't look very promising. They got even [...]

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza


  Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza Main Dishes, Special Occasions Difficulty: Easy Ingredients Dough 3¼ cups (16 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour ½ cup (2 3/4 ounces) yellow cornmeal 1½ tsp table salt 2 tsp sugar 2¼ tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast 1¼ cups water (10 ounces), room temperature 3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted, plus 4 [...]

No Waste: The Nose-To-Tail Lifestyle


I didn't grow up during the Great Depression or anything, but you'd probably never know it from some of my attitudes -- and I'm not the only one; there's a whole "meme" or groundswell occurring in our society. What in the world am I talking about? You may have heard about the idea of nose-to-tail [...]

Salted Caramel Ice Cream


Some people are chocolate connoisseurs. Me, I love chocolate, but prefer vanilla, or its cousin, caramel. So, when the nearly-5-year-old convinced me to make ice cream at home this weekend, I clearly recalled a day in California -- before he was even born -- where I ventured to make what ended up being the best ice [...]

Gardening = Heartbreak


This is what my garden looked like this weekend. Wasn't it beautiful and full of promise? Notice the past tense. That's because Monday was a day that brought winds -- serious winds -- to our little corner of the world. I sat inside working with my stomach clenched, keeping myself from peeking outside until the [...]

I Am Determined to Have a Garden This Year


Our soil is basically non-existent. One might call it limestone. (Note the ubiquitous rocks.) So, last weekend, we had a batch (2.5 cubic yards!) of garden soil trucked in, anticipating that this will be the foundation of our spring/summer kitchen garden. I know, I know, I've talked big about having a garden before. But it's more complex [...]