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Lynn Andriani (187 posts)
With the First Lady's vegetable garden practically a subject of national envy, more and more of us are rolling up our sleeves and following suit. If you're put off by the idea of actually rolling up your sleeves, though, this helpful article explains that raising your own sun-ripened fruits and vegetables isn't the backbreaking, budget-busting hassle you'd think. The piece lays out four easy rules-- such as "pick a spot, any sunny spot. It doesn't have to be large"--and reminds us that a few rows of tomatoes and lettuce don't have to be managed with the same precision as a graded college chemistry lab, despite what all those gardening books say. The White House's garden may be 1,100 square feet, but you can get just as much pleasure from one a fraction of the size.
3 kale recipes you'll actually love to eat
An easy plan for a food-centric summer
8 things to do before summer ends
They're like...peanut brittle.
Except...they're more buttery (i.e., you won't risk cracking a tooth on them).
We love...Cinnamon Walnut Oat, Habanero Beer and Cashew Coconut
Kitchen Table Bakers Crisps
They're like...cheese and crackers
Except...there's no cracker; it's just a disc of toasted cheese that's just as crispy.
We love...Aged Parmesan, Rosemary and Everything
Rhythm Kale Chips
They're like...potato chips.
Except...instead of potatoes, you get a bunch of fresh kale mixed with dressings and "air crisped" at a low temperature.
We love...Bombay Curry, Kool Ranch and Mango Habanero
It's like...classic bar popcorn.
Except...Three ingredients--popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt--in perfect proportion to each other make it taste just salty enough.
3 new treats to put in your handbag right now
The best things to eat before working out
Oprah's snack secrets
1. Italian Sandwich
Take the popular combination of melon and prosciutto and turn it into a mini open-faced sandwich: make sure the cantaloupe slices aren't too big, and tear the ham into equally bite-sized pieces. Top with a sprig of fresh mint or basil.
2. Sweet and Salty
Cook six slices of bacon, remove from pan and break into bits. Saute half an onion in the bacon fat until translucent. Add a splash each of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and brewed coffee to the pot. Stir the bacon back in and cook slowly until concentrated.
3. Mexican Minus the Tortillas
Saute a diced onion and green bell pepper until lightly caramelized. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp. salt. Add a diced sweet potato and a bit more olive oil, then roast in a 400° oven for 15 minutes. Stir in a cup of rinsed, drained black beans.
A Ketchup with No Mystery Ingredients
Using vine-ripened pear tomato puree instead of tomato concentrate is just one of the tweaks that makes Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup taste less sweet and more, well, tomato-y. Other upgrades that set this ketchup apart: agave nectar, honey and raw brown sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup; apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar; and coriander, lime juice and allspice instead of salt and onion powder.
It's brown butter, which is simply butter that you've cooked slightly past its melting point, so the milk solids turn brown and produce an amazing nutty taste (and smell). It adds a richness beyond what you get from the plain stuff, and is a breeze to make. Just whisk slices of butter in a skillet over medium heat; after it melts, foams, stops foaming and starts forming tiny brown specks on the bottom of the pan, you've got browned butter. (Don't let it go too far, though, or you'll have burnt butter.)
Now, the fun part: where to use this savory creation. Cupcake Project blogger Stefani Pollack makes Brown Butter Cupcakes; Paula Deen incorporates it into the frosting for her Loaded Oatmeal Cookies; Cristina Ferrare stirs lemon zest into it and uses it as a popcorn topping; and this gorgeous O magazine recipe turns it into the basis for Sugar-Crusted Pecan Shortcakes (which go perfectly with peaches, raspberries and whipped cream). Let's see bacon do that.
Author and food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule, who writes the blog 5 Second Rule, is here with inspiration. She's matched seven of the most popular ways to serve chicken--from barbecued to marsala--with sides from her new cookbook, Ripe, that are anything but snooze-inducing.
Rule has a hang-up, you see, that's a powerful defense against boring salads or pilafs: color. She and photographer Paulette Phlipot are so obsessed, they arranged their book into sections on red fruits and vegetables like beets and pomegranates, orange ones such as apricots and yams, and so on. Check out this Oprah.com slideshow for her creative ideas (the fried chicken go-with, Honeydew Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, is reason enough). And next time you feel like chicken (tonight?), you can make an accompaniment that just might steal the show.
4 glorious potato dishes for any occasion
More non-boring sides
11 healthy ways to make chicken
Cost: $29.95 per month
How it works: There are 3 themes every month (recent ones: Movie Night, Tea Time, Date Night); you can pick or let Foodzie surprise you.
What you might find in a box: Small-batch kettle corn in flavors like black truffle and aged white cheddar; heirloom beans grown on small-scale farms in Idaho.
Cost: $33 to $333 per month, depending on the number of servings of food (16 to 200)
How it works: The deliveries are all snacks, all the time--and they're also vegan and dairy- and gluten-free.
What you might find in a box: Chai-flavored almonds, chocolate macaroons, peach oat bars, freeze-dried fruit chips, goji berry/cacao nib/mulberry/pistachio trail mix.
Cost: $17 per month
How it works: Each of the 3 pouches of looseleaf tea subscribers get every month comes with tasting notes and preparation suggestions.
What you might find in a box: Golden Monkey Paw, a black tea from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province, China; coconut oolong green tea.
A gorgeous cake. Whether you're planning brunch at home or dinner out for Mother's Day, a homemade cake is a priceless way to end the meal. We're loving the amazing array of great-looking cakes we've seen on Pinterest lately, from this simple pink number to a sunny lemon confection to one frosted in a stunning ombre palette.
Strawberries. Ditch those golf ball-sized, white-in-the-middle, hard and pretty much tasteless fruits that pass as strawberries throughout the winter, because the real deal has arrived (or will be here soon). Festivals celebrating the vitamin C and folic acid-rich berry are taking place all over the country, from California, Oregon and Oklahoma to Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia.
Rhubarb. The perennial vegetable may be best known for its compatability with strawberries, but it's also wonderful in savory dishes (check out this list of 6 unusual uses for rhubarb, which even includes putting it on pizza). Look for long, firm stalks at your greenmarket, and be sure to remove the leaves (if the farmer hasn't already), since they are toxic.
Glow-in-the-dark jelly. Harry Parr and Sam Bompas--aka Bompas & Parr--are bringing gelatin back into style; the British duo's stunning creations include a jelly installation inspired by Napoleon's chef Antonin Careme, and "jellyscapes" for fashion runway shows. Their new book, Jellymongers, explains how to make your own glowing gelatin and much more.
5 simple (but beautiful) new cookbooks
Think you don't like kale?
Why you don't need fancy wine glasses
The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food by Ian Knauer
The gist: A former Gourmet test kitchen cook uses common ingredients to make modern versions of classic American dishes.
The "wow" recipe: Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
The recipe she'll make again and again: Brick Chicken with Corn and Basil Salad
Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater
The gist: A British food writer combines cookbook, produce/gardening guide, and ode to his own backyard garden.
The "wow" recipe: Crisp Pork Belly with Sweet Peach Salsa
The recipe she'll make again and again: Baked Rhubarb with Blueberries
How to Cook Everything: The Basics by Mark Bittman
The gist: Bittman gets down to the nitty-gritty, with 1,000 photographs of everything from dicing vegetables to recognizing when meat is done.
The "wow" recipe: Vanilla Peach Smoothie
The recipe she'll make again and again: Skillet Pork Chops with Apples
Here's one woman who'd reach for the kale in a heartbeat, though: Nell Stephenson, a competitive endurance athlete and author of the new book Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat. Kale is Stephenson's favorite vegetable; on the morning we spoke, she'd just had breakfast, which included a raw kale salad made with olive oil, garlic, red onion and freshly ground pepper. She incorporates the super-healthy leafy green into every meal (even snacks). "The more leaves, the better; the more greens the better," she writes. Still, Stephenson understands that the vitamin-packed leafy green can be a bit harsh. To get past that, she has some pointers: buy organic, if you can (it really does taste better, she says); choose lacinato or dinosaur kale over curly (those varieties have a more delicate flavor), and massage it before eating (Really! Rubbing it with some olive oil and then letting it sit in a bowl with some lemon or lime juice breaks it down and renders a more gentle taste).
Once you've taken those steps, you're ready to try some of Stephenson's kale recipes. Two of them--Chicken or Turkey Avocado and Apple Wraps and Kale Chips--are easily portable; while the author's take on Eggs Benedict has the power to pull you out of bed 10 minutes earlier than usual so you can enjoy it at home before conquering the day.
Lisa Oz's Lemony Kale Salad recipe
6 new superfoods you definitely haven't tried before
Vitamin-packed fruits we love