Tag Archives: food
Recent events have been going well, despite a lack of publicity by me! I had a lovely tasting at Taylor Books in Charleston, WV last weekend with an enthusiastic audience, and several nutrition talks have been well-attended. A future event at Taylor Books may happen later this summer… let us know if you have any thoughts.
My series with the Roane County Libraries continues. Check out the next event, “Cooking with Spring Vegetables,” at the Spencer Public Library on Tuesday, April 17 (12:00 to 1:00 pm). We’ll be demo’ing a few good uses of sugar snap peas, spinach, and pea shoots.
Cooking demos and tasting will also be presented through the Master Gardeners monthly talks in May, June, and potentially July. Presented by the Extension Service, Master Gardener events are open to the public as well as those who have completed the course or are interested in taking the course. Keep in touch (Twitter: StephanieBostic) for updates!
Cheese is a decadent delight. It is, however, rather high in calories and saturated fat so many people prefer to save it for an occasional treat. Here are two tips for the solo cook to avoid wasting cheese:
1) Buy custom amounts. Ask for two slices of cheddar at the deli, or 1/8 lb from your cheesemonger.
2) Freeze hard grating cheeses like parmesan or pecorino romano in small containers (I’ve seen 1 to 2 oz condiment cups with lids in kitchen supply stores) or cut into chunks and place in freezer bags. Pull out a small container or chunk the day before and they’ll be ready before you’ve boiled the pasta.
Fresh ginger can add a serious shot of flavor to peanut sauces, stir-fries, curries, marinades, or dressings. However, it’s one of those seasonings that can be a bit of a pain to store since it can become moldy quite quickly. Or just dried out and hard to deal with.
Solution: Grate the ginger, pack in a jar, and cover with rice vinegar. Refrigerate, and use within about 4 weeks.
Rice vinegar acts as a preservative and most savory recipes calling for ginger can tolerate a few extra drops of it. White wine or cider vinegar could also be used, but I do prefer the rice vinegar for its mild flavor.
More than most daily activities, eating has been traditionally constructed as a Norman Rockwell-style social occasion. Whether it’s Mom, Dad, two kids, and a dog under the table or girlfriends out a trendy new restaurant, the images we see most often are of groups of people gathered around food together. Cooking utensils, cookbooks, and even food packaging are designed for families. Sadly, the exceptions focused on solo eaters tend to be the less healthy options, like frozen dinners. What can make stepping away from the frozen dinner easy?
One simple key is to find your eating style. You may already know it, since single people have the luxury of indulging their preferences as often as they like. Whether you do or not, acknowledging it in your meal planning is vital to your success in making yourself satisfying meals. Typical elements to think about:
- Do you like monotony?
- Will you eat leftovers?
- What type of meals do you like: hearty, light, mixed dishes, separate sides, etc?
- What do you feel deprived without? (Glass of wine, smoothie, steak, potatoes, etc?)
- What are your favorites and what do you abhor?
- Are you a grazer, do you prefer three square meals a day, or do you only have time to down a shake or energy bar for breakfast or lunch?
Once you’ve found your style, think about how to use it for inspiration and take pleasure in it. What can you do to create meals that meet your eating style? Share your ideas below.
Inspired by my first taste of skordalia at the bar of a trendy restaurant, this has a strong garlic bite when freshly made. Try it on sandwiches (my mother uses it instead of mayo), crackers, or broiled lamb chops; with raw vegetables, or on triangles of pita bread. After 24 hours, it mellows and can be thinned with broth to make a soup instead.
3 medium carrots, well-scrubbed but not peeled
2 small cloves garlic
1/4 c hard cheese like Parmesan, grated
1 T red or white wine vinegar
2 t dried oregano or 2 T fresh oregano
1 t dried thyme
2 T olive oil
Chop carrots into chunks and steam in a few tablespoons of water until well done (in the microwave or on the stove). Reserve the cooking water. Place garlic and 1/3 c carrot cooking water into a blender or food processor and blend well. Add the herbs, oil, carrots, and vinegar and blend until smooth. Add more cooking water if necessary. Blend in the cheese, and serve immediately.
Ever want to know what’s in season before you head to the market? This time of year, expect to see many of these in the Northeast.
Vegetables: zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, sweet corn, greens, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, fennel, kohlrabi, turnips, carrots, onions, garlic, eggplant, beans (green and fresh), potatoes, cucumber, tomatillos, and many herbs!
Fruit: peaches, plums, summer apples, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, black currants, melons of all types, nectarines, blueberries, and apricots
What are you eating or harvesting this week?