What with the 17% jump in home gardening since 2008, I'm curious how many SE'ers are among that number. Who grows a part (or even all!) of what they consume? Do you grow stuff and then figure out what to do with it later, or do you grow to meet a known need (ie: plant okra because you love it and can't buy locally)? Got any labor-saving tips to share? Do you save your seeds or buy new? Garden in containers, community plot, or the back forty? Do you preserve your harvest, or gobble it down in a frenzy of seasonal eating? Tell all!
The girls are now producing 6-12 eggs a day (young hens, longer days, what can ya' do?) and while I have a good friend who will take many of them off my hands, I'm left with a 'fridge full and am in need of fresh ideas for using them. My preference is for recipes that 1) use serious numbers of eggs and 2) can be frozen - either before or after cooking.
If ultimate indulgence, supreme creaminess, and a ridiculous amount of tasty goo are what you're after, this recipe—a layered lasagna with mushrooms, seared Brussels sprouts, and plenty of cheese—is a good way to get you there. The mushrooms and Brussels sprouts? Yeah, they're in there too, but they are there entirely for the sake of pleasure. I add Brussels sprouts to my rib-stickers not because they're green and healthy, but because they're damn delicious. The green and healthy part is just an added bonus.
Brown butter gives this cornbread a warm, nutty flavor.
This buttery tangle of torn lasagna noodles gets amped up with a touch of umami-rich soy sauce, brightened with fresh lemon juice, enriched with grated cheese, and made into a complete meal with the addition of a few runny poached eggs.
A quick one-skillet meal of couscous with tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese.
This light and fluffy, easy to make cake is full of tangy lemon juice and fresh grated zest.
The name "macaroni pie" is confusing on multiple fronts. This recipe, from Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart's Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking is neither a pie nor made from macaroni. It also obscures the fact that the dish in question is actually just custard-style macaroni and cheese. But this old-school title is also a reminder of the history of the dish.
The Bloody Mary is, of course, a staple of the American brunch and a universal hangover cure. The drink's origins are oft-rumored and still open to the kind of disputed bickering that is absolutely painful on a weekend morning, so it's best to move onto the heart of the matter: what's essential in your Bloody Mary?
Root beer plus vanilla ice cream all in one scoop.
Late summer and its joyous glut of tomatoes is a bittersweet time for a canner. Tomatoes signal the end of summer fruit and bring with them the knowledge that the growing season is nearing its end. However, there's just so darn much that can be done with tomatoes that the possibilities make this preserver positively giddy.
When you think of a good pickle, eggplant is not one of the vegetables that immediately springs to mind. In fact, if the hierarchy of pickles, eggplant hovers on the list somewhere after kohlrabi and just before kale. But this pickle is zippy and bright with a tender texture, without any signs of mushiness.
This jam is insanely delicious; equal parts sweet and sophisticated. The balsamic vinegar adds depth of flavor and brings out the juicy, sunny taste of the strawberries. And the thyme, oh the thyme! It provides an addictive, lemony, herby essence....
This recipe from Jaden Hair's The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook is the kind of pantry meal that I can get behind. If, like me, you have most of these sauces in the fridge, then all you need is a block of tofu, one serrano chile, and some scallions.
This side dish makes good use of the natural earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes, contrasting them with fruity poblano peppers, lime, and green onions to make a salad that works quite well.
This slaw is a great way to eat your colors, and it's every bit as delicious as it is healthful.
Carrots and chickpeas are tossed in a lemon vinaigrette flavored with cilantro, smoked paprika, and cumin—an unusual but delicious combination.
Delicately poached eggs covered in a delicious fennel and curry leaf gravy, this is the egg dish you should have in your repertoire for a quick dinner.
Here's the thing about baked pasta dishes: they can be unnecessarily heavy. Here's a lighter alternative baked with tomatoes, plenty of tender dark greens, and some creamy feta cheese.
This spicy peanut sauce isn't hot just for heat's sake—it combines different types of hot spices to build complexity and create a delicious, multi-layered sauce.
You could go out and buy yourself a tandoor oven (small ones run about $200 or so), but here's a better suggestion: Just grill it. It works so well for pizza, why shouldn't it do just as well for naan?
I developed this recipe for folks who can't seem to get enough lemon. The addition candied lemon zest lends some texture and gives the cake a beautiful appearance. I've added rosemary to highlight the tangy flavor of the citrus, but you may substitute chopped thyme if you prefer. The cake is finished with a "lemonade" soaker, which gives it tang and keeps it very moist.
For many years, I assumed that Irish soda bread always meant a slightly sweet, caraway and currant laced bread easily mistaken for a giant muffin. Frankly, I never liked this version of the quick bread, much preferring to eat "real bread" with my soup. It's a good thing I was mistaken about the scope of soda breads. Most of these loaves, like those featured in Rachel's Irish Family Food, are a much simpler (and more appealing) combination of flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. Rachel Allen's brown soda bread adds a bit more oomph with a hefty dose of whole wheat flour, a couple tablespoons of mixed seeds, and just a touch of butter. The resulting bread is an exemplary accompaniment to any number of soups, pickles, marmalades, or a generous swipe of butter.
Classic creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese get more interesting with tender poached chicken, green chiles, salsa verde, and fresh cilantro.
These easy blueberry cookies are also the best: light as air with crispy exteriors and soft, fruit-filled middles.
This tangy dish embellished with peanuts and spices is a quick way to use up leftover rice.
Simple syrup is one of the easiest ingredients you can prepare at home, and it's a basic, indispensable part of the cocktailian's arsenal. Here's the easiest method and a few variations for you to try.