Salad Dressings: It’s time to let go of the bottle

Bottled salad dressings are certainly convenient, but they are not necessary. I don’t mean to get preachy, but you know they’re expensive and they take a lot of space in your fridge. Salad dressings back in the day What did people do before there were bottled dressings? My grandmother, who established her cooking habits before …

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Easy salads that aren’t lettuce

Fennel and Celery for a salad

Would you eat more salad if it didn’t have to be lettuce? Thanks to supermarkets and refrigeration, we’ve grown up accustomed to having lettuce available year round. When we think of salad, we  naturally think of lettuce first. In a household pressed for space and time, lettuce can be problematic. A head of leaf lettuce …

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Versatile Cocoa

Cocoa Pod Poster

It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s time to celebrate the versatility of cocoa. Cocoa for baking For much of my baking life, I never understood why anyone would buy unsweetened baking chocolate squares. Why would you, when the can of Fry’s Premium Cocoa has a clear and simple formula for a substitution? The recipe is still …

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Fennel and Celery Salad

This salad is just as good the next day. The recipe was inspired by “Winter Salad” in The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells. The original recipe includes a thinly sliced Belgian endive, strips of yellow bell pepper and 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese; I replaced the Belgian endive with celery. If you want to …

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How to make, use, and freeze lardons

Lardons (or lardoons) is simply cubed bacon. In most recipes for soups and stews, you don’t need more than 4 ounces or half a cup at a time. The next time you open a package of bacon for lardons, take an extra 30 minutes to use the whole package at once, by blanching it and …

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Nine precious ingredients to save in your freezer

Have you ever bought a fresh ginger root, used half an inch, and ended up throwing out the rest? Or bought a lemon only for the zest? Do you find that the bunch of parsley you buy in the store is way more than you could use before it wilts? Items like these I call …

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Lemon Thyme

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officianalis) is an old world plant that has become naturalized around the world due to its medicinal reputation. I don’t know of any culinary use except as a tisane. So when I saw this plant at the local nursery in the spring, I thought why not see how it will thrive in …

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The best herbs to grown in containers

When it comes to herbs for growing indoors, we are rich in choice. Almost every plant nursery or greenhouse has a selection of starter plants intended for the garden but are just as suitable for indoors. The catalogues and websites of seed companies will give you even more ideas. Alas, indoor growing space is limited. …

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