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Kitchen DIY: Ridiculously easy homemade mustard

Homemade mustard trio

We’ve only dipped our toes into spring, but in my house, we’re embracing it with open arms. For us, the first hint of the change in season means a few things: we’re pouring gin and tonics, counting our freckles, and — above all else — starting the grill. 

 

Yes, we wait for the first warm April day to fire up the grill each year; we are not the truly rugged type who will stand outside in our boots to grill a steak during the winter (I’m looking at you, mom). And so, the next six months will see our lawn chairs pulled up alongside the grill more often than not. We’ll be happy campers sitting by as our dinner roasts over the flame: burgers, brats, a chicken cutlet or a big portabella cap, a basket full of charred veggies on the side. We’ll do this often, and with enthusiasm. 

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Hunting for Dinner: Thoughts on why I hunt

Jamie Carlson in the blind

My last post for Simple, Good and Tasty was about cooking and eating beaver. I figured it would bring a few juvenile comments, but I didn’t expect to start a debate about cruel hunting practices. One reader took offense to the use of traps in killing the beaver, and it started a good conversation about ethical hunting and trapping practices, and making sure the animals we hunt don’t suffer unnecessarily. 

 

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Make it Local: Cream of asparagus soup

Cream of asparagus soup

After our long and very cold winter, I can think of many good reasons to be excited for spring, but one in particular comes to mind: fresh asparagus is almost here. When I first see those crisp green stalks for sale at the local farmers markets, I know spring is here to stay. I have remind myself to exercise some restraint and only buy one or two bunches at a time; after such a long hiatus, I tend to forget that I can always buy more the next week. And the week after that. And the week after that. 

 

I grew up eating asparagus simply boiled, but in recent years, I've switched things up a bit. Nowadays, I lean toward roasting, grilling, sautéing, or making a rich, flavorful soup. Fortunately, it's not difficult to source as locally as possible, too.

 

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Bone Broth 101: On chicken feet, healthy bellies, and a super long simmer time

bone broth

Whether you’re testing out this Paleo business, diving into the autoimmune protocol or, like me, are trying to reduce waste and use every part of the animals that you buy, bone broth seems to be one of the buzz terms in health food right now.

 

So what is it and why should you be on the lookout to score your own chicken feet and beef knuckles as soon as possible?

 

Here’s your Bone Broth 101.

 

What is bone broth?

Simply put, it’s a mineral-rich broth made by slowly cooking a big batch of bones in water until as many of the minerals as possible have been leeched out of those bones and into the liquid. It’s different from a stock in that it’s cooked much longer and often with added parts, like chicken feet, to maximize its gelatinous, nutritious wonder. 

 

Why bother? 

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Curing Picky Eater Syndrome: 10 ways to get kids to eat real, healthy food

picky eaters

It’s amazing what kids will eat when they' re on the farm or in a garden — digging carrots from the earth, ripping beans from the plant (and taking the leaves with them), picking sugar snap peas, and pulling tomatoes from the vine. Kids love to grow their own food, too, like potted herbs in the kitchen, radish seed sprouts, and patio pepper plants. Last summer I overheard a youngster say, “I love cherry tomatoes, especially the little yellow ones!”

 

Too good to be true? It’s totally not. Getting kids to eat healthy real food is not that difficult. There are many ways to break the "picky eater syndrome," some will work for your kiddo better than others but I’ve found there are a few key steps that really help:  

 

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Paleo vs. Vegan: What side are you on?

paleo vegan

When I was about fifteen years old, I was a “red meat vegetarian,” because I wanted to be something but didn’t want to be a vegetarian. I just knew that something about a conventional omnivore diet felt boring to me, as though I needed the way I ate to say something about who I was. Like most things at that time, I dropped it after several months and just ate whatever I wanted for a number of years before temporarily swearing off meat entirely. 

 

During that time I often felt off, and even more often felt very ill, until I became acquainted with Paleo.

 

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Make it Local: The perfect Bloody Mary

bloody mary

Culinary-minded Taylor Ellingson kicks off one of Simple, Good & Tasty's new sections, Make It Local, in which our writers attempt everyday dishes and drinks with the challenge of creating an all-local recipe. With spring and summer brunches just ahead, it seemed only fitting to start with a drink that features food on a stick. 

 

Let's be honest — it's just not brunch without a little somethin' somethin' to take the edge off from last night. Whether it's a mimosa, a Summit Saga, or a Bloody Mary, the proper drink turns breakfast into brunch. So in preparation for your next stretch of mid-morning lounge time, challenge yourself: can you make a Bloody out of only local ingredients? Here's my attempt.

 

Step one: the drink

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Kitchen DIY: Making cultured butter

Mmm…homemade butter

The first time I made homemade butter I was eight years old, sitting in a circle in Mrs. Peterson’s second-grade class, passing around a quart jar filled with fresh cream from a fourth-grade girl’s family dairy farm. 

 

Each student shook the jar to exhaustion, and then passed it to the next. Hand-to-hand, that jar moved around the circle until it suddenly transformed. Mrs. Peterson spread a bit of that golden butter onto a saltine cracker for each of us to try. It was amazing! 

 

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