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Kitchen DIY: Tumeric and cumin spiced potatoes

tumeric cumin potatoes

The potato craving usually hits hard in the winter when I need some good ol’ comfort food that will stick to my ribs and satisfy my need for warmth — if only for a while. These potatoes, spiced with turmeric and green chilies does just that.

 

I usually use sweet potatoes in my cooking since it's the healthier option and they contain a ton of good stuff, especially vitamins A and C. But for this recipe only a good old-fashioned potato will do, in a dish I call "batata fry."

 

Tear off a warm piece of ghee-soaked roti, use it to envelope a couple of spiced potatoes and a bit of the green chili and pop it into your mouth. With each bite, the warm heat from the green chilies will slowly creep into your body and the comfort of the potatoes will have you floating into an abyss of happiness. I would suggest grabbing a warm comfy blanket and head off for a nap after this comforting meal.  Sigh…

 

Batata Fry

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Cooking with Cast Iron: 4 reasons to love your cookware

cast iron

Having burned and scraped my way through various pots and pans and spent a pretty penny for new issues every five years or so, I have a few reasons for reverting to old ways and adopting cast iron into my cookware family.

 

Formed by a pouring molten pig iron into casts, the technology behind the creation of this age-tested cookware is very simple. The earliest references to civilization’s use of cast iron can be traced back to fourth century BC and its debut into the kitchen scene was around the 17th century. 

 

Though the cast iron skillet was chucked aside by most and Teflon-coated pans became commonplace, there are many worthy qualities to be examined and preserved. Here are four reasons you should consider giving this time-honored cookware a try:

 

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Veg Out: A primer on community supported agriculture

csa box

Although there's plenty of winter left — remember, as the wise Prince sings, sometimes it snows in April — this is the perfect time to start thinking about tomatoes. And cabbage, and green beans, and kale...

 

Whether you've made a New Year's resolution to eat healthier or not, maybe this is your year to consider a share in a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. I'm pretty biased on the subject, since my partner Karla and I have a farm that runs a CSA, but since we're taking this year off, it's my last chance to sound somewhat objective so I'm going for it. 

 

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Kitchen DIY: Cooking with acid

kinilaw

Cooking is simply defined as the preparation of food, typically using heat. In a biochemical process called denaturing, high temperatures from various methods such as grilling, braising or steaming alter proteins in meat and seafood, making them firmer (as with egg whites) or breaking down tissue to make them more tender (as with tough cuts like shanks). 

 

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Hunting for Dinner: Sandhill crane au poivre

jamie carlson at cooks

I have been working with Cooks of Crocus Hill on a setting up a wild game cooking class and earlier this month, my first class took place. It was a huge step outside my comfort zone and I will admit that I was nervous as hell going into it. I think as a cook I am always afraid that I don’t know as much as I think I do and that I am going to fail. Or worse, one of my dishes is going to fail. 

 

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Extra Credit Gardening: Growing pineapples in Minnesota

pineapple in snow

Ten years ago, my husband and I escaped the January cold and spent a week in Costa Rica. We stayed at a beautiful but rustic lodge on the edge of the jungle, where the kitchen staff spoiled us with scrumptious meals made from the many local foods. Every meal was served with large chunks of fresh, juicy pineapple, and I couldn’t get enough of it. Perhaps it was the surrounding rainforest, or the sounds of birds, animals, and ocean waves on the beach that accentuated my pineapple-eating experience, but whatever the reason, I fell in love with fresh Costa Rican pineapples.

 

But all vacations must come to an end, and we were soon home in snowy Minnesota. Still in that post-vacation glow when I headed to town to stock up on staples, I was delighted to see that our local grocery store had pineapples on special. I bought four and looked forward to once again having fresh pineapple with every meal.

 

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New Year Resolution: Cook like my great-grandmother

alice

I'm something of an industrial-size resolution creator. I love the huge, sweeping type of resolutions that involve dismantling my normal way of thinking or operating in the world — and I don't reserve them for New Years, although that's a traditionally fun kickoff for some of them. 

 

Even though there are approximately 5,000 blog posts out there right now about how resolutions don't work, I think the inclination to make these simple vows is tempting for a reason. Who doesn't love a fresh start, a sense of improvement, a brighter way forward instead of gloomy regrets? I do agree that some types of goals seem almost thwarted from the start, particularly those that are too vague — "I'm going to be a better person this year!" — or perhaps too ambitious or restrictive. 

 

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One-Stop Shopping: Simple, good, and tasty gifts

mason shaker

Update: Cooks of Crocus Hill is open until 2pm today, Dec. 24th. Stock up!

 

With less than a week to go before Christmas, and plenty of spots open on our wishlists (okay, many of them for ourselves), we asked for some expert guidance from Julie Jansa, buyer at Cooks of Crocus Hill. 

 

Here are her picks for some outstanding holiday picks: 

 

For the budding mixologists: For those that like to create, check out the Homemade Gin Kit or the Mason Shaker from our pals at W&P Design in Brooklyn, NY. These folks have a passion for creating products on trend with great packaging.  

 

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