June 2015

Kitchen DIY: Mastering quick pickles

quick pickles

Whenever I make up a batch of quick pickles, I think about my grandmother, who had such a lush, amazing garden, and the food preservation skills to match. She had little in the way of finances, so she was always very frugal about using whatever was on hand so we could enjoy the tastes of her garden throughout the long, cold Minnesota winter months. I remember zucchini, squash, tomato salsas, even fruit pickling. If she grew it, she canned it.


When I grew up and became a chef, I never forgot the way my grandmother would make sure to use produce wisely so that there wasn't any waste, and of course, I never forgot her quick pickles. 


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Eat Your Weeds: 3 foraged plants that are ready for dinner


Although there are numerous fresh herbs this time of year — and it's only going to get better from here until those first wintry flakes — what you find in your garden or farmers market is only part of the medicinal and culinary mix of options. 


In other words, try eating some weeds. 


What many people consider weeds could be the start of a beautiful herbal relationship. Once you start recognizing these once-reviled weeds, you'll begin to see your yard in a whole new way. Here are three that are often saved from my lawnmower's wrath, with many making their way into our dinners.



Outstanding for allergies, nettles (sometimes called stinging nettles) are usually abundant in both urban and rural settings. Just when I was planning on going out to forage them in the woods, I realized I had some growing just under my flowering cherry tree. 


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Seasonal Pick: Strawberry rhubarb baked oatmeal

oatmeal bake

I went to the farmers market last weekend for the first time this year with three things in mind: tomato plants, rhubarb, and donuts.  I came home with two out of the three.  The tomato plants and rhubarb were a breeze to find, but sadly the donuts were all sold out.  


Despite my donut fail, I was excited about my other two finds. I’ve been dying to get my hands on some fresh rhubarb, and there was plenty to be found at the farmers market. Since I returned home sans donut, I was pretty hungry for breakfast.  I decided to put my rhubarb to use and whip up an oatmeal bake.


I absolutely love oatmeal bakes because oatmeal is amazing, and you get breakfast for the rest of the week! What is easier than heating up some leftover oatmeal bake and drizzling it with some milk to “rehydrate” it, and calling it breakfast? Not much, friends.


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