Feeding Picky People

  I’ve been cooking dinner for picky people for a long time, now. Thankfully, my husband is not one of them. He’s a pretty low-key kind of guy who has followed along on all manner of food adventures (Let’s try kombucha! Fermented carrots! Maitake mushrooms!) And has often come away embracing the once exotic. But my kids are aContinue reading “Feeding Picky People”

Soup’s On

There’s no mystery as to why we eat soup in January. It warms us from the inside. It provides nutrients our bodies need now more than ever (when days are darker, outside exercise is harder and little fresh is growing in the ground). Soups are simple to make and even create cozy in our homes fromContinue reading “Soup’s On”

Time to Talk Turkey

My favorite holiday of the year is two weeks from today. And I am nothing if not ready to start thinking about Thanksgiving. For many, the holiday countdown began long ago with checklists of what to knock out ahead, chatter about table decor and recipe testing in search of the perfect combination of sweet and savory, traditional and today. I’m aContinue reading “Time to Talk Turkey”

Let Us Eat Pumpkin

With Jack O’ Lantern carving at Halloween and the absolute necessity of a pumpkin pie on the Thanksgiving sideboard, pumpkins have long been central to fall. But does anyone else find it ironic that while pumpkin pie flavor has found its way into absolutely everything (Oreos! Pop-Tarts! Twizzlers!), pumpkins themselves are still considered more decor than food?Continue reading “Let Us Eat Pumpkin”

How to Eat More Local Food

  Last Saturday, I gathered my dishes and marched my way to the teaching kitchen at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op in my home town. I spread out my Thai Butternut Squash Soup and my Beautiful Beet Salad, my Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins, Blue Cheese Herb Spread and Apple Honey Cake. Plus I brought locally harvested MaitakeContinue reading “How to Eat More Local Food”

Flavors of Fall

          As I’ve been preparing to teach my class on cooking fall fruits and vegetables at the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op this weekend, I can’t help but contemplate: What is it about fall’s flavors that make us swoon so? Is it the brief time they’re in the spotlight? The nostalgia that comes withContinue reading “Flavors of Fall”

Cookbook Review — 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous

  When I flip through Lisa Leake’s second cookbook, “100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous,” I can’t help but think of my own kitchen, my own cooking and my own website’s stash of favorite recipes. Like in Lisa’s house, there are no natural flavors in my cabinets, my family knows which snack crackerContinue reading “Cookbook Review — 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous”

Magical Metalwork

  I recently posted about Virginia’s rapidly expanding Artisan Trail Network. It was an piece about why these trails are important and how to use them. But I have so much more to share from my time on the Smith River, Monticello and HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley trails. So today, a longer look at one artisan studioContinue reading “Magical Metalwork”

Encountering Art

   This week, I want to let you in on a little secret: The corner of Virginia that I live in, the one with rolling mountains and gorgeous sunsets and dozens of shades of green, well, it boasts some incredible artisans as well. I’m talking time-honored blacksmiths and renowned potters, award-winning brewers, cutting-edge vintners. Yes,Continue reading “Encountering Art”

Time for Tomatoes

I always forget how long it takes to grow a good tomato. The first ones begin blushing sometime at the end of June, if you’re lucky. But it’s usually well into July before the bounty arrives. And when I look back, it’s typically August or September when we can our dozens of jars of marinara. That’sContinue reading “Time for Tomatoes”