Candle 79 Lights the Way

 

photo: Mimi Giboin

I’ll admit to feeling a quick flutter of excitement when friends suggest eating together and the expectation is that I chose the “perfect” spot.

I rapidly flip through my mental rolodex, wondering if they want the meal to comfort them or blow them away with offbeat creations? Do they want a hip, cacophonous environment or a conversation friendly dining room?

When I ask these questions, I often get the hand-wave and hopeful “YOU chose”. Continue reading

Ready, Stuff, Roll for Chanukah

Giveaway is now CLOSED. BUT please keep on reading and find the scrumptious recipe at the end of this post.

Sometimes the mere suggestion of a twist on tradition is enough to get me going in the kitchen.  And I wasn’t even thinking about Chanukah yet.

On the last day of the  outdoor Westport Farmers’ Market in November, organic farmer, Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm, beckoned me to come check out her pile of brussel sprouts still firmly attached to their stalks.

My focus shifted as I noticed the generous, fan shaped LEAVES fanning out at the tip of these nobby supportive stalks.

THE LEAVES?  I had never given them a moment’s notice, and likely had never even seen them before.  They were both  dusty and vibrant and Patti encouraged me to experiment with these lovelies as wrappers for whatever filling I saw fit. Continue reading

Labor Day Reflections

Labor Day’s signal is loud and clear.

Like Pavlov’s dogs, we respond to the first Monday in September with a wave of sadness as the date proclaims that summer is over. Not so fast!

I’ll take this Labor Day to give thanks to those who advocate for fair wages, better working conditions, and fair trade. Now is a good time to re-state our commitment to honoring those who grow our food with concern for our environment and better nutrition for our families.

I’ve come closer to my food sources this year, through an all organic, GMO free, guaranteed local farmers’ market  in my hometown, in  Westport, CT.  As a result of the  persistent efforts and support of town leaders, a visionary and super smart (and strict) market manager and tireless volunteers, I can now turn to my local (within 120 miles) market for farm fresh deliciousness each and every week. Continue reading

Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company

contributed by Melissa Roberts

Do you ever really think about your coffee? I never did.

Though my morning cup is a daily ritual, I neither cared nor thought about where the coffee came from as long as the brew was hot and strong. But coffee is big business and a controversial topic environmentally and politically–points that came to my attention recently with the discovery of Dean’s Beans.

Dean’s serves up coffee with a conscience. Continue reading

Radical Roots and Chef Cassandra Purdy

Some days I’m pressed for time and speed shop through my farmers’ market, stopping only long enough to grab the goods and move on.  On more leisurely days, I meander from farmer to chef, getting the juice on what’s growing and cooking. Continue reading

‘Tis the Season: Gifts from the Desert

Neot Smadar

For young lovers and their parents, ‘tis the season of gift giving as summer weddings approach and engagements are announced.

How about considering unique, edible gifts?

I ran across information about Negev Nectars and was taken by their mission “to support small- scale, sustainable agriculture in Israel, and to provide a market for these farmers.” All products sold through this American company come from Israeli farms located in the Negev desert. Continue reading

Celebrating with Simmons Family Farm Yogurt

Sometimes there’s an unexpected confluence of circumstance that makes writing about holiday foods a real thrill. Maybe it’s the adventure of discovering a new product that I suddenly feel I must have in my ‘fridge at all times.

In my perennial search for traditional foods with a twist, it was a great coincidence when the CT. farmers Robin and Ron Simmons contacted me about trying their organic, local, low fat and kosher yogurt .

Simmons Family Farm Yogurt almost sounded too good to be true. I shared with family and friends and began tasting the product over a period of a couple of weeks, just in time to make the connection between dairy and Shavuot. Continue reading

Chef Mark Shadle Shares G-Zen Secrets

This post was contributed by guest blogger and long time vegetarian, Laurel Tuohy.

In addition to being one of the East Coast’s premier vegan food chefs, Mark Shadle partners with Ami Beach Shadle, Master Raw Chef, creating flavorful, vitamin rich, organic foods at their Branford restaurant, G-Zen and on their sustainable vegan food truck, G-Monkey.

Mark also teaches occasional cooking classes at Wallingford’s Delia Center (CT).

 Busy enough? Continue reading

Salad Topped Pizza in Honor of Mom

 

styling and photo by Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez

Every Mom loves salad. And kids of all ages love pizza.

I’m thinking it’s the perfect union for a simple Mother’s Day meal. Kids and Dads can have a farm to table adventure preparing this one.

Mom will admire their efforts and taste the difference.

Continue reading

Print Restaurant Tells All

Do you check online restaurant menus before you call for a reservation?

Take a look at the online menu for Print Restaurant, 11th Ave. at 48th St. in NYC, and you can learn a lot.  Ride your cursor over the ingredients and you will find a whole lot more than overblown descriptions of flavors.

You will discover that the impossibly magenta oranges in the Blood Orange Salad come from Isabelle’s Orange Orchard in New Orleans.  The butternut squash that serves as a tasty whipped landing for the Pan-roasted Snapper comes from Paisley Farm, which coordinates a co-op of upstate NY farms consisting of 25 like minded farmers seeking to distribute their crops. Continue reading