From the Farm to Table 2016 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — A hundred years ago, more Americans lived on farms than in cities. Most food was locally grown, and seasonal foods were enjoyed fresh or not at all. As food-preserving methods improved, our fascination with convenience took us to dubious depths of overprocessing. After decades of fast food and speedy dining, Americans hungered for a new relationship with food. Today we have come full circle. Inspired by Italy’s Slow Food movement, we prize the local and the sustainable, the authentic and the handcrafted. What’s more, America’s changing demographics have enormously enriched our dining choices with international flair. Continue reading
With Fall in the air, we seem to be nesting more — wearing comfy, warm clothes and spending hours in the kitchen. So we’re exploring recipes and ways we can enjoy the harvest. And maybe entertaining our sweet tooth just a bit, too.
From the Herb Gardens 2015 wall calendar by Maggie Oster —
Coconut-Lavender Panna Cotta
Providing a sense of calm and balance, the fresh, sweet aroma of lavender has been beloved for centuries. Used for its beauty, singular scent, and medicinal properties, lavender continues to be a favorite. The use of flowers and leaves of lavender in cooking is growing in popularity. With a flavor that melds floral, piney, and camphor, fresh or dried lavender flowers are most often added to desserts, but they sometimes find their way into savory dishes. Lavandula angustifolia, with its sweet, mild flavor, is the best choice for cooking. Of the dozens of true lavender varieties, Hidcote and Munstead are the most widely available, hardiest, and easiest to grow. Harvest lavender midmorning on a dry day when almost all the buds are open. Tie stems in bundles and hang upside down in a dry, dark place. When dry, gently strip the flowers from the stem. If buying, be sure the flowers are for culinary purposes. Quickly and easily made, panna cotta is a sweet and creamy pudding that is among the most versatile of desserts and readily flavored in innumerable ways. Continue reading
From The Organic Kitchen Garden 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Crisp, crunchy, and flavorful, cool-season greens have been winter staples for centuries. With the protection of cold frames or plastic tunnels, kale, chard, and cabbage can be harvested all winter, even in the snow. For variety and good looks, plant rainbow chard or Bright Lights Swiss chard, both of which produce vividly colorful stems in shades of raspberry, coral, peach, and salmon. The crinkled foliage holds up well into the cooler months and can be sautéed, steamed, or stir-fried.
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In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, we at Amber Lotus are upping our commitment to plant more trees with a little help from our friends.
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The best of Raw food – or any food, for that matter – is the sourcing of high-quality, seasonal, local (when possible), organic ingredients.
Frisée and Fennel Salad
6-8 cups frisée lettuce
1 small fennel bulb, thinly shaved
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
½ cup roughly chopped
Delicately toss all ingredients with desired amount of dressing until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with extra walnuts, cranberries and dressing if desired. Serves 4-6.
¼ cup balsamic or cider vinegar
or any good-quality vinegar
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice and basil. Add olive oil
and continue to whisk until dressing
is emulsified. Add salt and pepper
These gorgeous veggies are paired with delicious, accessible recipes by well-known master raw food chef and best-selling “cookbook” author Matthew Kenney. www.matthewkenneycuisine.com