Naptime Simple Tips: Fun & Essential Tips for Your Kitchen
I love to wax poetic about the wonders of preserving. It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, it truly can be simple and fun. Every year I join my friends at Jarden Home Brands to celebrate National Can-it-Forward Day. This year it is on August 1st! The day is full of events featuring prominent home preservers sharing their tips and expertise. Luckily this day will coincide perfectly with my yearly trip to Cooperstown. It is the time of the year when I do a lot of preserving, mostly of seasonal fruits I find at the Farmer’s Market, and this year will be no different.
I’ve been having so much fun seeing what recipes you want to try from Butternut Mountain Farm. Don’t forget, the maple syrup giveaway is continuing until Thursday so please come by and enter!
In the mean time, last week I had gathered some great recipes from many of my favorite food blogs. These all feature maple syrup as a natural sweetener and main ingredient. Since maple syrup season is now in full force there is no better time to try them. Enjoy!
Over the weekend we tapped our maple tree and hope to be making our homemade maple syrup soon. While we love this new tradition we never make enough syrup to last the whole year. I always end up buying a big jug or two of pure upstate syrup in Cooperstown whenever we visit. Over the years people have told me they find buying maple syrup intimidating and wonder if it is even worth it. All the grades can seem confusing and it is more expensive then the fake manufactured syrup you find in most grocery stores. So, today my friend Emma from Butternut Mountain Farm is here to help clear up any confusion and share a few fun facts about maple syrup
If there ever was a soup winter this is it. It is barely above 10 degrees F most days here. When we were in Cooperstown last weekend is what rarely above 0 and that is not an exaggeration! To stay warm and happy I’ve been making lots and lots of soup. I even plan to have another new soup recipe for you next week.
Last week was the perfect time to receive my latest box from Blue Apron. As you might remember, I get a fun box of meals from Blue Apron from time to time. It is a great way to jolt me out of my cooking comfort zone and get the family excited for news. The box comes with all the farm-fresh ingredients for three delicious family meals measured out and ready to be cooked. Not only are the recipes they send inventive and interesting, it also means no trip to the grocery store and no throwing out unused food. Perfect!
Last year I was gifted some pretty copper pots by various family members. I love cooking with copper and could never afford to buy a set myself so it was a real treat! The pots themselves are heavier than my favorite stainless steel workhorses, but they conduct heat more evenly and are perfect for warming soups and stews. They even make my kitchen look a little fancier, like a French kitchen! Someday I hope to have a little copper collection that I can hang from the ceiling or on a pegboard like Julia Child. In the mean time, though, I need to the care for the pots I have to make sure they last a lifetime. So! Here is what I’ve learned so far about caring for copper:
In the winter I freeze my herbs from the garden and bring whatever plants I can inside for the winter. This year my Meyer Lemon tree is wintering in our dining room along with this beautiful rosemary plant. Not all herbs tolerate being dragged from inside to outside for season after season, but rosemary is one of the few that can withstand the change. I love that it is so easy to care for and makes the whole house smell incredible whenever I pinch a few leaves. It also means we’ve got beautiful fragrant rosemary to cook with year-round! Here are a few tips for caring for your rosemary plant indoors:
Happy New Year! I am excited to be back up and running for 2015. We have a BIG year ahead. The next book has an official publishing date: March 31, 2015! On that day all the copies of The Family Calendar: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year, will be available for purchase (you can pre-order it now!!!). Stay tuned for book tour information.
I am over and done with rich food this winter. Christmas season was an ongoing feast of eggnog french toast, short ribs over potatoes, and much, much more. For January I’m dialing it down, pushing aside sugar, and focusing on small easy snacks into of large gluttonous meals. Here are a few things we’ve enjoyed so far:
Since we just wrapped homemade gift week I wanted to share a few tips for things you can pick up just in case you don’t have time to get in the kitchen. There are days when even the most organized of us are busy and need an ace-in-the-hole to fall back on. When this happens to me I pick up a few sweets at Whole Foods. All of these delicious items can be found at Whole Foods Markets and they won’t break the budget. Here are some of my favorites:
In case you missed them, here are my 2014 gift guides. I’ve also included a few more gift guides I love from around the web: Gift Guide #1: For Your Best Pal Gift Guide #2: For Your Husband Gift Guide #3: For Your Kids Gift Guide #4: For Your Mom Gift Guide #5: For Your […]
Hostess Gifts for the Holidays
December is a busy party season. Whether it is a casual football party, a festive holiday cocktail party, or a formal dinner party, invitations abound. For attendees, it is important to have a slam dunk cache of host gifts at the ready — items you can pull together attractively and quickly, which will more than adequately thank your host for their generosity.