Starting Seeds

by Mike Webster

Image
Early Spring is my favorite time of the year. I begin to develop my garden’s diversity, save money and share seed varieties with friends. All by starting seeds indoors, and transplanting them into my garden when the conditions are rights. Thousands of superior crop varieties are rarely available as seedlings in garden centers, and the same goes for wonderful culinary crops, such as Zebra stripe Tomatoes and Red Russian Kale. If your goal is to fill your table with an array of homegrown organic food, then starting plants from seed can help you achieve that goal. Starting seeds indoors under controlled conditions, with no aggravation from weeds or weather, allows you to get a prompt start on the season. Where growing seasons are short, some crops require an indoor head start to later reach maturity. Furthermore, I am able to maximize my gardens diversity and overall yield, by having two plantings of crops for the season. Continue reading

Experience Food in a Whole New Way…with your hands

by Mike Zolnowski

Image
At a recent social gathering I made the mindless mistake of forgetting to use a utensil to eat my food. After the embarrassment faded I realized as a cook how much I tasted food with my hands and how much more I enjoyed food when I was eating it without utensils. I began to think about the different relationship one has with food when eating with something like a fork, or chop sticks. Something visceral happens when contact is made between food and skin. Continue reading

Which Pan should I use?

By Alex Dunlevie

Image

Anyone that cooks, from your seasoned foodie to the college student making mac’n cheese, has to choose a pan to cook their nightly meal. A few weeks ago I wrote about cooking the perfect steak at home using your oven and a saute pan.  When choosing what type of pan to cook a steak on, there are pros and cons to each choice. It is worth mentioning that nonstick is generally unnecessary for steaks, because in any steak searing scenario, the item being seared will tell you when it is ready to flip. If the steak is still sticking, simply allow it to cook a little longer until it releases naturally from the pan. If its still stuck, it isn’t seared yet! This will hold true of most seared foods, although delicate, flaky fish will require more care than others. Continue reading

5 Tips for Healthier Eating

By Chef Robbie

Organic Orange

Eating healthy sounds like a simple idea. Cut out all junk food, stop eating fast food, eat a more balanced diet, and so on. All of these points are common sense ideals, but I have always found that writing these ideas down and sticking to a plan is the best way to keep from cheating or straying from your path to a healthier you. I have found that the below tips are an essential base to changing your eating habits and staying diligent against the ebb and flow of your daily cravings.

  1. Grocery shop the healthy way – When grocery shopping, focus on the outside aisles where all the delicious fresh produce is. Make an effort to get as many organic products as possible. The pesticides and chemicals added to non-organic food can cause health problems and can be a contributing factor to weight gain. If you cannot afford to go all organic, start with buying fruits and vegetables that typically contain less amounts of pesticides (onions, frozen vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, bananas ). The middle of the store is for processed foods and quick meals. Food that is processed and unnatural can cause weight gain and health problems so try to stick to the outside aisles as much as possible.
  2. Continue reading

How to Cook the Perfect Steak at Home

By Alex Dunlevie

Steak Sear

As far as dinner goes, one of the most important things in many peoples mind is how to cook a great steak.  The goal here is to build a great crust on the outside, while having as much of the inside of the steak as possible at “target temperature.”  What we mean here is that when we cut into the steak, we want to see as much steak as possible at the desired finished temperature (i.e. medium rare for most steak eaters, ~135°F) with only the outer most layer being overcooked, to build our flavorful crust.  We will do this by cooking the steak in 2 parts:  an initial sear, followed by a short trip in the oven to cook the steak through to our target temperature.  Continue reading

Grocery Store vs. Doctors Office

By Chef Samantha

This week, I had to do a little cleaning up – overdue spring cleaning of my apartment, my computer and my office.  Actually, I am still working on the apartment and office part, but I did straighten my computer out and back everything up.  This gave me a chance to go over so many old documents I had created in the past.  Of all the papers, pictures and other files I found, the best were my papers from college at The CIA – in particular, my food ecology essays.  This forward-thinking class was directed by one of my favorite professors, a short gray-haired man with an incredibly mischievous laugh who loved to stir up edgy debates of politics, religion and ethics (all basically taboo conversation topics piled in one class) all centered around food.  Until I took this class, never in my wildest dreams did I think food could have such a dark and evil side. Continue reading

Good Times

by Chef Samantha

The Sunday before last was Mother’s Day, and I could not have been more happy.  My mother came down to our side of town and joined us for church service, and then we ate a meal of roasted pork loin with a chili, dijon and brown sugar glaze, potatoes au gratin and creamed peas topped off with a bittersweet chocolate tart for dessert.  After lunch, I whipped up a batch of my famous Italian butter cream frosting and went down to the farmers market to promote our business. Continue reading
Link

By Chef Samantha

In college, I went on a food and wine seminar in Southern California for four weeks.  There were eighteen boys, five girls and two professors as our “chaperones”.   Needless to say, kinda crazy – and way, way too many boys.  We toured several farms, factories, wineries, restaurants and businesses.  I ate so much amazing food, I was in Heaven! Continue reading

Lets get introduced…

by Chef Samantha

Hello. This is my first time writing to you.  I guess I would like to start things off in my blog on a more personal level.  I am a person who has never met a stranger, something I think I learned from my mom.  There are two things I love, people and food.  You know how some people, when asked what their hobbies are, will say things like reading, arts and crafts, sports, watching movies, and so on?  Well, I like to talk and eat.  Continue reading