Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MUST SEE MOVIE! Queen of the Sun

Just got back from a screening of Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us. If you're in Pittsburgh, go see this movie tomorrow (Wednesday May 25th at 8 pm at the Melwood Screening Room)--its the last time its showing here. So many food movies are such a bummer to watch (yes, they are important, but they are a bummer). Queen of the Sun is gorgeous, inspriring, funny and warms your heart in so many ways. I never knew beekeepers were such hopeful people and hope is one of those things I think we need more of in the world today. Really, go. I'm sure you'll be just like me and go running home to dash an email off to Burgh Bees to find out when you can take one of their fabulous classes and start a honey hive of your own!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chicken for a Sunday Dinner...(yes, you've still got time to get to the farmer's market!)

Pollo al Colmao
Every now and again I like to post some of my stuff to the LA Times, just for fun. I don't cook from recipes very often, but they've got a good food section and I like to stay up to date and know what is going on in the food world. And who says I can't learn new flavor combinations or can't use the tips? Not this old dog.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yummy Plants, the PPM and I talk local eating—what a great combo!

Our table, foods from the market and information to share!
I had such a great time with Rebecca from Yummy Plants at the Pittsburgh Public Market on Saturday. Rebecca and I presented a workshop on “How to be a Locavore”—she was dishing up all kinds of expert advice and suggestions, I was slicing, dicing and gabbing (of course) all things food. Its pretty easy to come up with fab dishes when there are so many incredible ingredients to chose from. Special thanks to Clarion River, Goose Creek, Always Summer Herbs, Lucky Penny Farm, Morning Dew Orchards and Cosimano e Ferrari for your donations and discounts. Extra special thanks to all the great folks who stopped by, tried our samples and stayed to chat. After shopping that morning, we served up Apple, Mint and Rutabaga Slaw and Spelt Salad with Asparagus—and we got RAVE reviews from our crowd. This was so much fun; I think I’m going to have to do it again!

Spelt and Asparagus Salad

Local dried spelt and wheatberries (pictured) are now available!
I am so thrilled that Clarion River Organics has started to sell its own wheatberries, spelt (including milled flour) and oats--it is so exciting to have truly local and organic (and DELICIOUS) whole grains available. This is a very versatile and simple salad, quick to throw together, oomphing with flavor and texture. Feel free to experiment with additional veggies, but (and I'm just sayin') this combo got RAVE reviews from our samplers.

Apple, Mint and Rutabaga Slaw

Crunchy, tangy, sweet, fresh...seriously, what more could you want from a salad?
I love rutabaga. More than that, I love watching other people fall in love with rutabaga. These nubby roots taste a bit like a sweet, mild turnip. They are not starchy so they make a terrific substitute for potatoes in soup (they won't fall apart or disolve). I was so happy to find one at the Pittsburgh Public Market while Rebecca (from Yummy Plants) and I were presenting on "How to be a Locavore". I was even happier to find sweet and crunchy local apples, mint and vinegar. With all those great ingredients available under one roof, this dish was a no brainer (and wildly popular with just about everyone who wandered by!).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

*UPDATED* Farmer's Markets are OPEN! (Happy Happy Joy Joy)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnd, they're off! Check out PA Buy Fresh Buy Local for a terrific interactive map (just enter your zip code!) listing farmer's markets and many other wonderful local food interests. Grow Pittsburgh also has a great list of local urban farms, these are really super special places.
Of course, we have our wonderful year round markets (Pittsburgh Public Market and East Liberty Farmer's Cooperative), but now we can also choose from *literally* more than 100 others! Don't know where to begin? Each has its own flavor. I have a particular fondness for the mostly organic Farmer's@Firehouse, Phipps market, Public Market and both the East Liberty Cooperative and outdoor East Liberty markets. Then again, I haven't met a farmer's market that I didn't like. Here's a link to our city sponsored markets and the Carnegie Library's list of local food resources. Oh and last week's Post-Gazette also had a good list and they say they'll be adding an interactive map as well.

Happy marketing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This weekend: Slow Cooked joins Yummy Plants at the Pittsburgh Public Market!

How to be a locavore--right now!
Saturday, May 14th
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh Public Market (2100 Smallman Street @ 17th--in the Strip)
*Free event with samples*

This Saturday (May 14th) join me and Rebecca, founder of the fab website Yummy Plants, at the Pittsburgh Public Market to see just how easy it can be to eat locally. No menu for this event yet--we're going to trawl the market that morning to see what kinds of yummy things we can put together right before your eyes!

Come on out and say hello, this will be lots of fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Artichoke, egg and salmon, what more could a mom want?

This might be better than benedict...
Happy Mother's Day friends! I was rummaging through my fridge today and realized how thankful I am for the good foods spring has to offer. This little meal couldn't be simpler, but we can describe it in very complicated ways. Just for fun, we could talk about it as a deconstruction of the classic eggs benedict-- creamy yolk from pastured farm egg mocking hollandaise; meaty succulent artichoke heart easily replacing (both! ha!) the classic tough gone soggy english muffin and boring oversalted canadian bacon; smoked salmon, well, just because it tastes good. Culinary Mother's-Day-meets-spring-coup-d'etat! But this would all be very silly, because its not much of a recipe and more of a cheery spring greeting--a small pile of some of the first lovely things available as the sun starts to dry the soggy muddy earth. Enjoy, I certainly did!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie, all gussied up...

Free form chicken pot pie, ready for the oven...
 If there is anything that every single member of my family loves to eat, its chicken pot pie. And its supposed to be an easy meal, right? Generally speaking I like to roast a great big chicken, make extra roasted veggies to go along and enough gravy that by the end of the first meal I only have to throw it all together and dump it in a crust the next night. Lately, though, I'm finding that it doesn't really matter how much I make night number one, I'm still stuck making a bit more gravy, more vegetables, more crust, etc... the next night. In other words, chicken pot pie is no longer the carefree easy peasy meal it once was. So, instead of complaining, I've decided to embrace the fact that chicken pot pie is good enough to make on its own merit! In fact, if you follow this recipe for classic chicken, leek and fennel pot pie from the Los Angeles Times, you'll be particularly glad you made the effort!