Salute Spring! Ten Ways to Enjoy Rhubarb Compote

Join us as we Salute Spring with a week-long series featuring the finest fruits and vegetables of the season.

Rhubarb is my favorite early summer vegetable. As a child I dipped the pale pink stalks in sugar and munched them raw. As a teen I paired rhubarb with strawberries, baked the pair into pies and sold them at my local farmers market for 5 dollars.

Now, I usually run out of rhubarb long before I finish experimenting with new recipes and the stalks are baked into cakes, juiced for drinks, and jarred for jam all summer long.

However, with all of my recipe testing, I’ve learned to appreciate rhubarb in perhaps it’s simplest form: cooked stove-top into a compote. If that sounds boring, I can assure you it is not, as the compote is a springboard to many delightful desserts.

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The Beauty of Farm-Fresh Eggs and How to Source Them

Written by Diana Bauman.

The word ‘egg’, all alone, makes me happy. When I hear it, thoughts run through my head of fried eggs with potatoes, mayonnaise, a rich custard or a Spanish tortilla omelet…. If there was a food that I simply couldn’t live without, it would have to be eggs.

Although I love eggs for the diverse range of foods that they help make, my favorite thing about eggs is that they are a traditional source of complete protein and nutrition. This couldn’t be more true than in the Spring.  Spring is the season for pastured, farm fresh eggs.

Yes, eggs are available year round from the farm or grocery store, however, as the buds start to bloom, grasses start to grow and microbial bugs and earthworms start to proliferate, pastured chickens enjoy their buffet.  With this buffet comes more vitamins and nutrients.  In the Springtime, eggs are at their nutritional peak.

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What You Need to Know About Buying, Storing, and Cooking with Spices

It’s no secret that I believe a solid knowledge of spices is essential to great cooking. Proper selection and addition of good quality spices to a dish can elevate the flavor with little effort and minimal cost; that alone is reason to learn how to use spices and incorporate them into daily cooking.

However, cooking with spices doesn’t start with popping a lid and adding the required amount. This post is a good starting point; it is a summary of a Spices 101 series I wrote last spring and is well worth a refresher. At the bottom of each section you can click through to read the full post on each topic.

As I fully believe adding spices is one of the simplest way you can transform a forgettable dish into something memorable, I hope you’ll begin your journey with the exotic here.

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Q&A: Garden, Market or CSA – How will you source summer produce?

It is snowing as I write today, but that hasn’t stopped me from gazing out on our future garden spot and visualizing the raised beds full of lettuce, zucchini, herbs and tomatoes. Winter still has many weeks to rage and blow before it gives way to spring, however, one can’t help but think about pending arrival of fresh greens and tender fruits.

March is a good time to start making plans for how you will source your summer produce. If you live in the city, now is the time to sign up for a  spot in the community gardens. If you are more rural, you should be putting in a seed order right about now. Not into gardening, but want farm fresh vegetables? Then perhaps you should be calling around and getting your name on a list for a CSA basket.

Seven ways to source your summer produce

The first crisp asparagus spears and strong rhubarb shoots will be poking up through the ground before you know it. Here are seven ways to source your summer produce that don’t involve a shopping cart and a supermarket. Which do you plan to use come spring?
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Spotlight Ingredient: Brussels Sprouts

When the first stalks of brussels sprouts appear at my local market in the fall, I greet them with the same enthusiasm as I do a basket of strawberries in the spring.

I can finally bypass the staunch, yet stodgy broccoli and bring home a vibrant green vegetable that I’m excited to cook.

I’ve always loved brussels sprouts, perhaps because my father always took such delight in them whenever we ate them growing up; the British, are, after all, the top consumers of sprouts, and my dad hails from across the pond. Brussels sprout lovers are aptly labeled, lovers, and most can wax poetic over the little green sprouts all the day long.

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