roasted mushrooms with ramps

Butter Roasted Mushrooms & Ramps with Lemon

Did you get out in the beautiful spring sunshine yesterday? I tell you what, after the excitement that was last week, I enjoyed a quieter weekend outdoors, puttering in the garden and searching for wildflowers in the forest with the children.

Today there’s an ache in my shoulders I haven’t felt in a while, the result of turning the soil in the raised beds with a spade, and raking the last of the old leaves. It feels good.

With the arrival of warmer evenings, no doubt you are as excited as I am to move away from the kitchen stove and stand over the grill for a change. We scrubbed off the patio table and dined al fresco twice on the weekend, keeping thing simple with steaks and sausages – and a side of buttered mushrooms with ramps.

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Spotlight Ingredient: Cabbage (Recipe: Cabbage & Leeks with Apples)

Last Sunday night, as my weekly menu plan started to take shape, an autumnal influence became obvious. Cabbage, apples, leeks and carrots all had a featured spot over the week. And why not? This produce is beckoning from the market stalls: firm, vibrant and, best of all, a bargain. It deserves to be snapped up and served for dinner.

Cabbage just might be the best bargain out there. At this time of the year the heads are tight, bright green and so crisp, they practically snap in two at the nudge of a knife. Green, red and savoy cabbage are all competing for attention, but I’ve been buying the green for its versatility.

Today, I’d like to offer you 4 easy ways to prepare this leafy fall vegetable.

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DIY: Stir-fry Vegetable Freezer Packages

With late summer produce so plentiful and affordable at the markets, it makes sense to stock up while the “going” is good. A recent chat with my mother about preserving garden vegetables turned me on to this idea for freezing blanched (lightly cooked) stir-fry vegetables in meal-sized portions.

The concept is simple – prepare and cook vegetables separately, then combine them and package in resealable freezer bags for use all winter long. (We covered this last summer when we preserved broccoli for the freezer.) While the texture of the reconstituted-from-frozen vegetables is missing the firm, toothsome quality of fresh, they still retain their flavor and color, and are by no means mushy.

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Picnic Food Safety Tips (Recipe: Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad)

It’s the time of year when families are grabbing their blankets, packing their coolers and heading to their favorite picnic spot. Nothing says summer like an afternoon of picnic fun with family and friends.

Don’t let your plans for the perfect picnic get overshadowed by unsafe food handling and storage. Armed with a few picnic food safety tips, you can keep the good times going while keeping food borne bacteria and illnesses at bay. [Read more…]

How to Plan Ahead for Your Fall Garden

Written by Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

It’s definitely the season for radishes, however, the ones in the picture above were harvested in the Fall of last year.

I was really excited to write this post because anyone that follows my blog knows that my heart and passion is in my garden.  It’s my source of therapy and meditation as I sow, tend to and, yes… even pull weeds.

I’m not claiming to always have a green thumb, however, year after year I learn a bit more and for me it was a revelation when I learned about fall gardening.

Many of us are into preserving our own food. This revolution has sparked backyard gardens throughout the nation.  In order to preserve the most amount of food from your garden to carry into the winter months, you need to start planning a Fall garden now.

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