10 Recipe Ideas

Recipe ideas are the focus of Day 24 of the Idea Machine Project, which I explain in this post. I love trying new combinations of ingredients I have on hand to make a meal I enjoy. It's something I do pretty regularly. FYI: As a roll out the Shinecast media components, I'll be publishing my food and cooking content at a new website. I'll update the link here when the new site goes live. I'll … [Read more...]

Buckwheat Pancakes

I have had a fixation on buckwheat pancakes for as long as I can remember but, for most of my life, buckwheat was a rare delicacy. It was just a few years ago that buckwheat became more readily available and I was able to start indulging my craving for buckwheat on a regular basis. Last year, I grew some buckwheat of my own, but ended up saving the seeds to plant again this year. Needless to … [Read more...]

How to Prepare French Green Beans

This year I planted the Tavera variety of haricot verts, French stringless green beans. The plan is to have enough to sell, but the seeds planted at the farm were mostly washed away in an April deluge. About half a row is left there, while I have about 20 plants in my backyard garden, which have just started to produce. Yesterday, I gathered about half a pound and prepared them by blanching, … [Read more...]

Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins

'Tis the season for cranberries. Delectably tart cranberries can be used in so many ways beyond the traditional cranberry relish that adorns your holiday turkey and dressing. Whole wheat cranberry muffins are but one example. Cranberry muffins are easy to make and my version is extra healthy, thanks to the whole wheat flour. Here's what I'm sharing around the office this week: Cranberry Whole … [Read more...]

Turnip Greens with Pasta

My first meal featuring Shine Springs Farm organically-grown produce featured sautéed turnip greens over whole wheat pasta. Turnip greens are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, but you don't often find them on the menu. Most people, Southerners at least, think of turnip greens as something you stew for an hour or so (at least) and flavor with a ham hock. But that doesn't do justice to … [Read more...]

Dutch Oven Chuck Roast: Pot Roast in the Oven

The aroma of roasting meat and vegetables wafting through my house was sufficient to convince me that my idea to cook a 3-pound chuck roast in my cast iron Lodge Dutch oven was a good one. The taste of the fork-tender beef sealed the deal. Yes, it's summer and a pot roast in the middle of summer isn't at the top of my summer menu list. But after 2 months of mostly tomatoes, squash, okra, corn … [Read more...]

Healthy Baked Catfish

Last week, I saw a tweet from Freshfully announcing the arrival of local, farm-raised Alabama catfish. It was just the dish I had in mind, so the next day I made a quick trip to the new local foods shop in Avondale and picked up a pound of catfish, a pound of wild-caught Gulf shrimp, one pattypan squash, a handful of green beans, a couple of cucumbers, and a bag of homemade granola, all … [Read more...]

Making Basil Pesto

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. It's versatile and easy-to-grow. I've had one or more plants growing in a container on my patio for the past 7 or 8 years. One of the best ways to keep the basil plant flourishing is to use a lot of it. Basil thrives when its leaves and stems are continually plucked and clipped. Pesto is a delicious, healthy way to use lots of basil at once. About every two … [Read more...]

Chef Kevin Kilburn: Cooking Demonstration at Spring Park Farmers Market

Last Thursday evening, I decided to play wait-and-see on a big thunderstorm and my patience paid off. I got to enjoy a cooking demonstration by Kevin Kilburn, a professional chef who is now based in Florence, Alabama. Kevin made corn cakes, black bean salsa and grilled chicken tacos and received rave reviews from the few brave souls who ventured out into the heat and humidity to enjoy the Spring … [Read more...]

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

I visited my parents in late June (to participate in the Helen Keller Festival Run) and Mom decided to make Eggplant Parmesan. She used a traditional recipe, with a few modifications—and it was quite tasty. With the modifications, it wasn't too heavy for a hot summer evening.  I returned home with an eggplant and decided to create my own version, with an even healthier twist. It's more of a baked … [Read more...]