In the Kitchen

  • Some tips for your fall foraging

    Dinner Diva

    Fall Foraging Primer


    On the next sunny day, perhaps you’ll consider taking a nice long walk to forage for some wild fall edibles.

    There are plenty of nutritious foods just waiting to be plucked from trees or from the ground in the forest or a nearby meadow.

    Foraging is a very satisfying (and fun) activity. Plus you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended) when you return home.

    The following are some foods you might find in the wild in the fall of the year:

  • Crockpot soup: Basic tips for a great pot

    We are big on crockpot cooking over here. Many of our most popular menu mailer recipes and ebooks are based around this “Queen of Convenience” in the world of kitchen appliances.

    We’re into the fall of the year, which means it is soup season. There really is nothing quite like coming home at the end of a busy day to the smell of soup simmering away on your counter.

    Yes. I said counter! Soup on the stove is great, but soup in the crockpot is a lifesaver during the busy weeks following the kids’ return back to school.

  • Add a new meat to your plate

    There’s a lot more in the way of meat out there than pork, beef and poultry. Venison, bison, rabbit, goat and even alligator are all examples of readily available game meats (in most places).

    With the paleo way of eating running rampant in the country these days, and with one of the pillars of that lifestyle being the consumption of wild meats, game is easier to come by in stores now than it has been in some time.

  • Great cocktails that aren’t bad for you

    What’s better on a hot summer night than a cold drink? Most of our favorite “adult” summertime drinks are, unfortunately, full of sugar and chemicals and nasty artificial ingredients. But don’t worry! I’m not going to tell you that you have to live the rest of your life without cocktails. I’m just going to tell you how to make cocktails that aren’t all that bad for you.

    How to lighten up your cocktails

  • Sawflies strip dogwood foliage

    One of the very first insects that I identified as a young gardener was the pine sawfly.

    We had planted over a hundred white pine seedlings over 30 years ago and after a decade or so we started to lose a couple each year to one problem or another.

    Daddy charged me with inspection duty. Looking for and plucking bagworms; collecting beetles in jars for identification at the County Extension Service; or closely noting the color, legs and chewing habits of the various caterpillars I encountered.

  • Five easy dinners for when it’s too hot to cook

    Sometime’s it’s just too darn hot to be in front of the stove. Am I wrong?

    On those hot summer nights when you can’t stand the thought of turning on the oven or standing in front of a hot grill, it’s important to have an arsenal of recipes so that you don’t resort to starving or ordering takeout.

    Today, I’m going to share five of my favorite, easy, go-to ideas for summer suppers.

  • Lunchbox Tips: Make it quick, easy and nutritious

    Kids today have a lot on their plates — getting good grades, playing in sports and music, making new friends. A nutritious breakfast gets them started for the day, and the right midday meal and snack keeps them going strong. You also want to keep them from becoming “day traders” or tossing out what you’ve carefully packed in their lunches.

    Here are some winning strategies for making the best lunchbox grades:

  • Gluten-free finger foods

    In one of my last posts I shared some strategies for you to use when you’re trying hard to stay on track with a healthy eating plan when the family BBQ invite comes along. Today, we’re going to look at the flip side of that by talking about what sorts of finger foods you might consider serving at your next party to please everyone in the crowd from the Celiacs and Paleoistas to good old Uncle Jim, who thinks that everyone who eats organic is a hippy!

    The following finger foods are all paleo, gluten free and absolutely scrumptious!

  • It’s a crab boil! Dinner has never been easier

    It’s soft shell crab season in many parts of the U.S. right now and if you haven’t taken advantage of that yet, I strongly recommend doing so!

    Sweet, delicate crab meat is so delicious. It’s also an excellent source of nutrients, protein and those important Omega 3s. Crab is also a low risk seafood for mercury — great news!

    Now back to the crab boil.

  • When school’s out, teaching about food

    Pop quiz: How do you get kids to eat just about anything?

    Answer: You get them involved in the kitchen.

    There’s no surefire guarantee that your kids will eat something they have had a hand in preparing, but it absolutely increases the odds of them trying and liking a dish.