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Posted by on May 29, 2014 | 0 comments

Kicking Off Summer

Kicking Off Summer

I can’t imagine a better way to end a three-day weekend than with a neighborhood potluck picnic — cold drinks, delicious food, and kids running amok in the yard on a gorgeous 80-degree day. Leslie’s family hosted a Memorial Day picnic on Monday — family and friends from the block arrived with homemade dips, salsas and salads to accompany grilled chicken, veggie burgers and sausages. We shared blankets, beverages, baseballs and babies. There was even a community art project (look for more on that tomorrow) before the festivities came to a close. A perfectly delightful kick-off to the summer season. We hope you enjoy this time of year in Del...

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Posted by on May 27, 2014 | 2 comments

The Odd, but Outstanding, Onion Sandwich

The Odd, but Outstanding, Onion Sandwich

When I was a kid, my grandmother told me stories of eating sandwiches consisting of sliced raw onion on buttered bread. At the time, I thought that sounded disgusting — not just because it was raw onion, but because I hated onions in general. Now as an adult, I love onions. The other day, the memory of my grandmother’s raw onion sandwich story popped into my mind. And though I still don’t think they sound very appealing, I started thinking of how I could make an onion sandwich that I did like. That’s when it hit me: caramelized onions and cheese. To make the sandwich, I started with one yellow onion, skin removed, and sliced into rings. I slowly cooked the onion on low heat with butter, salt and pepper until it was soft and a rich golden color. Then I layered the gorgeous rings onto rye bread with two slices of swiss cheese and returned it to the pan to toast the bread and melt the cheese. The...

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 | 0 comments

Farmers Market Cooking: On the Grill

Farmers Market Cooking: On the Grill

Now that it’s getting warmer outside, our local farmers markets are coming to life. We are fortunate to have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and bread on Saturdays at the Del Ray Farmers Market and Sundays at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market. I like to plan at least one meal on the weekend with just farmers market bounty. This one’s a staple in our house: Grilled sweet Italian sausages; grilled or roasted red peppers, onions and mushrooms; fresh mozzarella cheese; a simple garden salad; and sliced bread. Don’t eat meat? Skip the sausage, the vegetables are hearty enough on their own. What are you cooking from the farmers market this time of...

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Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 | 1 comment

Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes

Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes

Inspired by Katie’s experiment of using natural dyes to color Easter eggs, we’re spending the day trying various household ingredients to make additional colors of natural-dyed eggs. Katie’s batch last year using blueberries, beets, and turmeric yielded these shades of blue, red and yellow. I set a dozen white eggs to boil on the stove and then, based on what we had on hand, decided to try: Purple cabbage for blue Coffee for dark brown Turmeric for yellow Beets for pink Paprika for orange Rooibus (red bush) tea for golden orange I started the dyes the night before. For each color, I put the hard boiled eggs into each mixture to soak. For each concoction, besides the natural dyes, you just need vinegar, salt, and boiling water. The ratio I followed was 2 cups of dyed liquid to 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 tablespoons of salt. For the dark brown color, I used some coffee brewed extra strong and then added in the vinegar and salt. For the orange color,...

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Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 | 0 comments

Fun with Round Food: Savory Salmon and Rice Balls

Fun with Round Food: Savory Salmon and Rice Balls

A long, long time ago, I was part of a cooking club. The basic idea was someone would host a party, select a theme, and everyone would bring something to fit into that theme. The theme could be an ingredient, a cooking style, an ethnicity, or as in the case of the first party I hosted, a shape — balls! The cooking club held strong for a few years but has since fizzled out as people have moved away, had kids, or became busy with other responsibilities, but ball-shaped food always reminds me of those days. For our Sunday family dinner I thought I’d surprise everyone with a meal of ball-shaped food — salmon and rice balls with an arugula salad. Kids love meatballs, so why not salmon balls! Ingredients: 1 lb salmon, cooked 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 1/4 cup finely chopped celery 1 T lemon juice 1/4 cup parsley 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup breadcrumbs Salt and pepper To save time, cook the salmon ahead of...

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