Have you seen hints of its arrival? On Yahoo news? Huffington Post? Twitter? Various
food-related blog and web sites? That ubiquitous (albeit lovely, warm) flavor that takes over everything, every autumn? Pumpkin spice latte, bread, beer, cookies, cake, dog treats, pumpkin spice everything! Hey, I love pumpkin spice as much as the next girl, but I also love those light, fresh, cool summertime citrus-y, fruity flavors. While we’re still in grip of August, held fast by bright sun and heat that still sing notes of high summer, we can delay the pumpkin spice extravaganza that accompanies the fall season and still enjoy light, easy, fruity, flavorful dishes such as this this salmon taco recipe, served with watermelon salsa and a light coleslaw with avocado dressing. Continue reading
Today is August 8th, which means that depending upon whether we go by the Anglo-Saxon tradition or the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we are either in the midst of (July 15-September 5th), or the end of (July 3- August 11), the heliacal rising of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major: the dog days of summer. Regardless of whose calendar we adhere to, modern weather pattern knowledge notwithstanding, we’ve entered the hottest, most uncomfortable part of the year. Down here in South Texas, the weather is downright hostile. The heat and humidity assault people as soon as they leave the refuge of their air conditioned homes, causing labored breathing, hair to frizz or fall flat, sweat to gush from every pore, and clothes to stick to skin. Just walking through the parking lot from the car into the grocery store becomes overly laborious in such harsh summer conditions. The August heat saps one’s motivation to do much of anything, including spending much time in over a hot oven cooking a large meal. Fortunately, the heat also discourages one’s appetite for large, heavy meals. A simple meal that requires minimal preparation can, however, be both flavorful and elegant. This deglutenized roasted pepper tart recipe from Chowhound is just such a recipe. Continue reading
Every summer, Phillip and I choose an autumn race to run, somewhere North of Texas. With the exception of the Flagstaff Trail Marathon we ran in September 2013, we choose an October race. The October date serves the twin purpose of celebrating the month of our wedding anniversary, and motivates us to train through the wretchedly hot, humid S Texas climate that begins in April and lasts through October. This week we are traveling up to Bar Harbor, ME, to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon. In addition to enjoying more temperate running conditions when we make our fall race pilgrimage up North, we find that we get to enjoy autumn in more quaint manner than we can in S Texas. As we drive around such places as upstate New York (Mohawk-Hudson Marathon), Northern Arizona (Flagstaff Trail Marathon), and Eastern Kentucky (Cloudsplitter 50k), the dry, chilly air and multi-colored leaves on trees remind us of the time of year in a way we don’t always get to mark back home in Texas. Additionally, we pass in these places quaint cabins and Victorian-style homes with yards and porches decorated with signs of autumn and Halloween: bales of hay, scarecrows, ghosts hanging among bronze, red, and golden leaves on trees, and pumpkins. Always pumpkins: bright orange, round, big, small. Pumpkins piled decoratively on steps, or carved into grinning jack-o-lanterns, sitting on porch posts or near fence posts. These Northern autumnal scenes are Hallmark-card perfect, but in a very nice way. Here I have to repeat (because of the topic of this post, naturally) that cliché about the arrival of pumpkins being a harbinger of change that points the way toward the trifecta holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, along with all the accompanying celebratory, appropriately seasonal foods.
Did the name of the recipe in the title of this blog post draw you to this site? I thought so. The idea of rose pasta with rose mint pesto is intriguing, and it actually led me to finally figure out how to make gluten-free pasta from scratch. After seeing this recipe (for non-gluten-free) rose pasta the first time I opened the cookbook Aroma Kitchen: Cooking With Essential Oils, by Sabine Hönig and Ursula Kutschera, I knew I had to try it. The only way I was likely to be able to taste rose pasta with rose pesto, however, was to learn how to make gluten-free pasta, and then to make the recipe myself. This book, then, inspired me to challenge myself in the kitchen beyond the recipes that appear between its beautiful covers. Continue reading
The Healthy Slow Cooker 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness, Second Edition (Robert Rose Inc, 2014)
Courtesy of The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2014 http://www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.
352 pages, 135 recipes
Recently I read about the possibility of cartilage regeneration in a column by Mark Sisson, on his website Mark’s Daily Apple. In this particular article, Sisson recommends drinking home-made bone broth as a possible aid to the regeneration of cartilage. This information was still fresh in my mind when I first explored the pages of the second edition of The Healthy Slow Cooker: 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness (Judith Finlayson, 2014), I happened upon a recipe for slow cooker hearty beef stock; in a box entitled Natural Wonders (115), opposite the hearty beef stock recipe (114), author Judith Finlayson has written detailed information about the health properties of home-made beef broth. She mentions the nutrients and the healing properties of gelatin, the beneficial ingredient in well-made bone broth. The recipe for beef stock sounds delicious; its presence in a cookbook is, though, unsurprising. The nutritional information about bone broth that appears on the opposing page is, however, an unexpected find in a book devoted to slow cooker recipes. Many such nuggets of nutritional information appear throughout this book, all under the headings of either Natural Wonders or Mindful Morsels. One Natural Wonder’s note even explains the dangers of hidden gluten to people with Celiac and details ways to identify and avoid these hidden dangers. This type of information is an exciting addition to a cookbook; with it, one can easily relate the nutritional value of the ingredients she uses to the healthy meal she serves her family when she prepares slow cooker recipes from this cookbook. Continue reading