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Recipe Hacking Challenge #6 Results

10 Jul

Have you been checking in daily, dying to find out the recipe hacking results? Did you forget about this contest altogether? I bet you thought I had! I didn’t. My apologies. What can I say? It’s summertime and I’m easily distracted.

Since you’ve waited long enough, I’ll cut right to the chase. The winner the the 6th Recipe Hacking Challenge is…

Rhi @ The Challenged Cook!

Your burrito is unlike any I’ve ever tried before. You truly hacked this recipe, using inventive substitutes for both the tortilla and the contents. I appreciated that you went beyond the usual lettuce and tomato and added stuff like sprouts, carrots, and cucumbers.

Thanks to everyone who contributed! I really appreciate you sharing your recipes and hope you’ll continue to participate in future hacks.

Violetsouffle – Great idea! We’ve enjoyed your banana-cream cheese wraps for lunch and snacks! At our house we’re also big fans of using peanut butter.

Cathy – Love that you submitted not one, but two recipes! You’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve overcome my cumin aversion now. And goat cheese on a burrito? Crazy and unexpected, but good!

Matt – So impressed that your entire meal was homemade! Honorable mention to you for making your own hot sauce and tortillas!

Can the Can

24 Nov

Offices, classrooms and civic groups around the country are gearing up for their annual canned food drives. From now until the new year people will pile prepackaged, non-perishable food items in cardboard boxes and promptly forget about hunger and homelessness for the rest of the year.

Obviously, this is a generalization, and likely a bit unfair. But as the season of the can drive bears down on us, I have to wonder – is it time to can the can?

We need a new kind of food drive. One that helps build a sustainable infrastructure for healthy local food for everyone. One that is premised on valuing the land and the people in our community. One that is rooted in justice, not charity. Continue reading

Losing the fight against the blight

12 Aug

What some had said was inevitable happened. It sounds like the tomatoes at our farm have succumbed to the late blight epidemic. So very sad. Some of my happiest moments each summer have been out in the fields at Brookfield picking cherry tomatoes. Intoxicated by the fragrant herby smell of tomato vines. Listening to kids heeding their parents’ advice about picking the right ones. “Red, red, ripe!” is their mantra as they march down the rows. Warm cherry tomatoes popping with a juicy little burst as I sample a few while picking. The sun beating down and in the stillness I can can almost feel my freckles multiplying. There may be other things to pick this season but it won’t be quite the same.

Here’s a post from two years ago that Josh wrote about tomato season:

Little did all those athletes know…

10 Aug

Who needs performance enhancing drugs? Just eat beets!

A recent study conducted in the UK suggests that nitrates found in beets can improve stamina and allow people to exercise longer without getting tired. I thought this article was fascinating and just wanted to share.

Someone needs to tell Popeye – the days of canned spinach are in the past. Beet juice is the way to go!

NOFA Conference and Beating the Blight

7 Aug

Today I stumbled upon some information about the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Summer Conference. It’s happening this weekend at UMass Amherst. As far as I can tell it’s not too late to register. Sounds like they will have a weekend full of interesting workshops and speakers plus dancing and programs for kids. A wide variety of topics will be covered for everyone from experienced farmers to backyard bumblers.

Check out their site for more information:

Also – for anyone interested in learning more about the terrible potato and tomato blight that is affecting our area (I talked about this a little bit in an earlier post), the public is invited to a discussion on Sunday. It will take place at 10:00 a.m. at UMass in the Student Union Ballroom. Click here to find out more:

A New Beginning

30 Jul

After a not so brief hiatus, I’ve decided it’s finally time to resurrect our poor neglected blog. Some of you may be wondering what happened. The answer is I was busy cooking up something special. Let me introduce you to our newest Kitchen Dancer (who is actually more of a Kitchen Crawler at this point): Toby Carlson Stearns.

With a new baby on the scene I of course have been busy dealing with a big adjustment in my life and unfortunately have not done much exciting cooking for quite a few months.  But now with farm season in full swing I am feeling a bit more inspired to spend some quality time in the kitchen. I’ve been pulling out some old favorite recipes and discovering some new ones in addition to making lots and lots of homemade baby food.

Coming soon:

I have some great recipes (complete with photos!) I look forward to sharing with you.

Musing on making baby food.

The next RecipeHacker challenge.

Plus lots more. Stay tuned!

Work and Food

31 May

Last fall I traded some homemade salsa with one of my coworkers for a dozen eggs from her hens. This year we are taking staff trips to the local farmers market in the middle of the day, and bragging about whose CSA was what available each week. It has been a lovely way to get to know the people I work with everyday through our common connections to local places and local food.

Reading this blog post from the Official Google blog, I got thinking about the intersection of where we work and how we eat. Here is a snippet from the Google post: Continue reading

Food Songs, part three

19 May

I was first introduced to these two traditional songs via the Nields, who were featured in our last Food Songs post. Notice how food in these songs is taken out of the purely human context and interwoven with the surrounding environment. So much of our food is removed from the natural world around us, these songs are good reminders of the nature of our meals.

Oh, John the Rabbit
Traditional American Folk Song

Oh, John the rabbit, Yes, Ma’am
Got a mighty habit, Yes, Ma’am
Jumping in my garden, Yes Ma’am
Cutting down my cabbage, Yes Ma’am
My sweet potatoes, Yes Ma’am
My fresh tomatoes, Yes Ma’am Continue reading

Quick Bites – Veggie Soul Food

21 Oct

While in Chicago I stumbled upon a Quizno sub shop that had been turned into a vegetarian and vegan soul food sub shop. With hip hop on the radio and 15 different flavors of soy they were pioneering a whole new kind of hoggie in this deli. If you are in Chicago be sure to check out this cool little shop in Hyde Park. Check out more about vegetarian soul food here:

Food Photography, part 2

28 Sep

This is the second in a series of posts on food photography. This week I want to feature someone very different from the last photography post. In the pictures posted here, Craig van der Lende combines wonderful food photography with a sense of whimsy and creativity with props, settings, and generally, by putting food in action. These are not so much still portraits of vegetables, but rather cleverly captured moments in time.

Please go check out van der Lende’s website at to see more of his wonderful photos. Click on to see a few more on this site… Continue reading