How To & DIY
Chipotle flavor is wildly popular — in everything from burritos to barbecue sauce — but do you know what it is, exactly? A chipotle is a fully ripe, smoke-dried jalapeno pepper. (Now you see where that mysteriously rich, sweet and smoky hot — but not too hot — flavor comes from.
Exotic and delicately beautiful, the hibiscus plant is a tall, erect annual cultivated in the tropics and subtropics. There are over 300 species of hibiscus, including Hibiscus abelmoschus (musk-mallow), H.
A hardy, cheery perennial, the dandelion arrives in early spring, thriving in wet or dry, shady or sunny locations (though it basks in the sun). You’ll find it gracing pastures, wastelands, and, of course, lawns.
Herbal vinegars are easy to make and versatile. Use them in the kitchen in everything from dressings to desserts, as well as outside the kitchen for toiletries and cleaning.
Summer gardens (and farmers' markets!) deliver delicious fresh produce suitable for the day's grill or canning stint -- but fall's harvest is where we look for vegetables that are "good keepers." Root vegetables like beets, parsnips, turnips, and Jerusalem artichokes; hardy cabbages; and winter squash and pumpkins all, under the right conditions, will store well.
The Popularity of Pepper
If we had to select just one spice to flavor our food, pepper, “the master spice,” would be a wise choice. Always the world’s most important spice—at one time worth its weight in gold—pepper accounts for about 35% of the total world trade in spices today.
Dyeing Easter Eggs Naturally
If you're decorating eggs in celebration this Easter, engage nature in the process this year and avoid synthetic dyes. Ingredients like herbs and spices offer an endless variety of hues for dyeing eggs -- from the soft purple shades of hibiscus to the rich gold tones of turmeric.
All About Vanilla
Vanilla is perhaps the most indispensible flavoring in any kitchen! Learn how vanilla beans are grown and pollinated and how to choose and store vanilla beans.Remarkably aromatic, delightfully sensuous.
Learn About Lavender
Fields of purple/blue plants sway to the horizon on an English lavender farm. At home, tidy dresser drawers cradle lavender sachets amidst favorite lingerie, and aptly colored lavender soap evokes memories of grandmother.
DIY Spice Blends
Gift baskets are popular presents because they are useful and easy to give, but they also can be predictable. You can do much better than putting together the ubiquitous basket of fruit, nuts and preserves or soup, cake and cookie mixes in jars for your food-loving friends.