How To & DIY
Homemade Herbal Sodas
Whether you call it pop, soda or a soft drink, today’s popular sweetened carbonated beverages aren’t what they started out to be. Traditional recipes for drinks like root beer, vanilla cream soda and cherry and ginger ales were made from extracts of flavorful botanicals and were often offered in pharmacies for their reputed health benefits.
Flavored Butters & Oils
Spice-flavored butters and oils are the magic wands of cookery, instantly turning a simple plate of vegetables or a ho-hum grain entrée into a gourmet dish. You’d think this enchantment would be harder to come by, but delicious butters and oils are very simple to make, keep for weeks in the refrigerator, and can be whipped up with whichever of the following ingredients you happen to have on hand! Recipes You don’t need a recipe to make flavored butters and oils, but here’s a handful for inspiration: Lemony Pasta Butter Place a big dab of this flavorful butter on hot pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan and coarsely ground pepper, and you’ve created a delightful main dish! It’s also terrific on baked potatoes.
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.
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.
Cooking with Cinnamon
What's the difference between cinnamon and cassia? While the names cinnamon and cassia are often used interchangeably—and the plants are related—there are botanical and practical differences. Cassia is reddish-brown and pungently sweet; it's grown primarily in China, the Indonesian islands and Vietnam.
Cobblers, Crisps & Pies
We take the match for granted now, but whoever first thought of pairing sweetened fruit with delectable pastry was a culinary genius. Whether you enjoy creating fancy piecrusts or prefer to drop dollops of pastry atop your fruit filling, there's a pastry/fruit dessert that's just right for you.
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.
How To Make Curry
Curry is much more than a single bottled spice blend. Explore how to make curry, what it is and where it comes from in this basic guide.
Where else but a place considered the quintessential paradise would you expect to find the perfect cuisine? In Caribbean cooking, warm spices like ginger and anise play with the cool freshness of native fruits like pineapple, lime and papaya. The flavors and colors of earthy chilies, cumin, and annatto enliven white grains, black beans and tropical seafood like shrimp and lobster.
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.