Category Archives: Food + Garden

Recipes, growing techniques, and other food-related experiments

How to Make the BEST Vegan Cheese Sauce Ever (Feese!)

Mac 'n' Feese

Mac ‘n’ Feese

We have a tradition in this family of renaming vegetarian/vegan products with a sort of short-hand. If it’s fake chicken, it’s ficken; if it’s fake crab, it’s fab; fake bacon is fakin’.

We do this will all sorts of meat replacements. And… as my husband found out the hard way… one should not do this with duck, particularly in front of one’s 8-year old daughter. Fake duck = …. oops!

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Sloppy Bellas: A Vegan Version of Sloppy Joes!

Sloppy BellasOne of the things my husband and I have both noticed since changing our diet to full-on vegetarian (i.e., we eat no meat/flesh though we do still eat eggs, dairy, and honey) is that you start to miss certain things. Comfort foods. Childhood classics. Those hearty (often naughty) stick-to-your-ribs meals that feel like a real “treat.”

Which is why I was thrilled to discover a vegan take on the super-classic “sloppy joe” sandwich recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Quick-Fix Vegan, by Robin Robertson. It’s meaty, rich in flavor, and fully satisfying… and feels like a naughty indulgence rather than a healthy, meat-free meal!

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Homemade Cinnamon-Vanilla Peach Freezer Jam

Cinnamon-Vanilla Peach Freezer JamIn our house, the arrival of Fall also typically includes LOTS of pumpkin-influenced items. Pumpkin corn bread, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin muffins/cupcakes… even pumpkin dog treats if I am not too busy.

Thankfully, the jam I made at the height of peach season magically pairs perfectly with our various pumpkin-food incarnations. Like, crazy good.

Peaches can still be found in the stores – even organic ones – and so if you’re so inclined to grab a bundle and whip some of this homemade jam up, you’ll be super happy you did. And, since it’s a freezer/refrigerator jam, it’s quick to make and can last for 2 weeks in the fridge or up to a year frozen. What’s not to love?!

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Raspberry Peach Jam with Garam Masala

Raspberry Peach Jam with Garam MasalaEvery year, when peach season hits, I get insanely excited. I love them. So much. And we have our favorite stand at the farmers’ market from whom we love to buy peaches each year.

This year, I decided to go a little peach crazy. This ultimately yielded a lovely batch of canned peaches, some homemade Peach + Cinnamon Refrigerator Jam (which I froze), and today’s feature: Raspberry Peach Jam with Garam Masala.

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It’s working! (starting seedlings in eggshells)

eggshelltrays 001Wow! I didn’t expect to see confirmation of the effectiveness of this method so fast… but I’m already seeing my seedlings begin to sprout (after only 5 days)!

Little shoots and leaves of green are already peeking up. Now I wish I’d kept collecting eggshells so I could start yet another tray! Thought I’d share a little photo in case you were on the fence about whether or not to start your seedlings in eggshells. It really does work. Crazy.

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Starting Seeds the Cheap and Easy Way

Garden 2013Gardening is still a very new thing to me. I don’t consider myself particularly good at it, but last year we increased our beds, added a ton of berry plants, and got several indoor citrus plants as well. I grow food. I preserve food. It’s going well, though I’m always working to do more.

I knew this year I wanted to try starting plants from seed to get a jump on the growing season (our peppers never really made it last year given the crazy temps, and I’m sick of buying expensive, non-organic starters from Home Depot). Right now is the ideal time to start seeds in our neck of the woods.

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Bee a Hero: 6 Easy Ways to Save Your Pollinators

Lake County Beekeepers AssociationI went to an Introductory Beekeeping class this month, and it was AMAZING!! Offered by the Lake County Beekeepers Association, it was chock-full of information, useful strategies, history and biology, and specific steps for starting your own hives.

I left with the very firm conviction that I want to commit to beekeeping; however, with a daughter who is still hesitant, neighbors right next door who are somewhat nature-phobic, and still so much to learn… I’m okay taking one more year to plan carefully, feel fully prepared, and find a good home for my initial hives.

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