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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Food, Home & Garden

Quick breads: Tomato, bacon, lemon-blueberry and more (08/17/14)
Quick breads are not only easy to make, but they are tasty and nice to have in the freezer for drop-in company or to take along to a carry-in dinner or potluck meal. Quick breads can be savory or sweet, light or a little dense in texture, but all are delicious...
Taking Root: Growing mums and asters that last (08/17/14)

Don't wait until November to plant mums and asters. Buy them now or by mid-September, and plant them in your landscape. These fall bloomers need to have their roots growing and become established before cold weather. A few years ago I received a letter from a reader of this column. As I began to open the envelope, I thought to myself, "this is neat. I am getting a letter from a reader who is going to tell me how much he/she appreciates my column."...

Celebrate season with triple-tomato salad (08/10/14)
At the peak of ripeness, an in-season tomato is one of the things that makes life worth living. Happily, that season is upon us. And this recipe is my ode to that summer tomato. All kinds of tomatoes are at the best just now, big and small, beefsteak and cherry. At the base of this salad are sliced beefsteak tomatoes, which are topped with chopped small tomatoes and drizzled with a tomato-based vinaigrette...
The popular BLT, but leaving the bread in the wrapper (08/10/14)
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches have to be one of the most popular, if not the most popular sandwich, in America. Well, maybe second only to the hamburger. We sure indulge in plenty of them during this time of year, when fresh tomatoes are ripe and delicious off the vine...
Salsa that needs no tomatoes, no chopping (08/10/14)
We generally assume two things about salsa that we shouldn't. First, that it must involve tomatoes. Second, that the ingredients should be chopped. Because while chopped tomato salsas are delicious, you don't want those to be your only experience. There are so many other delicious ways to enjoy fresh salsa...
Sweet summertime! Season of fresh and more fresh (08/03/14)
Summer brings an amazing abundance of produce that lasts such a short time. During this time, I try to use all I can in recipes to enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season. Today I am sharing with you just a few recipes that might have you thinking about ways you, too, can enjoy the season's bounty...
Rosés that won't make you blush (08/03/14)
Until lately I would never have been caught dead drinking rosé wine. Sure, I slurped my share of Lancer's and Mateus in college, but that was before I knew better and required what wine blogger Leah Odze Epstein calls wine with training wheels...
From the garden or farmers market, fresh is best (07/27/14)
Vegetables and herbs are at peak season right now, so use heartily and often. This amazing abundance from the garden or farmers market won't last long, so get it while you can. Fresh and delicious is best! This recipe calls for zucchini; you may use yellow squash or a combination of zucchini and squash...
Make-ahead frozen dishes emerge ready to serve (07/20/14)
I recently made an ice cream pie for a dessert to serve when we were entertaining company, and I realized how easy it was to prepare it ahead of time and have it ready to serve when I needed it. This got me thinking about some older recipes I used to make and freeze years ago...
Steak and cheese grinder recast as a pasta dinner (07/20/14)
Parents love back-to-school season because it gets the whole family back on a schedule. Parents hate back-to-school season because that schedule usually leaves too little time to get dinner on the table. And it usually takes a solid month of shakedown to work out the bugs in that schedule, sorting out which days leave time for a home cooked meal, and which simply demand take-out. ...
Broadleaf and grass pests challenge lawns (07/20/14)
Several lawn owners have recently contacted me about all of the weeds growing in their lawns. In many cases they treated their lawns with herbicides earlier in the season. So, what is going on? First let's consider broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, spurge, lespedeza and clover. When we have good growing temperatures, along with lots of moisture, these weeds tend to produce lots of seed or spread by runners -- which increases the weed population in your lawn...
Quite a variety of chips off the old block of chocolate (07/13/14)
My, how chips have changed the last couple of years. No, I don't mean potato chips, although that industry really has changed, too, I mean baking chips or baking morsels. I made Snickerdoodle quick bread last weekend using cinnamon baking chips, and in looking at that line of products in the store, it has really come a long way...
Dim sum in the land of barbecue (07/13/14)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the land of barbecue, there are other artery-challenging options beyond the slab. The weekend crowds at Bo Lings Chinese restaurant have long suggested that plenty of people in this barbecue fumes-driven metro often prefer their pork steamed amid shrimp in a dumpling, diced in rice noodles or laced with barbecue sauce and stuffed into a fluffy, white steamed bun...
Keeping things cool with a summer supper salad (07/06/14)
Hot summer days just seem to cry out for a cool summer salad for supper and some ice cream for dessert. Salads come in a variety of styles, so I decided to pass along a few recipes to you. You can serve as an entrée salad or small portions as a side salad with the entrée of your choice. Salads are so versatile, you can be creative, adding or deleting ingredients as you wish. Add ice cream from the recipes I am passing along to you, and you are set for a cool summer supper...
What's behind different floral scents (07/06/14)
Wave after wave of scent has filled the air since my garden awakened in spring. Most prominent have been the aromas from daffodil blossoms, plum, flowering currant, and now dame's rocket, pinks and roses. Of course, it's not for us that flowers waft those sometimes delectable aromas. Evolutionarily speaking, we don't return the favor with anything more than the carbon dioxide that we -- and all other animals -- breathe out, and that plants use for photosynthesis...
Ice cream pie, a marriage made in Hawaii (07/06/14)
On a recent trip to Hawaii, I fell in love with the sweet grace, the sensuous beauty, and the rich symbolism of the hula. Mind you, I'm not referring to the famous native dance, but to Hula Pie. Hula Pie is the signature dessert of Hawaii's TS Restaurant chain and originated at the company's first restaurant, Kimo's in Old Lahaina Town in Maui, which is where I was introduced to it...