Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two favorite pastimes: Book promotes food and shopping
If cooking and shopping are your hobbies, you’ll devour “EatingWell in Season: The Farmer’s Market Cookbook.” I already praise the magazine and I’ve bookmarked the Web site. Readers can refer to it year-round to remind themselves to eat fresh and healthy and even economically from what’s in season. It encourages shopping at local produce markets and has meet-the-farmer info boxes. I can’t say enough good things about this book and here’s a shout-out to all you local tomato and zucchini growers: Keep me in mind when you’ve eaten your fill and need to share your bounty.
Here’s what to look for now and soon, followed by recipes on mixing them up:
Spring: Apricots, artichoke, asparagus, dandelion greens, mango, new potatoes, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, strawberries, sugar snap peas, watercress.
Summer: Blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green beans, okra, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, zucchini.

Mango-Radish Salsa
3 cups diced mango, about 2 large ones
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced radishes ( about 1 bunch)
Toss mangos, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a bowl.
Stir in radishes just before serving.
Makes 8 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Tomato & Green Olive Salsa
1 1/4 pounds diced tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1 bunch sliced scallions
1/4 cup hot pepper relish
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine ingredients. Makes 14 servings, 1/4 cup each.

Puffed up
Easy in concept, yet tedious in application, puff pastry is one of my all-time favorites. I learned how to butter and layer the sheets, but you have to be quick and skilled to make a presentation. It tastes good even if your project appears amateurish.
Pepperidge Farm’s mini shells, in a box from the frozen food section, make bites of heaven all-to-easy to access. Jasmine made them for Mother’s Day and actually brought the raw, flat form to the table of guests because she was so impressed by how unusual they looked before rising into wee, puffy cups. We were impressed when tiny, flaky, buttery shells arrived at the table with berries and cream.
Bake them up and fill with whatever you like. I love that they’re versatile enough to switch from chocolate and fruit to sausage and cheese.

Spice it up
Herbs had me at flavor. McCormick’s Spices for Health site has info that may be new to you. A 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves has as many antioxidants as 3 cups fresh spinach, 1 teaspoon curry powder has as many as a 1/2 cup red grapes and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon has as many as a 1/2 cup of blueberries.
• Perk up your morning coffee by sprinkling 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon over ground coffee before brewing.
• For ginger lemonade, add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger to 1 quart freshly-squeezed lemonade.

She’s so sweet
There’s a contest to guess the first name of Mrs. Butterworth, of the syrup Butterworths. Visit by July 17 to enter.
She has been in a Nirvana song, Kanye West song, the New York Times crossword puzzles, episodes of” Friends” and “Samantha Who,” and a Geico commercial. There’s a sweet $500 prize.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there, it's me, Mrs. Butterworth! Thank you for mentioning my contest, dear. I'd love it ever so much if you'd follow me on Twitter @MrsButterworth or on my Facebook fan page! Have a good day!