TGIF Cocktail Hour :: Citrus & Mint Fizz

It’s FRIDAY! Time to squeeze some fresh citrus, bust out the cocktail shaker and invite a few friends over to unwind. No need to make it a big project, or turn it into a long night, but with TGIF Cocktail Hour, I invite you to slow down, socialize and sip.

I’m starting this series with………stopyellingatme……….a non alcoholic beverage. Of course, you can mix some vodka or gin in here if so inclined, but truly – this drink stands on it’s own and feels every bit as decadent without the addition of booze.

© Esra Paola Crugnale | Dreamstime Stock PhotosAt any party, I like to offer a non-alcoholic drink that is every bit as festive as a fancy cocktail or wine. I’ve been making this one for years after seeing a version in the New York Times holiday section. For this fizz-filled drink, a heavily spiced syrup is added to fresh orange juice, along with a drop of peppermint oil, to make a perfect savory, refreshing drink. You can substitute half of the lime juice for lemon juice, or use all lemon juice if so desired. The syrup can be flavored with many other spice options–try allspice, fennel, or even a red chile for some heat. Make extra–most guests will choose this over Prosecco. Continue reading

House-Made Mayo :: a Novel Approach to Using Leftovers

Miller’s Guild Chef Mixes Up a House-Made Mayo 
(Originally published in Seattle Magazine, April 2014)
Chef/partner Jason Wilson turns waste into wonder with his signature condiment, Motoraioli   

Chef Jason Wilson grew up in a family of butchers, and as a kid in Minnesota, he relished the fatty, gnarly bit on the end of a roast. As a chef, he developed modern techniques and tastes, which are on display at Crush in Madison Valley, but with his newly opened Miller’s Guild downtown, he returns to a more visceral style.

Chef Jason Wilson_0414keyingredient

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Materials for Vegetable Beds – Is Treated Wood a No-No????

Spring has sprung and it seems like everyone is ready to hit the dirt, literally. This is the time of year when my garden business, GoGo Green Garden, really heats up (despite morning frosts) and everyone wants a garden RIGHT. NOW.

DIY Timber Raised Beds

Today, I consulted with a new client who has bed materials ready to go, but isn’t sure about their safety. She has a gorgeous stack of thick, old fir beams that were treated way back when when arsenic and other chemicals were freely used. In 2003, the EPA banned the sale of treated lumber, which contained CCA  (chromated copper arsenate), but today that aged wood is often found at construction sites and can be somewhat easily salvaged. Continue reading

5 for Friday :: Farmer D aka Daron Joffe

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

missionI met Farmer D several years ago at a friend’s wedding. I knew in advance we had SO much in common (us being urban farmers and all) that I offered to pick him up from the airport and drive him to the wedding venue out in Carnation. We’d never met before, but I was stoked to connect with a kindred spirit. So, there we were, two strangers who dig on urban farming, hanging out like old friends, and it’s pretty much been the same ever since. The love I have for this man is deep and feels old; I am pretty certain we’ve crossed paths in other lives. D is my hero, truly. Check this out………

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Miami Garden Party :: Grow! Grill! Garden!

Over the years, interest in urban gardening has continued growing and I’m thrilled to be part of a movement that gets people out in their gardens and into their yards to grow their own food. In my business, there are plenty of occasions I need extra materials – hoses, bamboo, timber for bed-building – and as a DIY guru, I pick up these supplies at my local Home Depot. (You can sign up for their educational garden club HERE.) It is this dedication to DIY gardening that inspired me to jump at the chance to participate in an upcoming event at a store in South Florida – the Miami Garden Party! This Thursday, join me and the Home Depot Garden Club – an amazing resource for any gardener, from confused beginners to adept green thumbs. The event boasts several DIY gardening stations, a Q&A with vendors (garden expert Jim Cunneen & event … Continue reading

Best Salads in Seattle

Amy PenningtonIt’s not easy being green. Literally. Yesterday, after another lack luster salad selection while out to lunch, I took to the airways and posted a note about my abhorrence of “mixed green salad.” You know the one – a small plate full of simply dressed greens that look like the mixed salad bag from Trader Joe’s. I hate those salads, truly. To me, they are the ultimate intimation of either a lazy chef or passionless chef.

Am I being judgmental? Yes, of course, and listen….. I know that it is tough stuff to run a kitchen, work your rear off and not make a lot of money. But I also know (know!) it takes so little effort to make a nutritious, green salad that tastes great. Take, for instance, Continue reading