Getting Busy With The Fizzy :: Homemade Cocktails with SodaStream Play

sodastreamIn the latter half of the 18th century, carbon dioxide was introduced into water creating soda water or seltzer. (Interesting food fact – the origin of the name seltzer hails from water that had natural effervescence and came from the town of Nieder Selters in Germany.) Today, anyone can make fizzy water at home and can vary the degree of the fizz and the amount of bubbles in each glass. Personalizing soda water may sound a bit bourgeois, but I liken myself to a soda water connoisseur and find most people have a preference. I like a slight, small bubble. My sister’s family prefers big, round bubbles that explode in the mouth. All five of my nieces and nephews are soda water snobs – slightly flat and they turn up their nose.

I’ve been coveting a SodaStream  for years and finally got my hands on my very own machine. Continue reading

Fall Planting, Pacific Northwest

blueberriesAutumn is an excellent time to think about adding to your homes landscape. While vegetable gardens are transitioning to fall crop, Autumn is a great time to plant shrubs and perennials – the soil is still warm, while the cool temperatures and rain provide perfect growing conditions that support root growth. Plants will thrive come spring!

I just found out that neighborhood nursery, Swanson’s in Ballard is having an amazing sale on trees, shrubs and perennials just now – 30% off until September 30th. They have a large selection of blueberry bushes and some gorgeous low-growing native flowering plants, like these gorgeous hellebores. And check out this stunning Continue reading

Garden to Glass :: An Evening of Botanical Cocktails & Herb Inspiration at Swanson’s Nursery

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 9.32.04 AMHey Seattle – do you have plans this Thursday?!! The weather has been so lovely and summer is here in all her glory, so it’s time to get outside and get growing in the gardens. Come join me this Thursday at Swanson’s Nursery for an exclusive INVITE ONLY EVENT, where I’ll be shaking up a refreshing & herbaceous beverage and signing copies of Fresh Pantry! Get your personal invite here.

Over the years, interest in urban gardening has continued to grow 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. Even more thrilled when they love to cook with it! Come learn how to maximize your herb garden and make use of those prolific perennial plants. Continue reading

Grow With Us Project :: Swanson’s Nursery

GWU_heroimageAs you know, I’ve started working with Swanson’s Nursery to help highlight their offerings and remind people to get out in their yards and grow something this year. The beautiful thing about Swanson’s, outside the gorgeous grounds and their many plant offerings, is the resource their staff offers – they all have wisdom and ideas about how best to plant damn near anything.

This year, they’re trying something new and recently launched the “Grow With Us” project – an innovative new way to connect with customers and offer advice and ideas. Continue reading

May Day :: Make This Your Year to Garden + Awesome News

Happy May Day! I’m thrilled to announce a new garden partnership that I hope will get everyone out in their yards and loving their gardens. As an apartment dweller, I’m always jealous of my friends that have yards while simultaneously befuddled at their lack of interest in making the plantings AWESOME. Too many of you buy a house and stick with the existing landscape & plants – let’s switch it up! For the next several weeks, I’ve aligned myself with Swanson’s Nursery in Crown Hill in order to highlight their plant offerings and take advantage of their expertise. I’ve been shopping at Swanson’s for about 14 years now, and they are my most trusted source for both healthy plants and growing information. [Like this brilliant harvesting & pruning tip, here.] When I first moved into my apartment 14 years ago (yup – same apartment I’m in now!) I was coming from … Continue reading

Giving New Meaning to “Wine and Dine”

Barley RisottoHow to Enjoy a nice, vintage wine not just with your meals, but in them.

Adding wine to cooking is no big trick – people have been using wine in meals for years. Think Coq Au Vin and you’re in the ballpark. I’m often asked what wines are best for cooking. If a recipe calls for a ‘dry white’ wine, which is best to use? As a rule of thumb, the better the wine, the better the outcome and flavor of the final dish. Using vintage wines will upgrade a nice and freshly prepared meal into something luxurious.

Continue reading

Best Garden Boots Ever

Bog bootsI was graced with a pair of Bogs boots in early fall. Bogs are known as the one-stop shop for farmers everywhere, and the shoes are an agricultural must. I was really looking forward to using them this spring, but I had the chance to break them in early this past December when I wore them to a Tuna Tinning. That’s right, tuna tinning – 1050 pounds of albacore tuna and about 25 people working in tandem to break it down and preserve it. Brilliant. Continue reading