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Cheap & Tasty
Pumpkin Ginger Smoothie (made with pumpkin scrapings)

Pumpkin Ginger Smoothie (made with pumpkin scrapings)

Pumpkin cooking 101: first you scrape out the seeds and all the stringy stuff, right? Well…that’s what every recipe I have read says, with the exception of one. A few years back my sister gave me a book originally printed in 1833, The American Frugal Housewife.  I love reading old cookbooks; even if the recipes...
Creepy Coconut Kiwi Panna Cotta

Creepy Coconut Kiwi Panna Cotta

I’m usually not one for gore. I hate scary movies (almost always). But if there was ever a time for a little gross-out fun it is October. And I’m not such a scrooge that I can’t enjoy a little Halloween silliness. So why not make a good dish, while you’re at it? The elements of...
Popcorn pop-up cards

Popcorn pop-up cards

Popcorn is definitely a rock star in the world of thrifty foods. It’s quick to prepare, it’s super-cheap and (depending on what you add to season it) it can be pretty virtuous in the nutrition front, too. Oh, and it is also delicious. Once you start buying microwave popcorn bags, though, these virtues evaporate. The...
3 Simple Tangy Creamy Popsicles

3 Simple Tangy Creamy Popsicles

I’m usually not one to be lazy in the kitchen. But even I can admit that there are times when it is just too blasted hot to cook. Too hot to turn on a burner, too hot to run the dishwasher, and too hot to eat pretty much anything that isn’t a frozen. Enter: popsicles....
Luminous Watermelon Salad

Luminous Watermelon Salad

  This week, I’ve created a refreshing, chilled summer salad that is visually striking in both daylight and in ultraviolet light. And though the plating makes it look complicated, the elements are incredibly simple. Cucumber and watermelon, when they are cut carefully, look like precious little crystalline gems. The tonic granita is unusual for a...
Lavender Blueberry Semifreddo

Lavender Blueberry Semifreddo

We’re right smack dab in the middle of blueberry season. And though they look blue when you pick them, a few minutes of simmering turns those blueberries unmistakeably purple.  I love using fragrant lavender as a seasoning (also in season now), but enough lavender to color this dish would have made it inedible. Luckily for...
Turmeric Ginger Beer

Turmeric Ginger Beer

Ginger beer originated sometime around the year 2000. It first started popping up in health food stores and then quickly spread to more mainstream food purveyors. Oh, wait. That’s how I learned about ginger beer, not how it was created. The real story behind ginger beer is much longer and more interesting. Ginger beers are...
Curried Coconut Ice Cream with Mango Chutney

Curried Coconut Ice Cream with Mango Chutney

Week two of working through the spectrum. Time for an orange recipe! If you think that curry doesn’t belong anywhere near your dessert, than think again. For this recipe I made a curry blend that matches perfectly with rich, creamy coconut milk.  And the orange in this recipe? Carrots! Cooked carrots are pureed adding color,...
Yucatan Style Roasted Trout

Yucatan Style Roasted Trout

  Whenever anyone travels abroad and asks if I’d like a souvenir, I always ask for the same thing: whatever the  specialty seasoning is from that region. So when my boyfriend returned from a research trip to the Yucatan, he brought me two little packets of achiote paste. I had heard of annato, and knew...
Olive Oil Granola

Olive Oil Granola

Premium granola makers seem to be popping up like morels after a spring rain. And these fancy-pants granolas do have some benefits to tout. Interesting flavor combinations and top-notch ingredients make granolas in this style simultaneously decadent, wholesome and satisfying.  But a small bag of bakery-style granola can set you back six or seven bucks–...
White Bean Spread

White Bean Spread

Now I like hummus as much as the next gal, but hummus isn’t the only way to turn cooked beans into a tasty puree. White beans have an exceptionally creamy texture, but a more delicate flavor than chick peas. And since the beans will be pureed, you don’t need to fuss over the white beans...
Carrot Pie

Carrot Pie

My first pie of spring will be rhubarb custard, but those little rhubarb shoots are taking their sweet time, irrespective of my whining.  Where to look for pie inspiration when relegated to last year’s apples and root vegetables?  I ran across a turn of the century recipe that suggested using carrots to make pie, much...