December 18, 2014

Chocolate Salami!

I realize the name of this recipe may be alarming to some. But have no fear, no salami was used in the making of this salami. Nope, this here salami log is pure chocolate goodness peppered with more goodness, such as candied ginger, pistachios, amaretti cookies, etc.

If you're looking for a great DIY gift, this one is a charmer. Dust it in icing sugar, tie it up with twine like a proper salami roll and give it to your favorite chocolate lover.

You can find my recipe over here at PBS Food.

And if you are in need of another chocolatey DIY gift idea… here is my chocolate truffles recipe. Truffles are incredibly easy to make and a box of homemade ones makes a perfect present, especially for those people on your list who have you scratching your head for gift ideas.

Here's wishing you a very chocolatey holiday season! (unless you don't like chocolate, of course)

December 02, 2014

25 Holiday Gifts for the Farm-to-Table Foodie

These gifts stand out to me because they are at least one, if not all of the following: a) super useful to have in your kitchen b) exceedingly delicious c) made by artisans or small businesses, d) ecologically-minded to make your kitchen a greener place, or e) just very very nifty! Of course, the best gifts for the food lover are often homemade. And there are many great sources of DIY edible gift inspirations out there, from this one to this one. I have a couple ideas coming your way soon too. But for now, this is my list of gifts that have been DIY-ed by someone else. Enjoy!


1. Hand-printed organic cloth napkins 
I am totally in love with the gorgeous hand-printed organic cotton napkins made by the cool cats at Oh Little Rabbit. (Check out their adorable printed baby onesies too!)

2. Organic cotton hand-printed tea towels
While we're on the topic of table linens, you have to check out Madder Root's beautiful tea towels and re-usable produce bags.

3. Beeswraps
These make the best stocking stuffers ever! Beeswraps are an all-natural alternative to plastic wrap made with organic cotton dipped in beeswax. You can wrap food in them, keeping things fresh and sealed. Simply wash, dry, and re-use again.

4. The Taproot Magazine 2015 calendar
Enter the magical world of artist Phoebe Wall with this handmade calendar that will make you want to grow your own food and move to the country if you haven't already. (A subscription to the magazine makes a pretty fabulous gift too).

5. Cloud-shaped Cookie Cutter
Yes, these are for reals (and hand-crafted). For the dreamer and cookie baker you love.

6. Ten Thousand Villages Fair-Trade Foodie Gifts
When you give a Ten Thousand Villages gift, you know your money is going directly to small-scale producers and cooperatives in developing countries. Check out their foodie gifts like organic fair-trade spices, coffee, chocolate, dried fruit, olive oil, and so much more…

7. Teak Measuring Spoons
I have a set of these (sometimes I kiss them)

8. Organic Spice Blends
These spice blends are so delicious! You'll want to sprinkle them on everything.

9. Fat Toad Farm Goat's Milk Caramel Sauces
You will never ever eat a more delicious thing. Give a jar to your best friend and then invite yourself over.

10. Magical Seed Print from The Greenhorns
The first time I saw this print on my farming mentor's wall, I immediately went on an online hunt to track it down and buy a copy for my seed nerd sweetheart.

11. Organic TAZA Chocolate Sampler Gift Set
For the chocolate addict. We all know one of those.

12. Mini Dolfin Chocolates Assortment Box
Since we're on the topic of chocolate… one of my all-time favorite chocolate-makers. Try all the flavors! 

13. Cooking With Flowers
For the flower gardener. This book is pure magic. Pure magic.


14. Artisan Salt Collection
These guys also do an Applewood Smoked Salt that is to die for.

15. Personalized, Embossing Rolling Pins
You will never look at pie or cookie dough the same way again. Seriously.

16. Handmade Ceramics Coffee Cone by ANK Ceramics
For the coffee lover (like my dad who still uses a 20-year old battered plastic coffee cone). Time for a style upgrade!

17. A Goat from Oxfam
You can't go wrong with this gift. Obviously your friend doesn't get the goat, but someone in Mozambique will and it could change their life.

18. Handmade Farm Animal Measuring Spoon Set
Cuteness overload.

19. Microgreen sprouting kit
Give the gift of year-round homegrown micro-greens! It doesn't get much more local than grown right on your windowsill, plus you get to eat nutrient-packed adorable miniature baby greens all winter long.

20. "From the Garden of" Personal Embosser with Stand
So these may seem a bit frivolous (in fact they are probably a good candidate for the Williams Sonoma Hater's Guide), but damn do I ever want one. And I bet every single canner out there does as well. You will likely reap the rewards of this gift in jams and pickles.

21. Lovely boiled-wool hat by Julie Sinden Handmade
Ok fine, this has nothing to do with food, other than the maker of these hats makes the most delicious cakes I've ever tasted. (Also boiling wool is kind of like cooking). So go buy a hat, they are all stunningly beautiful, and handmade with 100% merino wool (and recycled fur).


22. Felted Cat Cave
I'm now completely off-topic. But cats need presents too. And what self-respecting cat wouldn't love to receive their very own felted cave for Christmas?!

Aaaand back to food... 

23. Excalibur Food Dehydrator
For the gardener / homesteader, this is a must. Think homemade fruit leather, dried apples, berries, vegetables… endless options.

24. KoMo Grain Mill
Give the baker in your life the gift of fresh-milled flour. Once you've tasted fresh-milled, there's no going back.

25. Beeswax Candles from Pollen Arts
These guys make the most beautiful beeswax candles ever. Anyone receiving a set of these would be the luckiest duck in the world.

That's it! Now what cool gift ideas have I forgotten?? Please tell me in the comments below!

Happy Holiday Season you all!

November 29, 2014

Leftover Turkey Skillet Shepherd's Pie and a holiday Giveaway!

If your household is swimming in turkey and mashed potatoes leftovers, here's an easy meal to prepare with what remains of Thanksgiving dinner.

Make it and bake it right in the skillet, doesn't get much easier than that! Find my recipe here on PBS Food.

And with Thanksgiving behind us and December just around the corner, I've got a wonderful giveaway for you, generously provided by the lovely folks at Nature's Path. This giveaway features Nature's Path Feel Good Holiday Gift Box which includes $50-worth of goodies including their amazing Love Crunch Gingerbread Granola, their super addictive Chia Coconut Granola, and tons more yummies that will bring some tasty and healthy holiday cheer to your kitchen table. 

PLUS, in this lovely gift box, you'll find everything you need to create these 3 super duper DIY edible holiday gifts (click on the links for the recipes):

Chocolate Gingerbread Crunch Cookies-Mason Jar Cookie Mix: Give someone the gift of a beautiful, ready to mix cookie recipe, all in a mason jar. 

Sweet Popcorn Seasoning Pack: If you’re looking for an easy-to-make, but always well-received gift, these popcorn seasoning jars are perfect.

Gingerbread Crunch Brittle: The most heart-felt gifts are homemade. In just 20 minutes, this brittle recipe can be made and put aside for either snacking or giving to loved-ones. Add a little ribbon to a mason jar and give out to your party guests. 

Nature's Path is a family-owned business that is certified organic as well as non-GMO verified. I love their products and this is a giveaway I'm proud to host! As an aside, when food companies approach me to host giveaways or endorse their products, I always do a quick bit of research on them and usually I say no, because so many food manufacturers out there, even the so called "natural" ones are actually owned by bigger corporations whose food philosophies I don't wish to support. For instance, Annie's is now owned by General Mills, Kashi is owned by Kellogg's (which has been donating lots of money against GMO labelling initiatives in various states, paying for misleading ads to scare people into thinking food prices will skyrocket if GMOs are labeled (which has been shown to be false). In the world we live in, it's really hard to find truly sustainable food products made by companies who actually stand by their values. Nature's Path is one such company. So I hope you'll enjoy this fun giveaway, you can enter right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A lucky winner will be chosen and announced on December 6th! Eligible to US and Canadian residents only. Good luck and Happy Holiday Season!!