Sipping chocolate & chocolate chili ~ Cocoa Bella

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Last night we actually watched the Oscars. The whole thing. Until midnight. That was mostly because my husband knew he had a snow day in the bag for today, and I needed something for my eyeballs to do while I packed up the house. (Yes, we are moving this coming weekend to a different house … Continue reading

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Green-ish smoothies & powerhouse turmeric

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I’ve been doing a lot of blending lately. It’s the time of year to take healthy things and make them palatable enough that maybe, just maybe, you’ll keep eating them past January 31st. And if the breakfast smoothie weren’t the best idea ever invented in that category, then I don’t know what is (wait, are … Continue reading

Crosscountry Christmas (& a book worth reading)

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After driving from Virginia to Kansas (a mere 20-hour, two-day excursion) to drop off the dog at “grandmas,” then flying to El Paso, Texas, for my brother-in-law’s wedding, then back to Kansas, then driving back to…. well you get the point. ‘Twas a lovely wedding though…   And a lovely Christmas! We’re back in Virginia … Continue reading

Thanksgiving prep: The Big Bird Decision

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Thanksgiving. I really like everything about the word, the holiday, the thought of a day centered on cooking and eating and family and thanking the good Lord. So imagine my delight when I was able to convince one set of my parents to come hither to Virginia for this year’s holiday! (Are you imagining it? … Continue reading

A Preservation Party

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If I haven’t convinced you yet that ANYONE can can, maybe this will do the trick. Or perhaps the giant spread in the Post’s Food section today about the glories of food preservation. Or perhaps you just like Pinterest-ready photos of canned jars? Well here are some from a little Labor Day canning party we … Continue reading

#Canning summer’s bounty: up to my elbows in peach jam & tomato sauce

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It’s 9 o’clock on a Wednesday night, and I’m elbow deep in peach juices, trying to recall the satisfying feeling I felt a week before when I sealed off the last few jars of tomato sauce. This time, it’s peaches. Millions of peaches, it seems. I’m not even halfway through my half bushel (it didn’t … Continue reading

Papalo: a new-to-me herb & salsa recipe

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Papalo. I saw a bunch of this stuff at Farmer Jesus’ table at the market recently and I couldn’t resist. I always ask him what he does with things, only to remember that he’s basically too busy farming to cook much. So then he tells me what other customers tell him they do with it. … Continue reading

Kombucha Culture: the how & why of fermented tea

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We’ve taken the leap… We brewed tea. But not just any tea. Tea that has since been sitting in a 2-gallon jar with a SCOBY, fermenting into a glorious beverage called kombucha. While I’ve known about kombucha for a while and relied on its probiotic benefits after returning from overseas trips, the drink was new … Continue reading

Fighting the Summer Sweet Tooth with a Recipe I’ve Loved All Year

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We somehow ended up with a boatload of bananas this week. Call it an online order gone wrong — or right. It’s a good thing I happen to find bananas extremely handy. I tend to keep a cluster of them in the freezer for smoothies and another on the counter, just waiting for them to … Continue reading

Too many vegetables, too little time

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You know, working from home as a food, etc. journalist can be a conflict of interest. In theory, I have the flexibility to take my time mid-morning at the Wednesday farmers market, perusing, chatting, “researching,” if you will. I have conducted interviews for stories while getting my groceries, but I’ve also gotten carried away and … Continue reading

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