Friday, December 14, 2007

A local family eats off the grid

On the DC Urban Gardener website, there was an interesting article of a family that is eating almost completely off the grid. They grow most of their food in their back yard and at a nearby community garden. The family lives entirely off the garden from June through October. Proof it can be done folks!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Orzo with Pine Nuts, Olives and Artichokes

This is a simple weeknight meal that will leave you with some leftovers for lunch the next day. It makes about 4 meal-size servings.

3 cups orzo (cook according to package instructions)
6 tablespoons pine nuts
2 14oz cans of artichoke hearts
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped fresh italian parsley (flat-leaf)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup roughly chopped olives (mix of picholine, kalamata, etc)
grated raw milk manchego (optional)

Cook orzo according to instructions on box. Drain well.

Toast pine nuts in dry skillet. Remove to cool and coarsley chop.

Drain artichoke hearts and rinse. Cut each heart into quarters.

Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Add orzo, pine nuts, olives and artichokes into large bowl. Add parsley and lemon zest. Pour dressing on top and toss.

Put in serving bowls and grate fresh manchego on top.

(Adapted from Gourmet, May 2006)


Thinking of giving the gift of charity this year? Menu for Hope is having an online raffle with different culinary prizes. The big prizes this year are tours at the elBulli laboratory with Ferran AndriA, dining Brit-style on a meal prepared by Heston Blumenthal or having a lunch date with Harold McGee. Chez Pim is organizing this extraordinary event. The best part is that funds support the UN World Food Programme. WFP is the largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Programme helps the hungry become self-sufficient so that they can permanently escape hunger. The programs focus on buying food locally to support local farmers and the local economy.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lease a Goat!

If you love goat cheese as much as I do, you will be ecstatic about the prospect of leasing your own goat. You can get at 2008 Dairy Goat Lease for $49.95, or for an extra $5.00 you get an 'action photo'. Who the hell knows what that is, but I like it! Four weeks after you lease your goat, cheese will be delivered to your door. You will get progress reports from the farm. Rent Mother Nature is the company committed to leasing animals, trees and fields. They have created a unique path to supporting natural, organic agriculture on small family farms. If you don't have time to create a cookbook for someone (see previous post) then this is a great gift for the holidays!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Taste Book

I found a website where you can create your own cookbook. You can import recipes from if you have an account there or type in your own recipes. I have to say, this is a perfect holiday gift. Great website, great idea, great gift. You can pick your own cover, put pictures in with recipes and name your cookbook.