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Hot Cider Toddy Recipe

Category : Beverages, Holidays, November, Recipes

Hot Apple Cider ToddyThis recipe is inspired by fresh apple cider from BelleWood Acres. However, it also includes a beverage experiment I tried several years ago.

I was living in a cabin with a huge walnut tree just outside the door. Every year, I’d watch for the walnuts to ripen, but every year I’d awaken one morning to the sound of blue jays. That was the day the walnuts would all be gone. The jays were faster than me when the walnuts were ripe.

One year I read about an Italian liqueur called nocino, which is made from green walnuts steeped in vodka for a couple of months, sometimes with added herbs and spices. At last! I’d found a way to enjoy at least some of the walnuts before the jays ate them.

At first, the nocino I made tasted bitter, but everything I read said the flavor would get better with age (as in years). It did.  Continue Reading

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Second Kindle E-book: Vegetarian Holiday Menu Plan

Category : December, Menu Ideas, November, Whatcom Locavore Products

2012 Holiday Dinner Menu Plan - VegetarianAmazon.com now is offering the vegetarian version of my 2012 Holiday Dinner Menu Plan as a Kindle book. This is for lacto-ovo-vegetarians, as the recipes do use eggs and dairy products.

Holiday highlights often involve sharing meals with gatherings of loved ones in our lives that we may not see as often as we’d like. We want dinners we prepare to be delightful taste experiences, but we don’t want to spend all our time in the kitchen in the process. We want to be free to spend time visiting and relaxing with our friends and family. Continue Reading

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First Whatcom Locavore E-book Launched Today!

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Category : December, Menu Ideas, November, October, Whatcom Locavore Products

2012 Holiday Menu Plan (Beef)We’re so excited! The first Whatcom Locavore Kindle book was just published last night! We took one of our Holiday Menu Plans (the beef version), removed some of the specific geographical information, and formatted it for the Kindle reader. As of this morning, if you search the Kindle Store for “holiday menus” we’re coming up first! The salmon and vegetarian versions will be coming next!

The book appears to be the only one available that is a complete plan for preparing a holiday dinner. Most holiday meal books are collections of recipes, but our book not only has recipes but a complete menu with shopping list and recommended preparation schedule. It’s the details for a stress-free holiday dinner, all in one package.

Purchases from Amazon by clicking here. These small books are a great gift idea, too!

Recipes have been fully tested and are guaranteed to deliver the “wow” factor in flavor, especially if you start with farm fresh locally grown ingredients. Cooking methods used are easy, and the suggested preparation schedule leaves plenty of time to visit and enjoy your guests.

Best of all, these recipes can be used together or individually anytime during the fall and winter when the ingredients used are readily available from Whatcom farmers at the Farmers Market.

Happy holidays and a ho ho ho from our home to yours!

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Stress-free Holiday Entertaining

Category : Holidays, Menu Ideas, November

Vegetable Beef SoupIf you’re the cook in the family, thoughts of holiday entertaining may generate ambivalent feelings. On the one hand, hosting family and friends for a festive occasion is a special pleasure. On the other hand, it can also seem like a daunting amount of work in a season when time is already stretched thin with decorating, gifting, guests, and travel. How to resolve this conflict? Let me pass on a solution that has worked well for me. Continue Reading

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Spicy Tomato Soup

Category : Holidays, November, Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Spicy Tomato SoupHere’s a simple, yet unique, tomato soup that I guarantee you will enjoy! It has a rich smokey flavor with just a hint of peppery heat. Continue Reading

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Variations on a Theme

Category : Menu Ideas, November

Variations on a Theme MenuHoliday get-togethers usually center around a meal, and potlucks are an easy way to spread out the work as well as enjoy new recipes. I’m always looking for ideas to fix a traditional dish in a new way for my potluck contributions. My goal is to satisfy those who aren’t comfortable venturing too far afield (gastronomically speaking) and also to stimulate those explorers who enjoy trying something different. A potluck dish also has to be easy to pack and carry, and preferably doesn’t require re-heating or fussing with before serving. Continue Reading

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Holiday Gratitude

Category : Menu Ideas, November

Holiday Gratitude MenuHolidays are upon us. Are you planning to serve dishes for all or part of your holiday meal with ingredients grown in Whatcom County? I’d like to give you some good reasons to do so: Continue Reading

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Local Holiday Menus Made Easy

Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, December, Farmers' Markets, Holidays, Main Dishes, Menu Ideas, November, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Farmers MarketIf you’ve been considering planning a locavore holiday menu this year but thought it might be too hard, I’ve found just the resource for you! Bellingham Farmers Market has made it as easy as can be. Here are two complete local holiday menus, one based on poultry and one vegetarian:

Holiday Menu and Recipes (with turkey or chicken)

Holiday Vegetarian Menu and Recipes Continue Reading

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Garden Cleanup

Category : Menu Ideas, November

Garden Cleanup MenuMy home garden has been taking care of itself for the past few weeks (insert ironic chuckle here) while I’ve been busy canning, pickling and freezing produce from other sources. Last weekend I finally ventured forth to see what had happened in my absence.

Let’s see, how can I emphasize this enough… CABBAGE had happened, and in a big way. There were three smallish heads, one large head, and one monster that weighed in at 10 pounds after cleaning and trimming. Continue Reading

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Northwest Mushroomers Show

Category : Menu Ideas, November, Related Organizations, Wildcrafting

Northwest Mushroomers Association - Edible MushroomsFor 21 years, the Northwest Mushroomers Association has organized a annual public show of an enormous variety of local wild mushrooms. Since I’d never attended a mushroom show before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at Bloedel Donovan Park recently.

At the ticket table I was given a brochure to help me get oriented. I couldn’t miss the rows of tables down the center of the room containing the specimens (see photos I took), but other features weren’t as obvious. For example, experts were available at one table to help people identify wild mushrooms they’d found. Another table allowed people to try making spore prints, one of the most reliable methods of identifying mushroom genus. Continue Reading

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