We all do our best to recycle, reduce and reuse year-round, but Earth Day (coming up on April 22) is a good reminder to think up additional ways to lessen our ecological footprints. (Take the Earth Day Network’s Ecological Footprint Quiz here to find out what impact your lifestyle has on the planet.)
Many small changes by individuals can amount to a big impact across the entire population. Keep reading for easy suggestions on how to reduce waste, save water, conserve energy and cut back on pollution. Continue reading
While the options for coloring and decorating eggs are endless, you always need to start with the same canvas: a hardboiled egg.
Here are a few tips to make sure your eggs come out perfect each time, whether you’re getting ready to decorate them for Easter or just have a craving for some egg salad:
- Use room temperature eggs (out of refrigeration for 1 hour).
- Use eggs that are a week old.
- Using a non-reactive pot prevents yolks from turning color.
- Boiling an egg starting in hot water or cold water? Epicurious says start in hot water!
- Fill a pot with enough water to cover at least an inch over top a single layer of eggs.
- Bring the pot of water to a boil, place an egg straight from the fridge into the boiling pot of water and immediately turn it down to a simmer.
- Timing is everything: Leave undisturbed for 4-14 minutes depending on how runny or firm you like the yolk and the size of the eggs. 4 minutes being really soft with a runny yolk and 14 minutes being completely hard boiled with a crumbly dry yolk. Remove the egg and immediately shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process. You may need to experiment a little to find the right timing for your favorite.
- Dry off boiled eggs with paper towels for a dry, clean surface.
Use a wax pen or crayons to draw or write on the eggs before coloring if desired. Now you are ready to color your eggs with your favorite kit or natural dyes!
One of our favorite spring flowers are Tulips, which are in full bloom just in time for Mother’s Day each year. Our selection of tulips is grown by Sun Valley Floral Farms in Northern California, just as Mother Nature intended – in soil, after going through a nice, cold “winter.” The premium bulbs used by Sun Valley’s growers (Lane, Tim & Tanner) produce sturdy tulips with vibrant-colored large buds, intense dark-green foliage and a long vase life.
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Each year, our floral expert, Lisa, selects a variety from Sun Valley to cover the entire spectrum of the rainbow. Keep reading to learn more about this year’s selection and for special tips to take care of these delicate beauties at home.
About Thomas The Kitchen Tornado: If you shop at Mollie Stone’s Greenbrae, you might know me. Yes, I’m the checker that is always sharing recipes and kitchen tips. I love to cook, but I also like to keep it simple. Make eating fun!
Here we are on my third blog entry, and I love it. Before we get into another recipe, I have a tip to share. It will sound silly but once you start using it, it makes perfect sense.
Have you ever pulled an appliance like a mixer or electric food mill out of the cupboard and its unfurled cord, lagging behind, pulls something out unexpectedly with it? I know, saving those twist ties is a hassle and after a couple of uses they look awful.
Here is something that my sister shared. Take your empty paper towel roll (that you always throw out) and place your electrical cord inside it to keep it manageable. I found this technique has all sorts of uses outside the kitchen, too – hair dryer while traveling, clothes iron…anything!
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Prounounced “shahr-kyut-uh-ree,” the French word charcuterie describes cooked, cured and smoked meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, pâté and dry-cured meats. With so many delectable types to choose from, it’s easy to put together a showstopping charcuterie plate as the centerpiece for home entertaining. The key to a “perfect” charcuterie plate is simply variety and balance. Use this as your guide to building a charcuterie plate, and be creative!
There is something special about sitting around the table with family and friends, conversing over fine wine (or delicious beer) and savoring a fantastic cheese plate. Here are some tips that will help you put together a memorable spread for any occasion, customized to your personal taste.
Llano Seco Rancho grows heirloom beans expressly for their rich flavor and their rich history. Heirloom vegetables and heritage breed animals are, in simple terms, the old timey varieties that are known for their flavor and nutritional value, that have gone out of fashion due to their inability to adapt to industrial agriculture’s ways.
The mechanization of agriculture began with the industrial revolution in the late 1800s and changed dramatically in the years post-WWII. As the food business expanded and companies began to rely on mechanized farming, the types of fruits, vegetables and animals that were best suited to those processes became preferred. Flavor was no longer the factor in choosing to cultivate a certain crop, but rather its resilience to the supply chain.
As breeds and varieties were chosen for their adaptation to industrial agriculture systems, the diversity of food choices we have now naturally decreased. But as part of the local, organic, small-scale food and farming movement, farmers have been rerouting back to varieties and breeds that are flavorful, beautiful, nutritious…maybe less resilient, but more enjoyable to eat. They may not be the easiest to grow, pack or ship, but they are better for you and better tasting.
Taste the difference in a Llano Seco Heirloom Bean – keep reading to learn how to store, soak, cook and enjoy them. Continue reading
Plumcots and pluots are both hybrids of a plum and an apricot, and are relative newcomers to the summer stone fruit club. Plumcots, a 50-50 cross between plums and apricots, were developed by horticulturist Luther Burbank. The name “pluot” was trademarked by plant geneticist Floyd Zaiger, who originated the hybrid fruit (75% plum and 25% apricot) about 20 years ago.
Keep reading for more info & recipe ideas! Continue reading
Once you have tasted a perfectly prepared Hanger Steak, you’ll be hungry for more information about this flavorful cut of beef. You may also know it as a “Bistro Steak” (due to its popularity in France) or a “Butchers’ Cut” (because butchers would often take it home for themselves).
The Hanger is located inside the steer, attached to the last rib and the diaphragm such that it looks like it is “hanging” from the diaphragm. Each Hanger consists of a V-shaped pair of muscles that are connected by a long, inedible membrane down the middle. These two muscles can be separated along the membrane into two Hanger Steaks that typically weigh about 8 ounces each.
Keep reading to learn what makes it so flavorful and to get tips for cooking it to perfection. Continue reading
Early July through late September marks heirloom tomato season. Each variety has a distinctly delicious flavor, with equally distinct names to match: Golden Jubilee, Tigerella, Gold Medal, Pineapple, Big Rainbow, Vintage Wine and Castaluto, just to name a few of the thousands of varieties available.
Heirloom tomatoes are history on the table, treasured traditions passed on from generation to generation. Unlike common tomato hybrids that have been adapted to meet modern expectations (such as disease resistance), traditional plant breeding of heirloom plants maintains ancient traits, characteristics, colors, size and most importantly, flavor. The unique flavor profiles of heirloom tomatoes makes shopping much more interesting as you learn which variety will have the best taste and texture for your recipe.
Mollie Stone’s carries up to 20 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes in peak season. We also bring in 6-7 varieties of heirloom cherry tomatoes including Sweet 100s, Sun Gold and Black Cherries.
Wondering which varieties to start with? Keep reading for descriptions of a few of our favorite heirlooms. Continue reading