Three Lemony Ways to Infuse Vodka

Infusing Vodka w/lemon & herbs

“When life gives you organic lemons, make infused vodka!”

Oh Baby!

It’s fast and it’s easy. Infused vodka makes killer martinis or takes a simple vodka tonic to a whole new level. In fact, the cocktail possibilities are endless! Here are three yummy combos that I’m making right now… [click to continue…]


Creating Incredible Sauces with JAM

Making sauce with JamUsing Jam as Sauce:

Okay – I know what you are thinking…Why would I condone slathering refined sugar on a perfectly good meal?

Well first of all – most of my jams and jellies are LOW SUGAR. So I am really talking about slathering a meal with seasonal fruit flavor and natural fruit sugars.

But more importantly, just think about how well cranberry sauce spruces up a slice of turkey and you understand how sweet, sour and savory can all play well together on the dinner plate. I’m telling you, a scoop of jam from the bottom of the jar can take ordinary meals to a whole new level of yumminess. And the best part? It is easy!

Here are two techniques that you can use to get your “jam on” when it comes to meat dishes.

And if you are vegetarian, well…jam can still be used in a ton of ways for you too. Try peach jam on a grilled veggie sandwich or plum jam in a stir-fry and there is the whole salad dressing thing. The idea here is to think of what fruits mesh well with a particular food flavor and then getting creative with that.

And one more thing before we start:

If you give your jam as gifts, be sure to share different ways your friends can use the leftovers from that jam. Most people don’t think past the toast angle and honestly, there are SO many other possibilities. It is all about the flavor and how best to harness it. So let’s get crack’n!

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Salad Dressing with Leftover jam

I make a lot of jam each year. I mean A LOT! With all the fruit growing at my small homestead and my family’s 18-acre farmstead, I have no choice. But you might be surprised to know that I am not much of a “jam and toast” type of gal. Although I do enjoy jam with cheese and wine (Tee Hee), I actually use much of my jam and jelly as a flavor enhancer in things like salad dressing, sauce, jam cocktails, glaze or in desserts, etc.

Homegrown preserves can add zing to just about anything! So at this time of year, I am on a mission to use up the last of my jars before I’m hit with new fruit to be preserved.

Do you have some leftover jam or jelly right now?

A few days ago, I posted on a cool blender-canning jar trick for mixing up salad dressing (or smoothies) and gave a link for Jam’n Salad Dressing. But I had a few more tried and true jam salad dressings that I thought I would share.

Oh, and here’s the best part: You can change out the jam or marmalade in the recipes below for a different type of jam, jelly, marmalade or whatever fruit preserve you have on hand. That is the beauty of these recipes. Switch it all up however you like and make it your own. I swear they all work beautifully!

And yes, you can also substitute store-bought jam/jelly in these recipes. But why would you want to do THAT??

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Steal This Canning Jar Trick and Share It!

Cool Blender Trick with a Canning JarI’m on a mission to use up the last of my previous season’s jams over the next few months. For me, that means a lot more jam salad dressing.

I first posted on this cool blender trick over on my canning blog for Growing A Greener World TV. Below is the 2-minute video demonstrating it. I use this trick for salad dressings and my smoothies too. Use it to amaze your friends…

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Real Food and Chef Nathan Lyon

Slowing Food Down

In a previous post, I talked about Slow Flowers and what that means in terms of living more local, in-season and sustainable with flowers. But as you probably know, the whole concept of “slow” started many years ago with food.

Slow food is just real food eaten fresh, in-season and grown in a sustainable way. And real food is at the heart of what so many of us strive for in our daily lives.

Who better to help us in our quest for good, real food than a chef whose entire career as a celebrity chef is built on the virtues of fresh, in-season produce?

Meet Chef Nathan Lyon

Chef Nathan Lyon

Chef Nathan Lyon worked at farmer’s markets for over a decade before becoming a celebrity chef

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Day 29: Secrets to a Good Marmalade

I love a good homemade marmalade – not the overly sweet, artificially flavored junk you find in the grocery store. No. I’m talking about an honest-to-goodness homemade marmalade where the citrus flavor pops the minute it hits your tongue.


Just as the flavor of a homegrown tomato cannot compare to the grocery store version, so too is it with homemade marmalade.

Many people think that making marmalade is too hard or even scary. But it really is not difficult – especially if you understand a few of the tricks. Here’s the scoop on how to make great marmalade and I’ve included a simple, yet delicious recipe to get you started.

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Day 12 – Teaching Kids About Food & Growing

Hey Kids, Do You Know the Story of Your Food?

There is a great resource I use for some of my work with educational school gardens here in Los Angeles. It is a website  and educational initiative called Nourish and it is really geared toward all ages, not just kids.

I find that their short video clips explaining some of the most important concepts about the food we eat – eating seasonally, flavor, nutrition, farm to fork, food and community, sustainability and more – is great information for all of us.

To get this message out, they use food and sustainability superstars to spread their message! Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Jamie Oliver and more. The videos are sort and to the point. [click to continue…]


Oops! I swear I was NOT goofing off. This post didn’t go live yesterday on Day 10 and I am sorry about that. It was a technical error. No…really! The post for day 11 will post later today. 

A few days ago, I listed several “Food” movies that might change your life. As promised, I am listed a few more below to continue the conversation. Some of these dive a bit more deeply into the topics of local, sustainable food and agriculture. So if you watch the other movies and want more, these movies should satisfy you.

And be sure to look in the comments of the Part 1 post as some readers shared some other great ideas I am personally going to be checking out. [click to continue…]


Day 9 – The Lexicon Of Sustainability

“We are the first generation to realize, ours is not a world of infinite resources. And if we are not careful, we will lose what we do have forever. But people now have …a deeper commitment to lessen their impact on the world around them. It is a time of new solutions…and the building blocks for these ideas? WORDS…”

-The Lexicon of Sustainability

Day 9: Using Words as Building Blocks for Change

The people at The Lexicon of Sustainability are teaching about sustainability in a very unique way. They created a video series on the web that is based on a simple premise:

“People can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t even know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability.”

So the goal of the people doing this series (of artwork, calendars and videos) is to teach the meanings of these words.

Here is their trailer video: [click to continue…]


Day 8:

This post is part of the 31 Days of Living Homegrown. Sign up for my newsletter (weekly or monthly) so you don’t miss any of the inspiration and resources I will be sharing for living local, fresh and homegrown!

Life Changing Movies:

The other day, I was discussing farmer’s markets with a fellow mom. When she didn’t know about Food, Inc., …I was, well…a little surprised. In her defense, she had heard about the title but just didn’t understand what it was really about. It made me realized that we don’t all read the same blogs, newspapers, newsletters, etc. And sometimes, information we think “everyone knows” is in fact, not known by everyone.

So….I am listing below some of my favorite movies. Now, I am not talking about movies featuring vampires, tigers or the French Revolution. I’m talking about movies that make you think about how we consume food and will perhaps change your life. Which you know…is probably more important anyway.  [click to continue…]