Sunday, October 26, 2014

Craft: Glitter Pumpkins

One of the joys of this time of year is decorating and also carving pumpkins, fun for all ages and really brightens a front step. I didn't grow up doing this but have really adopted this lovely American tradition since living here. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Roasted Acorn Squash, Chickpea and Wheat berry salad

Its always fun to eat in season when foods are at their best, in the autumn winter squash have their chance to shine. They really come alive after being roasted and are pretty versatile, allowing them to be added to soups, stews, couscous and other grain salads. This is a simple salad with roasted acorn squash, chick peas and wheat berries. It is flavorful and has a fun variety of textures. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Meet Eric Reid Cacao Farmer and Entrepreneur

I recently got a message on LinkedIn from Eric about SpagnVola chocolates asking if I would like to try them. You may have noticed but I very rarely feature or mention food products here. In fact Chow and Chatter is advertisement free and I also never sell links.

But after learning about Chocolate from the amazing Simran Sethi and trying some single estate chocolates from Ecuador I was curious to try and my palate had been spoilt. I used to have a perception that dark chocolate was bitter but a good one is smooth full of flavors and wonderful tastes of the area it is grown. Like coffee cacao is grown in countries along the equator and each region has its own special characteristics. Good chocolate really only has three ingredients: cacao solids, sugar and cocoa butter.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fruit and Vegetable Prints

I love doing crafts with the kids and am always looking for new ideas, I had some ink so figured why not make some simple prints, I chopped up vegetables and fruit and made cards with the prints. The oranges worked well and another day we used okra this was also pretty. You can make simple stamps with potatoes also by carving the desired shape into it.

This craft is great for toddlers, as they can stamp and learn colors and shapes at the same time. I actually sent these cards with some pictures of the kids to my Grandma's in England :-) 

Hope your having a great weekend we visited a local butterfly farm today and got to feed the majestic monarchs and then they released them to start their epic journey to Mexico. Sadly these amazing butterflies are in decline and on the endangered list due to many factors possibly pesticides and loss of milk weed. Milk weed is the only plant the caterpillar eats so its vital a wonderful organization -Monarch watch is helping by supplying seeds and encouraging home gardeners, schools and folks to plant milk weed and flowers. As Monarch way stations to provide rest, food and place for the butterflies to mate, lay eggs, grow into caterpillars, then butterflies.

I planted some milk weed today :-) hope you can find some locally also and help. If your in the Winston Salem NC area, there is a way station in the Demo garden at the cooperative extension building on fairchild road and one at Bethabara.


Milkweed this is an exotic one so an annual but you can also get perennial varieties 

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Okra with Panch Phoron

I was recently visiting a great spice shop in Greensboro called Savory Spice Shop, I have tweeted and chatted on facebook with them for a good while and it was lovely to meet the manager in person. I have seen Panch Phoron on Indian blogs its a Bengali spice blend. After I got it I mentioned it on the facebook page and asked for tips, folks said its good with vegetables or potatoes. Since we love okra in our house I figured lets sauté some with it. It was an easy to make side full of flavor, so if your looking for a fun new spice blend to try, check out Panch Phoron. It means "five spices" in Maithili 
and consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Southern Heritage Apple Orchard

I visited Horne Creek Historic farm this summer with the kids it's a beautiful old farm from the 1800's that offers a snapshot into life in that era, with folks dressed in historic clothes, demonstration cooking, a garden, some animals and a heritage apple orchard. It was at that time that I first chatted to Jason Bowen the orchard manager and Horticulturalist there, I asked if master gardeners ever volunteered with him and that I was studying to be one. So fast forward to the last few weeks I am now a master gardener and volunteering in various gardens and thought I would ask if I could help in the orchard and learn about apples. 


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