Kitchen How-To

Herbal Bread

  Allen: Now, I know you all use traditional European recipes for your breads. The rosemary bread that you create, I like very much. How much rosemary do you put in a loaf? Chef Alessio Giannuzzi, Il Fornaio Restaurant, Carmel, CA:... continue reading

Olive Oil

Since ancient times oils have been regarded as a precious commodity, the ultimate gift. Today the range of olive oils available to us is greater than ever before. To help us understand some differences in these olive oils I asked Tom McArthur, owner of continue reading

Wine Tips

Chateau Julien is a beautifully landscaped winery nestled in the rolling hills of central California's Carmel Valley. Wine maker Bill Anderson of Chateau Julien shared with me some of his thoughts on wine selection. Allen: So Bill, what is the deal with red wines and... continue reading

Medicinal Uses of Herbs

Interest in medicinal herbs is on the rise. Dr. Varro E. Tyler is a professor, author and noted expert in the field of pharmacognosy which is the study of the theraputic value of drugs made from plants. Dr. Tyler shared his thoughts with me about several plants found to have proven medical... continue reading

Garlic Health Benefits

There's a lot more in a clove of garlic than seasoning for your favorite Italian dish. Recently, it's been discovered that garlic has some very impressive health benefits I asked an expert in the field, Dr. Varro E. Tyler if garlic really works? continue reading

Echinacea Health Benefits

Help for fighting the common cold is as close as your garden, or your health food store. It comes from echinacea, or purple coneflower, a native wildflower with some very impressive medicinal qualities. Purple coneflower is a well-known product in pharmacies as a natural way to... continue reading

Medicinal Use of Feverfew

 Herbs are making the news these days as alternative treatments to many ailments. And many of these herbs are growing just outside in our gardens or wild along roadsides. An excellent example is feverfew. It's actually a member of the chrysanthemum family. In addition to the beauty... continue reading

Herbal Tea Health Benefits

Visit a health store and you'll find there's an herb for every ailment. Now, most are taken in pill form, but others are consumed as teas. Herbal teas have been used for thousands of years. Okay, so let's say I have an upset stomach. What does the doctor recommend? Here's what Dr. Varro... continue reading

Gingko Health Benefits

Aside from its obvious beauty, ginkgo is being used in the field of medicine. According to experts, such as Dr. Varro E. Tyler, research has uncovered some of its health benefits. Believe it or not, the ginkgo tree is a living fossil. This is one of the oldest living species of trees in... continue reading

Oriental Vegetables

If you're looking for an alternative beyond the standard beans and potatoes, you might check out something a little different. Like some of the Oriental vegetables. Every region and culture has its own favorite fruits and vegetables, as well as ways of preparing them in their cooking.... continue reading

Carmel Tomato Festival

Gary Ibsen has taken his love of heritage tomatoes a step further than most and started an annual event, the Carmel TomatoFest. continue reading

Bay Laurel

And, as eternal youth is mine, you also shall be always green, and your leaf know no decay. from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book I, Daphne One of my favorite herbs to grow is bay laurel, Laurus nobilis. Roman poet Ovid made this plant famous in his poem... continue reading

In the Kitchen: Vidalia Onions

Anyone who has ever tasted a Vidalia onion knows what a great flavor it has. I am always happy when I see them in the produce aisle at the grocery store in spring. Vidalias come from an area in Georgia where the climate and soil work together to produce this super sweet onion. I love raw... continue reading

Heritage Apples

Once you've tasted a really good apple, it is easy to see why Eve was tempted by this fruit. My favorite varieties are crisp, sweet and juicy such as Cox Orange Pippin, which is an heirloom variety. Heritage apples are garnering more and more attention these days and I'm glad of it... continue reading

In the Kitchen: Eggplant

It's hard for me to understand why eggplant isn't a more popular vegetable. Perhaps it is the image that the name evokes, or bad memories of overcooked... continue reading

In the Kitchen: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes come in two varieties - orange or yellow fleshed. The orange fleshed are more common and sweeter than the starchy yellow fleshed type. Many people refer to orange fleshed sweet potatoes as yams, but yams are actually a much larger vegetable grown in Africa and Asia. A true yam... continue reading

Hybrid Blackberries

One of the greatest joys of summer is the abundance of locally grown fresh produce available for us to eat, like blackberries. And if you are looking for a variety of blackberry that produces super large fruit you need to investigate a series developed by the University of Arkansas. Varieties in... continue reading

In the Kitchen: Pears

It is best to store unripe pears in a bowl or bag at room temperature. You can test a pear for ripeness by gently pressing near the stem. If it gives a little to the pressure, it is ready to eat. They actually ripen from the inside out, so if you try this test on the middle of the pear and it... continue reading

Butternut Squash

Of all the squashes I have grown in my garden, I believe that butternut is one of my favorites, although pumpkins are certainly at the top of the list as well. Squash can be divided into three categories – continue reading

Honeydew Melons

Honeydew melons always remind me of summer mornings in my grandparents’ kitchen. It is their smell more than the taste that brings up the memory. My... continue reading

In the Kitchen: Lemongrass

I'm crazy for ornamental grasses. They are one of the best plants for creating texture and movement in the garden. And when you can find one that is fragrant and flavorful, well, what more could you ask for? That's just what you get when you plant the herb lemongrass, Cymbopogon... continue reading

Get To Know Your Slow Cooker

When it comes to handy kitchen appliances one device that stands out from the rest is the slow cooker. It's hard to beat something you can load up with ingredients, walk away then return at the end of the day to a prepared meal. And with so many slow cooker recipes these days, we are no... continue reading

Farm to Table Fare at Restaurant Eugene

I'm a sucker for Mountain Valley Sparkling Water. I like to drink it infused with seasonal fruits or use it to add a little bubbly to lemonade. Would you mind sharing a drink recipe with us that incorporates Mountain Valley Sparkling Water? Combine fresh fruit... continue reading

Grapes are a Superfood

One cup of grapes a day will keep the doctor away. If you want to give yourself a healthy boost, look no further than the sweet, juicy goodness of grapes. Red and purple grapes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that actually help you stay healthy. When you eat... continue reading

March Seasonal Foods

The days are getting longer and the weather's getting warmer and that can only mean one thing- spring is on its way! But it's not here yet, so the ground is still chilly and production of seasonal fruits and vegetables hasn't received that spring boost quite yet. Of course, you can always... continue reading

Are You Hip to Soy Oil?

A well-appointed cupboard contains several types of oils - olive oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are a few in my kitchen. Each has a different nutritional value, flavor, and application. One oil that I reach for most often is soy oil. It is odorless with a light taste so it won't interfere... continue reading

123 Done: Caprese Salad to Go

A home cooked dish is a popular way to welcome new neighbors. How about giving something unique that the homeowner can prepare in their new kitchen without a lot of fuss? This how-to provides you with a quick and easy way to make a thoughtful and edible gift. You'll need the... continue reading

Ten Tips to Prepare for a Holiday Feast

With just a little advanced planning, your holiday meal prep can be a breeze. Write a schedule Counting back from the time that you want to serve the meal, write a schedule for the times that each dish needs to go into, and come out of, the oven.... continue reading

How to Select and Brew Tea

According to many food trend reports this is going to be the year that tea takes the country by storm. In addition to being a hot or cold drink tea is finding its way into desserts and entrees as a flavoring. I think itís safe to say there hasnít been this much buzz about the beverage since... continue reading