I am so happy to finally give you a little peek at my 2014 garden, the place where my husband and I have been working our butts off most weekends for the past few months.
Here’s what it looked like earlier this spring…
March 21, 2013:
April 20, 2013:
The top photo in this post and the photos below show what it looks like this morning!
June 23, 2014:
(Want to see what it looked like 5 years ago when we got started? Check out this post.)
Once a month, I excerpt a chapter from my book and partner with the folks from MightyNest on a related giveaway. This month, I’m focusing on the health benefits of eggs. Read on to learn more about how nutritious eggs can be…you’ll also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway for some great cookware!
Eggs are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Though many people worry about the cholesterol in eggs, this concern is generally unfounded: eating eggs won’t cause you to develop heart disease and there’s probably no reason for you to limit eggs in your diet, especially if you enjoy them. The key is to choose eggs of the highest quality in order to take advantage of all the nutritional benefits they offer.
A bunch of bloggers whose work I adore have come out with cookbooks lately. One such blogger is Erin Alderson of the blog Naturally Ella. Her brand new book is called The Homemade Flour Cookbook: The Home Cook’s Guide to Milling Nutritious Flours and Creating Delicious Recipes with Every Grain, Legume, Nut, and Seed from A-Z.
This book is based on the very cool concept that you can easily make your own fresh and nutritious flours at home. As much as I love to cook and bake, making my own flours isn’t something I’ve delved into much before (apart from blending oats to make oat flour), mostly because I assumed you needed special equipment (like a grain mill). While Erin does recommend investing in a grain mill, it turns out that you can do quite a lot more than make oat flour with a high-powered blender (which I already own). You can also mill some flours in a coffee grinder!
In this book, Erin not only delves into all the different ways you can make your own wholesome flours from different grains (including gluten-free grains), legumes, nuts and seeds, she also shares 100 very yummy-looking recipes that utilize the various fresh flours. The photos in the book, taken by Erin, are beautiful.
Because I have a big stash of dried chickpeas, I decided to try my hand at grinding chickpea flour in my blender. I was pretty skeptical about it working at first: chickpeas are so hard! After a minute or two the flour still looked like small rocks, but I played around with a few of the settings on my Blendtec and found that at #3, the chickpeas turned to a fine powder after another few minutes. Hooray!
I used my chickpea flour to make Erin’s recipe for Tomato Basil Socca Pizza. Socca is a flatbread that’s a specialty of Nice, France. I’ve never had socca but I know it has a reputation for being very tasty. I was happy for the inspiration to make it (I’d been meaning to try it ever since seeing this recipe on David Lebovitz’ blog ages ago).
Socca is so simple to make: all you need is the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt. You soak these together for an hour, then you cook the batter in a hot oiled skillet under a broiler.
I’ve purchased chickpea flour in the past and used it in gluten-free baking. It always had this odd, very bean-y flavor to me, which I didn’t love. I have to say that my fresh chickpea flour didn’t taste “off” at all: I really loved it in this base for an easy pizza. So while you can definitely use store-bought chickpea flour in this recipe, I recommend trying to make your own if you can because it’s fresher and really does have a different, milder flavor.
Many thanks to Erin for turning me on to making my own flours. I really look forward to seeing what I can do with ancient grains, legumes, nuts, etc. I cannot wait to try out more of the recipes in this book: there are so many incredibly creative and healthy savory and sweet recipes to choose from! And I have one extra copy of the book from the publisher to give away to one of my readers…the directions for entering the giveaway are below the recipe :)
A couple of months ago, I wrote here about how my garden was very much in need of some “TLC”. Well, my dear husband and I have been working steadily each weekend since then to get everything in tip top shape: I am so happy to say we’re almost done! I am looking forward to sharing photos of our “garden makeover” soon because it’s looking seriously great.
One of the first things to pop up in my garden was the rhubarb.
Rhubarb is a perennial that grows well where I live: I’ve got two plants that have been producing quite nicely these past few years. I just today harvested some of my rhubarb for the first time this spring, so this #SAVEITSUNDAY post is also going to be the first in a series I am calling “Use What You’ve Got.” This isn’t going to be a structured series or anything…just a way for me to occasionally round up some of my own recipes (along with recipes from other sites) to give you ideas for how to use your homegrown or store-bought produce.
And in an effort to help you cut down on your food waste, I’ll also be highlighting the storage of said produce: I’d hate to see you have to toss or compost your produce before you get to use it because it wasn’t stored in the best possible way!
I started this blog back in May of 2009. Since then, I’ve written almost 700 posts. And a book.
Since I have learned so much and changed so much in the past 5 years, it’s only natural that the look and feel of my blog evolves, as well. So I hired my talented friend Sabrina to give HGK a little makeover as a “blogiversary” gift to myself. I wanted the design to be very simple, natural, and a little messy, even (kind of like me!). I hope you like it as much as I do :)
(Please if you notice any problems with the new design, let me know! That way, we can fix whatever is wrong.)
And what’s a celebration without a decadent treat? I made a Chocolate Silk Pie to mark this blogging milestone.
My parents used to serve a similar French Silk Pie in their restaurant when I was a kid…I have such fond memories of that pie and have been wanting to make one like it for a long time. This pie is so easy to prepare and it’s absolutely delicious: I think it perfectly symbolizes where my blog and I are at these days and what you can expect to see here in the future.