How to Make Lacto-Fermented Herb Sauce at Home

We are kind of obsessed with growing fresh herbs in our garden – everything from the usual suspects of basil, parsley, and thyme, to more obscure things like lovage and epazote. Every spring we ambitiously plant dozens of different herbs, which seems great in theory- until you have the wonderful problem of having too many herbs.

So, what do you do? Make a meal with as many herbs as possible? Perhaps. Let them rot? That also happens. 

Instead, why not make a lacto-fermented herb sauce so that way you can enjoy the powerful flavor of herbs weeks or months later!

Read more

How to Make Pie Crust Without a Recipe in a Few Simple Steps

Growing up, my family was not into home cooking. For holiday meals, my mom would reluctantly roast the bird and make the mashed potatoes and gravy from scratch, but she didn't love it. When it came to making pies, she had even more opinions. She would mostly use store-bought pie crusts, but when she made crust from scratch, she would surely let us know.

“Do you know what a pain it is to make the crust from scratch?” she would say. Well, needless to say, as an adult I obviously had some trepidation around making pie crusts. But it turns out those fears were unwarranted.

If the thought of making pie crusts intimidates you, or you've never had success making one, keep reading. I'm here to tell you that it's really not scary at all, and it's one of the easiest ways to elevate your home cooking.

Note: In this post, I will share the process of how to make a pie crust without a recipe. What to do, what not to do, and what to look for. If you prefer a recipe with precise directions, this article is not for you.

Read more

7 Uses for an Instant-Read Thermometer – Our Go To Tool

When we first picked up an instant-read thermometer for our kitchen, we thought it'd be a handy gadget to measure the temperature of meat and seafood to help us get a better cook every time.

But, as it turns out, these devices are quite handy and can be used for an array of applications in the kitchen, and our thermometer has become one of our most used products.

So if you are thinking of picking up an instant-read thermometer but want more ideas of how to use it, we've got you covered!

Read more

5 Things to Do With Koji Rice – From Amazake to Miso

Koji is an amazing culinary product rich in enzymes that transform food textures and flavors.

Traditionally used in Japan to make miso, sake, and myriad other traditional Japanese ferments, koji has seen a recent growth in popularity in Western kitchens, resulting in lots of creative new uses for koji.

Here we outline some traditional and not-so-traditional ways to use koji in your home kitchen, including a brief primer on what koji is and how to source it.

Read more

11 Foods to Prep Before a Kitchen Renovation to Eat Well

If you're like us, the thought of eating out three meals a day during a kitchen renovation makes you want to cry. Constantly eating out is hard on your wallet and waistline, and if you like to cook as much as we do, it takes a toll mentally, too.

That's why before our kitchen renovation, we developed a strategy for cooking and eating during this disruptive time.

As we were fortunate enough to have a refrigerator and deep freezer at home during our renovation, we were able to prep a number of meals before demo day to make cooking in our temporary kitchen setup as easy as possible. So in this one, we wanted to break down some of our favorite meals we prepared ahead of time and meal components we made in advance to make cooking during our renovation easier!

Read more

10 of the Best Cookbooks to Improve Your Cooking at Home

What makes a good cookbook? As someone who reads cookbooks at bedtime like they're novels, my idea of a great cookbook is one that is more than just lists of ingredients and instructions- I love it when authors inject their personalities and ethos into the writing interspersed amongst the recipes. This truly helps convey their expertise and gives a sense of origin to each and every recipe.

A great cookbook also teaches you something, whether that is a new technique, a new ingredient, a new flavor combination, or a new way of thinking about a dish or ingredient. If we were simply relying on lists of ingredients, we have to admit we could probably figure out a recipe on our own- so learning anything beyond ingredient lists is key.

Finally, a great cookbook is one that I keep going back to time and time again until the pages are worn. These are the cookbooks in our house that have oil splatters, tomato sauce stains, worn spines, and countless dog-eared pages to name a few. If you're going to spend money on a cookbook, it better be one you reference all the time to get your money's worth! 

So, keeping all that in mind, we have ten cookbooks that we go back to again and again and consider must-haves in any kitchen!

Read more

7 Pros and Cons for Buying Meat in Bulk from a Local Farm

At the start of the pandemic in early 2020, we decided to make a transition in how we shop for meats. Previously, we'd shop through the conventional process most shoppers are familiar with- namely, we'd go to the store or local butcher every time we need a specific cut of meat.

But as we were wanting to support more local farmers and also avoid going to the store to begin with, we decided to get into buying meat in bulk from local farmers. 

It was one of our best decisions yet.

While it would be easy for us to simply sit back and say this is the way, we do have to reflect on our experience as buying meats like beef, pork, duck, chicken, lamb, fish, and more in a bulk order has just as many cons as there are pros. So let's work through them in this one!

Read more

How Long Does a Dehydrator Take to Pay Itself Off?

When we started to get into gardening and planting fruit trees, we knew we would have to look into preservation techniques for any of the excess we couldn't eat right away.

We had already been jamming fruits and preserving via water bath canning for years. We also had gotten into fermentation and pressure canning recently, too. But we wanted to try more techniques for preservation, so we decided to purchase a dehydrator to test out a different process altogether.

Dehydrators, to us at least, are simply fascinating. They work by running at low temperatures (sub-boiling) and low humidity to drive off excess water from fruits, vegetables, meats, and more. In the process of reducing the water content, these items become shelf-stable and can be stored longer-term at room temperature. 

Anyone who has tried a dried fig, strawberry, or even vegetables knows that these are quite delicious, and we were pretty excited to see what foods can be dehydrated.

But we had another question to go along with it- is a dehydrator a cost-effective purchase? So we decided to share the economics of buying a dehydrator in this one!

Read more

5 Things to Do With a Food Dehydrator – Fruit to Yogurt

Whenever we want to buy a new appliance for our kitchen, we often have to take a good hard look at whether or not the benefit is worth the tradeoff of using the limited storage space we have.

So when we were considering buying a dehydrator, we wanted to make sure we could get good use out of it (note: some ovens have a dehydrator function which would be great, but ours does not). We thoroughly researched all the things you can do with a dehydrator and were convinced- and luckily it has lived up to all of our hopes and dreams.

So in this one, we thought we'd share some of our favorite uses for this magical appliance!

Read more

Tempeh Recipe – How to Ferment Tempeh at Home

Tempeh is one of those foods that may elicit polarizing reactions- on one hand, it's white and fuzzy and doesn't seem like something you should be ingesting. But once you take your first bite of homemade tempeh, I guarantee you will be hooked: it's hauntingly floral, nutty, umami, and just plain delicious.

Tempeh can be really hard to find in grocery stores, and if you do find it, it tends to be quite pricey. It's cheaper to make tempeh yourself, with the added benefit that you can experiment with flavors and substrates. Whether you love tempeh or have never tried it but love fermented foods, we urge you to try your hand at making your own tempeh at home using our guide!

Note: This article shares our process on how to ferment tempeh at home; however, the exact proportions of spores-to-soybeans (or other substrates) and other ingredients (like vinegar) are typically outlined on your spore package and should be followed accordingly. As such, treat this article as more of a general process and follow your spore package recommendations above all others.

Read more