<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - life >> food]]> http://gazette.com/rss/life/food Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:58:55 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[When the apple itch strikes, bust out this easy baked treat]]> http://gazette.com/when-the-apple-itch-strikes-bust-out-this-easy-baked-treat/article/feed/266729?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/when-the-apple-itch-strikes-bust-out-this-easy-baked-treat/article/feed/266729?custom_click=rss

During my freshman year at the University of Vermont, I became a pro at apple picking, and at cooking up all those apples I picked. I probably know at least 20 different ways to bake an apple!

So ever since college, it just doesn't feel like fall without a slew of apple recipes rotating through my kitchen. Luckily, apples are a great healthy choice. One small apple has about 80 calories and delivers great vitamins and 4 grams of fiber. And that means you won't be hungry after snacking on one (or eating one for dessert). Sure, many of the calories come from sugars, but with all that fiber, it's unlikely you'll be sitting down to consume huge quantities of them at one time.

My favorite apple concoction is apple pie a la mode.

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]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:20:43 -0600 <![CDATA[Less can be more when it comes to great fresh tomato sauce]]> http://gazette.com/less-can-be-more-when-it-comes-to-great-fresh-tomato-sauce/article/feed/266030?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/less-can-be-more-when-it-comes-to-great-fresh-tomato-sauce/article/feed/266030?custom_click=rss

Tomato lovers wait for this moment all year, that moment when the plants in the garden are struggling under the weight of those gorgeous red (or yellow or orange or even green) orbs, and the tables at the farmers markets threaten to buckle under the load. We slice and eat them as fast as we can, but we still can't keep up. Nor can we ever get enough.

This is when fresh tomato sauce comes into play, turning a basketful of ripe tomatoes into an easy dinner.

The beauty of this recipe is you can cook the tomatoes for as little or as long as you want, and you'll still have a lovely, clean sauce.

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]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:00:32 -0600 <![CDATA[Beyond gumbo: New Orleans restaurants rebound post-Katrina]]> http://gazette.com/beyond-gumbo-new-orleans-restaurants-rebound-post-katrina/article/feed/265851?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/beyond-gumbo-new-orleans-restaurants-rebound-post-katrina/article/feed/265851?custom_click=rss

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Talk to folks on the street about the "holy trinity" and you're as likely to get a lesson on onions, celery and peppers as you are Catholicism. That's New Orleans, a city where eating has long been a serious business.

But 10 years ago, that seemed imperiled. Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches that flooded the coast threatened that rich culinary history. Restaurants were shuttered amid the chaos and destruction; waiters, bartenders and chefs — along with the institutional memory of the cuisine they held — dispersed across the country; customers were nowhere in sight.

There would be restaurants again, of course. But many wondered whether the food scene truly could recover and return.

It has

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]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:53:15 -0600 <![CDATA[How to do right by summer's bounty of luscious tomatoes]]> http://gazette.com/how-to-do-right-by-summers-bounty-of-luscious-tomatoes/article/feed/265678?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/how-to-do-right-by-summers-bounty-of-luscious-tomatoes/article/feed/265678?custom_click=rss

If you're like me, you believe that a fresh, ripe tomato is one of the best things about summer. And this tart is an ode to the tomato in season — and a lesson about how to make the most of it.

Let's start with how to choose the best tomatoes. First, pick up your candidate, smell the stem and confirm that it smells strongly like a tomato. Next, figure out if it is juicy by hefting it. You want a heavy tomato; if it's heavy, it's juicy.

On the chance that you buy more tomatoes than you plan to eat right away, store the extras on a counter away from the sunlight. Do not put them on a sunny windowsill, which can make them rot. Likewise, don't put them in the refrigerator, which can kill their flavor if they're not already ripe

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]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:59:09 -0600 <![CDATA[Transform flavorless peaches with a few minutes on the grill]]> http://gazette.com/transform-flavorless-peaches-with-a-few-minutes-on-the-grill/article/1558067?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/transform-flavorless-peaches-with-a-few-minutes-on-the-grill/article/1558067?custom_click=rss

If you are anything like me, you look forward to summer peaches all year. But unless you live near an orchard and can get them when they are at their best, even "fresh" summer peaches can be under-ripe. That's mostly because the fruit is picked before it is ready in order to make it easier to transport. Trouble is, that means peaches often disappoint when we bite into them.

Luckily, the grill comes to the rescue! The heat of the grill intensifies the natural sugars in peaches - as well as other under-ripe fruit - as well as softens the flesh. The end result is a sweet, slightly caramelized and soft peach. Delicious!

The key to grilling peaches is to cut them in half and remove the pits.



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Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:55:51 -0600
<![CDATA[A grilled take on fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade]]> http://gazette.com/a-grilled-take-on-fried-green-tomatoes-with-shrimp-remoulade/article/feed/265308?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-grilled-take-on-fried-green-tomatoes-with-shrimp-remoulade/article/feed/265308?custom_click=rss

I love fried green tomatoes! My grandmother made them at the beginning of fall when there were so many tomatoes on the vine that no one minded picking the unripe ones and cooking them before they turned red and juicy. And later, when I lived in New Orleans, I discovered that fried green tomatoes were available all year at local restaurants. Many places served the fried tomatoes as a side or an appetizer.

I was in heaven!

But the first time I ever had the combination of fried green tomatoes and remoulade was at the long-shuttered, lunch-only institution Uglesichs. Uglesichs was known for its seafood and that day, it was a special. Fried green tomatoes and crab remoulade. Two of my favorite things on a plate together.

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]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:43:46 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado Springs area cooking classes and events starting Aug. 26, 2015]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-cooking-classes-and-events-starting-aug.-26-2015/article/1558118?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-cooking-classes-and-events-starting-aug.-26-2015/article/1558118?custom_click=rss WHAT'S COOKING

CLASSES

ONGOING

Black Bear Bourbon Bar - 10375 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls; 684-9648, 964-2990, chefmatthews@aol.com. - Basic Bourbon Training, 8-10 p.m. Fridays. Cost is minimal and varies.

The Cañon City Queen Anne Tea House - 813 Macon Ave., Cañon City. Registration: 275-5354. - Yeast Breads, 2 p.m. Sept. 12, $30.

Chefs retail store - 4697 Centennial Blvd. Registration: 272-2700; chefscatalog.com. - Chili Rellenos, with Allen Smith, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 and 5, $50 per class.

The Independence Center - 729 S. Tejon St., free; Edgar, 471-8181, ext. 168, theindependencecenter.org/calendars. - Diabetic Cooking Classes, 1-2:30 p.m. Sept. 10 and

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]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 04:15:04 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado Springs area beer related events starting Aug. 26, 2015]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-beer-related-events-starting-aug.-26-2015/article/1558117?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-beer-related-events-starting-aug.-26-2015/article/1558117?custom_click=rss BREW CALENDAR

Mondays-Sundays

Great Divide Brewing Co. Tap Room Tours - 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday, Great Divide Brewing Co., 2201 Arapahoe St., Denver, free. Limited to 25 people, first-come, first-served; greatdivide.com/ tap-room/tours.

Tuesdays

Tuesday Night Karma Hour - One dollar per pint sold will be donated to a local charity, 5-9 p.m., Bristol Brewing Co., 1604 S. Cascade Ave. Go online for host charity; bristolbrewing.com.

First Tuesdays

Yappy Hour - Hosted by Camp Bow Wow, 5-7 p.m., Pikes Peak Brewing Co., 1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument. Anyone bringing a dog to the dog-friendly patio



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Wed, 26 Aug 2015 04:15:03 -0600
<![CDATA[Summer means time for some lemon (or lime) with that lager]]> http://gazette.com/summer-means-time-for-some-lemon-or-lime-with-that-lager/article/1558069?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/summer-means-time-for-some-lemon-or-lime-with-that-lager/article/1558069?custom_click=rss

Don't let life's lemons sour your summer. Use them to sour your beer instead.

It's what's called a shandy, a refreshing drink that classically is beer mixed with lemonade, though other flavors can be used. It has been a seasonal staple in Europe since at least the mid-1800s when British drinkers ordered their "shandygaff," often beer mixed with ginger ale.

But lately it's been showing up on American cocktail menus and supermarket shelves, with new bottled and canned varieties on the market and bartenders experimenting with their own fruity beer combos.

"Shandies have gained tremendous momentum the past several years, and we don't see this slowing down anytime soon," says Danelle Kosmal, vice president of alcoholic

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]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 04:15:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Need healthy, grill-ready treats? You need grilled plantains]]> http://gazette.com/need-healthy-grill-ready-treats-you-need-grilled-plantains/article/1558071?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/need-healthy-grill-ready-treats-you-need-grilled-plantains/article/1558071?custom_click=rss

In the summer, we eat outside nearly every day. Which translates into three months of meals to cook on the grill - more if you live in San Diego, like we do.

Throw in Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day, and even the heartiest of recipe repertoires can be stress-tested. We grill fish, meats, veggies, bread for crostini, lemons for garnish, and even leafy greens for trendy salads. Desserts on the grill are part of the plan, too. We toss on slabs of sweet juicy pineapple, slender triangles of mango or papaya, and give char marks to thick slices of watermelon.

This year, though, we grilled something new for the first time - a plantain.

It all started at my daughters' slumber party. A gaggle of girls decided they wanted

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]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:30:20 -0600 <![CDATA[Rid the gluten from your pizza with this easy chickpea crust]]> http://gazette.com/rid-the-gluten-from-your-pizza-with-this-easy-chickpea-crust/article/1558070?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rid-the-gluten-from-your-pizza-with-this-easy-chickpea-crust/article/1558070?custom_click=rss

If there's a more basic and universally loved dish than pizza, I can't name it. Bread, cheese and tomatoes ... perfect!

Unless, that is, you're one of those poor souls who is sensitive to gluten. Happily, here's a pizza that swaps out the traditional Italian wheat-based crust for a chickpea "flour" crust that's popular in many parts of the world.

Chickpea flour is nothing more complicated than ground-up dried chickpeas. A widely used ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, it is known variously as besan, gram flour, garbanzo bean flour and cici bean flour. The direct inspiration for this pizza was the popular Provencal street food called socca.

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]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:30:18 -0600 <![CDATA[Pikes Pub: 'Homegrown' beer festival takes vacated spot in Manitou Springs]]> http://gazette.com/pikes-pub-homegrown-beer-festival-takes-vacated-spot-in-manitou-springs/article/1558068?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/pikes-pub-homegrown-beer-festival-takes-vacated-spot-in-manitou-springs/article/1558068?custom_click=rss

After a series of events left patrons disappointed and confused, a craft beer festival is headed back to Manitou Springs in October.

The Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival picks up where the 11-year-old Manitou Craft Lager Festival unceremoniously left off, after an 11th-hour cancellation last year. The festival was delayed a week and moved from Memorial Park in Manitou Springs to the Norris-Penrose Event Center in 2013 after Waldo Canyon flooding destroyed equipment and fencing. Those who couldn't attend the later date were invited to use their tickets in 2014.

But shortly before curtain call in 2014, it fell apart for good.



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Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:25:06 -0600
<![CDATA[A flank steak Frito pie fit for feeding a summer crowd]]> http://gazette.com/a-flank-steak-frito-pie-fit-for-feeding-a-summer-crowd/article/1558066?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-flank-steak-frito-pie-fit-for-feeding-a-summer-crowd/article/1558066?custom_click=rss

This is one of those recipes that feels a little trashy, but it's so good you won't care.

In case you haven't heard of it, Frito pie is a thing. It happens to be particularly popular in the South and Southwest. The most basic versions of this utter comfort food heap hot chili and cheese on top of a mound of Fritos corn chips. Sometimes salsa, beans and chilies are added. And if you want to get all fancy about it, you can ladle the chili right into single-serving bags of the chips.

I decided to turn this dish into a treat for a crowd by heaping a whole mess of it onto a platter and inviting everyone to dig in. I also decided to lose the chili in favor of a flavorfully marinated flank steak.

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]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 15:25:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Paper-thin veggies make better, more creative summer salads]]> http://gazette.com/paper-thin-veggies-make-better-more-creative-summer-salads/article/feed/265027?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/paper-thin-veggies-make-better-more-creative-summer-salads/article/feed/265027?custom_click=rss

Want to build a better salad? Think thin.

This summer, I fell in love with my mandoline, that paddle-shaped kitchen gadget that with back-and-forth swipes lets you easily and quickly render produce to paper-thin slices. Why for salads? Because tender wafers of carrot and ribbons of cucumber and flakes of radish are so much more pleasing and delicious than the hunks and chunks our usual knife hacking produces.

The result is a salad of contrasts. Crunchy romaine and wedges of tomato play off deliciously pliable slices of otherwise firm produce. And for dressing addicts such as me, lots of slices offer up more surface area for vinaigrette to cling to.

Typically, I start by making a simple dressing in the bottom of a large

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]]> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 12:49:00 -0600 <![CDATA[Stock your freezer with fruit while you can _ and make pops!]]> http://gazette.com/stock-your-freezer-with-fruit-while-you-can-and-make-pops/article/feed/264567?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/stock-your-freezer-with-fruit-while-you-can-and-make-pops/article/feed/264567?custom_click=rss

The autumn produce season catches me off-guard every year. As we glide from the hot days of August into the cooler months ahead, we never quite know when the magic moment arrives that we have seen our last bit of fresh summer fruit in the produce aisle. Sure, we can get peaches all year if we insist (and are willing to pay a small fortune), but they just aren't nearly as delicious.

The good news is that so many summer fruits freeze quite well. It's a great excuse to stock up when things are seasonal (and more affordable) and freeze them for later. Peaches and most berries are particularly great candidates for this.

In fact, my easy recipe for peach-blueberry frozen pops is a great way to use some of your frozen stash any time

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]]> Mon, 24 Aug 2015 07:16:14 -0600 <![CDATA[It's time to get over your unfounded fears of turkey burgers]]> http://gazette.com/its-time-to-get-over-your-unfounded-fears-of-turkey-burgers/article/feed/264035?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/its-time-to-get-over-your-unfounded-fears-of-turkey-burgers/article/feed/264035?custom_click=rss

It really is time for all of us to get over our hesitation about turkey burgers. I get that people are nervous about turkey burgers being dry and flavorless, but that really isn't necessary.

Avoiding a dry, tasteless turkey burger — or any type of burger, for that matter — is easy. Start by not overcooking them. Kind of obvious, but true. Get the burgers off the grill as soon as they hit 165 F. And during cooking, never press down on the patties with the spatula. That squeezes out all the delicious juices no matter what meat you are using.

With turkey burgers, it also helps to use a mix of dark and light ground turkey, which adds a bit more fat and flavor. Ground turkey labeled "93 percent lean" will have enough dark meat

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]]> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:47:30 -0600 <![CDATA[Popular foods taking on new hues without artificial dyes]]> http://gazette.com/popular-foods-taking-on-new-hues-without-artificial-dyes/article/feed/263560?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/popular-foods-taking-on-new-hues-without-artificial-dyes/article/feed/263560?custom_click=rss

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Mozzarella cheese at Panera restaurants won't be as glaringly white. Banana peppers in Subway sandwiches won't be the same exact shade of yellow. Trix cereal will have two fewer colors.

Food makers are purging their products of artificial dyes as people increasingly eschew anything in their food they don't feel is natural. But replicating the vivid colors Americans expect with ingredients like beets and carrots isn't always easy.

In fact, General Mills couldn't find good alternatives for the blue and green pieces in Trix, so the company is getting rid of those colors when the cereal is reformulated later this year. The red pieces — which will be colored with radishes and strawberries — will also l

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]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:55:19 -0600 <![CDATA[A little care, a little brine can produce stellar pork chops]]> http://gazette.com/a-little-care-a-little-brine-can-produce-stellar-pork-chops/article/feed/263526?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-little-care-a-little-brine-can-produce-stellar-pork-chops/article/feed/263526?custom_click=rss

Let's face it, a cookout on Labor Day, that bittersweet farewell to summer, tends to attract the hedonistic hordes. Your challenge as host is to come up with something that's simple to prepare, but not boring. These pork chops do the job splendidly.

Once upon a time pork chops were pretty rich. These days they're lean enough to be marketed as "the other white meat." Health-wise, you can't beat them. Flavor-wise and texture-wise? You'll have to baby them a little so they don't dry out. And I find the best bet to ensure that chops turn out moist and toothsome is to brine them before you cook them.

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]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 07:44:39 -0600 <![CDATA[Kick-start your day with a breakfast of oatmeal]]> http://gazette.com/kick-start-your-day-with-a-breakfast-of-oatmeal/article/1557588?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/kick-start-your-day-with-a-breakfast-of-oatmeal/article/1557588?custom_click=rss

Oatmeal. It's what's for breakfast.

And why not? The mix of slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber found in oats is a great source of fuel to start the day.

"There's a reason breakfast is the most important meal of the day," says Rachel Begun, a Boulder-based dietitian, nutritionist and certified natural chef. "It's the meal that gets our metabolism up and running after a night of sleep and sets our eating habits for the rest of the day."

Begun also notes that research shows the first meal of the day improves performance, "in particular better memory and recall."

Layne Lieberman, a registered dietitian and award-winning cookbook author says, "Breakfast eaters tend to eat healthier in general and those who skip



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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:07:10 -0600
<![CDATA[A "burger" of a different sort. A Middle Eastern shish kebab]]> http://gazette.com/a-burger-of-a-different-sort.-a-middle-eastern-shish-kebab/article/feed/263145?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-burger-of-a-different-sort.-a-middle-eastern-shish-kebab/article/feed/263145?custom_click=rss

With autumn winking at me from the horizon, Labor Day grilling takes on a whole new significance. I've either worked my rusty old charcoal grill to the bone over the summer and I'm looking for something a little different to wrap up the season, or I'm swimming in regret over not grilling enough and I'm looking for a quick, satisfying recipe that will make me feel like I've accomplished something this summer.

Enter the Middle East's answer to a hamburger: the shish kebab. Ground meat, woven together with onions, parsley and a native spice mix, molded onto a metal skewer like a delicate sausage, then cooked over smoldering coals.

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]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:07:49 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado Springs area cooking classes and events starting Aug. 19, 2015]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-cooking-classes-and-events-starting-aug.-19-2015/article/1557654?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-cooking-classes-and-events-starting-aug.-19-2015/article/1557654?custom_click=rss WHAT'S COOKING

CLASSES

ONGOING

The French Kitchen - 2515 Oak Hills Drive. Call for cost. Registration: 694-4016, tfkcc.com. - Bread, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday. - Quiches, 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday. - Fix and Feast 3, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 26.

Pikes Peak District Library - Free. Registration required. - Southwestern Cooking Demo, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.; 531-6333, ext. 2665.

The Seasoned Chef - 999 Jasmine St., Suite 100, Denver. Call or go online for cost. Registration: 1-303-377-3222, theseasonedchef.com. - Couples Entertaining: A Spicy Southwest Menu, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday. - Basic Skills Every Cook Should Know, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 29. - Just Peachy,

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]]> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 04:10:03 -0600 <![CDATA[Turn summer's fruit bounty into easy, refreshing ice slush]]> http://gazette.com/turn-summers-fruit-bounty-into-easy-refreshing-ice-slush/article/feed/262771?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/turn-summers-fruit-bounty-into-easy-refreshing-ice-slush/article/feed/262771?custom_click=rss

One of our favorite ways to beat the heat at the end of summer is to turn some of the season's abundant produce into beautiful, delicious frozen fruit slushies. It's fun and easy to get creative. Not only can you experiment with different fruits and juices, you also can get fancy (or fanciful) with the glasses and bowls (though clear glass is almost mandatory) you serve them in.

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]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 08:35:21 -0600 <![CDATA[On Food: Colorado peach harvest is a bumper crop]]> http://gazette.com/on-food-colorado-peach-harvest-is-a-bumper-crop/article/1557589?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/on-food-colorado-peach-harvest-is-a-bumper-crop/article/1557589?custom_click=rss

Peaches - glorious Palisade peaches - have arrived in abundance.

Unlike what we have experienced on the Front Range, the orchard owners on the Western Slope have had just the right weather conditions for a bumper crop of luscious stone fruit.

"The peach season is very good this year," said Mistalynn Meyeraan, marketing and public relations director for the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau. "As a matter of fact, some orchard owners were trimming their peach trees to make room for the peaches to mature. The fruit is larger than it has been in previous years."

According to Meyeraan, one of the reasons for the good peach season is that there were no late-spring hard frosts.

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]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:55:12 -0600 <![CDATA[Get to know buckwheat, a flavorful grain perfect for summer]]> http://gazette.com/get-to-know-buckwheat-a-flavorful-grain-perfect-for-summer/article/1557587?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/get-to-know-buckwheat-a-flavorful-grain-perfect-for-summer/article/1557587?custom_click=rss

It's high time we jumped on the buckwheat bandwagon.

The nutty, pyramid-shaped grain has been around for about 8,000 years, popular in part for its high protein and mineral content. Thought to have been cultivated first in Southeast Asia, the grain quickly picked up fans around the world from Japan (soba noodles and tea) to India (kuttu ki puri: buckwheat bread) to France (galettes or buckwheat crepes).

But it's probably the Eastern Europeans and Russians who fell hardest for buckwheat, becoming the world's largest growers, and using the toasted form (kasha) in everything from porridge and stuffed cabbage to a Jewish comfort food dish, kasha varnishekes (toasted buckwheat, schmaltz-soaked caramelized onions and bow-tie

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]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:55:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Ditch rice; go with a new grain for better stuffed peppers]]> http://gazette.com/ditch-rice-go-with-a-new-grain-for-better-stuffed-peppers/article/1557585?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ditch-rice-go-with-a-new-grain-for-better-stuffed-peppers/article/1557585?custom_click=rss

Usually, there are two big problems with stuffed peppers: the peppers and the stuffing. Bland, bland, bland.

The dish is a great idea. Stuff something delicious into something healthy and equally delicious. Except stuffed peppers never seem to turn out that way. But what if there was a way to make this dish taste like something? Turns out, there is. But you need to be willing to mix things up a bit.

Rather than use white rice, which tends to lose all texture and taste in recipes such as this, I used freekeh. It's a delicious young "green" wheat from North Africa and the Middle East that's been fire-roasted to give it a unique smokiness. It also happens to be astonishingly healthy, boasting high levels of protein, fiber and

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]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:50:04 -0600 <![CDATA[Quick and filling grilled veg salad built on a base of farro]]> http://gazette.com/quick-and-filling-grilled-veg-salad-built-on-a-base-of-farro/article/1557584?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/quick-and-filling-grilled-veg-salad-built-on-a-base-of-farro/article/1557584?custom_click=rss

At this point, many of us have embraced whole grains, become friendly with brown rice, maybe even casual acquaintances with quinoa. But there still are a number of grains that remain a mystery.

Farro might well be one of them. It is chewy and hearty and nutty and delicious. Time to overcome farro-phobia.

Farro is a wheat grain popular throughout the Mediterranean. Italy is the capital of farro consumption; in fact, it was the main grain of ancient Rome.

When shopping, make sure you buy the semi-pearled variety, which cooks much faster and allows you to skip the overnight soaking step. Most brands that are commonly available in mainstream grocers are semi-pearled.

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]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:50:03 -0600 <![CDATA[Wine Guy: German dry rieslings deserve wine lovers' attention]]> http://gazette.com/wine-guy-german-dry-rieslings-deserve-wine-lovers-attention/article/1557583?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/wine-guy-german-dry-rieslings-deserve-wine-lovers-attention/article/1557583?custom_click=rss

How many of you out there think riesling is always a sweet wine? Be honest. I hear all the time from people who think that. Certainly that is not true with German riesling, my favorite white wine. Yes, the sweet styles are rich, luscious and for many of us captivating. But it is the dry and off-dry wines that are getting more attention these days from winemakers and the trade . and, they hope, consumers.

The Rheinhessen, Germany's largest wine region stretching south of the Rhein River, features gentle rolling hills where vines share farmland with many crops. The region's wines have long rated behind those of other regions.

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]]> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:50:02 -0600 <![CDATA[Need healthy, grill-ready treats? You need grilled plantains]]> http://gazette.com/need-healthy-grill-ready-treats-you-need-grilled-plantains/article/feed/262429?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/need-healthy-grill-ready-treats-you-need-grilled-plantains/article/feed/262429?custom_click=rss

In the summer, we eat outside nearly every day. Which translates into three months of meals to cook on the grill; more if you live in San Diego, like we do.

Throw in Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day, and even the heartiest of recipe repertoires can be stress-tested. We grill fish, meats, veggies, bread for crostini, lemons for garnish, and even leafy greens for trendy salads. Desserts on the grill are part of the plan, too. We toss on slabs of sweet juicy pineapple, slender triangles of mango or papaya, and give char marks to thick slices of watermelon.

This year, though, we grilled something new for the first time — a plantain.

It all started at my daughters' slumber party.

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]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 07:36:50 -0600 <![CDATA[A fuss-free grilled chicken that doesn't skimp on flavor]]> http://gazette.com/a-fuss-free-grilled-chicken-that-doesnt-skimp-on-flavor/article/feed/262425?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-fuss-free-grilled-chicken-that-doesnt-skimp-on-flavor/article/feed/262425?custom_click=rss

Sometimes we think too hard about the food we toss on the grill. Brine this, rub that, marinate for 12 days. Enough!

For those days when you just want something simple and delicious to pop onto the grill and get to the table in under 30 minutes, this is your recipe. A savory-tangy sauce made from hoisin, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes mixes up in a flash and imparts big, bold flavor in no time. It also acts as a great dipping sauce once the chicken comes off the grill.

As for the chicken itself, what to buy all comes down to how easy you want to make things. You can buy chicken breast tenders so that all you have to do is thread the meat onto the skewers. They cost a bit more, but the convenience might be w

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]]> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 07:34:24 -0600 <![CDATA[Quick and filling grilled veg salad built on a base of farro]]> http://gazette.com/quick-and-filling-grilled-veg-salad-built-on-a-base-of-farro/article/feed/261762?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/quick-and-filling-grilled-veg-salad-built-on-a-base-of-farro/article/feed/261762?custom_click=rss

At this point, many of us have embraced whole grains, become friendly with brown rice, maybe even casual acquaintances with quinoa. But there still are a number of grains out there that remain a mystery. Farro may well be one of them. I had enjoyed it in restaurants a couple times. A lot, in fact. It is chewy and hearty and nutty and really delicious. But I hadn't cooked it at home. Time to overcome farro-phobia.

Farro is a wheat grain popular throughout the Mediterranean. Italy is the capital of farro consumption; in fact, it was the main grain of ancient Rome. When you really dig into the world of farro, you'll find there actually are three species of farro, but the emmer variety is the one that is most commonly available.

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