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Ch, chi, cha, Chia

Sorry. Could not resist. Sooooo cliche, I know. But who in the States can’t say the word ‘chia’ and, bam, that jingle pops in one’s head, along with an image of a terra cotta chia heads (am I the only one disturbed by this product?)? I do feel rather deprived as I have never been the recipient of chia head gift. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not start now. My ‘life list’ is just fine without that line item. What I would be okay with is gifts of bags of chia seeds. Yep, all over this ‘of-the-moment’ super food that has actually been consumed for thousands of years.

A mere five weeks after New Year’s resolutions are made (many revolving around getting  healthy) and all falls apart, no thanks to this past Sunday’s big game (Superbowl for my non-football fans out there). A healthy regime of juicing, salads, whole grains, no drinking, falls by the wayside for wings, chips, dips, chili, and insert your favorite junk food and cocktail splurge of choice here. Guessing the players and Madonna did not eat and drink like that prepping for the game, so not sure why the rest of us fall to pieces and cave to the junk food frenzy that day.

Well enough is enough. Back me away from the last of the guacamole and tortilla chips (no self control when put in front of me) and get back to some better (ok healthier) food choices. Bring on the chia seed. This teeny tiny speck of a seed is a superhero (or heroine? not sure). Jam packed with Omega 3’s and 6’s, protein, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber, it blows other healthy superfoods away.  Add chia to just about anything. It is virtually flavorless, and will take on the flavor of the food you are adding it to. And if you soak the seeds in a bit of liquid, they suddenly become gelatin-like (because I really don’t like to use the word gelatinous – seriously grosses me out) helping to keep you fuller and hydrated longer. For all you athletes out there, add a tablespoon of chia ‘gel’ to your coconut water, or plain water, and yes you will stay hydrated longer and retain electrolytes longer. Take that hot weather training day.

Chia Gel

I prepped some chia ‘gel’ – stir one tablespoon of chia seeds into one cup of water and let sit for about 15 minutes. Stir again and then can store in the fridge for a week. Add a tablespoon to your morning smoothie, oatmeal, cereal, or juice. Stomach not feeling so hot? Eat a teaspoon of the chia gel. Better than a Tums. Need to thicken soup or sauce? Yep, chia ‘gel’. Trying to trim the fat in your cookie and cake recipes?  You can swap out one tablespoon of chia ‘gel’ for one egg or replace half the butter or oil for an equal amount of chia ‘gel’.

Since I do love dessert, and I do love chocolate, I of course had to try the recipe, on the back of the bag of chia seeds, for chocolate ‘mousse’ cake. Chocolate, chia and hazelnuts basically. Heart healthy, gluten-free and if I do say so, pretty tasty. The recipe suggests icing, but this cake bakes up really moist so I say why bother. And since I cannot leave a recipe well enough alone I add to tinker and add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Next time you know I am going to tinker some more…

Chia Chocolate ‘Mousse’ Cake
(adapted from the back of the Bob’s Red Mill bag of chia seeds)

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Chia Seed
  • 1 cup Water
  • 7 oz Dark Baking Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup Butter, unsalted
  • 5 large Eggs, separated
  • 2 cups Hazelnut meal or flour (ground my own, but might go with flour for finer texture next time)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line (bottom with wax or parchment paper) a 9 inch spring form pan.
Soak chia seeds in the one cup of water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to cool.
Beat egg whites and 1/3 cup of the sugar until soft peaks form (or your arm gives out because you were too ‘lazy’ to drag the Kitchenaid out of the pantry, just saying’).

see the soft peaks?

In another bowl beat the remaining sugar with the egg yolks, vanilla and salt until pale and creamy. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Then fold in the ground hazelnuts and chia ‘gel’. Gently fold in egg whites.

the chocolate, nuts and chia 'gel'

Pour into the springform pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

not the prettiest cake, but sure is tasty

Ice if you must or serve with a dollop of whipped cream (or plain yoghurt — love the tang) and blackberries.

sans icing

 

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Can’t beat ’em…

Yeah, yeah, yeah jumped on the bandwagon.  The oh-so-of-the-new-year-moment juicing one. Oh say it isn’t so. It is, and have to admit that sometimes I am just lazy, and just don’t feel like cooking (there I said it), or even eating what’s good for me. But after too many rounds of antibiotics and maybe (just maybe) too many holiday cookies, and a Grupon in my ‘in-box’ for a juicer, and I caved to juicing. Hey it’s working for Martha, Dr. Oz, his daughter and we won’t even talk about Jack LaLane (Hey, he had his own branded juicer so it must have worked for him right? I mean look how long he lived.).

A visit to the produce market, which prompted the gentleman behind me to comment on the fresh contents of my cart (whose being fresh here?), back home to wash, scrub, cut-up, and into the juicer shoot. Voila my first juice combo. Then second. Then a citrus only (for the husband who insists that this is the only juice he wants. Yeah, until I snuck him some pineapple, lemon, ginger, mint, spinach, kale, cucumber. Hah, take that and like it!) and I am so on a roll. And after my first glass of fresh juice? Pretty sure I am way healthier already. And now feeling more able to justify the not so healthy choices, note the crock pot mac ‘n’ cheese I just had to make the other night (hey, I did sub some of the pasta with cauliflower so not all bad), but it’s all about balance right?

Now the part I don’t like about juicing is all the unused fruit and veg ‘mulch’. On the plus side my composting is going to go oh so much faster (making for a happy healthy garden). But if this excess mulch continues to bug me I suppose I will have to upgrade to a spendy VitaMix (that whirls and uses the whole fruit/veg) but being I “gruponed” (is that a verb yet?)for $40 bucks, composting it is. But can I use some of this scrap/mulch to make stock? Seriously, I am putting it out there and looking for some feedback.

Personally, I am digging ginger and lemon, or lime, in all my juice combos thus far. A little tip about the citrus — unlike most of the other fruit and veg where you can throw the whole thing into the juicer, I would suggest removing the peel off the citrus. Citrus rind (and it’s oils) maybe great for some dishes, and does wonders for a perfect martini, but for juice? Not so much. The peel, and it’s oil, will just make your juice too bitter, and not in a good way.

A quick web search, or a visit to Dr. Oz’s website, are a good start to great juice combos, but don’t feel obligated to following a ‘recipe’, just start experimenting with some favorite, and maybe not so favorite but feel you need to consume, fruit and veg.  Here is a juice combo that has turned into go-to for me.

3 extra large Carrots
1 small Pineapple
6 stalks of Celery
1 inch knob of Ginger
1/2 Lemon
1 Apple

So this is what virtue tastes like…

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A not so guilty pleasure?

I need me some comfort food. Really? After the over indulgence in the ultimate comfort food meal last week and the endless leftovers? And yes, I can do this in a health way: why  cauliflower of course. Again I can hear you saying ‘what?’ How can this crunchy, slightly sulphurous, and bitter veg be considered a ‘comfort food’? Roasting baby. Suddenly, okay maybe more like in 25 minutes, cauliflower is transformed into sweet and nutty deliciousness. If you were not a fan of this member of the cabbage family before, you will be after a bite of it in it’s roasted state.

Once you go roasted you might further branch out from the raw florets on a crudite platter to a velvety puree or mash, or a creamy soup. But back to that crudite platter for a moment. With such beautiful varieties like the vitamin A packed orange Cheddar, the purple varieties that are full of the antioxidant anthocyanin (see, red wine isn’t the only way to get this antioxidant), and then there is the gorgeous green Romanesco with it’s spiky curd (yeah, the ‘head’ is actually a collection of curds or underdeveloped flowers, go figure), not only will you be loading up on lots of healthy goodness (all are low-cal, high in fiber and high in vitamins C and K), but your platter will be knock out good looking.

Get to the market and look for clean compact heads (oh, I mean curds), that are spot-free and have bright color. Those that are wrapped in lots of fresh green leaves are being kept nice and fresh (and keep those leaves and stem for stock or soups-hello turkey stock!). And size? Doesn’t matter, whatever suits your needs or likes. Store your cauliflower in a plastic or paper bag, stem side down, in the fridge, for up to a week.

Typically I roast my cauliflower in just a bit of olive oil, garlic salt and pepper, but in the interest of keeping my husband healthy, I added some turmeric. Studies have shown that combining turmeric and cauliflower is a terrific way to preserve prostate health, not a lot of prostate cancer in India I am guessing.

Roasted Cauliflower
1 medium to large head of cauliflower
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & cracked black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons ‘plumped’* golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core and cut cauliflower into 1 inch florets. Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the cauliflower evenly, in a single layer, on a baking sheet with sides (jelly roll pan). Roast cauliflower until it is golden and tender, approximately 25 minutes.

*’Plumped’ = raisins soaked in hot water for 10 minutes.

 

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A watched pot….

Fall arrives and I go from all Summer wanting to eat everything, in it’s purest form, right from the garden, to putting all in the oven, slow-cooker, or in a big ole pot on top of the stove to simmer away for hours. Since the weather had been unseasonably warmer of late,I have not jumped head first into non-stop soup making, but I have wanted to preserve as much of the season to get us thru the slow slog of winter.

The multi-taker that I am thought, great, I can get a big batch of pears (from the neighbors tree, yay) prepped and into a pot to cook down into pear butter to put up, all while I am working (yes, an advantage of working from home). All great in theory until the distraction of back-to-back-to-back conference calls set in and then…hum, what is that smell? Minnesota forest fire smoke again? The ban on burning leaves in the city lifted? Oh no, that would be the, or what should have been, the pear butter. So much for multi-tasking.

Guess I need something to do with the pears that does not require a pot over a flame that needs to be watched…and a couple of weeks I got my answer…Becoming a ‘guest bartender’ for an evening (yeah, I can wear alot of hats) for charity, we concocted a drink around fresh pear infused vodka! Not a faux pear-tasting, commercially made vodka, but a high quality vodka allowed to soak up all the sweet wonderful nectar from real pears, and very locally-grown I might add.  Wow, by itself it was incredible. Yep. So need to do this at home. Again. 

Yes, their was a first attempt a number of years back to make my own pear-infused vodka.  And quite frankly thought it would be my last, well, until now when I found out that a handful of sliced pear will not a bottle of vodka infuse.  Oh no, no, no, it takes alot more. But, not so much that you don’t want to tackle this project. And it’s also beyond easy…

Choose the wide mouth (and closeable, is that a word?) jar you want to make your infusion in. Slice your pears, no need to peel, and pack them into the jar, to the top.  Then top off with vodka. Close the jar and let is sit for at least 3-5 days. I used an old canning jar that holds just under two liquid quarts, which ended up holding approx 5 large sliced pears and just about a 750ml bottle of vodka. Now, don’t cheap out on your vodka, cuz the best pears in the world will not make it taste better. 

So as you can imagine, there has been some pear cocktail concocting going on. Here are a couple standouts. The first I must credit Daniel Sviland of Prairie Fire for creating (and for setting me on the right track about fruit to liquor infusion ratio) and the second the rather large pot of rosemary in my yard…

The Sweet Miss G
1 1/2 oz pear infused vodka
1/4 oz of ginger liquer
squeeze of lemon juice
Pour all into a shaker filled with ice. shake well and pour (ice included) into a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Rosemary-Pear Martini
1 1/2 oz pear infused vodka
1/2 oz rosemary-pear infused simple syrup*
squeeze of lemon
Pour all into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.  *to make simple syrup put equal parts water and sugar in a pot over a medium low flame.  add a healthy sprig (or two) of fresh rosemary and a sliced pear. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Yes, that would be me guest bartending @ Prairie Fire for Chicago House

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Happy New Year’s

I dread, dread, dread the end of my favorite season of the year. With the passing of Labor Day weekend suddenly summer is “over”. Why, when so often the best ‘summer’ weather happens in September and October here in Illinois? But I digress, and yes, subconsciously, Labor Day draws that stake-in-the-sand and it’s ‘back to school’ mode, change-in-season mode, and for me at least, new year mode. So that said. Happy New Years! Break out the champagne bottles, oh wait, better yet, the canning jars…

I have no control over the change in temperature or season (what up with the almost 50 degree temperature change over the course of the holiday weekend? but that is a whole other discussion). And I seem to have no control over my fleeting resolution, made every year, that I am going to make this the best summer ever. Ok Miz Ferris Bueller, you STILL have not made it to Wrigley Field this year, so that, along with other best laid plans, are right out the window ’til ‘next year’.  Now what I figure I can control is some summer preservation. Yep, I am gonna put it in a jar. 

Every year one of those seasonal resolutions has been to ‘put up sauce’, or in layman’s terms, make and can homemade tomato sauce. Don’t know why this has eluded each year, when I have managed to make jam, or freeze berries, or pickle a bevy of veg. Perhaps the thought of the pounds of tomatoes that I would need to skin and seed, transform into sauce and then bathe the jars, for how long, in a boiling bath of water kept me from tackling the task.

I might not have seen my Cubs, gone to Ravinia or the Pritzker Pavilion (though apparently I became the Pritzker Pavilion, according to Bill Curits, but again a story for another day), or gotten in enough inline skate time, but I did finally mange to ‘put up sauce’. Or I should say ‘we’ ‘put up sauce’. Total. Team. Effort. ‘Team’ being my husband and I. And in this case have to say teamwork worked really well’. Suddenly the putting up of the sauce’? Not so daunting. And worked so well we are gonna have at it again this weekend.

Mo & Dick’s Summer in a Jar Sauce
30 lbs San Marzano (or any plum style) tomatoes
1 head of garlic chopped (more or less if you like, who am I to dictate how much garlic you like)
Olive oil
1 bunch of fresh basil (left on stems, with about 10 large leaves set aside)
salt & pepper to taste
10 one quart glass canning jars and lids

Cover the bottom of a large (and deep) pot with olive oil. Heat over a medium low heat. Add garlic and give a quick saute (less than a minute).
Remove the stem side of each tomato. Give all a rough chop. (scoring, peeling, seeding? forgetaboutit)
Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper. Cook down, about 40 minutes. Add the whole basil bunch and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Remove the basil bunch.
Remove pot of sauce from the heat. Using an immersion blender (or as I like to call it, the boat motor) puree the sauce completely. Yeah skins, seeds, and all.

Now if you have the freezer space, you could skip the canning and freeze sauce in plastic jars. If proceeding with canning, clean and sterilize (dishwashers work great for this) your jars. Dry jars completely. Fill each jar with sauce, leaving at least an inch from the top. Optional: put a whole large basil leaf on the top of each jar of sauce. Cap the jars. Immerse jars in a bath of boiling water. Different sources (and jar manufacturers) will give different processing times, but I found that 40 minutes for tomatoes worked well. Make sure the cans are completely covered in water. Remove from water (yeah some sources have you let the jars cool while immersed in the water and some will have you remove from the water). Once jars are out of the water and cooling you will hear the ‘pop’ which means your jar is sealed.

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Eat your pea…tendrils please.

Meandering thru the market this weekend, I was drawn to, okay admittedly alot of things but needing to find some focus, a pile of beautifully bundled greens with delicate curling tendrils. Ah, the precursor to peas (who yes I did see at the market for the first time this season) – pea tendrils.  So fresh and green and shouting “Spring”, their time at the market is now, so stop eyeing the lovely mini tarts across the aisle and get back to choosing the perfect bunch of pea tendrils.

Pea tendrils are the shoots and leaves of the snow pea plant.  A spring delicacy that has the subtle sweetness of the pea, but crisp.  Look for tendrils that are young and tender. How can you tell they aren’t too mature? Hint: if they have flowers on them the tendrils and stems can be tough.  If that is the case no worries, just remove the tougher stems and tendrils.  

Pea tendrils do not keep well (hence, sadly, not seeing them on too many restaurant menus) so if you pick a bunch up from the market I would advice preparing that day or at the latest the next.  Trust me on this, it is heartbreaking to find the forgotten, withered bunch of pea tendrils at the bottom of the crisper drawer.

And honestly preparation couldn’t be easier.  Use pea tendrils as you would other greens: sauteed in butter, stir-fried, in soups, or raw, or in a salad with a light vinaigrette.  A favorite in Chinese kitchens, where the pea tendril are referred to as dau miu, simply stir-fried in in hot oil and garlic until just wilted and ta da – done.

Taking my own advice, for once, I got my market treasures home and, inspired to make a simple stir-fry, I bumped it up with a few more market finds.  The following results in a great lunch, plain and served over white rice or a nice side for dinner.

Pea Tendril, Mustard, Shiitake Stir-Fry
1 bunch pea tendrils
1 bunch red mustard greens
1 bunch of chinese broccoli or broccoli rabe
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used a handful from the River Valley Kitchens ‘surprise’ bag)
1 tablespoon of minced green garlic (or sub 1-2 cloves mature garlic)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
splash of dry sherry

Trim stems of pea tendrils, mustards and broccoli rabe.  I went with leaving the greens whole but you can give a rough chop if you like.

Heat oil in large fry pan or wok until hot.  Add mushrooms and cook for approximately 1 minute. Add the oyster sauce to coat the mushrooms. Add green garlic and then immediately add all of the greens.  Cook until just wilted.  Finish with pinch of salt and a splash of dry sherry. Serve as side or over white rice.

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Yes, Nettles Sting…

Running around, playing in the woods as a kid, nettles were something you tried to avoid at all cost. Nothing like killing the rest of your day (cue obbsessive scratching) cuz you ran bare-legged thru a patch of nettles.

So while at the market yesterday, I found myself drawn to a mound of nettles (thanks to Green Acres Farm). Hum, never thought to cook with.  I mean why would I want to bite something that thinks nothing of biting back?  Wondering what they taste like I forgot all that I knew, broke off a leaf and proceeded with tasting…did you know that the little stingers on the nettle are at the base of the leaf?  Yep, my bottom lip now knows. Witnesses (certain farmer and crew who shall remain nameless) to this and no one stopped me?  Clearly I provide a bit of entertainment at the market at 6:30am. Hey, someone’s got to.

After lots of chatting up of fellow-market goers, and recalling all the natural asthma and allergy remedies I have been reading about lately, I make the plunge and purchase a bunch of the nutricious stingers. Something good about it being a cold blustery day, my gloves were on.

Thru-out Russia and most Nordic countries, after long cold winters, and nearing the end of wintered-over produce, some of the first signs of green and good for you came in the form of nettles. High in iron, antioxidants, and vitamins nettles are a true super-food. Steeped in boiling water nettle ‘tea’ (tisane) makes for a great overall health tonic. Heck, been drinking it for 24 hours now and already feel healthier. Who needs ‘The Master Cleanse’?

Pesto, pasta, risotto, sauteed, and a variety of soups are some of the preparations I have found. ALL, can’t stress enough, ALL preparations entail cooking (in boiling water at the very least) the nettles. Or did you forget my experience already?  I haven’t, my lip was stinging for the entire day. Wait a sec’, maybe I am onto the next ‘lip plumper’…save that for health and beauty blog..

Since I have been on a pasta and rice tear the past couple weeks, and because the weather is back to feeling more like November, soup is the order of the day for the nettles. This version I concocted, came about from wanting to combine a number of other early Spring herbs and greens.  So easy. So fast to assemble. So tasty. And sans a scant amount of butter and olive oil, low cal and healthy. Thinking who needs that afore mentioned fancy detox diet, I am just gonna keep making and eatting nettle soup.

Mo’s Nettle Soup (sans sting)

2 T green garlic, chopped fine
3 T green onion or leek, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 T olive oil
3 cups nettles (mostly leaves), packed*
1 quart plus 1 cup chicken broth
3 cups Italian spinach, chopped & packed (yeah any fresh spinach will do)
4 small potatoes, diced
1/2 – 1 cup sorrel, chopped
1 T (plus more for garnish) snipped chives
1 T lemon juice
zest of a whole lemon
salt & pepper to taste
nutmeg to garnish
yoghurt or sour cream to garnish

Heat butter and olive oil in the bottom of soup pot. Add green garlic and onion and saute til tender.  Add the nettles*, cover with chicken broth. Begin to warm over medium heat. Add potatoes, and spinach and cook until all veg are tender. Remove from heat. Add lemon zest & juice, sorrel, salt and pepper. With the aid of a ‘boat motor’ (aka handheld blender) puree.  Serve in bowl with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream, or better yet, creme fraiche, and a sprinkle of chive. Springtime in a bowl.

*always handle raw nettles with gloves on.

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A Rampstand? But of course…

Okay, unlike what seems like EVERYONE, this month, I am not really on the OMG ramps, ramps, ramps I must have NOW bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I love their ushering in of Spring, love there oniony-garlicky flavor, but quite frankly they are so thirty-plus years ago for me. Been there, done that, all at the ripe ole age of nine. Oh so ahead my time.

After moving to the midwest in the early 70’s (Hinsdale, IL to be exact) I found myself a new BBF, Kim. Well, said BBF and I were playing outside (cuz yeah, back then that is what you did, no inside on the Wii or PC for us) in the woods behind her house (which was technically Oak Brook: tip off for you foragers out there, then again guessing development over the years has wiped out the ramps) we came upon an absolute SEA of ramps or what our nine year old selves called wild onions (I mean who was on the ‘ramp’ trend back then?).

I have no idea what went off in ours heads that we both thought, hey we can sell these! Forget lemonade, that is so ‘done’, no one is selling wild onions. We furiously picked mounds of them (god we must of stunk to high hell), set up a stand at the end of the driveway. Bring on the buyers, we are so going to make our fortune. Genius! Smartest. Kids. On. The. Block. Well in the early 70’s? No. So. Much. Not one sale. We couldn’t understand it. Like I said, ahead of our time. If we had set up that same stand today we would be golden, buzzed about in the the food blogosphere or featured on the on Food Network as the youngest food entrepreneurs…

Now after all that ramp-reminiscing I am craving the stinky little weed.  Do like them pickled, or roasted, but on a cold wet day it’s in a cozy comfy pasta dish that I am a hankering for. I am hoping that the Pasta Puttana has her ramp pasta at Green City tomorrow (had some last year and it is oh so good) but meanwhile I want some pasta today. And thanks to my friend Bernie (she who has provided the gorgeous pictures on this post – this gal can shoot food!) for turning me onto this quick ramp pasta recipe from epicurious.com.

Spaghetti with Ramps (serves 4)

  • 1/2 pound ramps
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
Directions
Trim roots from ramps and slip off outer skin on bulbs if loose.
Blanch ramps in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, 2 to 3 seconds, and transfer to a cutting board with tongs.
Coarsely chop ramps and put in a blender with zest and oil.
Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook a few minutes, then ladle out 1/2 cup pasta water and add to blender.
Purée ramps until smooth and season with salt.
Continue to cook spaghetti until al dente, then ladle out about 1 cup additional pasta water before draining spaghetti in a colander.
Return pasta to pot with ramp purée and toss with parmesan over moderate heat 1 to 2 minutes, thinning sauce with a little pasta water as needed to coat pasta.
p.s. photo credit to Bernadine Rolnicki, food photographer extraordinaire
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PSA for the Bees

I have taken the following right from SlowFoodUSA.org. Would love if you could all take the time to read, and then sign their petition to help get to the bottom of what is killing our honey bees. Bees are the key in sustainability. We lose them and…well, I would rather not go there right now.

Spring’s going to be a lot quieter this year. Something is killing off almost 40% of North American honeybees each year, and it’s threatening our entire food chain. Mounting scientific evidence suggests agricultural pesticides are one of the culprits.

The Environmental Protection Agency has the power to investigate and ban the pesticides thought to be responsible but, despite their own scientists’ advice and under pressure from pesticides companies, they’re dragging their feet.

Much of the plant-life we depend on for food exists thanks to honeybees. Now the bees are depending on us to return the favor. Click here to sign our petition calling on the EPA to solve the mystery that’s killing our buzz:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5986/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5833

Bees don’t just make honey: from apples to lemons, much of the food we eat may disappear with the bees. Even milk and beef production could be threatened: guess what makes the plants that feed the cows? Our friend the honeybee.

What’s more, bees add $15 billion to the annual US economy, and their loss will have a devastating impact on food production and food prices. But the EPA is under pressure to do nothing about it from pesticide companies and the pesticide ‘scientists’ those companies bankroll.

The EPA has already acknowledged it should look into the causes of “Colony Collapse Disorder”. We need to counter the pesticide lobby’s pressure and hold the EPA to that commitment, by sending them a message they can’t ignore:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5986/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5833

Everyone stands to lose with the threat to our food chain known as CCD. That’s why everyone needs to stand together to counter the pressure the EPA is under not to do it’s job: protect the things we rely on to survive.

Many Slow Food chapters are also hosting screenings of a new CCD documentary, Vanishing of the Bees. It’s a great way to get together in your community and learn more about what you can do to help solve this problem.

Time and again Slow Food members get together to celebrate the importance of food. It’s now the time to take action to protect that which binds us together, and stand up for the bees that make it all possible.

Thanks for spreading the buzz,
The Slow Food USA team

PS – Can you help spread the buzz? For every 100 signatures we collect on our petition to protect the bees we depend on for our foodwe’ll send a bee-shaped postcard to the Director of the EPA’s Pesticide Programs. Imagine those on the wall the next time the pesticide lobby pops in!

 

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