Beet-pink

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I own a heart-shaped donut pan. I wish I used it more. I did use it for Valentine’s Day, when I made pink food coloring from beets for my food column. But beet-pink food coloring is for everyone, all the time. Color a birthday party with pink glaze. Dip-dye some fabric. I don’t know. Check it out.

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Lamb stew forever

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This is probably my top recipe contender. We ordered a half lamb for 2016, and EVERY shank, every bit of stew meat, has become this amazing meal, served over polenta. It’s savory, it’s muttony, it’s bright and acidic, it tastes like my mom hugging me. It’s a weekend dinner, simmered low and slow until the bones fall off the shanks (make broth), liquid marrying until it becomes something entirely new and entirely divine. Here’s the recipe, from my Berkshire Eagle column. There’s a list of Berkshire lamb producers included there as well.

Next year, we’re definitely getting a whole lamb—my husband wants to get a second fridge for downstairs so he can keep the beer he brews on tap, which means I get a second freezer. Living the dream here in the Berkshires for sure.

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To future springs and summers

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Wow, I’ve been neglectful. Sorry! I thought winter would be a great time to keep this blog updated and lively, but it’s been a warm winter, so I’ve been all over the place.

Did you know I am a folk singer? Yeah, sort of. Someone told me I sounded like a cross between Lou Reed and Kathleen Hanna—I took that as the highest of high compliments. I play two or three shows a month, which keeps me pretty busy.

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Another thing keeping me busy is the North Adams Farmers Market—I’m on the committee (and the fundraising subcommittee) and we’re working on all sorts of wonderful things for the upcoming season, which begins in June. Expect a bit more market at the market this year. We’re also working on a fundraiser cookbook, which I wrote about recently in the Berkshire Eagle. Committee members (particularly Veronica Bosley, who took the photos in this post) have been collecting farm-fresh recipes from local chefs, farmers, bakers, home cooks and more, and the result is going to be AWESOME.

See you at the market! Or at a show! Or on this blog, occasionally : )

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Healthy Meals to Balance Out Holiday Treats

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I know, it’s not a sparkly holiday column about cake and sprinkles and butter. Trust me: I am still making a ton of stuff that’s bad for me because it’s December. For this month’s Eagle column, I tried to balance out the Pinterest overload (my cake picks here) with some easy dinner recipes that are also very healthy.

There’s a sweet potato/black bean taco, a simple pork loin with lemon kale and a stuffed delicata squash. The local angle: You can make any of these recipes with stuff that’s in season right now. There’s also a short list of upcoming farmers markets in the Berkshires and Southern Vermont.  Enjoy! Or, keep cakin’.

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BTW Berkshires’ 2015 Holiday Guide

Kate Abbott, formerly editor of the Eagle’s Berkshires Week and now editor at BTWBerkshires, has complied an amazing, useful, digital holiday guide for the region. It’s available here. If you live here, you’re going to find yourself coming back to it time and time again this month. If you don’t live here, use it to plan your holiday sojourn to Berkshire County.

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The Homemade Kitchen

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I recently interviewed Alana Chernila, author of The Homemade Kitchen and blogger at Eating From the Ground Up, for the Berkshire Eagle. Chernila is from the Berkshires and her cookbooks and blog and recipes are awesome—so awesome, in fact, that The Kitchn is cooking out of the book this week. Check that out too!

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Hipster golumpki

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Here’s a fun one for Thanksgiving—a spin on golumpki, the legendary Polish meat-filled cabbage roll, generally served with tomato sauce. It was my recipe for my November Berkshire Eagle column (there’s a big Polish community in the Berkshires).

This one embraces my late-fall surplus and features butternut squash, sausage, brown rice, carrots and onion, and it’s SO GOOD. I’ve never really rolled anything in cabbage before this, but I’m going to all the time now. Yum!

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