Amanda's Kids' Lunch

Amanda's Kids' Lunch

By • May 31, 2012 • 1 Comment

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There's a secret special ingredient snuck in with the Greenmarket fare in today's peek into Amanda's kids' lunchboxes. Here's what they're having, straight from Amanda herself:

"Smoked ham topped with sautéed turnip greens, kale, and fresh garlic. I think a few asparagus spears are snuck in there as well. The local strawberries are nice this year so I've been putting them in every lunch -- sometimes whole, sometimes sliced and mixed with yogurt, and sometimes on top of stewed rhubarb. My kids went to a birthday party where there was a piñata, thus the lollipop and Hershey's Chocolate. I let our kids have commercial candy now and then, but I draw the line at fast food!"

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Sundry Topics

Kickstarter Love: Muñeca Mexicana

By • May 30, 2012 • 2 Comments

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Each week in Kickstarter Love, Feed52 will feature a Kickstarter project that focuses on food and the community. Basically, it’s about cool people doing cool things with food. This week, it’s all about authentic, Mexican food.


Minerva Orduno believes that pork fat is a gift from the gods. She can grab a piping-hot tortilla with her bare hands, and can make a batch of creamy, goat’s milk caramel with her eyes closed. She does all of this (completely and painstakingly by hand), at Muñeca Mexicana, a project that stands for the artisanal production of mouth-watering, authentic Mexican fare.

The name translates to ‘Mexican doll,’ and is a nod to Orduno’s adolescent nickname. As such, it represents her food perfectly: the confections of Muñeca Mexicana channel her strong sense of culture through the home-cooked food of her childhood.

Orduno is committed to cooking the traditional way - which, for her, is the right way - even if that means longer cooking times. Take her Cajeta de Calaya, a rich caramel made from goat’s milk that evaporates slowly over three hours. Or her coyotas, pastries carefully stuffed with an unrefined sugar known as piloncillo.

Above all, Orduno wants to “show the world that Mexican food is more than just rice and beans.” Her pastries, seasonings, and moles speak for themselves, but your donation will help to make that happen. Pledges will contribute to equipment, and eventually, the physical storefront her products deserve.

Muñeca Mexicana Handcrafted Food from Kickstarter

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City Dirt

More on Potatoes (In or Out of Bags)

By • May 29, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Are you growing potatoes in a bag this summer? Here's more on everyone's favorite starchy tuber from our garden specialist Amy Pennington:

Potatoes grow underground and are considered a "tuber" -- a plant that is enlarged to store nutrients and has the ability to make a new plant. Potatoes, yams and even dahlias are considered tubers. So why do you need to know what at tuber is?

Here is some great info for all your science nerds to help shed light on the growth pattern of potatoes. Ultimately, this information is meant to help you -- if you’re going to build a potato-loving system that is highly productive, you've got to think like the plant!

You care about what a tuber is because tubers produce plants from a stolon (a sub-soil, sprout-like, horizontal root). The stolon is formed from the axils of the plant -- the place where the stem and leaves connect. I bet you thought potatoes form and grow off of a piece of cut potato? Well instead, potatoes actually grow between the original seed piece you plant, and the above-ground leaves. They're the stem of the plant, not the root.

Potatoes are a member of the Nightshade family (alongside tomatoes, eggplant, and of course, the deadly nightshade), some of which are toxic plants. Nightshades are prone to soil disease and must be rotated around the garden year after year in order to minimize problems with the soil. For a home gardener working in beds, this means diligent planning or designating an area outside your beds for potatoes. (Good news! If you grow in bags on your patio, you don't have to worry about this!)

Lastly, here's an alternative to using soil to mound your potato plant: you can also layer the stem in straw. That's right — just straw. It acts as a growing medium for the potatoes — a clean, unmessy growing medium. No cleaning off soil when you harvest, as potatoes will grow directly into the straw. Even better, in warm climates (down south, for instance), the straw layers help moderate temperatures and insulate the bag, which is perfect for potatoes that don't do well in the heat.

What are your tips for growing potatoes?

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5 Questions

Love Vegetables? You'll Love Herbivoracious

By • May 29, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Here's what you encounter when you visit the website for Michael Natkin's new book, Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes, based on his blog of the same name: "I Don’t Care if you are a Vegetarian, Omnivore, Carnivore, Vegan, Pescetarian, or Flexitarian!"

And it's true! Whether you're a lifelong vegetarian or just looking to work more meatless meals into your diet, Natkin's refreshing and beautiful recipes are a wonderful place to get started. We spoke with him about how he came to food blogging after a years-long career in computer graphics, what it was like transforming a blog into a book idea, and more. Be sure to check out Herbivoracious (the blog), and find out more about Herbivoracious (the cookbook)!

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