Guest post: What is the “Dirty Dozen” and why should I care?

I hope you know that I ADORE writing for my blog, talking to all of you, and sharing my products, recipes and thoughts with you.

But when Healthline.com approached me, asking if I’d be interested in their writing up a few “guest posts” for me, I couldn’t say YES fast enough! Come on, it’s like someone asking “May I cook dinner for you and I’ll even clean the kitchen afterwards”!

”  Healthline’s mission is to make the people of the world healthier through the power of information. “

Big thanks to Healthline.com !  Be sure to comment at the end and let them know what you thought of the piece, would you?   ~ Laura



The Dirty Dozen – Why Some Foods Are Better Bought Organic

The dirty dozen, when referring to fruits and vegetables and not the 1967 classic starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, is a list of the dozen conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue as put out by the Environmental Working Group. Read the rest of this entry

How it’s made: Spiced Chocolate Bark (part 1)

Have you ever looked at something and wondered how it is made?

I do,  all the time.  Ridged rigatoni, a ball of twine, a violin– they’ve all captured my curiosity.

Chocolate bark is nowhere as complex as a violin, but it is still interesting to think about all of the steps required to get from this:

to this:

IMG_1662 Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Spicy, Sweet ‘n Smokey Cowboy Chili

It’s that time of year that this owner of a spice company looks forward to the most:  the annual Chili Contest at Catamount Ski Resort!

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This great event brings together chili competitors from all over — home cooks, caterers, chefs, restaurants. It’s great fun but also a great cause, as both the competitor registration fee and the tasters’ entrance fees are donated to the Roe Jan Food Pantry.Chili cookoff image

According to Heather White, Communications Manager for Catamount,

“A total of $676 for the Roe Jan Food Pantry during the event, so please give yourselves a hand!  We had 95 people as taste testers, who voted for the winners.”

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19 bubbling pots of chili were available for tasting this year. Read the rest of this entry

Tips for Small Business Success: what I’ve learned so far

Depending on who you ask, Your Spice of Life will be celebrating with either iron or sugar, when we reach our 6 year anniversary in a few months.

I am very proud of what I have accomplished. Could it have been more — bigger, better, smoother, more profitable, more products, more stores? Of course. But the fact that it is still standing, in fact growing and appreciated by many, makes me happy.

Your Spice Banner 3

So rather than receiving gifts of iron or sugar, I have a small gift for you:  I’d like to share some observations from these last few years, when I went from a corporate-all-the-way, software training, pearls and pumps-wearing gal to a sole proprietor of quirky seasoning company in the Berkshires. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Wintery Spiced Fruit Compote

My younger sister likes to tell people that I went through a period,  early in my cooking life, where almost everything I made was stewed. I claim no recollection of this and yet, here I am with a stewed fruit compote recipe.

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Why? Because it’s delicious and warming and fragrant and elegant. Not to mention, it was THE perfect dish to bring to a brunch potluck during the holidays. Did I mention, it has no added sugar? Read the rest of this entry

Kitchen resolutions: Recycle, Repurpose, Renew

How about making some New Year’s resolutions that feel good and do good?

Like many of you, the kitchen is the center of my home.  So, I thought this would be the perfect place to focus some of my resolutions.

Let’s get a fresh start here, focusing on recycling, repurposing and renewing. The beauty is that it is fairly quick to do; you will be doing a good deed; and your meals will thank you afterwards.

Recycling

I’m not talking about your glass and plastic, here. It’s your pantry that I’m interested in – those items that are months (years?) beyond their expiration dates, and need to go to that great compost pile in the sky. Read the rest of this entry

Elegant, Easy Holiday Menu with Spanish flair

Recipe: Roasted Orange-Fennel Salad

Epic Christmas Eve dinner 2013,  continued:

Sicilian Roasted Salad

Sicilian Roasted Salad

Our menu was coming along swimmingly, but there was a marked absence of greens. I said something about how elegant whole romaine leaves can be as a salad; my sister Peggi said something about once having a broiled salad with oranges; my sister Lisa said something about “stop talking, start cooking!” and we were off and running. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Sage Butternut Lasagna

Another recipe in the series of “Christmas Eve dinner 2013″:

The plan was to make 3 very different types of raviolis, from scratch:

  • porcini mushroom with black truffle oil
  • butternut squash with brown sage butter
  • two cheese with roasted tomato and caper sauce

The thing with planning, is that not everything cooperates, right? The kitchen sink backed up during the prep phase, which put a stop to all washing of dishes, pots and utensils. I had already prepared the butternut squash filling, so I decided to make a lasagna out of it, and skip the other 2 raviolis in the interest of reducing cookware that would need to be washed.

Butternut-Sage Lasagna

Butternut-Sage Lasagna

Not a bad move, all told;  it was freaking delicious. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe: Spanish Chorizo with Smoked Paprika Potatoes

In continuing to document the most fun Christmas Eve meal I just had, I have to tell you about this dish!

Chorizo & Potato with smoked paprika

Chorizo & Potato with smoked paprika

Recap: no kids this year, no enduring family traditions, opening the door to the imaginative Spanish-style menu we developed.

I had been keeping an eye out for appropriate ingredients during the week before, and I spotted fresh chorizo at The Berry Farm while making a delivery. I’ll be darned if I can’t remember the brand, but I do recall that there were no gross ingredients, no nitrates or mentions of organ meats, and it was local. (I also picked up a package of huge, moist Medjool dates which got transformed into this recipe.) Read the rest of this entry

Rick Bettencourt

A writer of fun, cool and thought provoking fiction involving gay characters.

The Cheese Traveler

A Cheese, Meat and Specialty Food Shop in the Heart of DelSo, Albany, NY

A Recipe Blog

A Healthy Lifestyle Designed For You

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

A how to for everyone and anyone

Your Spice of Life

~ "Yummy. Easy. Organic."

tamara lea

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