Garden to Kitchen: Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Soup

The other day I decided to whip up some pumpkin puree — how hard could that be, right? Nine pumpkins and three hours later, as our stomachs grumbled impatiently, I realized I had gallons of pumpkin puree and nothing for dinner.

Garden to Kitchen: Pumpkin Puree

I am the girl who usually gets her pumpkin puree from a can, but this year I was inspired by all the garden-to-kitchen happenings in our home, so I decided to try my hand at making our own puree. I’m planning to use the puree in several different recipes, so I needed to start with this basic step before venturing further.

Garden to Kitchen: Southern Fried Squash & Okra

One of the best things about gardening is squash. It is my favorite vegetable, and has been since I was a very young child. I credit my parents for this — they introduced me to the mouth-watering goodness of fried squash as soon as I was old enough to eat solid food.

Garden to Kitchen: Cool Spinach Dip

We hear so often how important it is to include leafy greens in our diet, so I’m always looking for ways to fit more into our meals. I particularly like using spinach — I find the rather bland flavor works well in just about any recipe.

Garden to Kitchen: Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

When I’m lucky enough to keep the chipmunks* away from our strawberries, I’m able to make one of my favorite summer snacks — Strawberry Cilantro Salsa. This recipe is light, fresh, juicy, flavorful and healthy.

Garden to Kitchen: Early Season Entertaining Menu

Last night I went to a great networking event for women entrepreneurs, hosted by my friend Judy. Judy is one of the most fantastic hostesses I’ve ever known, and even the best hostesses appreciate a hand now and then, so I offered to bring some food for the occasion.

Garden to Kitchen: Lemon Pesto Pasta

Basil is my favorite herb, and this dish is one of my all-time favorite uses of it. We’ve served this to just about everyone who has ever eaten at our house, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it.

Garden to Kitchen: Broccoli w. Parmesan & Pine Nuts

One of the cool season crops I love most is broccoli. Years ago — before I knew better — I attempted to grow it in the middle of summer, and I couldn’t understand why it bolted and grew flowers instead of a head of broccoli.

Pesticides, Produce & The 2014 Dirty Dozen

Yesterday the Environmental Working Group released its annual report, the 2014 Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which aims to help people eat healthy and reduce their exposure to pesticides.