February 27th, 2015

VIDEO: Load Up on Veggies With This Cauliflower “Rice” Stir-Fry

Go beyond your traditional stir-fry with this all vegetable, grain-free, cauliflower “rice”-based dish. It’s a one-pot wonder that’s sure to become a favorite side, as it’s fast, fresh, and loaded with produce.

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February 26th, 2015

VIDEO: Paleo-Perfect Cauliflower “Rice”

Looking to swap your grains for veggies, but don’t want to miss out on all that flavor? Well look no further, because we have a delicious and foolproof cauliflower “rice” that’s Paleo-friendly, vegan, and filled with tons of nutrients!

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February 25th, 2015

VIDEO: An Art Show Visible Only Under UV Light

Aowen Jin creates an exhibit only visible under UV light at London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens as part of an event celebrating the Lunar New Year. Video: Kristiano Ang

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February 24th, 2015

VIDEO: Make Wolfgang Puck’s Signature Stuffed Pasta Recipe at Home

The Governors Ball is Hollywood’s most glamorous dinner party, and Wolfgang Puck has written, produced, and directed the menu for 21 years in a row. The chef gave us an inside look at what the stars dined on right after the Academy Awards as well as the recipe for one of his signature dishes: agnolotti, a stuffed pasta similar to ravioli. From Wolfgang Puck Celery Root Agnolotti Notes Some longtime regulars of Spago Beverly Hills, including many Hollywood stars who’ll be at the Governors Ball following the Oscars, reach a point where they can almost tell what season it is simply by seeing what kind of filling we put in our agnolotti, a close cousin to ravioli and tortellini that we fill with all sorts of seasonal purees from Summer white corn to Autumn butternut squash to chestnut puree for the holiday season. This year, guests at the post-ceremony party will be enjoying agnolotti with a delicate filling of celery root puree, which gains just a little extra body from including a couple of small baking potatoes. We’ll be garnishing it with shavings of fresh black truffle, which costs almost as much as some of the diamonds the stars will be wearing; but the agnolotti will also be delicious with butter and freshly grated parmesan alone. IngredientsPasta Dough: 3 cups all-purpose flour 8 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 to 3 tablespoons water Seminola or all-purpose flour, for dusting Celery Root Filling: 1 celery root (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 or 2 small baking potatoes (about 4 ounces total), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter White pepper, freshly ground Agnolotti: 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a little water to make an egg wash 1/2 cup good-quality chicken broth or vegetable broth Salt Black pepper, freshly ground 6 ounces unsalted butter Chopped fresh chives, for serving Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for serving Fresh black truffle, for serving (optional) Directions For the pasta dough: Make at least a couple of hours ahead of time or up to a day ahead. In a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, combine the flour, egg yolks, salt, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Process until the dough begins to hold together, then stop the machine and pinch the dough to test it. If it feels too dry, pulse in up to 1 more tablespoon water, and process until a moist ball forms. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured, smooth work surface and knead by hand until smooth. Loosely wrap in plastic, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. For the celery root filling: Put the celery root and potato in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and cook until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and return the celery root and potato to the pan. Pour in the cream and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until most of the cream has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Puree the celery root and potato and any liquid in a food mill set over a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice and water and leave to chill, stirring occasionally, until thick. (You should have about 2 cups of filling, enough for about 100 agnolotti, or 10 servings. For the agnolotti: Cut the rested pasta dough into 4 equal pieces. Keep the other pieces covered with plastic wrap while you roll out one piece at a time, by hand with a rolling pin or through the rollers of a pasta machine, stretching the dough to the desired thickness. If using a pasta machine, set the rollers to the widest opening. Flatten the first piece of dough into a thick strip no wider than the machine, to enable it to pass through the rollers. If necessary, dust the pasta very lightly with flour. Run the pasta through the machine. Fold in thirds, crosswise, and run through the machine again. Repeat this procedure two more times, until the dough is smooth and somewhat elastic. Set the machine to the next smaller opening and run the dough through the rollers. Continue rolling and stretching the dough, using the smaller opening each time, until the next-to-last or last opening is reached, dusting lightly with flour only as necessary. (The strip of dough will be long. If you don’t have enough space on your worktable, halfway through the rolling process, cut the strip of dough in half and continue to work with each piece separately, keeping the unused dough covered). Place a strip of rolled-out pasta dough on a lightly flour-dusted work surface. Brush the dough with egg wash. Mound little heaps of the chilled filling about 1 inch apart on top of the dough strip, centered along half of its length. Fold the other half of the strip over the filling and press down with your fingers squeeze dough in between the filling mounds to seal them in. With a serrated pasta cutter, cut out the agnolotti, and then trim away excess dough to leave no more than 1/4 inch around the edges of each filled pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a heavy sauté pan over high heat, add the broth and butter. Boil until the mixture forms a thick emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slip the agnolotti into the boiling water and cook until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss gently in the butter. Spoon into large, shallow pasta or soup plates and garnish with chives. Serve immediately, passing parmesan at the table and, if you like, shaving black truffle over each portion. Information Category Main Dishes, Pasta Cuisine Italian Yield 10 servings Print recipe

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February 10th, 2015

Garden Dreaming

Winter may not be the time for gardening outdoors in most of the country, but it is the time of year to start dreaming about plants and gardens by getting seed catalogs in the mail or going to flower shows or going to garden symposiums and lectures.

One website that claims they list over 500 Garden shows in the US in 2015 and also tells you where to get tickets is this.

A good website to find 70 free seed and plant catalogs is this.

Every botanical garden in the country and most of the great gardens have outstanding lectures on plants, horticulture, gardening, you name it related to your garden or indoor plants. Check their list of programs to see if there is a talk that interests you. Wikipedia has a list of the major botanical gardens and arboretums in the US. You can then go on the website of the place that interests you or find their phone number to call to see what talks or garden programs they will be having in 2015.

Happy garden dreaming.

February 9th, 2015

A Sick Peace Lily

TheGardenLady received this question from Mary.

I have a diseased plant. I believe it’s a peace lily. It was given to my family after my grandmother passed away and once it became diseased my mother wanted to throw it out but I wanted to try to save it; so I brought it to my house in San Diego. Do you have any suggestions on how I can save it? Almost every leaf is dark and wilted, starting from the tip and moving to toward the root. The part that meets with the soil is turning yellow. Can I send a picture?

TheGardenLady knows how meaningful it is to try to keep something that is inherited from a beloved relative. And plants are treasured for those dear memories. So of course, you can send a photo of your plant. A photo can often help more as a diagnostic tool than just a verbal description.

But even better than sending the photo to TheGardenLady, is to take your plant to your local Master Gardener office for them to see the plant and, hopefully, to recommend a way of saving it. This is a free service with people trained in horticulture who work as a group to diagnose this very type of problem. Here is the website of the San Diego Master Gardeners with a telephone number to call and ask a good time to bring your plant in.

Though Peace Lilies, Spathiphyllum, are quite hardy and easy to grow, they do get some diseases like root rot and bacterial soft rot.

Therefore, even without seeing your plant, this Garden Lady would suggest your taking the plant out of the soil it is in and seeing if there is root rot. If there is, cut the rotten root out till you see healthy root- hope it is not too late. Cut back dead leaves but leave any healthy looking leaves or even green segments of leaves. Wash off any remaining soil left on the root and wash the leaves using cool water.  Then re-pot the lily in either a soil-less potting mix or a regular soil-based potting mix that you can buy in any store or make your own soil. It is important that the soil drains well. Directions for soil (here).  Water the soil and give the plant some fertilizer. Never water too much because the Peace Lily plants hate being in soggy ground. Do not give too much fertilizer because these plants prefer getting their nutrition from good soil – directions for this type of fertilizer and watering instructions are also in the article.

If you grow the Peace lily indoors, put the newly re-potted plant in BRIGHT INDIRECT light – that means no sun shining on them.  If you grow the plant outdoors, it likes moist but well-drained hummus-rich soil in shade.

If your Peace lily does have a disease, the Master Gardeners will tell you and will recommend a fungicide.

Good luck. I hope it is not too late to save your grandmother’s plant.

February 8th, 2015

VIDEO: 5 Everyday Things Ruining Our Air – DNews

Each and every day, you might be using some common items that are terrible for the environment and depleting Earth’s atmosphere!

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February 2nd, 2015

VIDEO: Road Salt Is Worse Than You Think! – DNews

We use road salt to melt ice after a snowstorm, but is it bad for the environment?

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January 20th, 2015

Growing Mushrooms Indoors

While it is now winter but many gardeners are itching to see something grow indoors. There is something that anyone, a student in the classroom or in a dorm room or an adult at home or at her desk at work can grow at any time of the year. And that is mushrooms.

Mushrooms need a warm indoor climate and water. Companies sell the kits and all you do is follow directions. Of course, it is a bit pricier than shopping for your mushrooms in your local grocery store. But grocery shopping does not seem like as much fun as ordering a kit for growing mushrooms, following directions on how to open the package and water the growing mushrooms and watching them grow and harvesting your mushrooms in 10 days or less. Then you can enjoy your own gourmet treat with the freshest mushrooms. If you are lucky, you can grow a second batch from the same kit.

Where do you get the mushroom kits? A few suggestions to check out are:

Back to the Roots

Midwest Grow Kits

Park Seed Co.

Fungi Perfecti

Peaceful Valley Grow Organic

Have fun all you budding fungologists or mycologists.

January 12th, 2015

VIDEO: Is Kale Really That Good For You? – DNews

More and more people are eating kale. Is it really that good for you?

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