Behind the Scenes

Garden Update: We’re talking the Birds and the Bees in the Garden.

Nothing X-rated here, though nature is making magic happen. As the summer garden kicks in gear and we inspect everything morning, noon and night, there’s one question on my mind a lot: is it a male or female? Why? Whether squash blossom or day-old baby chick, its future here depends on sexing. The winter and summer squash plants have just […]

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Behind the Scenes: From Garden to (Photo) Table

Triumph! This peekaboo surprise greeted me in the garden as I was harvesting garlic scapes at dawn this morning. Why so giddy? Cauliflower is not always the easiest cool-season crop to grow. Well, at least in our Alabama garden. Add in our quick-rising mercury and sprint to summer heat and one may resign to attempting only in the Fall season. […]

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6 Lessons Learned From Our Garden Last Year

In looking back at a year of photographs from the Cooking Light garden, the miracles of nature are Kodak-clear. We started with rocky, damp soil in February and by year’s end had rich compost, earthworms in every square inch, and hundreds of pounds of produce to show for it. We had rainy weeks and firecracker-hot July days and spectacular ones […]

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A Beautiful Seafood Lunch

We were thrilled Friday to join Southern Living for a chat, oyster tasting, and beautiful seafood lunch with Jim Gossen, former president of Louisiana Foods and hero of Gulf seafood. Jim told us that “sustainable” is more than just a politically correct term to arm yourself with at the fish counter—it’s about working with both small and commercial fishermen to […]

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2013′s First Garden Update

Brighten up a gray day (at least that’s how it is here in Alabama) with the first garden update of 2013 from Farmer Mary Beth. -Phillip In our Cooking Light garden this January day, it’s a balmy, drippy 68 degrees. What? Yes. You read that correctly. And just a few days ago it was 28 degrees. Both the plants and […]

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See why that crab meat you love is so expensive

I recently got back from a tour of the oyster farms and crab plants of Bayou La Batre, an area of coastal Alabama that feels very similar to southern Louisiana in flavor: live oak trees, winding roads, friendly people, good food. If you ever wondered why fresh crabmeat can be so expensive, check out this short video of an expert crab picker at the […]

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Gold Star Cookbook: Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast

Months before Ken Forkish’s bread book, “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast“,  became public, an advanced edition came across my desk. The perfect simplicity the title embodies screamed for my attention; beckoning me to conjure up the powers of natural leavening within those four ingredients. Taking it home, I set my sights on the hybrid-leavening breads (breads that use a combination of Fleischmann’s style instant […]

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Garden Update: Fall is Here!

Fall is finally here at the Cooking Light garden: the bean trellis is now a skeleton, and the area where we once grew tomatoes is now home to cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Here’s an update and some photos from Mary Beth and David (Warning: Adorable puppy ahead!): Radishes: The Purple Plum and Pink Beauties were absolute gems of perfection. They were […]

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National Candy Corn Day

I’m a fan of all things Halloween–all things fall, really–which is why I get so excited when bags of candy corn start making their first appearances. I’m not really fond of eating the super-sweet confection. I just like their colors, their shape, and the fact they herald the start of the best season of the year. Today, October 30, is […]

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More from Korea: Videos and Photos

We didn’t have enough room in the magazine to show all the incredible food I was fortunate enough to try in Korea, so here’s a larger sampling. I was amazed at the variety of dishes and the beauty of the food. I can’t wait to go back to Korea—next time with my husband and kids! (Read about my journey here.) […]

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