UC Cooperative Extension 100 Year Celebration

One hundred years is a long time to get it right, and that is just what the UC Cooperative Extension Program has done and is doing. As evidenced at the UC Cooperative Extension 100 year celebration at the Seven Sisters Community Garden this past Saturday, there are a plethora of Volunteer and Staff to answer any and all of the agriculture, horticulture and gardening questions that anyone might have here in San Luis Obispo County. The UC Cooperative also runs programs as varied as 4-H, UC Cal Fresh Nutrition Education Program, as well as Viticulture field research and County Director and Horticulture Farm Advisor Mary Bianchi was on hand to tell us about them and thank the staff and volunteers who work in these programs. Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian of the 35th assembly district presented Ms. Bianchi with a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the Assembly.

The Master Gardener program and the newly offered Master Preserver program is a valuable offering here in San Luis Obispo County. They not only provide the participant the knowledge to become experts in their own right, but also the ability to share that wealth of knowledge with others in our community through networking … Read More

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Blending Wines at Ancient Peaks Winery




The Edible San Luis Obispo team enjoyed a ‘mixer’ at Ancient Peaks Winery’s estate Margarita Vineyard. We were greeted by Chris Weir among other staff and friendly attendees , offered their refreshing Rose and then were treated to a tour of the vineyard itself where grapes grow in the calcium rich soils of an ancient seabed. Evidence was everywhere with the pulverized oyster shells seen readily in the hills in front of us, and more amazingly in full fossilized oyster shells everywhere around us. The use of compost tea, made on site by the vineyard team, helps the plants to better use the calcium that is in such abundance in the fields. The use of special low water emitters helped with water conservation as well as during the occasional frosts by coating the grapevines themselves with water, which when frozen keeps the plant warm and safe from the freeze.

The lesson was followed by a primer on wines and varietals in the big barn from both of the estate winemakers, Stewart Cameron & Mike Sinor, then the ‘work’ began for us. Yes, sorry to tell you, we spent our work day tasting wonderful wines at the Vineyard as well as … Read More

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Sourcing your Best Recipes

By Karissa Tucker

Have you ever been discouraged when a recipe you found on the internet didn’t taste as good as it looked? It’s certainly happened to me, and I find that a lot of people who “don’t like to cook” have really just had bad luck with recipes.

For example, if I see food that is remotely cute or in a weird shape, I immediately think to myself “they got this on Pinterest”. Thankfully, most people seem to have better luck with Pinterest recipes than I do. In my own experience, the focus of Pinterest recipes is presentation, so they often end up like a failed science project when it comes to taste (and more often than not, looks too). It’s a pity, because Pinterest is so visually appealing and if you see it daily, it keeps love for food and excitement about cooking in the forefront of your mind, and that’s a treasure.

I’m spoiled to the point at which I am loathe to cook from a book that lacks beautifully styled pictures because there are so many recipes calling my name that do have inviting images to go with them. It’s not uncommon to find full photo … Read More

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Enjoying your SLO-Style Dining Group

Some fun ideas to kick-start your own dining group

By Karissa Tucker

The Central Coast has some great restaurants, old and new, and I’m always hearing about a new place I want to try. My husband and I don’t eat out very often because it’s hard on our budget, but when we do get the chance, we love to try new places, and what better way to experience a new restaurant than with fellow foodie friends? This spin on a dining group cuts down on prep and clean up at your own home, too.

You can start or join a public dining group as well, which can be a great way to meet new people who are into the local food scene. For example, a quick Google search led me to the Central Coast Vegetarian Network.

http://www.meetup.com/The-Central-Coast-Vegetarian-Network-Meetup-Group/

A simple and easy way to kick-start an in-home dining group is to pick an activity or movie to theme your meal around. I’m still trying to catch up with last year’s Oscar nominees – such is the life of a parent – so here are some pairings I’ve been thinking about:

Watch Beasts of the Southern Wild and make a Cajun meal. … Read More

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Spring into Spring with German Preserves

DIY Rumtopf for the season

By Karissa Tucker  

I’m thrilled by the resurgence of all things ‘do-it-yourself’ when it comes to food, and really honing in on a particular skilled craft in the kitchen. The best thing about these projects, even though they do take dedication, is that anyone can make it happen!

I was listening to a recent episode of NPR’s The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Casper, and a caller asked her about what a Rumtopf is and how to make it. I have since fallen head over heels for the idea (not least because it’s brand new to our era) and wanted to invite you all along on the journey with me as I try it out, since it’s a bit involved and requires that we get the ball rolling right now, at the beginning of the spring season.

So, what exactly is a Rumtopf, you ask? Basically, it’s an age-old German tradition of preserving fruit in sugar and rum. Not only do you end up with preserved fruits at the end, but also a unique syrupy beverage with boundless potential.

Method:

Start with a non-reactive vessel with a lid in which to house the Rumtopf – … Read More

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Flower Fritters with Spiced Honey Water

Recipe from the Eating Pansies blog

Photo by Jennifer Olson Images

 Fritters:

Fresh-picked dandelions, preferably new flowers that have just opened and were picked in the sunshine. (You can also substitute nasturtium flowers.) 

1 egg

1 cup milk or coconut milk

¾ cup almond flour

¼ cup tapioca starch

2 tablespoons coconut oil

 Cook in small batches using a 9-inch pan.

 Clip the flowers from the stems below their sepal (small leafs at the flower’s base). Whisk the egg and milk together. Sift together almond flour and tapioca starch and then stir into the milk mixture until the batter is well combined. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat—you will know it is hot enough when you put a toothpick in and the oil bubbles around it.

 Hold the dandelion by the sepal and dip the flower in the batter. Twist it gently in your fingers to release most of the batter (make sure the dandelion is completely dry so the oil doesn’t spatter). Place each dandelion in the hot oil and press and swirl to open the rays. Fry for about 1 minute or until you see the edges begin to brown. Turn it over and press lightly with a … Read More

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Chef Favorites- Dessert Recipes from 3 SLO Restaurants

Brown Sugar Baked See Canyon Apples
By Luna Red Executive Chef Shaun Behrens

 Poaching liquid:

3 cups Water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon dark rum

3 see canyon apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon butter, cold
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425 F.
In a small saucepan, combine all of the poaching liquid ingredients and bring to a simmer.
Poach apples in liquid for 15 minutes.
Remove apples from poaching liquid. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
With a small paring knife, cut a large quarter-sized hole in the top of the apple.
Use a small spoon to hollow out the inside (do not puncture the bottom of the apple).
In a small mixing bowl, combine the raisins, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon.
Stuff the apples with the mixture then top each apple with the cold butter evenly.
Place the apples in a deep oven safe pan. Pour 3/4 cup of the poaching liquid into the pan.
Bake the apples for 30 minutes, then let them cool for 10 minutes.
Immediately top with vanilla gelato or ice cream and drizzle … Read More

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