Winning Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dishes

Three days until friends and family gather around the table for America’s annual autumn feast. Cameron, Alice, and I will be sharing a meal at my in-laws’ home this year, and like past family holiday meals, we’re one of several folks contributing food to the menu. While I’m no longer a strict vegetarian, I’m always…

From Garden to Pasta Pot: Homemade Marinara Sauce

Yesterday I hurriedly retrieved the last of the tender summer vegetables from our backyard garden. The bright, cloudless sky made it hard to reconcile the meteorologist’s forecast of a 40 degree temperature drop in a matter of hours as a significant winter storm blew in over the mountains. Life at high altitude promises weather extremes,…

Holding onto Summer with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Right around the third surprise March snowstorm in Colorado, I start daydreaming about shorts weather and fresh produce, longing for the days when I can step into my backyard and harvest the first tomatoes of the season. Every year we’ve planted tomatoes in our gardens, we’ve managed a good enough haul that we can share…

Operation Palisade Peach Preserves

Every summer since moving to the Front Range, I’ve happily anticipated the peach harvest from Palisade, Colorado, a stone fruit and grape mecca cultivated on the Western Slope. I have no qualms about stocking up on peaches while at the grocery store, but I prefer purchasing a box directly from friends connected to peach orchards…

Prolonging Berry Season with Oven-dried Strawberries

We’ve been relishing the cooler weather along the Front Range these past few weeks. Usually a brown and yellow high desert landscape come August, the return of brief afternoon and evening rain showers has reinvigorated plants and made me thankful I’ve undertaken landscaping and gardening projects on our property this year without the usual stress…

Brussels Sprouts and Tofu

I love to cook, though you wouldn’t know from the lackluster effort I’ve made in maintaining The Crafty Cook Nook this summer. Life with a rapidly more mobile infant has meant on-call vigilance every minute she’s awake. While I agonized about SIDS, checking her crib often during her naps and overnight sleep, I had no…