Writer, cooking teacher, television host, and author of an award-winning book, Amelia Saltsman is passionate about getting everyone into the kitchen.


Cooking Experiences at La Cocina Que Canta Cooking Class and Retreat Tecate, Mexico
May 9-15, 2015
Rancho La Puerta

How to Skin, Slice and Chop a Melon

cantaloupe-melon-weiser-family-farms It is officially melon season. Here’s the one trick you need to easily skin, slice, and dice your way through a summer’s worth of cantaloupe, honeydew, or any of the fabulous types available at farmers’ markets, such as Weiser Family Farms’ lovely French Cavaillons, above, and their Israeli Arava variety, below. This technique makes short work of cutting crescents to pair with prosciutto or chunks for a summer salad, like this refreshing and unusual Melon and Cucumber Salad with Mint. What’s that you say? Well, cukes and ‘loupes are kissing cousins and they marry well.

I learned …

Out of the Box Collective Giveaway

Chicken with Kumquats I’m always intrigued by the ways in which entrepreneurial minds figure out how to get local foods to more people. A few years ago, Jennifer Piette started Out of the Box Collective, a Los Angeles-based home-to-kitchen grocery delivery service, that unites busy home cooks with great locally grown and produced seasonal ingredients. Busy is the operative word here; each box comes with a menu and recipes using the foods in the box. Last year Out of the Box asked me to put together a box based on my recipes, and this year they offered the same deal to their subscribers.

Here’s a great opportunity to win a box of locally grown ingredients and artisan-made provisions …

Chasing Almond Blossoms

Almond blossoms Fat Uncle Farms I felt like Helen Hunt in the movie “Twister” as I barreled up Highway 99 to Wasco, CA. Only instead of tornadoes, I was looking to catch an almond orchard in full bloom. I’d heard for years about the unusual beauty of this winter flowering, but as with a midwestern storm, a sighting–if you don’t live on an almond farm–is dependant on the vagaries of weather and on being in the right place at precisely the right time.  I was determined that this year I would make every effort to witness the fleeting miracle firsthand.

I was in constant text communication with Nate Siemens of Fat Uncle Farms in Wasco, and we determined that Friday, February …

Secrets of Winter Farmers Markets, Part 2

Portland Farmers Market

Last week, I wrote about Siena Farms and their approach to maximizing the growing and selling seasons DESPITE being in a cold climate. Here’s a sampling of winter markets in other parts of the country. I’ve been to all of these–maybe not in deepest winter, but definitely during shoulder seasons.

The photo above is what February looks like at the Portland Farmers Market. The 22-year-old market has 250 vendors over six sites.

Not cold enough for you? How about the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis? Susan Dietrich was the first one to write in last week to cheerlead for the MN markets that offer  potatoes, onions, carrots, shallots, cabbage, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, frozen …

Secrets of Winter Farmers Markets, Part 1

Turnips Siena Farms Raise your hand if you think farmers’ markets and “buying local” are only for summer. How many of you live in California and think that? I’ll get to you later.

A summer-only mindset is a missed opportunity for farmers and shoppers alike. Shoppers, what do you think farmers do the rest of the year? Farmers, why limit yourself?

Even in the coldest climates, there are intrepid growers who realize summer’s way too short a selling season to sustain a farm and are figuring out how to provide better local ingredients through the “slow season.”

Siena Farms Click to continue reading…