Even though I work largely from home, I'm still plagued by the 3 pm energy plummet like many of my friends and old coworkers. There's just something about that hour, especially in the winter when the days are colder and darker. Instead of reaching for a soda or another cup of coffee, a small snack with a bit of protein is a great picker-upper, and lately I've been mixing up a batch of quick no-bake snacks to keep on hand when the energy lows strike.
Q: I am going to be staying in a small fishing village in Mexico for one week. I will get to purchase fresh fish daily directly from the fishermen and grill them. I want to bring some good spices with me on this trip. What would you recommend, either individual spices or some blends?
I don't know about you, but as the days get shorter and colder, I find myself gravitating toward gingery recipes and adding this warming spice to everything from toddies to slow-cooked braises. A little goes a long way, though, and I've learned to respect the mighty power of the ginger root in all its various forms. Do you have a favorite way to cook with ginger?
Ok, your Christmas tree will probably do better decked out in lights than it would on your plate, but pine needles are indeed edible and they can be a really fun ingredient to play with this time of year. Pine needles have a minty, fresh, and yes, pine-like flavor that make an intriguing component to everything from a roast to a round of cocktails. Have you ever experimented with this ingredient?
Even here in Los Angeles, the evenings are finally chilly enough to warrant a mug of something warm and spiced. I've been dressing up plain apple cider with cranberries, which give this seasonal drink a lovely, rosy tartness.
Did you notice that all three of our previous Expert Essentials posts mentioned working with dried herbs and spices? That's because spices are an absolutely foundational ingredient for every cook the world over, whether you're working in a shiny new kitchen high on the hill or on a simple wood fire and packed-dirt floor. Today's expert, John Beaver, knows a thing or two about herbs and spices. Read on for his tips and recommendations!