Lifestyle

Don’t forget da’ dip: New ways to upgrade your apps |Jun 21, 2017

The heat is on – time for backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and beachfront bashes. So, grab some crackers, chips or veggies and dip into summer!

THE YANKEE CHEF: This summertime treat is a peach |Jun 21, 2017

Give this sweet, crispy, hot and loaded-with-flavor treat a try. I waiver on mentioning ice cream topping for this delicious, summertime treat because. ... well, I don’t know why actually. So have at it and mound some real vanilla ice cream right on top of this dessert.

FROM THE GROUND UP: When you just don’t love gardening |Jun 15, 2017

This could only happen to my friend, Amanda. Amanda lives in East Whiteland Township, in Pennsylvania. Last Sunday, she went outside “just to pull a few weeds” from her walkway. No need to put on shoes for that! But she managed to stub her toe on one of the pavers and cut her foot.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Another sauce for your grilling repertoire |Jun 14, 2017

Never had Gochujang paste before? For the heat aficionados, this is the perfect Asian (Korean to be precise) condiment for all your grilling days. Combining the intense flavor of chile powder with the subtly sweet addition of rice vinegar and fruited preserves makes this baste great on chicken wings as well.

UPPER CRUST: Healthy foundations for pizza or quiche |Jun 14, 2017

Love pizza, but want to cut calories? Choose an alternative … crust, that is.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Deer: Love them, hate them |Jun 8, 2017

On October 2, 1959, the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was adopted as the state animal of Pennsylvania. No wonder: it is a beautiful, graceful animal and has played an important role in our forests for as long as there have been people living in them.

NEW TO STREAMING AND VOD: Revenge is at the core of ‘The Assignment’ |Jun 7, 2017

Something of a bookend to Walter Hill’s pulp classic “Johnny Handsome” starring Mickey Rourke, “The Assignment” is an outrageously entertaining thriller which boasts a humdinger of a plot.

FOOD: Berry good — 3 savory ways to use strawberries |Jun 7, 2017

Shortcake’s sublime. Pie’s pleasant. And trifle’s terrific. But this season, sample strawberries’ savory side, starting with spaghetti.

International flavor, special performances,free readings highlight this year’s West Chester Poetry Conference |Jun 7, 2017

WEST CHESTER, PA — The president of a writers’ group at the United Nations, an opera free and open to the public, and free readings are just a few of the highlights of this year’s West Chester Poetry Conference, June 7 – 10.

THE YANKEE CHEF: A dish to ‘put a smile on your face’ |Jun 6, 2017

A super quick and spicy Asian-style bistro bowl with textures and flavors that will instantly put a smile on your face. You can substitute beef or chicken easily enough, as well as vary the vegetables.

FROM THE GROUND UP: ‘Pet’ plant turns into kitchen science project |Jun 1, 2017

Quite unexpectedly, I have a new pet, one that appeared on my doorstep just a week or so before Memorial Day. It’s easily been seven years since there were any animals in the house, so I’ve gotten out of practice in including pet care in my travel plans.

FOOD: Serve these seasonal chicken dishes |May 31, 2017

“What’d you get?” a woman asked, squinting in the sun as she approached the Heart Food Truck parked outside her Exton office.

NUTRITION: How to help cut down on food waste |May 31, 2017

Despite living in a state where one in eight, or nearly 5.4 million people, struggle with food insecurity — the occasional or ongoing lack of access to food needed to support a healthful, active life — food waste is more rampant than ever.

FROM THE GROUND UP: The upside of tent caterpillars |May 24, 2017

Right now, they’re everywhere — those white, webby, Halloween-y things in the crotches of tree branches. Inside the webs are hundreds of wriggly, leaf-chomping Eastern Tent Caterpillars.

FOOD: Tasty spring salad recipes to try tonight |May 23, 2017

Faced with six types of lettuce on display, a woman wondered aloud which to buy.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Get the grill ready for dessert |May 23, 2017

Time to fire up the grill for this sweet treat. Melba classically uses peaches but nectarines are almost the same fruit. The difference between the two? Fuzzy skin! Many authorities will have you believe that the nectarine is slightly firmer and sweeter, but this is untrue.

NUTRITION: Foster children’s healthy eating habits with structure |May 17, 2017

Emotional eating — the habit of eating to cope with stress, boredom or negative feelings rather than to satisfy true hunger — is a behavior that can often lead to overeating and weight gain.

FOOD: Three ways to enjoy rhubarb |May 17, 2017

There’s no mistaking those showy (and poisonous) leaves, crimson stalks and tart taste. All hail rhubarb season!

THE YANKEE CHEF: Whisk this easy-as-pie barbecue sauce |May 16, 2017

Sometimes it is easier to just go to the store and purchase barbecue sauce. But when you come across a recipe that is killer, then it is worth the extra effort. Jack’s Barbecue Sauce is just such a recipe.

UPSIDE DOWN: Real men do salsa |May 12, 2017

Salsa isn’t one of those dances you do with a bunch of tipsy girlfriends while a group of comatose guys look on. And it’s not one of those dances where girls do all the wiggling and men lend a helping hand.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Beautiful spring whites |May 10, 2017

Several weeks ago (From the Ground Up, April 20), I wrote about the Bradford Callery Pear; how this once-heralded and widely-planted cultivar has become a serious nuisance tree. Believed to be sterile, it has been cross-breeding with other pear trees and is now out of control.

Mother’s Day desserts: Sweet treats to show mom you care |May 9, 2017

Of course, mom loves flowers, phone calls, handmade cards and heartfelt hugs, but this Mother’s Day, why not whip up something as sweet as she is?

THE YANKEE CHEF: These patties are loaded with flavor |May 9, 2017

Sure, “Que” season is here and most likely everyone is thinking beef burgers, steaks, ribs and anything else a man (yes, I will put the odd-ball ideas squarely on our own shoulders) can dream up.

Use your noodle! |May 3, 2017

Want to eat more veggies? Noodle around with spiralized sweet potato, squash, beets, carrots and more. Better yet, pair them with spring flavors for a tasty lunch, dinner or side dish.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Local sales offer unusual and rare plants |May 3, 2017

It’s not just other living things — flowers, birds, insects — that spring calls forth each year. We, too, are called out-of-doors on the warm days, eager for bright sunlight, gentle breezes, and the sweet aroma of rain-drenched earth.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Gardening and community — plant sales, contests, and more |Apr 26, 2017

Gardening creates so many opportunities to build community — from the simple act of sharing a spring bouquet or own-grown produce, to hobnobbing with growers at local plant sales or taking part in a community garden contest.

FOOD: Celebrating asparagus — a sure sign of spring |Apr 26, 2017

On a warm, sunny afternoon earlier this month, Bob Lange surveyed a three-quarter acre field and said, “Yeah, they’re coming.” Then he bent down, cut a spear and enjoyed his first asparagus of the season.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Steam this feel good dinner entree |Apr 25, 2017

Yup, it is that time of year that we begin to notice last year’s summer attire (heck, even some of our winter clothes) are just a tad snug. Here is a great recipe that will make you feel just a little better about what you are eating.

National Pretzel Day is April 26: Get a free pretzel from Philly Pretzel Factory |Apr 25, 2017

On Wednesday, April 26, pretzel fans can rejoice as their local Philly Pretzel Factory joins in the brand’s decade-long celebration of National Pretzel Day and gives away one free pretzel for every customer who walks through the door.

CHEAP EATS: $10 dinners to try tonight |Apr 24, 2017

Tightening your belt after Tax Day? Stretch your budget with healthy $10 dinners your family will love like black bean chili.

CHEAP EATS: $10 dinners to try tonight |Apr 19, 2017

Tightening your belt after Tax Day? Stretch your budget with healthy $10 dinners your family will love like black bean chili.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Beware of this pretty invasive |Apr 19, 2017

Around Easter time, there are always a lot of ads advising parents against giving their children adorable chicks and bunnies as gifts unless they are prepared to bear the responsibility of caring for the animals.

THE YANKEE CHEF: What’s on your plate? Grilled cheese and gravy |Apr 18, 2017

Ah ... yeah! Lightly breaded cheese that has been grilled until the outside is crisp and the inside is melting. Serve with Southern Tomato Gravy and this is a dish that is screaming decadence. Tomato Gravy is also, and classically, served on top of biscuits in the South, so try it either way.

Cheesy dish perfect use for leftover mashed potatoes |Apr 11, 2017

Golden, cheesy and, with that hint of ham, simply a great addition to your dinner table. The flavor of loaded potatoes, the texture of classic Duchess spuds and the look of slab pie. Did I mention easy as well? Using leftover mashed potato is also perfect in this preparation.

Chocolate ‘eggstravaganza’: Home cooks share DIY secrets |Apr 11, 2017

“Looking good!” manager Terri Stoltz told an assembly line of candymaking volunteers — eight retirees wearing colonial mob caps in a nod to their surroundings.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Herb Sale to feature Coriandrum |Apr 7, 2017

Coriandrum sativum is an herb that leads a double life. In its leafy form, it’s known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. In its seed form, it’s known as coriander. It can be confusing! It’s the same plant, yet its different names reflect two different plant parts and two distinct flavors and uses in various cuisines world-wide.

FOOD: These breakfast sandwiches range from healthy to ‘wowing’ |Apr 5, 2017

When the Earl of Sandwich first enjoyed his namesake creation, he probably never dreamed of one called a “Cinnamuncher.” But you can as area chefs share three wake-up-worthy sandwich recipes to start your day.

NUTRITION: Spring break doesn’t mean reverting to bad snack habits |Apr 4, 2017

Are we there yet? Spring break season is here and whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, you will want something good to eat.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Make these for your next get-together |Apr 4, 2017

A delicious version of the classic Italian caprese appetizer, but using another favorite of Italy ... prosciutto. 

FROM THE GROUND UP: The buzz on urban beekeeping |Mar 31, 2017

The biodiversity of cities makes them surprisingly good places to raise bees. This was the premise behind Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich’s presentation on Urban Beekeeping at the Philadelphia Flower Show earlier this month.

THE YANKE CHEF: This snack might become a new favorite |Mar 28, 2017

What I adore about this recipe is the low amount of refined table sugar and the fact that any berry or orchard fruit would be perfectly acceptable in this recipe. The crispy nut base is accentuated with fresh fruit, making it a great after school snack or addition to breakfast.

Culture club: Philly region’s cheese makers ‘connecting landscape and foodscape’ |Mar 28, 2017

Amethyst grew protective, shielding her kids as visitors approached. She’d given birth about 25 minutes earlier to a boy and a girl, who may go by “Amaryllis.”

THE YANKEE CHEF: A peach pudding to welcome Spring |Mar 22, 2017

I think this “pudding” is out of this world. It reminds me of a chocolate pudding cake.....moist and decadent. To me, it is a mixture of the New England Cobbler and a Buckle. This classic is usually prepared using a sugar syrup that is poured over the top, but I find the natural sweetness of peaches and oranges is far superior, sorry Tennessee purists.

FROM THE GROUND UP: More than plants at the Philadelphia Flower Show |Mar 22, 2017

Each year I go to the Philadelphia Flower Show with hope in my heart. This is not because I am pining for green, growing things and fragrant flowers. It’s because I hope that behind all the grandeur and amazement that is the Flower Show, I will find something that informs and inspires me.

Soup’s on! Celebrate spring with five fresh recipes |Mar 22, 2017

After a warm February and snowy March, it’s officially spring ­­‑ a time when chefs eagerly await tendrils, shoots and other tempting ingredients for seasonal soups.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Does beer belong in the garden? |Mar 17, 2017

I didn’t even know that such a thing as “leftover beer” existed or that it might be considered a dilemma. So I was surprised at a recent family gathering when the talk turned to the topic of excess brew and what to do with it.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Get dinner done in a snap with quick ‘risotto’ |Mar 15, 2017

Serve up some Cheesy No-Rice Risotto ... which just so happens to be gluten free I might add.

FOOD: Enjoy the sweet luck o’ the Irish |Mar 15, 2017

At Bridge Street Chocolates in Phoenixville, a leprechaun and a shamrock garland decorate the store, tempting candy lovers to indulge in a sweet St. Patrick’s Day treat: the Irish potato.

Philadelphia Flower Show to feature Ecodome showcasing Netherlands’ horticultural innovations |Mar 10, 2017

One of the centerpieces at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show looks like it’s from the future — and, in a way, it is.

Philadelphia Flower Show visitors to be greeted with 30,000 flowers, floating canopy |Mar 10, 2017

PHILADELPHIA >> Thirty thousand flowers — with an additional 6,000 blooms suspended in a giant floral canopy — will welcome guests to the 2017 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Holland: Flowering the World,” from March 11 to 19 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.