Lifestyle

FROM THE GROUND UP: Vacation, tides, and the rhythms of life |Aug 17, 2017

I just got back from our annual family vacation on the coast of Maine. There is something about the quantity and the quality of all the blue and green — the ocean and the forests — that keeps calling us back.

FOOD: Zounds, me hearties! It’s National Rum Day |Aug 16, 2017

Forget “yo-ho-ho.” When the women behind Full Spirited Flavours need rum, they don’t buy a bottle. They import 55-gallon drums.

TASTE-OFF: Trader Joe’s best — and worst — chocolate cookies |Aug 15, 2017

Cookies are a magical food — especially when they’re studded with chocolate chips or chunks. They’re an instant pick-me-up and all-around great snack. You can make them at home, of course, but another option is to leave the measuring and mixing to Trader Joe’s.

Breweries of the Philadelphia suburbs |Aug 15, 2017

Everybody loves a good beer, and the Philadelphia suburbs is home to many breweries that could be the creator of your next favorite. The list below features a range of breweries across the suburbs.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Step out of the box with this berries and cake treat |Aug 15, 2017

Want something a little out of the ordinary? This “communal” summertime dessert is perfect as is or have some real vanilla bean ice cream for your friends and family to scoop right on top of this fantastic dessert.

TRENDING: Safely celebrating the upcoming Great American Eclipse |Aug 15, 2017

It’s not going to be your average Monday.

FROM THE GROUND UP: ‘A Hole In the Wind’ is an engaging ride |Aug 10, 2017

In the spring of 2011, David Goodrich dipped the front tire of his bicycle into the Atlantic Ocean at Lewes, Delaware. The next symbolic ocean dip would be in the Pacific, on the Oregon coast. In between oceans, Goodrich would pedal his bike, solo, across prairies and mountains, through driving rains and moisture-sucking heat, buck stiff headwinds, and make the most of the occasional tailwind.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Tangy cake with sweet summer flavor |Aug 8, 2017

I have been experimenting and trying various combinations to get a pound cake to taste just like lemonade for quite some time now. At the same time, I wanted to reduce the amount of sugar without affecting the taste.

FOOD: Well-traveled sandwiches for backpacks, beach bags and baskets; local chefs share recipes |Aug 8, 2017

Imagine hiking a sun-dappled trail through the woods. Around a bend, you spot a sparkling lake and stop to enjoy the view. You reach in your backpack and pull out … a protein bar? Make that a hearty sandwich instead.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Fruity treat features Asian pear |Aug 1, 2017

If you have never tried an Asian pear, you are in for a treat. Although more expensive than either apples or pears, this delicious fruit is a combination of both flavors. Here is a recipe that involves the same taste but with a Yankee touch.

Watermelons, cantaloupes are summer treats. Enjoy these three refreshing recipes |Aug 1, 2017

One by one, they knocked. At Pete’s Produce Farm in West Chester, shoppers tapped “Sugar Babies,” cantaloupes, red and yellow seedless watermelons — listening for a good one, leaving satisfied they’d found the best.

FOOD: Heavenly hummus |Jul 25, 2017

In parts of the Middle East, there is a topic that garners hours of lively debate at the table. Not politics. Not soccer, either. It’s hummus, that creamy staple of pureed chickpeas mixed with sesame paste, olive oil and lemon juice.

American Red Cross seeks blood, platelet donations; locations announced in Bucks, Delco, Chesco and Montco |Jul 25, 2017

PHILADELPHIA — Thousands of people have responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations issued by the American Red Cross in early July, but there continues to be a critical summer blood shortage.

THE YANKEE CHEF: This sandwich recipe is packed with flavor |Jul 25, 2017

Nothing fancy, but crazy tasty! And you don’t need to use a slow cooker to wait for something this good. By softening the spices in this pulled chicken recipe and relying on the great taste of White Barbecue Sauce, you will be pleasantly surprised that you won’t miss classic barbecue at all.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Not your regular fried ‘rice’ |Jul 12, 2017

A fantastic alternative to fried rice but with celiac disease in mind. I adore this dish in the summer served all by itself. Don’t be dissuaded by the odor of cooking cauliflower. It has a less desirable “enticement” than rice, but is packed with flavor.

LIGHTEN UP: Savor healthier fries and gourmet dips |Jul 12, 2017

Adore fries, but abhor the fat? In honor of National French Fry Day tomorrow (July 13), here’s the skinny on skinny fries, aka oven fries. Ditch the guilt and dig in!

Lisa See explores motherhood, adoption in new book |Jul 7, 2017

The lives of two characters — Li-yan, who picks tea in China, and Haley, who grows up comfortably in Pasadena, Calif. — are at the core of Lisa See’s new novel, “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

FOOD: DIY frozen desserts from kid-friendly to gourmet |Jul 5, 2017

Ever notice that when it comes to ice-cream trucks, kids boast bionic hearing?

THE YANKEE CHEF: A colorful salad for a summertime picnic |Jul 5, 2017

One of the few plants that contain all 9 amino acids, quinoa (yes, it is still pronounced keenwa) is a great gluten free substitute for that usual pasta salad everyone craves during summer months. Using this “mother of all grains” with a ton of vegetables and juice is exactly what your body needs.

EXPERTS PICKS: Books for your kids to read this summer |Jul 3, 2017

For many children, summer is the ideal time to read.

BOOKS: Suggested titles for kids’ summer reading |Jul 3, 2017

We asked librarians and booksellers for summer reading recommendations for children, and here’s a list to keep young readers busy.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Take barbecued chicken wings up a notch |Jun 28, 2017

There are so many ways to prepare these chicken wings with each having their own unique quality, it is difficult to choose. But because I am partial to the smoky flavor of outdoor grillin’, I must offer you chicken wings with a slightly blackened texture and an intense flavor and aroma that will surely be a favorite wing recipe for the summer.

FLAVORFUL FOURTH: Easy recipes for a sparkling good time |Jun 28, 2017

Let freedom ring this July Fourth — the freedom to think beyond the hamburger bun and serve something new like “zinful” flank steak. That’s zin as in zinfandel.

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.