Lifestyle

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.

Philadelphia Flower Show Gardener’s Studio to feature gardening experts, authors on 85 topics |Mar 10, 2017

The Gardener’s Studio is the place where serious gardeners gather hourly at the Philadelphia Flower Show to find ways of making their green thumbs a little bit greener.

How you can coax spring bulbs to bloom early |Mar 10, 2017

The scents and sights of spring-flowering bulbs don’t have to completely go away just because it’s winter.

Philadelphia Flower Show to present new attractions, extraordinary experiences |Mar 10, 2017

PHILADELPHIA >> This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show will have visitors taking a step across the ocean with the theme “Holland: Flowering the World” that is sure to offer activities and adventures for attendees of all ages.

Shopping is in season at the Philadelphia Flower Show |Mar 10, 2017

Philadelphia >> Philadelphia Flower Show visitors come for the gorgeous floral displays and the taste of spring it offers. But along the way, they may be tempted to do a little shopping, and the Flower Show folks are prepared with items large and small to fit any budget.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Gold Medal Plants list offers blueprint for beginning gardeners |Mar 10, 2017

With hundreds of thousands of plant species in the world, choosing the right ones for your home garden can be a daunting and perhaps even overwhelming task.

Plan your visit to the 2017 Philadelphia Flower show with this Survival Guide |Mar 10, 2017

The 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show promises to be a grand spectacle. But it’s the little things, such as knowing how to get there and how to navigate the show, that can help make your day amid the beautiful blooms that much easier and delightful.

Master rosarian to offer tips for growing roses, |Mar 10, 2017

Flower Show visitors will take time to stop and smell the roses — or at least learn the best ways to grow, purchase and appreciate the aromatic flowers — when renowned rosarian Patricia Bilson returns to the Gardener’s Studio at the Philadelphia Flower Show March 15 at 11 a.

Was ‘tulipmania’ almost Holland’s economic ruin? |Mar 10, 2017

“Holland” is the theme of the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show, but did you know that hundreds of years ago that country was in a state of unrest over its celebrated tulips?

DUTCH TREAT: Flower Show menus take root |Mar 7, 2017

Ever enjoyed a saucijzenbroodje? Now’s your chance. Try the Dutch sausage roll at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, celebrating Holland.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Add this one-skillet turkey dinner to your weekday repertoire |Mar 7, 2017

A lighter version of the classic Normandy dish, this recipe can be geared toward children’s palate’s by leaving out the alcohol. I also don’t muddle the taste with mushrooms because, let’s face it, most kids will turn their nose up this fungus.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Through the camera lens at Jenkins Arboretum |Mar 2, 2017

The announcement of a nature photography show brought me to Jenkins Arboretum last week. Jenkins Arboretum is a little gem set in Chester County, barely a mile from Route 202, in Devon, Pa. The arboretum’s 48 acres occupy a steep, wooded slope, with paved pathways winding from the Education Center and parking area at the top of the hill down to a pond edged with cattails.

FOOD: Chefs share favorite comfort foods |Mar 1, 2017

Move over mac and cheese. You’re not the only dish in town when it comes to comfort food.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Southern corn bread recipe gets a makeover |Mar 1, 2017

Ordinarily made with almost boiling water, Southern favorite Hot Water Corn Bread is given a makeover with a touch more flavor ... OK, a whole lot more flavor AND texture. It is still crispy but with the addition of apple juice instead of water and some bites of actual corn, it really is a step up.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Getting the most out of the Flower Show |Feb 23, 2017

With its stunning garden exhibits, floral displays, miniatures, individual plant entries, and so much more, the Philadelphia Flower Show is always a delight to the senses — plenty to engage the eye and the nose.

Glenside business creates prop for Melissa McCarthy’s SNL sketch |Feb 22, 2017

GLENSIDE >> Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, ranting at and physically going after reporters with a podium, is putting a Glenside company that built the attack podium on the map.

FOOD: Fun fare for Fat Tuesday |Feb 22, 2017

Rio celebrates Carnival. New Orleans enjoys Mardi Gras. Venice masquerades. This Fat Tuesday, feel that festive vibe and splurge on some classic carnival food. It’s not just for summer.

THE YANKEE CHEF: A quick, tasty recipe for ‘best gravy you’ll ever have’ |Feb 21, 2017

What a great way to make something that is good for you AND a phenomenal way to introduce vegetables into your children’s diet without them even knowing. I have done away with the classic roux thickener here, without any loss of flavor.

FROM THE GROUND UP: Bright spots in the winter |Feb 21, 2017

If you look broadly at the winter landscape, it’s easy to see it all just in browns and grays interspersed with the occasional dark green of non-deciduous trees. But look a little closer and you’ll find that there are shrubs that are full of color, providing an artistic contrast to winter’s otherwise monochromatic palette.

NUTRITION: Trust your gut instincts. Whole grains are good for you |Feb 21, 2017

The human digestive tract is home to tens of trillions of microorganisms, collectively referred to as the gut microbiota.

Winter’s bounty: Fantastic fruits to enjoy now |Feb 15, 2017

Orange, kiwi, clementine. Lemon, pear, grapefruit. Area chefs put a sunny spin on their favorite seasonal fruits, preparing them in ways guaranteed to ease those winter doldrums.

THE YANKEE CHEF: Versatile chutney makes good use of leftover dried fruit |Feb 14, 2017

Yes, I had some dried fruit left over (and as a gift) from Christmas. Usually I do something in the cake or pie department but I thought I would mix it up a bit and prepare a recipe that had some bite to it .

FROM THE GROUND UP: Adding chickens to the garden |Feb 9, 2017

When it comes to the growing trend of raising backyard chickens, all the workshops and information I’ve come across have focused on the basics: coops and runs, breeds, feeds, brooding, and egg production.

THE YANKEE CHEF: This hearty side dish is packed with flavor |Feb 8, 2017

If you don’t have a mandolin for this recipe, it is easily prepared simply by slicing the potatoes and apple with a sharp knife as thinly as possible. If desired, cut potatoes in half and lay the flat side on a work surface to cut.

Wine + hot chocolate: Surprise your Valentine with this trendy treat |Feb 8, 2017

“We’re going to let some of that alcohol burn off,” said Patrick Byrne, after adding French merlot to a mixture of hot milk, dark chocolate, brown sugar, spices and more.

PROMOTING SENIOR WELLNESS: Embracing aging as pilgrimage |Feb 7, 2017

At its core, aging is a solitary process. This doesn’t mean we are alone in the process or lack the love and support of others as we navigate growing older.