Going Nuts on Fox5 News


We Had SUCH fun on Fox5 News DC February 26. Here we are with Host Holly Morris in Danielle’s kitchen in DC in the middle of a mini snow storm. Fox5 spent four hours with us! They were the greatest to work with and we got so much exposure. We had plenty of laughs and ate delicious food, all the recipes below.  The link to the video is on the right. Thanks Holly for a memorable morning!

Chocolate Time!

chocolate heart

You know you want it. You MUST have it. There’s no such thing as too much chocolate.  So the Cook Sisters are rolling out our chocolate menu for the lucky folks who will be visiting the US Botanic Garden on Friday February 14 (click on Events & Shows, above).  We’ll be demoing two recipes from our menu, which is an all-chocolate full dinner menu, from soup to nuts. Danielle will be cooking up the soup that starts the dinner and Adrienne will be doing the main course.  The beauty of this meal is that it doesn’t matter how it tastes because the chocolate will make diners so happy they won’t even notice!  Still, we hope you’ll find these delicious.  Our two recipes that we’re demo’ing are below. We’ll add the rest of the dinner later in the month.  Plan on doing the full menu for next year! And enjoy the chocolate…

Beautiful Parsnips


I’m compelled to do a little bragging today.  At left is a picture of just a few of the many parsnips that I’ve been pulling out of the garden.  I know you’re supposed to wait until after a good freeze sweetens these lovely root vegetables, but I don’t have that kind of patience.  Nor, in my opinion, do I need it:  They cook up as sweet and delish as anything I’ve had from the garden.  They’re growing in the bed closest to the kitchen, where I try to plant all my fall/winter veggies.  Their tops are a brilliant green and tall and bushy — like Italian parsley on steroids.  Parsnips are a relative of parsley but you can’t eat the tops, unfortunately.  The greens can be toxic and their stems contain a sap that causes skin rashes when exposed to the sun.  So if you’re pulling parsnips, wear gloves and long sleeves/pants.  But they do look so beautiful all scrubbed up and creamy white next to the orange Le Creuset.  Look for parsnip recipes on this site — we have quite a few and always are adding new stuff.                                                                                                                                                                            — Adrienne

September is Eggplant Month

eggplant01With its silky texture and nutty flavor, eggplant always has been a favorite of ours.  But the glossy-skinned nightshade fruit seems to attract as many detractors as afficionados – people either love them or just don’t get them. In fact, those who are confounded by eggplants are inevitably folks who’ve never had a chance to taste them done right. My absolute favorite way to make eggplant is simple: Cut them up in chunks, toss them with olive oil, chopped garlic and a smidge of salt, and roast them into the oven. Of course, the eggplant has to be firm and not overripe, with its characteristic high sheen.  It can be peeled or not peeled, depending on how you like it – I like the skin, so I don’t peel. Once roasted thus, the chunks can be used in all sorts of ways – or eaten as is (my fave). They can be tossed with pasta, to which you also add chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint or basil, a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the sweetness of the eggplant, and topped with copious amounts of feta cheese. Or add the roasted chunks to a tossed salad, as did our host at book club a couple of weeks ago, resulting in our discussing the food way more than the book. For more ideas on eggplants, come back to this space over the next few days, or better yet, join us at the US Botanic Garden, at the foot of Capitol Hill in Washington DC or at Brookside Garden in Wheaton. This is eggplant month and we’ll be doing lots of fun things with them.

Roasted EggplantRoasted-Eggplant-1024x679

One large eggplant
1/3 C olive oil, more as needed
3 large garlic cloves, minced
½ t coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel eggplant if desired, cut into similar-sized chunks.  Place in large plastic bag.  Add olive oil and toss so all eggplant chunks are coated in all olive oil.  Ad more as needed. Mix garlic and salt.  Add to eggplant chunks and toss to cover.  Spread eggplant on a large cookie sheet lined with non-stick aluminum foil, or use a non-stick cookie sheet. Roast
20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through. Serve hot or room temperature.

Summer Everlasting

zucchiniI’m not ready to let go of summer.  In fact, it’s been a great one this year for where we live, an hour west of Washington DC.  The garden has never produced better – or longer.  I’m pulling the last of the zucchini plants out right now, which is unheard of – in a typical summer, the borers and squash bugs have long-since accomplished their nasty work, leaving zucchini and yellow squash plants wilting in July heat and done for the year. We’ve eaten carrots, beets, kale, lots of beans, peas, lettuce, potatoes and much more from the garden, a veritable cornucopia. Supplemented with incredible farmer’s market shiitakes – grower Jim Mello in Rixeyville VA concurs that he’s never had such a year either – we’ve been dining like kings.  And I’m not ready to let go. We’ll be at Brookside Gardens again on Tuesday evening stretching out summer a little longer with a quick little demo to promote our new CSA class launching September 24. We’ll use whatever is in the boxes this week, supplemented with a few staples of our own.  Come and join us at 5:30 pm Tuesday and get a taste of something good.