Cool Stuff
How to Make a Fruit Platter

The title of this post may seem simple, but there is a great difference between making a fruit platter and making a fruit platter. There is a bowl of strawberries and then there is a series of colors and layers and textures and shapes that provoke conversation and a gathering of people around it chattering and asking questions. I posted the making of this fruit platter on my Instagram stories over […]

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Fig and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

I have been making all kinds of recipes with figs, from this lemony jam to this fontina fig pizza to these caramelized blistered figs with gorgonzola. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Fig and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. Have you ever had quinoa? Quinoa originated from the Andean region of South America about six thousand years ago. It is grown for its edible seeds but is actually not a […]

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What To Do In Bangkok

I just returned from a long trip in Southeast Asia and have been enjoying sharing my adventures with you here and on social media little by little. Bangkok is a feast for the senses. The colors, the sounds, the smells are inspiring and full of possibility. Unlike the country excursions I went on in Chiang Mai, Bangkok is dense and intense and has everything you could want at your fingertips, […]

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Fresh Fig, Fontina and Thyme Pizza

On New Year’s Eve, my family multiplies this dough recipe and serves pizzas fresh out of the oven all night long. Because the crusts are thin and delicate, it is easy to eat a pie or two (or three!) all by yourself. Really good pizza dough is a canvas on which to drop your favorite ingredients and express your culinary creativity. It is also a good place to scatter fresh […]

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Lemony Fig Jam

I live for figs, and August is the peak of fig season. As I write this I’m on my way out the door to meet an urban farmer who has an oasis of figs for me to pick. I heard about him and knew I had to meet him. I’ve been looking through my fig recipes as a result and found my Lemony Fig Jam recipe that I’m going to […]

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How to Tell If These Tricky Fruits Are Ripe

Nothing is better than fresh, sweet, delicious fruit straight out of the fridge (mmm). But there are some “tricky” fruits that are hard to tell whether or not they are ripe enough, especially without having to cut them open. Here is the ultimate cheat sheet on how to tell if these fruits are ripe and ready to eat. Let us know if you have any of your own #modernpioneering hacks […]

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How to Trellis Your Raised Bed Garden

One of my FAVORITE things about my garden this year is how we trellised the raised bed gardens. Not only is it a great visual, it is very practical and easy to install. We’re going to talk about why trellis systems are a great idea and walk you through how to build one using an existing raised bed as a starting point. Here are a few reasons why you should […]

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Sage Sugar

When I talked to you a few months back about how to preserve your own herbs, I focused on the basics of drying, freezing and heating. But there are a few more glamorous ways to do it that turn the herbs into an instant culinary treat, for example this sage sugar. This makes a wonderful gift in an attractive jar and is versatile in the kitchen. Sprinkle it on hot […]

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Classic Raspberry Jam

When I was a child and well into my teenage years, I used to proclaim myself the wild raspberry queen, battling the birds every late July so that I’d have enough berries to make jam. Eventually my dad began growing domestic raspberry bushes as well as blueberry bushes so it became a berry wonderland at Tulipwood. Many of the commercial jams you buy have large quantities of sugar in them […]

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How to Make Fruit Vases

One of my favorite things to do in summer is pick flowers and make bouquets. I sometimes find them growing wild in parking strips and random lots and really go to town. You don’t have to have a lot of land around you to make it work. You also don’t even need to have glass vases to put them in! In fact it’s far more fun to turn fruits or […]

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