North Country Kitchen, by Yvona Fast

Various vinegars at are on display at a farmers market.
(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

Make food pop with a splash of vinegar

A splash of vinegar brightens up salads, sauces, even fruit desserts. It is a key ingredient in vinaigrettes. In addition to salad dressings and marinades, pickles, chutneys, salsas and tomato bruschetta all benefit from its tartness. Condiments like mayonnaise, mustards, ketchup and barbecue ...

Two-grain, two-bean salad (Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

Sorghum: The grain you may not have heard of

You may not know what it is, but sorghum, drizzled on buttermilk biscuits, is as popular in the South as maple syrup is in the Northeast. Milled sorghum flour is rapidly becoming a go-to for gluten-free baking. As a grain, sorghum can be a delicious part of salads, soups or breakfast ...

Charoset Truffles 
(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

Sharp, Sweet flavors celebrate spring festivals

The ground is still covered with white and two inches of fresh snow fell at night. But the days are longer and warmer. The sun shines brighter, melting snow to reveal brown grass and mud. Robins have returned, poking around in the hard sod in search of worms and bugs. This is the time of ...

Corn and Cucumber Salad
(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

Summer corn, winter corn

It is spring — at least according to the calendar. The time of year we start looking forward to summer and all its culinary delights ... like sweet corn on the cob. Fresh, sweet corn captures the rays of golden sunshine, turning them into sugar. Eaten straight off the cob, it is one of ...

(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

Traditional fare for St. Patrick’s Day

There are people who would think it isn’t St. Patrick’s Day without corned beef and cabbage. However, this dish originated not in Ireland, but in New York. Certainly, the Irish have celebrated Saint Patty’s Day for thousands of years - but in Ireland it’s a religious feast day, much ...

Basil Veggie Chicken
(Photo provided)

Healthy meals for hectic days

The second week of February is a hectic time around here. It’s Carnival time! So what’s to eat? The carnival includes many food events where you can dine in style: there’s the annual mixer, the dinner theater, and a variety of meals sponsored by groups like the figure skating club, ...

Shepard’s Pie
(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

On a cold January day …

Shepherd’s pie is a comfort classic great for winter. It makes great use of frozen veggies at a time of year when these are a staple. It is also a great way to use up leftovers: meat, potatoes and veggies from past meals can combine for a delicious, easy, one-dish meal. Add a salad and fresh ...

Cinnamon apple cranberry cake 
(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

Spice up the holidays with cinnamon

It’s December. The ground and the forest are all coated with white. Decorations are sprouting up all over town. Craft sales abound and include lots of sweet treats. It’s the season to indulge. And ’tis the season to bake. ’Tis time to dig out aprons and seek out grandma’s old ...

brussels-sprouts-12a

Brussels sprouts are trendy

Thanksgiving has passed. The ground is covered with a blanket of crusty snow. Local farmers’ markets have moved indoors. Late November’s chilly weather is peak season for Brussels sprouts, which will disappear from area farmers’ markets in a month or so. These small green balls ...

yvona

Rootin’ for Thanksgiving

The trees are bare. The fields are empty. We spend more time indoors, and turn on the long-neglected oven to fill our home with warmth. The cool gray of autumn brings a bounty of fresh fall flavors.  Aromas of fragrant roasting turkey, earthy potatoes, casseroles, and ...

Turnips: Another delicious autumn root

Turnips have been cultivated in the Middle East for more than 4,000 years, and were a common staple in the Greek and Roman worlds. Like carrots, potatoes, beets, parsnips, celeriac, onions and potatoes, they were dug in late fall and stored in root cellars for winter use before refrigeration. ...