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Gift Ideas

Cheese Board from Fromages.Com

The 10 Best Gifts for Cooks and Food Lovers
My list of 10 Best Gifts for Cooks and Food Lovers helps last minute shoppers buy great presents for the food obsessed; most of the items on the list I’ve used and loved for years. Most importantly, if you act quickly, there’s still time to order most of my recommended gifts and have them arrive before Christmas.   Number 1: Microplane Classic Grater If the cook in your life doesn’t have a Microplane classic grater, buy this immediately. I’ve never met a bad Microplane tool, …


Wild Edibles

Turkish Yogurt and Dandelion Green Salad (Yoğurtlu Cevizli ve Karahindiba). Photograph by Laurie Constantino

Turkish Yogurt and Dandelion Green Salad (Yoğurtlu Cevizli ve Radika)
With Thanks to Meltem Birkegren Dandelion greens are eaten throughout the Mediterranean. In Turkey, they’re called “karahindiba” or “radika.” Meltem Birkegren, originally from Istanbul, explained the Turkish way of cooking dandelion greens: “We usually wilt the greens then mix with olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed garlic … You can also wilt the dandelions [and] to the olive oil/lemon juice/garlic … add some yogurt & walnuts.” Inspired by Meltem, and with a bag of cleaned dandelion greens in the refrigerator, I made Turkish Yogurt and …



Scrambled Eggs with Rhubarb and Herbs. Photograph by Laurie Constantino

Scrambled Eggs with Rhubarb and Herbs
Adapted from A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen by Jennifer Felicia Abadi (Harvard Common Press 2002) Rhubarb is a vegetable. Without sugar, rhubarb is tart, lemony, and a wonderful addition to savory dishes. Lately, I’ve been eating it for breakfast in scrambled eggs. Although unnecessary (and I don’t do it for lunch), when I eat this first thing in the morning, I like adding a teaspoon of honey to the eggs. Even a small amount of honey mellows rhubarb’s assertiveness. In …


Alaska Food

Rhubarb-Crystallized Ginger Sorbet. Photography by Laurie Constantino

It’s Summer! It’s Hot. Where’s the Ice Cream?
We've had a bumper crop of gorgeous red rhubarb this year. I turned it into something cold enough to distract us from bugs and heat: tart, juicy, creamy, frozen Rhubarb-Crystallized Sorbet.


Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska

Baby Moose Frolicking in Pond. Photograph by Laurie Constantino

Cold Soup for Hot Summer Days: Green Gazpacho
Green Gazpacho with dandelion greens and spruce tips is a cool solution for hot weather meals (the same gazpacho made with spinach and herbs is also delicious). Served ice cold, jalapeños (optional) give Green Gazpacho a nice punch.



Salmon with Rosemary Honey on Television

Laurie Constantino on TV: Salmon with Rosemary Honey
Laurie Constantino demonstrates how to make Salmon with Rosemary Honey on ABC Alaska (Your Alaska Link). The sounds of mincing rosemary and pan-frying salmon never fail to make mouths water.


Cooking Lessons

Anastasia Natekina at Eastern European Store & Deli

Cooking Lesson 1: Anchorage Ethnic Markets (Part 4 of 4)
In Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, Alaskans can buy indispensable ingredients for making Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, German, Serbian, Armenian, and Greek foods at the Eastern European Stores & Delis.The stores sell a wide variety of preserved meats and fish, plus prepared house-made salads, soups, pierogi, pelmini, and piroshki.