Salvaterra's Gardens organic lettuce

Love Fresh, Local Food? Love Your Farmers.

Food doesn’t get more local than your backyard. Just ask Matt and Jess Salvaterra, who got into gardening to become more self-sufficient — and got so good at it, they started selling their surplus as Salvaterra’s Gardens. Or Dax and Robin Funderburk, who have been growing their own food since they moved to Mertztown 12 years ago. 5 years ago, they decided to make it a business called Beets Workin’ Farm so Dax could retire from his corporate job and spend more time with his four daughters.

I met with both these farmers, whose organically grown produce I’ve gotten at Healthy Alternatives, to learn more about who they were and where my food was coming from. After all, as Funderburk told me, “Everyone knows the first name of their dentist, their doctor, even their plumber. But how many people know the first name of their farmer?” Continue reading “Love Fresh, Local Food? Love Your Farmers.”

Cooking With Dandelion Flowers

Dandelion Kombucha

Who you callin’ a weed?

This dandelion kombucha is inspired by a homemade, bright yellow dandelion wine I tried several years ago at a potluck. I had always known the leaves of the plant were edible — my mom often talked about how my grandmother used dandelion greens in salad — but it wasn’t until I tried the dandelion wine that I realized the flowers were edible, too.

In fact, the whole plant is edible, down to the roots, which are often roasted and used as an alternative to coffee.

My good friend Monica inspired me to finally try it out for myself. My yard is full of dandelions and other beautiful flora, especially before the first mow of the season (which is happening as I type). I was able to harvest plenty of the sunny flowers to make two gallons of booch while leaving enough to ensure they’ll come back in full force again next year.

Read on to learn how to make your own dandelion infusion with a touch of citrus to balance the flower’s light, slightly sweet, earthy flavor. You can then add this infusion to flavor kombucha, lemonade, or other drinks. Continue reading “Dandelion Kombucha”

10 Most Vegan Friendly Restaurants in the Lehigh Valley

Vegan dining is hard if you don’t know where to look. Whether you’re new to the area or new to vegan food, this list is a great place to start if you’re looking for somewhere to eat in the Lehigh Valley. It comprises a variety of eateries throughout the valley. Each one has at least 2-3 solid vegan options that go above and beyond the normal fare of “hummus and veggie burger.” Continue reading “10 Most Vegan Friendly Restaurants in the Lehigh Valley”

The Wayfare Baker: Good Bread For All

Someone recently called John Glagola the Yeast Jedi. He works under the name The Wayfare Baker. But I like to call him the Bread Savior, because his mission is to share both his bread and his knowledge on how to make it.

“I want everyone to have good bread, not just people who can go to fancy dinners,” he told me in an interview.

We were at a small commercial bakery in Bethlehem Township, where he was baking his artisan sourdough. Jazz music played in the background as Glagola slid back and forth across the floor in his sneakers, expertly loading and unloading the two ovens. He reminded me of a kid with socks on. I could feel tiny beads of sweat on my face as we chatted, even on a cool winter evening with the windows open. In summers, according to Glagola, the bakery can get up to 120 degrees. Continue reading “The Wayfare Baker: Good Bread For All”

Burrito crisis? 4 places to visit while Cali Burrito rebuilds

Now’s time to check out all the burrito places you could never visit because Cali Burrito is just too good, man.

The Valley’s favorite burrito joint had a kitchen fire on September 14 and is currently closed for repairs. You won’t find this on any local news outlet, though, which is surprising given the restaurant’s popularity.

Cali B closed sign Continue reading “Burrito crisis? 4 places to visit while Cali Burrito rebuilds”

Love wins. Celebratory gay cake time!

You’ve all heard by now about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that declared gay marriage legal in all 50 states—almost exactly two years after it repealed DOMA.

The majority of states already allowed same-sex couples to marry, but now those couples can move to any other state in the country and not have to worry about whether their marriage is recognized in that state or not.

When my coworkers broke the news to me yesterday at work, I responded by saying, “well, guess I’m making a cake when I get home today!”

caketop Continue reading “Love wins. Celebratory gay cake time!”

Should you microchip cats and dogs

To Microchip or Not to Microchip?

Molly Cat

My mom’s cat Molly came to her as a stray, rescued by my brother’s coworker. She was a friendly, healthy adult who showed signs of being in heat, so we took her to Forgotten Felines & Fidos to get spayed—only to discover the deed had already been done. It wasn’t until then that we realized she must have had a previous owner, and decided to ask our vet to check for a microchip.

Continue reading “To Microchip or Not to Microchip?”