Colombian Chicken Stew with Potato and Corn on the Cob (Ajiaco Bogotáno)

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Knee-high by the Fourth of July,” or so the old corn farming adage goes.

Growing up in the upper Midwest, where there are only a handful of months in which farmers could plant, cultivate and harvest, you quickly learn — and learn to anticipate — when each of these precious few crops is ready and at its peak. Here in the south, the lines blur as the growing season is twice that of my former home, if not more.

Still, no matter how quickly the stalks rise skyward, the first ears of ripe sweet corn in our kitchen will always signal it’s truly the height of summer. And this year, our corn is homegrown! A deliciously successful garden experiment.

Being that the heat and humidity practically shout that it is high season, you may be thinking, stew?! I love a good chilled gazpacho (this refreshed us twice earlier in the month), but for me, warm and cozy bowls of stews and soups are equally as satisfying any time of the year. Besides, there’s science behind heating to cool.

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Kitchen Scraps to Homemade Stock

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Happy 2017!

At the start of every new year, I make it a goal to refresh the kitchen. Refrigerator, freezer, pantry — no drawer or door is left unopened. It’s cathartic to give everything a good cleaning, all the while taking inventory of what needs to be replaced or replenished.

Always at the top of my list, though I make it many times throughout the year, is a big pot of rich homemade stock. Not only is this liquid gold cheaper and better tasting that store-bought, it feeds into another of my goals, to reduce food waste.

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Table for One: Pearl Barley with (Leftover) Roast Chicken, Figs and Aged Balsamic

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

As often as we can my husband and I eat supper together at the table. It’s our time to unwind, laugh and reconnect at the end of the day. But with irregular, often opposing work schedules, it’s not uncommon that my supper companion is the cat (who’s only engaging if the bottom of his food bowl is visible).

This might be for one night, or it might be more prolonged. While not preferable, it’s something we’re accustomed to. My top tip: make extra of key ingredients that happily make repeat appearances. It might not be sexy, but the beauty of leftovers is that there is pre-prepped food left over. For instance, a whole roast chicken from the weekend provided meat for two suppers and three quick lunches, plus nearly three quarts of rich, flavorful bone stock.

When I’m in for a stretch of solo suppers, a stocked refrigerator and freezer ensures there’s good food to fill my belly. This iteration of my leftovers plates is a mash-up, featuring barley (from a batch made for breakfast earlier this week), pieces of that leftover roast chicken, and figs (frozen from the summer harvest), brightened up with an aged balsamic vinaigrette and a scattering of fresh mint leaves (still kicking in the garden!).

Barley chicken fig balsamic

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