Home & Garden

How to Make a Hand-Crafted Serving Tray

serving tray on frame

Although I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, I really am a lover of home made crafts, especially those where I can re-purpose things I already have. I’m not big on spending a lot of money at craft stores, either. I go for basics while I’m there, but I don’t buy much of the new things I can find on my ... Read More »

Family Farmed Expo in Chicago

Family Farmed Expo

I have to admit, I’ve been really glued to the television and any news media outlet to catch updates on the situation in Japan.  It was hard for me to write about food or develop recipes when all I could think about was the hardship and suffering of the Japanese people and how the nuclear radiation could affect the entire ... Read More »

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Gardening Groove On

Window Box Seeds

Here in the Midwest, much like other parts of the country we’re experiencing a complete and utter freeze. It’s incredibly hard to imagine colorful flowers, edible gardens, or even water that doesn’t freeze when poured right now, but this is the best time to think about your spring garden. The Butchart Gardens Seeds- Vancouver, Canada Yes, your spring garden. And summer ... Read More »

How to Preserve Canned Tomato Paste Once It’s Opened

Paglicacci Tomato Paste

Do you ever open up a can of tomato paste for just one tablespoon required for your recipe and then you’re left with most of the can open or with the cut metal lid semi-open,semi-closed? The paste begins to blacken a bit after a couple of days. Pretty soon, if you haven’t closed it properly, the whole can goes moldy ... Read More »

Chocolate Mousse Cups | ‘Eid Bazaar Baking

Handmade Moroccan Candles

I had the great fortune of being able to do a little baking for a local school bazaar this past weekend. Teachers were raising money to fund the children’s Hajj re-enactment program where the kids learn how to properly perform the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. You see, it’s Hajj ‘season’, meaning that most piligrims from all over the world ... Read More »

My Interview with Jules Dervaes of The Path to Freedom: The Modern Urban Homestead

Dervaes/UrbanHomestead.org

Many of you who follow this blog or actively participate on the MHK Facebook Page probably remember my several mentions of the Dervaes Family, the nearly self-sufficient Californians who garden just about every inch of their modest Pasadena home and even sell their harvest to local chefs and restauranteurs. I first learned about Jules Dervaes a few years ago while watching a ... Read More »

Farmer’s Market Salad

Strolling through the farmer’s market on a humid summer morning is enough inspiration to seek out the best salad ingredients you can find. I returned recently with beautiful radishes and purple scallions. Combining that with my balcony garden herbs made this a super local food.   Ingredients ½ bunch radishes, julienned 1 cucumber, seeds removed, sliced lengthwise 3 scallions, cut ... Read More »

My Cactus Plant is Flowering! And I Don’t Live in the Desert…

Yellow Cactus Flower

  I’m not only amazed by the fact that my cactus is growing and thriving here in the Midwest, but now it’s flowering! This is just too beautiful to keep to myself. I wish everyone the same joy in caring for plants that mine bring to me. I’m grateful to friends and family like my mother-in-law who was thoughtful enough ... Read More »

About Citrus Zest

Yvonne Maffei Food Photos | www.myhalalkitchen.com

Did you know that most citrus fruits were traditionally grown for their zest, not for their fruits?  When you zest, or peel away the skin of citrus, you get all the flavor of a lemon, lime or orange in this skin- without all the acidity of the flesh. One has to just be careful not to zest too much of the outside ... Read More »

My (Edible) Balcony Garden

My Strawberries

  Many of my family members and members of  our Facebook page have been asking me to send pictures of my balcony garden, so I’ve finallly had a chance to take and compile pictures of this lovely extension of my home. I’m delighted that so many people are interested in such a wonderful thing to share. Years ago when I first moved ... Read More »