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2 In business/ local/ salads/ Seasons/ Sides/ summer/ vegan/ Vegetarian

You say tomato, I say let’s eat

tomato, tomatoes

You say tomato…

Every year my now 88 year old grandfather grows tons of his favorite vegetables (and fruits) in his garden in Philadelphia.  You can always find a tomato, tons of lima beans, string beans, cabbage or collards.   He was raised on a farm in North Carolina during the 1930s & 1940s a time when many families had to grow their own food to survive. 

Today the farm to table movement is booming with a whole new generation leading the charge. 

Tomatoes have long been considered as a beginner gardeners friend, especially grape and cherry tomatoes.  In fact, when I was in the 3rd grade one of our projects was to grow cherry tomatoes (luckily, my grandfather was able to revive my almost dead plant before it was due).  And even though my gardening skills leave much to be desired, there are numerous farmers around the country with tons of tomatoes this time of year. 

And such a versatile fruit that is treated like a vegetable deserves a box.

Eating them raw in salads and gazpacho or roasted in a hot soup or tomato sauce, tomatoes are great for large dishes that you can freeze or can.

All the recipes this month may call for a specific type of tomatoes but feel free to swap out your favorites or what is abundant at the markets.  Maybe even branch out and try the many heirloom varieties easily found these days.

1 In Lobster/ local/ pasta/ salads/ shellfish/ Shrimp/ Sides/ summer/ Uncategorized/ Vegetarian

4th of July Pasta Salad

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. As a little girl, school was out, everything was a little relaxed, I could stay up late to watch any and all firework displays (and in the city of brotherly love the 4th was a big deal). And it was around this time we had block parties on our street. Somehow the adults got permission to block off the street so no one could drive down it. Everyone brought their grills from the backyard to the front sidewalk. And us kids played every game we could think of like Hide & Go butter bee, Hide & Seek, Double Dutch, we’d have Uno and Acey Duecy tournaments and any other game that lends itself to 20+ kids playing together.

Food was usually a simple fare burgers, hot dogs, chicken, sometimes steamed crabs and lots of fruit. These days I love bringing vinaigrette based pasta salads. I know a lot more vegetarians and pescatarians these days and want to make sure they eat well too. And if I could find or create more recipes that taste as good as this I’d consider pescatarianism at the very least.

And the cool thing about pasta salad is you can totally personalize it. My husband hates bell peppers so they can be taken out. I love onions and garlic and tend to add them in everything. Fresh squeezed lemon juice or lemon zest brighten up everything in my opinion so it’s always an ingredient. And everyone knows I love crabs. So if it’s possible I’m adding it to a recipe. Prefer lobster or shrimp? Swap it out. The only thing you need to be aware of is having enough vinaigrette to adequately coat all the ingredients. If you stick with these ratios you should be good but you can always double or triple the vinaigrette recipe if you find your ingredients list is getting kind of big 😀


So make a bowl of this amazingly fresh summer pasta salad and serve at your next 4th of July bash!

Need help planning your next holiday get together?

Check out our friends at Tinselbox Holiday for awesome ideas and future subscription boxes. They help you celebrate every holiday!

Pasta Salad with King Crab
Serves 8
A wonderful summer side dish for any bbq!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  3. 1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  4. 2 tbsp honey (we use Orange Blossom flavored local honey)
  5. 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  8. Salt & pepper
  1. Kosher/sea salt
  2. 2 cup fresh corn kernels
  3. 1/2 lb pasta, such as campanelle, cavatappi or tortiglioni
  4. 1 tbsp olive oil
  5. 3 oz baby spinach or arugula
  6. 1 small bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and very thinly sliced (red, yellow or orange)
  7. 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  8. 4 oz crumbled feta
  9. 1lb king crab legs
  10. 2 tbsp old bay (optional)
  1. Combine lemon juice, mustard, shallots, honey and lemon zest in a bowl and set aside for 5. Whisk in extra virgin olive oil. Add in dill, and stir to combine. Season with 3/4 tsp and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Taste and adjust honey and lemon juice to your taste.
  1. Over high heat, get a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Put the corn in a metal strainer/small colander and dip it into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove corn,rinse under cold water, draw well and place in a bowl to let cool.
  2. *At this point you can add the crab legs to the water to heat through. I prefer to steam mine with a little old bay seasoning in a separate pot*
  3. Bring water back to a boil and add pasta. Cook to al dente. Drain well and toss with olive oil set aside to cool (if I'm really hungry, I put the pasta and corn in the fridge for 10 minutes to speed cooling)
  4. In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, spinach/arugula, and the vinaigrette. Stir to combine. Add cheese, the red onion and crabmeat and stir gently. Let stand for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from Fine Cooking: Pasta Salad with corn, spinach and red bell pepper
Adapted from Fine Cooking: Pasta Salad with corn, spinach and red bell pepper
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/



1 In business/ fall/ local/ Seasons/ spring/ summer/ vegan/ Vegetarian/ winter

Carrot Apple Lemon Juice

Carrot, apple and lemon juice aka ‘Orange’ Juice


Before my daughter was born, my husband and I had planned to make all her food.  We looked at baby food blenders and processors and figured we’d get one after she was born.  Then we stumbled upon ‘baby-led weaning’.  And me being the laziest mother out there, jumped on the bandwagon quick.

In a nutshell, you feed your kid the same foods you eat at meals, no pureed foods, or strained anything.  They will learn to chew naturally, and won’t have to go between textures.  We loved it, the kid loved it.  But I noticed with raw vegetables, very little was getting into her stomach.  I mean she had no back teeth so it’s understandable.

So in order to increase her veggie intake (and mine, let’s be honest) we started juicing.

3 years later, we still are.  And this is our favorite juice to have for breakfast. Carrots, apples, lemon and ginger (if I have it) blend so well to make a sweet enough drink that almost anyone would like it.

Juicing is messy and expensive but if you already own a juicer or blender (it will make more of a smoothie) then try this one.




Carrot Apple and Lemon Juice
Serves 1
A delicious blend of fruits and veggies for breakfast
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 4 large carrots
  2. 2 apples, cut into fours
  3. 1 lemon
  4. ginger (optional)
  1. Wash all produce
  2. Remove zest from lemon
  3. Run everything through the juicer
  4. Stir and chill or serve over ice
Tasty Tin http://tastytin.com/
0 In local/ salads/ spring/ vegan/ Vegetarian

GMYLF (Go Meet Your Local Farmers)


March is such a wonderful month that gets lost in the shuffle of the ending of the holiday season and the start of warmer weather.  But so many great things happen in March like daylight savings time (I know, I know we lose an hour but think of all the sunlight you get to embrace!), spring officially begins and, my favorite, my farmer’s market starts back up.
From March to December I talk and learn from any and every farmer I can find.  As passionate as they are about what they grow and how they grow it, they are just as passionate about cooking their fare.  And like me, they love to talk about it.

You can find a wide variety of lettuces, herbs and other produce and some really great simple recipes to try at home.  I’ve never gotten a recipe from a farmer that had more than 5 ingredients.  Usually all 5 ingredients can be found at the farmer’s market which makes it an ideal place to try something new.
My favorite part of local farms are farm shares otherwise known as Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs.  A farmer will sell shares of their farms harvest for a year to a set number of locals.  Some times they will accept a person working on the farm in place of money but regardless of which a person does its the support that makes it what it is.
Search around your neighborhood, ask friends or family or visit the farmers market and ask the vendors there to point you in the direction of a CSA.  They fill up fast but are so worth it.  And if you miss your chance this year there is always next year and just shop weekly at your local farmer’s market.