Monday, June 22

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

Although they are a Lunar New Year specialty, Chinese American style almond cookies pair well with ice cream and summer berries. So I thought this would be a welcome recipe with the abundance of truly tasty local strawberries right now. And I am looking to catch some luck. Almond cookies were once a staple at Chinese restaurants in the US. But you rarely spot them now that fortune cookies have taken over. Growing up, I

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Wednesday, April 29

Digestivo Mandorlato – Priscilla’s Green Almond Liqueur

Priscilla's Green Almond Liqueur

The Mediterranean region provides inspiration for many of the things I make with almonds. In that almond-growing region, there is a tradition of eating immature fruits and nuts that we don’t hear too much about in the U.S. let alone the Northeast where I live. (Although Turkeywood Farms in Mystic, CT is distilling shagbark hickory to make a sweet syrup I love.) This is my signature spirit, Digestivo Mandorlato – Priscilla’s Green Almond Liqueur Think of

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Monday, April 20

My Almond Lexicon – Green Almonds

Almond botanical illustration from Germany circa 1903

“Green almonds” mean a number of things. Newborn Almonds – Almond buds start to appear on the tree right after the bloom, which appears in early winter. (It’s February to March in California and a week or two earlier in the Mediterranean.) As soon as the bloom drops, a tiny budlet appears on the tree. That’s our newborn green almond. You can easily pop the whole thing in your mouth. It is tender and crunchy.

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Monday, April 06

Green Almonds, a Celebration of Spring

Green Almond Nutlet on the Half Shell

These fuzzy green pods are green almonds, baby nutlets, which appear on the trees after the blooms fall. Cousin to the peach, plum, and apricot, Prunus amygdalus, the almond is the first fruit tree to bloom in spring. Once the fragrant almond blossoms fall, clusters of pale green pods remain on its branches. Called ‘green almonds’, these embryonic almonds will grow into the nut we all know. In the early stages, dainty almond pods resemble

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Monday, February 23

Almond Bloom 2015

Almond Bloom 2015

Close your eyes. Imagine a tall sky and wide, flat plain before you. The floor of the valley, in this case the San Joaquin in California, is covered in what appears to be a fine dusting of snow. This is the Almond Bloom 2015. You’re driving along a highway, CA-99; tractor trailers haul bales of hay and a 50-car train matches your speed. You pull off onto a secondary road for a closer look. There may

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Wednesday, May 14

Better from Scratch: Almond Milk

Better from Scratch: Almond Milk

If you drink neither bottled fruit juice nor canned soup, why would you purchase almond milk in a carton?  It is just too delicious and easy to make at home. The market for “alternative dairy beverages” is nearly 1.5 billion dollars.  And almond milk sales lead the pack. It tastes great and is an excellent source of Vitamin A, D and E as well as a low fat and cholesterol-free alternative to cow’s milk.  But I have

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"Let no man fancy he knows how to dine
Till he has learnt how taste and taste combine."

-Horace, Satires, 2.4

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