Tucker Farms Kitchen: 2016
Hi! Kikki here … I’m a recovering attorney, an unlikely farm dweller, the farm’s resident cook and recipe-writer, and Farmer Craig’s wife.
If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know that I worked on a recipe blog for our old website back in 2012 and 2013. Then, life got crazy and I dropped the ball for a few years. Now that we have this fancy new website (with much better recipe-posting capabilities), my goal is to post at least two seasonal recipes each week.
You’ve probably also gathered that I have been a vegetarian for awhile; since I was 8, in fact. Recently, I have pursued an entirely plant-based diet. (As such, you’ll see some butter and cheese in our old recipes, but you won’t see those ingredients in the more current ones).
Farmer Craig eats a standard omnivore diet, so, occasionally, you’ll see a note about what meat he paired with his veggies. However, even Craig sees meat as a “side” dish. We both appreciate a meal built around healthy, low-fat starches and veggies, and that’s what you’ll find the most of here!
My Cooking Philosophy
I learned the basics of cooking from my Grandma who made the most memorable meals but measured haphazardly, added seasonings by “taste,” and could tell when cookie dough was perfect by the way it “felt” in her hands. I also inherited her love for a good sauce and quality, homemade soup.
Like my Grandma, I don’t believe that cooking should be hard or overwhelming. I think cooking is fun and therapeutic. (On a rough day, you’ll find me making lasagnas and casseroles like they’re going out of style).
I don’t own a kitchen scale, my kitchen is super-tiny, and you’ll see my recipes are very forgiving. (And I rarely bake because, well, that requires precision and patience!). I have a hard time writing down recipes because I taste-and-tweak my dishes so much. My favorite kitchen appliances are my immersion blender, mini food processor, and Vitamix. I also love non-stick ceramic pans and parchment paper!
Frequently Used Ingredients
Obviously, I try to focus my recipes around ingredients that we are harvesting as well as other seasonal veggies that you can find easily at a local farmers market. However, I live on more than *just* veggies, and below are some ingredients you will probably see frequently in my recipes.
I use A LOT of raw, organic cashews in my recipes. These nuts are not only packed with protein and healthy fats, but they also make amazing plant-based milk and work as a fabulous thickener in soups and sauces. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can still use cashews, you’ll just want to make sure that you have RAW ones, and you’ll want to soak them in warm water for a few hours before you use them (they soften easily). You can buy raw, organic cashews in small quantities at Publix; I usually order mine from nuts.com because they are cheaper to purchase in bulk (and a 5# bag will last a long time in your freezer!). In pretty much all my recipes, you can sub another milk anytime I use cashew milk, and you can sub yogurt or sour cream for cashew cream.
I also use veggie broth frequently. Sometimes I make my own, but, honestly, I use a box from the store usually. My favorite veggie broth is Simple Truth Organic Vegetable Broth from Kroger.
I always keep plenty of garlic, shallots, and onions around the kitchen. I eat rice and rice noodles several times a week, so you will probably see a lot of those here, too. (My favorite brands of rice noodles are Tinkyada and Jovial, which are both available in most chain grocery stores).
We also eat a lot of ground corn products (such as cornmeal, grits, and polenta). We usually buy these from our friends at Riverview Farms in Ranger, GA. You can find their products in various locations, and at many farmers markets, around Atlanta, North Georgia, and Chattanooga.
Whenever I buy ingredients, I do my best to buy organic and Non-GMO items because I think they are the healthiest options.
Recipe Changes & Improvements
One complaint we received frequently about the old blog was that there wasn’t an easy way to print the recipes. Problem solved! On all of the new recipes (and on a few of the old ones), you will see a blue “Print” button. By clicking on that button, you can view/print just the text of the recipe with no photos and without crazy formatting issues. You can adjust the size of the font as well as the spacing. We hope this improvement will make it easier for you to use our recipes!
I know y’all like pictures with your recipes so that you can see what things look like throughout the process. So, I’m working on documenting my recipes better, but my food photography skills still aren’t where I want them. (But, if you look back to my 2012/2013 recipes, you’ll probably agree that they ARE improving!) So, bear with me as I continue to practice how to balance cooking, recipe writing, and food photography!
Connect with Me
Thank you for checking out our website and exploring our blog! It’s because of you that we’re able to do what we love.
If you want to chat about food, the farm, photography, or plant-based eating, I’d LOVE to hear from you! Please shoot me a message sometime. firstname.lastname@example.org