Tagged: In the Kitchen

Join Sarah Owens to learn more about baking with sourdough at our upcoming events in Glen Mills on February 5 and Westport on February 23.

With winter weather in full effect, it's the perfect time to heat up the oven and get baking. We recently chatted with Sarah Owens, owner of Brooklyn micro-bakery BK17 and author of Sourdough, a collection of rustic recipes for breads and baked goods featuring fermented sourdough starter. While adding a fresh, zesty flavor to baking, sourdough also boasts excellent health benefits; like many fermented foods, it offers beneficial bacteria for healthy digestion. An avid gardener and former curator at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Sarah's recipes are influenced by the seasons and the garden's best offerings. She's sharing her story and some favorites for winter baking, below.

terrain: To start, can you tell us a bit about your garden?

Sarah: I split my time between Kentucky and Brooklyn, where I was formerly a curator at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden specializing in roses. Wherever I am, I always have personal garden to experiment and grow unusual or exotic ingredients. This year, I tried out new herbs, specifically those indigenous to South America. I'm very inspired by spices and flavors from around the world; when I'm in New York, I go into spice shops and wander the aisles until something catches my eye. One of my recent finds is a South American herb called papalo. It's a beautiful plant that grows really well and is able to withstand hot weather. It tastes just like cilantro, but has a much longer growing season as well as beautiful blooms and seed pods. I love to grow edible plants that also have ornamental value, like statuesque herbs and beets with lush foliage.

terrain: How does your background as a botanist inspire you as a baker?

Sarah: Sourdough is a wild culture that's formed from a combination of different yeasts and bacteria, which live symbiotically with fermentation cultures. To nurture a sourdough starter and keep it alive, you have to be really sensitive to the nuances of time, temperature, and humidity that influence its behavior. As a gardener, you're also very much living with those variables, so working with sourdough fell very naturally into my life. Being inspired by the seasons, weather, and what I'm cultivating in the garden led to a curiosity about adding new ingredients in the kitchen, for example incorporating scented geranium into a jam loaf.


Winter Citrus with Sweet and Tart

Citrus season has officially arrived, and we can't get enough of our favorite fruits for brightening the midwinter months. In search of fresh ideas for citrus on the menu, we turned to Carla Snyder, the blogger behind Ravenous Kitchen and author of Sweet and Tart, a new collection of citrus-centered baking recipes. We chatted with Carla about all things citrus, and she shared the recipe for one of her favorite winter desserts-- a beautiful, blood orange panna cotta.

terrain: Why do you love baking with citrus? How did Sweet and Tart take shape?

Carla: I love lemon, and anything citrus flavored, really. As a little girl, I would eat lemons sprinkled with salt. I'd thought about writing a citrus-themed book for years, and my editor suggested a focus on baking. While creating the recipes, I tried to choose citrus varieties that are easy to procure. I live in a small town in Ohio, so I feel confident that if I can find a particular variety, anyone can find it in their area.

terrain: What first sparked your interest in cooking and baking?

Carla: Even as a child, I liked to bake and cook. I went to Spain to study during college, and while I was there I realized that a lot of people "live to eat." The food was so delicious, and my travels really woke me up to a world of food. I got married and had children very soon after college, and around that time I took all of my dad's old Gourmet magazines and started cooking from them. It was perfect for me-- a creative outlet that was also feeding my family! Eventually I began catering, then teaching at a cooking school, and finally writing cookbooks. I have a degree in journalism, so I feel like things came full circle. I was always supposed to write, and now I've found what I should write about!


Natural Serving Board Care

Whether we're cooking or serving, boards are some of our most essential tools in the kitchen. To keep our favorite boards in great shape, we're turning to natural methods that are food safe and environmentally friendly. Simple oils and a few kitchen staples are all you need to make sure your boards are looking their best. We've gathered our favorite tips for board care and conditioning, below. 

Wooden Boards

Daily Care: Sprinkle your board with coarse salt, then rub with half of a sliced lemon. Rinse with hot water and dry immediately. 

Washing: Wash your board evenly on both sides to avoid any warping. Be sure to dry immediately. Never store boards while wet.

Oiling: Apply a small amount of almond, walnut or coconut oil to a wooden board's surface, then rub in the oil with a lint-free cloth, following the grain of the wood. In place of oil, natural beeswax can also be used. Make sure to choose a food-grade oil for all boards.

Removing Scents/Flavors: After cutting garlic, onions, or other strongly-scented items, wash your board as usual. Next, apply a paste of baking soda and water. Let stand for a few hours, then spritz the baking soda solution with vinegar. Once the fizzing subsides, rinse and dry your board before storing. 

Marble Boards

Daily Care: Avoid acidic cleansers, which can erode marble. For daily cleaning, fill a spray bottle with 1 tablespoon of natural soap, like Castile soap, and 1 quart of warm water. Lightly spray the board with your soap solution, then wipe clean and dry with a soft cloth. 

Best Board Practices: Marble is easily etched by knives, so avoid using your marble boards as cutting surfaces. Acidic foods, fruit juices, and other pigmented liquids can also damage or stain the porous surface of a marble board. 

Stain Removal: If your board does get stained, create a natural poultice. Wipe down the board with distilled water, then create a thick paste of water and an absorbent material such as chalk, white flour, or kaolin clay. Apply it to the board, then cover the board in plastic to keep the poultice moist. Let stand for 48 hours, then wipe the poultice away. If the stain lingers, this treatment can be repeated as needed.


A Savory Shortbread

December 16, 2015

Recipe Box
, In the Kitchen

A Savory Shortbread

With less than two weeks until Christmas, baking season is well underway in our kitchens. Alongside classic cookies, we're serving up some treats that strike a balance between savory and sweet. Pastry Chef Kara W. shared one of our favorite terrain recipes-- an herb-infused shortbread that can be served on its own or topped with a hint of icing. With a little help from festive cookie cutters, this versatile confection is becoming our go-to for holiday parties and snacking by the tree. Read on for the recipe, plus options for serving as a sweet cookie or savory cracker.


Trim Toppers for Holiday Sweets

This year, our ornaments are heading from the tree to the kitchen as toppers for festive cakes. Sure to be a show-stopper at holiday parties, the colorful cake above plays host to a Windowsill Forest Kit featuring some of our most charming Christmas trim. Simply choose your favorite cake recipe, then create a snowy clean slate for your scene with smooth, white icing. Top your confection with a forest of bright brush trees, dotted mushrooms, and tiny critters for the season's merriest dessert. We finished our look with a simple, creamware cake stand and a few leafy sprigs.


As we await the turkey and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, we'll be snacking on a bountiful board featuring some of our favorite cheeses. Inspired by our newly-arrived Cheesemonger's Honey Flight from Bee Raw, our cafe recently put together the cheese board above with seasonal accompaniments and a sweet touch of honey. Perfect for a harvest feast, our favorite cheeses are served alongside fresh pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds, pickled onions, tangy mustards, crisp apples and more. The stars of the show, however, are the honeys-- each one is sourced from an American, family-owned apiary and flavored by the local botanicals its bees visit. Read on to learn more about some of our favorite cheese and honey pairings.

Maine Blueberry Honey: Strong and earthy, this honey finishes with a playful note of buttery sweetness. Pair with dry and earthy blue cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort, and Fourme d'Ambert.

North Carolina Sourwood Honey: Rich and buttery with notes of maple, this honey is harvested in Statesville, North Carolina at the end of the sourwood tree flowering season, when the nectar is sweetest. Pair with cheeses that have a bloomy rind, such as Brie, Camembert, or Cirrus.

Washington Buckwheat Honey: Robust and complex with a molasses-like flavor, this honey balances notes of mossy earth with a bright finish. Pair with tart and tangy goat cheeses like Crottin de Chavignol and Sainte-Maure de Touraine.

Colorado Sweet Yellow Clover Honey: Light and buttery with warm undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg, this honey gets its delicate sweetness from wild yellow clover blossoms. Pair with strong, washed rind cheeses like Epoisses de Bourgogne, Taleggio, and Winnimere.


A Guide to Edible Flowers

October 19, 2015

In the Kitchen

A Guide to Edible Flowers

With temperatures dropping, we're heading into the kitchen to welcome the arrival of baking season. We're also bringing the garden indoors by using edible blooms as toppers for our favorite treats. Hand-picked and carefully dried to maintain their vivid colors, these elegant garnishes are an effortless way to finish cakes, cocktails, and even salads. Take a glance at our edible garden guide, above, and read on for some favorite combinations.

Lavender Stems: A great pairing for sweet and savory treats alike, we also love these beautiful stems as cocktail garnishes.

Rose Petals: Delicate and richly colorful, these petite petals are an elegant topping for caramels and candies.

Cornflowers: These feathery blossoms add a pop of color to the dark greens of autumn salads.

White Daisies: With a pop-art shape and generous size, these bold blooms are the perfect choice for topping cupcakes.

White Pansies & Violas: We love to scatter these multi-hued flowers across frosted cakes; add a sprinkling of coarse-grained white sugar for festive sparkle.


Four Fall Pies

October 12, 2015

In the Kitchen

Fall pies (left to right): Salted Honey, Pumpkin Pecan Brittle, Chocolate Coffee Pecan, Salted Caramel Apple

Our favorite time of year has arrived at Styer's Garden Café-- pie season! With Thanskgiving celebrations on the horizon, we stopped by the kitchen to see what Pastry Chef Kara W. is cooking up for fall and the holidays. Kara says, "Pie is a part of my daily life at terrain, from wedding pies to serving up slices in the restaurant. This year, I'm baking four fall pies that offer twists on seasonal classics. The flavors are Salted Honey, Salted Caramel Apple, Chocolate Coffee Pecan, and Pumpkin Pecan Brittle."

Kara will be busy baking pies from now through Thanksgivng, and you can order one (or a few!) for your own celebration. Now through Sunday, November 22, you can pre-order holiday pies by calling the café at (610) 459-6030. Pies are $26 each and can be picked up on November 24 & 25 at Styer's. During our chat, Kara also shared some of her secrets for the perfect pie from scratch. Read on for her top five tips.