Dana Slatkin

Twelve Farmgirl Finds for Fall

le creuset ceramic mugs

When summer days fade into sweet memories and there’s no turning back, face fall with cool ambition. These tasty finds and trendsetting tricks say, "Full speed ahead!" Click on the name of the item to view more details. 1. Chalky Talk Labels I love the back-to-basics look of these cool black labels for late-summer canning and pre-fall organizing. The assorted set comes with a chalk stick, but I recommend purchasing a chalk pen, which is easier to write with and wipes off clean. 2. Mason Jars Capture summer in these vintage blue glass jars with airtight lids. They’re what I use to organize my pantry staples as well as for making Nectarine Butter, Spicy Tomato Chutney, Nectarine and Apricot Chutney, and Sugar-free … [Read more...]

Baby Potato Salad with Arugula, Pine Nuts, Poached Egg and Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

salad potatoes argula manchego

Much of my summer cooking inspiration comes from my hikes here in the mountains. Just about every day, I trek along rivers, up waterfalls, beside streams and through fields of wild flowers. It’s dreamy, and I pinch myself each time I get to behold such beauty. For those few hours when I’m alone with nature, my mind always seems to wander back to food. On a recent hike up a rocky riverbed, wild leaves poking up towards the sun reminded me of arugula; multi-hued stones morphed into potatoes. On the way home, I stopped at the market and picked up the ingredients for my lunch. I love a potato salad like any good American, but traditional recipes can be heavy and monotone. Add a few interesting goodies to the spuds and they transform into … [Read more...]

Kale Peanut Slaw

kale peanut slaw

Will we ever have our fill of kale? Not me. Like the perfect white tee shirt, kale has transcended the whims of food fashion to become a classic. It pairs well with almost anything. It’s hip. And it’s in season all year. Forget that it’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Kale makes me happy. So when the folks at Oprah.com asked me to talk about kale salads, it was an easy “yes.” (You’ve probably noticed, kale fans love to rhapsodize about its virtues.) But I wasn’t prepared to win over a reluctant carnivore, one who happened to be tall, dark and handsome. Hosting the segment, entitled Restaurant-Worthy Kale Salads (to air shortly), was Karamo Brown, all charm and swagger, an alum of MTV’s Real World and self-professed … [Read more...]

Pan-Seared Cauliflower (or Fish, or Chicken) in Mustard, Caper and Herb Sauce

cauliflower with mustard caper sauce

  I get a lot of S.O.S calls this time of year. Kids are home from school, and moms are realizing there's a very long summer of short-order cooking ahead. The conversation goes something like this..."Can you teach my kid to cook? Mine is clueless!" "Sure, what would they like to learn?” "Everything." "Umm...ok, shall we start with the basics?" "Great! Would you mind if I join, too?" Of course, I live to show anyone a few cooking tricks. Eventually, kids need to learn how to nourish themselves, and they’re never too young or old to start. Even if they are still boarding at home, in a dorm room or in sorority (or fraternity) house, the kids who can cook are the ones who eat better and are never without friends! This … [Read more...]

Twelve Farmgirl Finds for Summer


School’s out and sunny days are here to stay for a while. Let the dog days begin! Here are a few of my favorite things for summer: 1. Black Straw Hat You can’t get through summer without a good hat. Here is the one I’m coveting from super-stylin' The Dreslyn… …and the one I’ve already worn to shreds. 2. Groovy shades A year-round essential for us Angelenos, a cool pair of sunglasses can change your look from frump to fresh. This season, I’m all over the ones with mirrored lenses. These lightweight sunnies from Beach Riot have a hipster 70’s vibe – I’ve been wearing them from dawn to dusk! Order them here or pick up a pair at The Beverly Hills Bikini Shop. I'm also loving this white and tortoise pair that … [Read more...]

June/July Giveaway

Mexican Chopped Salad

Summer’s official takeoff is right around the corner, and the Farmgirl wants you to be ready! With all the fresh salads and light dishes you’ll be craving this season, a proper knife is key. It must be scalpel-sharp, easy to handle, and a breeze to maintain. This eco-friendly ceramic knife and peeler set from Kyocera is a Farmgirl favorite. You will love how the sleek knife feels in your hand while slicing everything from tomatoes to tarragon with microscopic precision without bruising. The peeler is dishwasher-safe and works wonders on tough jobs like squash and potatoes. Both tools come with a lifetime guarantee from Kyocera. Forward the link to a friend and I will throw in this Kyocera paring knife if you win! (Note: Colors may vary … [Read more...]

Strawberry Kale & Quinoa Salad with Cranberries, Nuts & Margarita Dressing


Slightly adapted from Michele Gan, Serves You Right Catering Funny how spring always feels like the shortest season of the year. When you’re gunning for summer, all it takes is a few days of sunshine to prompt some wishful thinking. Besides, kids are already out of school (what’s up with that?), juicy berries and tomatoes crowd the stands at our farmers markets, and barbeques are firing up in backyards all over town. Here in SoCal, spring is already old news. In case you think another kale salad is a snooze, too, try this one from superstar Los Angeles caterer Michele Gan. After serving it at a cooking class earlier this month, I got so many requests for the recipe that I promised to share it with you. Luckily, the lovable Michele … [Read more...]

Farmgirl Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo Credit: Pat Illing

Everyone has a guilty pleasure, something that soothes after a long day or helps ease you into the night ahead. Mine is – er, was -- a certain diet soda with a “cherry” flavor and just enough caffeine to occasionally recharge my battery. But the other night, after seeing a screening of Fed Up, Laurie David’s and Katie Couric’s sobering documentary about our deadly national diet, I 86’d soda from my life for good. I was so moved by the film, I went on a pantry rampage as well, tossing every box of processed food that had found its way onto my shelves. The next day, three ravenous kids came wandering into the pantry looking for snacks. Gone were the breakfast cereals, power bars and chips they usually grabbed before attempting … [Read more...]