Hello, Texas! I just landed in the Lone Star state and I couldn’t be happier to be here. Today I’ll be in Dallas, tomorrow Houston, and then a brief two-day visit to Austin, which will include a party at one of my favorite places around, the Hotel St Cecilia.
But, before I go on about book tour stops, let’s talk about Texas food and the fabulous people behind it. I’m covering a lot of ground in this state so I wanted to make sure to do a key to the kitchen interview with someone who represents the amazing things that are going on with food in Texas. And, since I’ve spent the majority of my time in Texas down in Austin, well, Jeanine and Jack of the pretty healthy blog, Love & Lemons, immediately came to mind. I’ve been following their fresh food, photography, and style for just over a year and was delighted to hear they’d join in the fun. So, enough from me, I’ll give the floor to Jeanine.
Q: Jeanine, please share, what is your key to the kitchen?
A: Technically, this is two…but lemons and fresh herbs are my keys to the kitchen.
I love healthy food but it has to taste amazing and not feel like a compromise. A squeeze of lemon or a bit of lemon zest brightens up (just about) anything…salads, roasted veggies, pastas, fish…you name it. Citrus adds so much flavor and balance, especially when I’m trying to keep meals light.
Having fresh herbs on hand has saved me from so many unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Along with some staple pantry items, I can whip up quick pestos, herby vinaigrettes, or savory yogurt sauces to liven up leftover ingredients from a prior night. They’re expensive to buy in those little packets at the store which is why I grow my own. I have quite the black thumb, but with pretty minimal effort I’ve managed to keep alive a couple of basil plants (ok they’ve died a few times, but they miraculously grew back), thyme, rosemary, sage, mint and lemongrass. You don’t even need a yard, most herbs will grow just fine in pots indoors. And they’re inexpensive to replace if you are like me and forget to water them.
Though my new cookbook is called Keys To The Kitchen, the reality is that there are too many to publish in one single book. So, I’ll be asking some of my favorite food people from each city I’ll be visiting on my book tour to share his or her very own key to the kitchen in this interview series — read other interviews here.