Toni Leland's News for March

Between 60-degree days and 20 inches of snow, March has been interesting, to say the least.

The freelance fun begins now in earnest with upcoming spring and summer events to investigate and write about, as well as my own adventures, which recently included a Native American cooking class with Chef Sherry at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Lobster Mac & Cheese is easier to make than it sounds, and oh-so-delicious! I also spent an evening at the Taste of Windsor snapping pics for Connecticut Lifestyles, and of course sampling all the fabulous food.

The May issue of Ohio Country Living will include my feature article on interesting and unusual perennials for the home gardener. Of course gardening is my favorite subject, so this one didn't feel much like work. In the March issue of Norwich Magazine, I explored the use of foliage as a year-round focus of interest. That issue was also a freebie in the goodie bags at the Connecticut Master Gardener Spring Symposium this month! Several of my photographs on ViewBug have earned some nice recognition, including this tiny tree frog who thought he was hiding from me.

My latest novel, Lost & Found, the fifth book in the Kovak & Quaid horse mystery series, is on target for an April release date. Rather excited about that!

As the last of the snow melts, I see bits of green peeking through the leaf mulch, and swelling buds on the Montauk daisies and forsythia. Not much longer until we can enter the season of beauty and sunshine. Hope you're hanging in there with me.

Book Review: Recipes from a Kitchen Garden

by Toni Leland

RECIPES FROM A KITCHEN GARDEN is another wonderful cookbook from Renee's Gardens. This is the original cookbook by Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff, and it's every bit as good as their latest publication, More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden, which I reviewed last year.

"Fresh vegetables have their very own special allure, and these recipes are first and foremost a celebration of garden fresh ingredients," say the authors. And nothing could be more true of this book.

From Beans to Chard to Eggplant to Tomatillos, and everything in between, the recipes are fresh and interesting and, for the most, very simple. Just listen to these delicious-sounding names: Lemon Thyme Bread. Indonesian Zucchini Salad. Vermouth Braised Fennel. Over 145 pages are packed with tested recipes, all beautifully illustrated with line drawings, and packaged in a manageable sized 6x9 book.

For the home gardener or the avid cook, this book is a keeper!