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New cookbook: Taste Spring, Sacramento Digs Gardening style

Find our recipes for seasonal fruit and vegetables all in one place

This Floating Island dessert is among several strawberry recipes featured in our Taste Spring! e-cookbook.

This Floating Island dessert is among several strawberry recipes featured in our Taste Spring! e-cookbook. Kathy Morrison

Every Sunday, Sacramento Digs Gardening publishes a seasonal recipe featuring fresh fruit or vegetables. Almost always, these recipes are inspired by what we’ve harvested from our own gardens or found at farmers markets and farm stands. We alternate weeks -- Debbie one Sunday, Kathy the next -- but the recipes always have a taste of Sacramento in every bite.

As SDG approaches its fifth anniversary, we realized: We have enough recipes for a cookbook!

Make that four cookbooks, one planned for each season.

Debuting now online is “Taste Spring!” – our first Sacramento Digs Gardening e-cookbook. It contains more than 60 recipes, each featuring our wonderful Spring bounty.

In the Sacramento region and all of California, Spring offers an amazing assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables – the first taste of a new harvest or the farewell to cool-season favorites. There’s so much inspiration for us gardening cooks!

We admit: We’re partial to strawberries – there are a dozen strawberry-centric recipes in this assortment. But we go way beyond your basic shortcake. Instead, we feature strawberry salad with edible violets, and strawberry slaw with fig balsamic vinaigrette. Strawberries stud a quick bread, flavor a no-bake cheesecake and top French toast (with cream). They also star in desserts with evocative names such as Angel’s Mess and Floating Island. (And in a strawberry shortcake with a twist: Hard-boiled eggs.)

Why stop there? Besides berry-good delights, this collection features nine more Spring fruits: Apricot, blueberry, cherry, orange, lemon, loquat, nectarine, peach and rhubarb. (Yes, rhubarb is technically a veggie, but we’re counting it as a fruit for recipe purposes.)

And we love Spring vegetables! In this cookbook, we feature 18: Artichoke, asparagus, beet, carrot, chard, corn, fava bean, fava greens, fennel, green bean, green garlic, green onion, kale, lettuce, pea, potato, spinach and zucchini.

We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did creating and testing them. Now, you can find our best Spring recipes, all with one click.

Check it out at Taste Spring! 


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Taste Summer! E-cookbook


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Taste Spring! E-cookbook


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!