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‘Taste Winter!’ cookbook shows how to make the most of your cool-season harvest

Enjoy winter fruit and vegetables with these home-grown recipes

Fresh-off-the-tree oranges mean winter to those of us lucky enough to live in California. Find several citrus-based recipes in the "Taste Winter! cookbook.

Fresh-off-the-tree oranges mean winter to those of us lucky enough to live in California. Find several citrus-based recipes in the "Taste Winter! cookbook. Kathy Morrison

Beat the winter blahs with cool-season aahs!

Elsewhere around the country, snow and freezing weather shuts down garden-minded cooks. But here in Sacramento, we make full use of year-round gardening – and our cool-season harvest.

See how in “Taste Winter!,” the latest in our collection of seasonal e-cookbooks.

In this Sacramento Digs Gardening recipe collection, discover almost 70 delicious ways to enjoy our local harvest of winter fruit and vegetables. Packed with nutritious fresh produce, these recipes will help you eat healthier, too.

Start your day with a hearty, fruity breakfast treat such as fluffy lime scones or triple apple coffee cake. In this collection, find 18 breakfast recipes to wake up your taste buds.

Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and bok choy come into season at the same time we’re trying to eat healthier – at the start of the new year – and when we really need that added dose of antioxidants. Enjoy vegetable-forward main dishes, salads and soups that are packed with nutrients and great taste. (There are several vegetarian options, too!)

Asparagus – a seasonal treasure – sprouts with the first warmth of late February or March. It’s been a local favorite for generations in such recipes as baked asparagus a la Sacramento.

What about fruit? Citrus – California’s star winter crop for generations – adds zest and juicy flavor to a wide range of winter recipes from blood orange mimosas and grapefruit-roasted beet-avocado chopped salad to fresh lemon pasta and Meyer lemon crème brûlée. Simple kumquat sauce can go sweet (as a dessert-like topping for yogurt or pound cake) or savory as a tart complement to grilled chicken or pork tenderloin.

Apples and persimmons may be holdovers from late fall, but they add sweetness and flavor to hearty desserts and baked goods.

In late winter, the season’s first strawberries can be showcased in old-fashioned desserts such as strawberry fool or strawberry spoon cake.

So many possibilities! These recipes prove that – even in the dark days of winter – you still can eat local, in season – and fresh. (That’s another reason why we dig gardening – and cooking – in Sacramento!)

Find this new e-cookbook at:

What’s cooking in this collection?

Featured vegetables include: Asparagus, beans (dried), beets, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cardoon, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fava greens, fennel, garlic, greens, kale, leek, onion, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato and turnip.

Featured fruit and nuts include: Almond, apple, avocado, grapefruit, kumquat, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, rose hip, persimmon, pomegranate and strawberry.


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Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!