Genie Gratto

My name is Genie. I was born in Washington D.C. While there are plenty of people in the D.C. area with a penchant for gardening, I was not one of those people. I either over-watered or under-watered, and next thing I knew, whatever green thing I tried to coax along into healthy existence had withered and died.

In September 2005, I moved to Iowa City. In April 2006, I decided to overcome my black thumb heritage and plant some herbs in a couple of pots. Next thing I knew, I had a garden.

In May 2008, I said goodbye to my Iowa City garden plot and headed even further West: to Oakland, California, where the farmer’s markets run year-round. Urban gardening is the next challenge in my list of garden experiences.

Let's just say this: apparently, I'll do anything for a good tomato.

USDA Releases New Resources for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated ChooseMyPlate.gov to feature more resources for eating well on a budget. For many families, it's a struggle to eat healthy, nutritious food that meets basic dietary guidelines without spending too much money, and this new resource provides lots of tips and tools to help change that for families around the nation....more
We are fortunate enough to have a real old-fashioned butcher very close to our home. We also ...more

Get 'Fed Up' With the Documentary's Director and Executive Producer

This past weekend, a new documentary hit theaters that asks hard questions about what Americans eat and why. Fed Up examines the effect of added sugar on the American diet and our high rates of childhood obesity and chronic disease, and asks hard questions about the food industry's role in creating an eating environment that fosters those problems....more
TheRealDeal  Thanks for sharing that post and your thoughts. There are a LOT of fixes that ...more

Food Revolution Day 2014: Make Rainbow Wraps With Jamie Oliver

May 16 marks the third annual Food Revolution Day, a worldwide celebration organized by the U.K.- and U.S.-based Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, and The Good Foundation of Australia. This year, the event focuses on inspiring kids all over the world to cook fresh and healthy food from scratch....more
@HealthyMamacado @BlogHer Seriously! Come on, Jamie -- help us out! :-)more

A Grocery Store That Lets Shoppers Harvest Their Own Crops

Devotees of buying fresh, local produce often go to a local farmers market or, if they've got the time, might drive to a local farm that allows you to pick fruits and vegetables, such as berries or asparagus, straight from the field. But Durham, North Carolina, consumers have a third option: The Farmery, an urban vertical farm and store where they can pick their own herbs and lettuces....more

What Does Breadfruit Actually Taste Like?

When my husband and I settled on a honeymoon itinerary that would take us from island nation to island nation in the South Pacific, I looked up what food was native to the cultures we'd be visiting. Breadfruit, or ulu, as it's known locally, is very common in both Samoa and American Samoa, both places we'd be visiting along the way. ...more
It's starchy, but pretty good! I say that when you travel, it's always fun to try the local foods.more

Six Great Edible Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Looking for some great edible hostess gift ideas for the upcoming holidays? These ideas are fantastic options, whether you're headed to someone's house for a Thanksgiving or winter holiday feast, or going to visit relatives and don't want to show up empty-handed. Each one of them would be a welcome treat for whoever's welcoming you into their home. ...more
Oh. The cranberries look so pretty!more

New Cookbook 'Melt' Elevates Macaroni and Cheese

When you think of macaroni and cheese, do your thoughts turn to casseroles of elbow noodles baked with a cheddar cheese-based sauce? You wouldn't be alone—for many, macaroni and cheese, even with variations that include broccoli, bacon, or other treats, is a dish that is often very much the same from one kitchen to the next. Cookbook authors and bloggers Garrett McCord and Stephanie Stiavetti are trying to change that perception with the release of their book Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese. Can this popular dish be reinvented as a salad? A soup? Dessert? McCord and Stiavetti prove it can in many delicious and interesting ways. ...more
Nice interview!  Not a mac and cheese (rubber and goo) lover.  But intrigued by the wonderful ...more

Upgrade Your Kids' Lunch Boxes This School Year

Registered Dietitian Katie Morford of Mom's Kitchen Handbook comes to the rescue this year with Best Lunch Box Ever, which is packed with recipes for salads, sandwiches, and other treats that kids will love to find when it's time to refuel midday....more
This is really helpful to deal with fussy kids.Quite practical and implementable ideas.Thank you ...more

Why I Spent $700 on Dinner for Two

I appreciate artistry in so many forms, but I am willing to pay hard-earned money to eat spectacular, mind-boggling food that plays on all my senses....more
@toufga Where was the dinner? Someplace great?more

Newlywed Gift Idea: A Fabulous Dinner Out

I've given restaurant gift certificates as wedding gifts in the past myself—I especially consider them to be a great option for couples who have already established their households and don't really need any more "stuff" cluttering their lives. It's also fun to introduce my newly married friends to some of my favorite places, many of which they might not have ever thought to try. But I'll admit, it never occurred to me that we might receive some as gifts ourselves!...more
Great ideamore