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April 2017 Featured Chef

Celeste Longacre

Home Chef & Author, Celeste's Garden Delights
Alstead, New Hampshire

Celeste is the author of Celeste’s Garden Delights and an avid gardener. She describes herself as a ‘Method’ cook, using the fresh produce harvested from her backyard garden to bring life to her recipes.

IN THE KITCHEN WITH CELESTE:
Cooking From The Garden

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the author of “Celeste’s Garden Delights” and a blogger for “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” and “Mother Earth News.” I grow almost all of my family’s vegetables for the entire year and I preserve them by freezing, canning, drying, fermenting and putting them in a root cellar. My husband, Bob, and I have been living a sustainable lifestyle for almost forty years.

How did you get involved in cooking?
My mother was a wonderful cook. She had actually gone to a French cooking school and made most of her meals from scratch. She made all of her children learn by being the dinner chef one day a week in the summer.

Describe your cooking style.
I used to follow recipes to a T. Yet, having a garden, I got disturbed going to the store for carrots when there were parsnips in the yard. Now I am more of a method cook. I look at recipes for ideas, but then I look at what is available in my garden. I think about flavors and how they go together. When using food that is raised organically and as nature intended, the final result is almost always outstanding.

How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
I read Adelle Davis’ “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit” in 1971. Her premise in this book was that, if you want to stay healthy, you have to pay attention to what you eat. I remember thinking, “Wow! That makes so much sense!” So I have been seriously researching all of my food options since then. I started buying my meat from local farmers and growing my own vegetables. At that time, it wasn’t labeled grass-fed, but it essentially was.

What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
Steak stir-fry with bone broth sauce and vegetables. This is one of my recipes.

You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and must-have kitchen tool.  What are they?
I would choose beef shanks, potatoes, onions, beets and butter. A very sharp knife would be my must-have tool. With these ingredients, I could make some beef stew type meals as well as great bone broth soup

What is one of the best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned?
With most leftovers, avoid using the microwave. Instead, cover the bottom of a pan with a thin layer of water. Boil the water. Then, add the leftovers stirring constantly until warm. It usually doesn’t take very long and you maintain the quality of the food instead of destroying it in a microwave.

What is your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration?
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child.

Anything else you want to share?
The most important ingredient in cooking is love. Infuse all of your entrees with it and it will keep you and your family happy and healthy.

Garden of Grass-fed Goodness Prize Pack
Celeste is passionate about her garden and healthy food. Check out her recipes below and enter to win this month’s drawing for a prize pack valued at approximately $150.

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CELESTE'S U.S. WELLNESS MEATS FAVORITES

  • Beef Liverwurst
  • Sugar Free Garlic Beef Franks
  • 75% Lean Ground Beef
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