from the garden

Grilled peaches three ways

by cathym on July 3, 2020

by Cathy Monrad

Summer is here and along with it, the height of grilling season. Grilled peaches can be used as an ingredient in any course from appetizer to dessert.

Perfectly grill a peach

  1. 1. Set grill to medium-high heat, 350°F–450°F.
  2. Oil grate thoroughly.
  3. Place peach halves or wedges on grill. Close lid. 
  4. Allow peaches to sear for about 3 minutes. Flip peaches over to sear remaining side. 
  5. Remove from grill and enjoy.

Toast baguette slices.
Smear slices with mascarpone, then drizzle with honey. 
Add grilled peach wedge on top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


Add grilled peaches, blueberries, and feta or goat cheese to mixed greens. Add grilled chicken for a main course. Top with your favorite dressing.


Top grilled peach halves with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on top.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer for Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.


Roasted parsnips with maple walnut glaze

by cathym on March 16, 2020

by Cathy Monrad

Maple sugaring is in full swing. While this sweetener is typically thought of as a “pancake enhancer,” there is a growing trend toward using maple as a honey and sugar alternative. Maple syrup boasts fewer calories than honey and a higher concentration of antioxidants and nutrients like manganese, zinc, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium, and calcium than the four other most common sweeteners.

There are many websites that have instructions and infographics on how to substitute maple syrup as a recipe sweetener, including

A huge shout out to my pal Greg Chambers, who supplied his homemade maple syrup for the recipe. 


2-3 pounds parsnips
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 425˚F
2. Peel and quarter parsnips lengthways.
3. Toss parnips in olive oil and spread onto baking sheet in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
4. While parsnips are in the oven, dry roast the walnuts. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add walnuts to the hot, dry pan. Frequently stir until the walnuts start to brown and they smell toasted about 4-5 minutes. Place on a plate to cool. 
5. Prepare the glaze. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add maple syrup and gently simmer until glaze is thickened slightly. Remove from heat. 
6. Remove parsnips from oven. Add toasted walnuts and pour glaze over both. Gently toss to coat.
7. Transfer glazed parsnips and walnuts to serving dish. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer and garden crafter for Upstate Gardeners’ Journal. When she is not in the garden or at her desk, you will find her in the kitchen.

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Sweet potato breakfast “power bowl”

by cathym on November 1, 2019

by Ellen Adams

Now that fall is here, let’s change up your breakfast routine to amp up the vitaminsand increase your energy! This breakfast bowl is part of a wonderful trend in combining healthy ingredients to create a personalized meal. Add your own favorite healthy ingredients to the bowl, like mushrooms, onions, turkey sausage, or avocado for a different flavor burst every morning.

Serves 2

1 sweet potato
1/2 red pepper (sliced into strips)
2 handfuls fresh spinach
2 Tbsps walnuts
2 eggs
1/4 Cup feta cheese
Olive oil


1. Scrub the sweet potato and pierce the skin with a fork.

2. Wet a piece of paper towel and wrap the potato in it. Microwave the potato until soft, approximately 3-4 minutes.

3. Cut the potato into cubes. You do not have to peel the potato—many nutrients are in the skin. Divide the sweet potato cubes between 2 bowls.

4. Put 1-2 tsps of olive oil in a skillet, Sauté the red peppers and spinach for 3 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. Divide the peppers and spinach between the bowls.

5. Using the same skillet, fry 2 eggs (over easy, scrambled…your choice!) Place each cooked egg on top of the vegetable mixture in each bowl.

6. Sprinkle the walnuts and theFeta cheese over each bowl and enjoy!

Ellen Adams is a personal chef in the Webster area. She is a military veteran and was a contestant on the Food Network cooking show “Chopped!” She leads a program for fellow veterans called Cooking with Heroes, which provides participants the opportunity to learn to prepare nutritionally complete, cost-efficient, and delicious meals using fresh produce, partially sourced from the EquiCenter farm in Honeoye Falls, where it is housed.