Caroline Ghinassi of Newcastle was looking for a place to purchase culinary lavender. Victoria Gildea of Davis shares: “Don’t know if all Nugget Markets are the same. The Davis Nugget on East Covell carries the culinary lavender that Caroline Ghinassi was looking for. This is not in the spice aisle. It is in the soup, pasta, sauce, rice, dried bean aisle. The lavender is in cellophane baggies. The bag of 4 ounces sells for $3.99. It is called Handmade Culinary Collection Lavender Flowers.”

This cake is inspired by a classic recipe that originated in Brittany, France. Simply called gateau Breton – Brittany cake – it’s like a super-ultra-rich version of pound cake. Quickly mixed together by hand in a single bowl, it makes the most dense, luxurious cake ever.

Being a former resident of Stockton, I had many opportunities to enjoy dinner at the Ye Olde Hoosier Inn on Wilson Way.

Judging by the number of coconut products in supermarkets these days – beyond the flaked coconut your granny used in macaroons and ambrosia – we’ve gone a bit nuts for this fruit.

This soup is a stick-to-your ribs flexitarian special. Make it with chicken broth and prosciutto and you end up with a carnivore’s delight. Make it with vegetable stock and no prosciutto and you’ve got a vegetarian’s delight. Either way, it’s plenty hearty. The potatoes give it body and creaminess. The spinach and kale give it earthiness and a bright green color.

As families try to get back into school-year routines, there will be many cool autumn nights when the comfort and speed of warm breakfast foods would be just the thing to finish the day.

Farmers markets and backyard vegetables prompt more cooks to preserve harvests (but in small batches)

When it comes to grilling, I find that many folks avoid salmon — or any fish — because it can stick to the grill or turn out dry from too much cooking.

If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox c/o Food & Wine, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852.

Kale is the poster child for healthy vegetables, showing up on just about every list of so-called “super foods.” Once relegated solely to garnish status, these days it’s in snack foods, juicing recipes and salads.

The notion of the do-it-yourself taco bar has many mothers going back to those cheap feed-the-kids kits that include seasoning mix, taco shells and sauce.

My mother loves tabbouleh. And given how healthy it is, it’s not such a bad food to love. Except that she made it a lot. As in, after I moved out, I avoided it at all costs. I’d grown up with a tabbouleh overload.

In Sacramento, customers are clamoring for Cronuts, but they’re not easy to find.

BLT sandwiches are synonymous with summer. And the only thing better than a BLT sandwich is a grilled BLT pizza.

Making your own ice cream sandwiches is worth the effort, because you can choose your own filling, they taste better — and you can say, “I made these myself.”

I was growing up, I loved my mom’s stuffed eggs. Heck, as a chubby and happy-go-lucky kid, I loved anything filled with mayonnaise.

Reader recipes and requests.

Gravenstein, first apple of the California season, and other varieties are making a comeback.

Peaches and nectarines are kissing cousins. In fact, maybe closer. Plant a bunch of peach pits and a few of them will actually sprout nectarine trees, and vice versa. It used to be said that the difference was that peaches had fuzz while nectarines didn’t. But in supermarkets today, that’s hard to determine since many of the peaches have been mechanically de-fuzzed.

Recipes for using heirloom apples

This tiny river-valley town in the Blue Ridge Mountains is about as country as it gets. Hereabouts, there’s a batch of biscuits in every oven, a pot of greens on every stovetop and a vegetable garden in every yard.

Obviously, the season has a role in this, but lately I've found myself craving bread and fresh tomatoes.

We used to drive to Leatherby's Family Creamery (45 miles one way) just to have their broasted chicken and, of course, their ice cream. Their broasting machine broke down a while back and I understand they won't be getting it repaired.

Editor's note: Thursday is National Zucchini Day, a.k.a. "Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbors' Porch Day." We have some zucchini recipes here that should make you reconsider dumping your squash.

Sometimes it seems that just as we get ourselves fully into summer mode, we need to start thinking "back to school!"

Cucumber and yogurt soup with barley, prep time: 45 minutes, plus cooling and chilling times

One of the earliest French culinary imports to make a dent in America was the crepe.

Sometimes the promise of leftovers is almost more exciting than the meal itself. And who says leftovers can't be planned? Whenever I'm heating my grill for dinner, I always toss on and roast a few red and yellow bell peppers, even if I don't plan to use them for that meal

Adapted from "The Yogurt Cookbook" by Arto Der Haroutunian (Interlink Books, $35). This dish has a firm texture, not unlike cheesecake. The egg yolks help stabilize the yogurt. We used 2 percent Greek yogurt in testing.

Scallops are the perfect summertime food – light, yet filling, flavorful, but also versatile enough to pair with all sorts of foods. In this case, with salad.

Once you master indirect-heat grilling and learn to use your grill as an outdoor oven, a world of options opens up.

Adapted from "The Yogurt Cookbook: Recipes From Around the World" by Arto Der Haroutunian (Interlink Books, $35, 306 pages). The author suggests serving it with a tomato- and-onion salad, rice pilaf or the Indian bread chapati. We used 2 percent Greek yogurt.

She knows ingredients, but ...

When I was a kid, corn on the cob was prepared one way, and only one way.

Deanna C. Holman of Stockton and her family enjoyed a delicious and fun dinner at the Ale House in Old Town Auburn.

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