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Laurie Constantino
Worked at Self-employed
Attended Western Washington University
Lives in Anchorage, Alaska
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Laurie Constantino

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A friend recently got sick from eating undercooked fiddleheads - always a no-no. With foraging season in full swing, it doesn't hurt to revisit the rules for safe and ethical foraging of wild plants. Follow the link to my most recent version of the rules: http://www.laurieconstantino.com/safe-and-ethical-wild-plant-foraging/

Be safe!

The post also includes my last and final cow parsnip recipe from this year's season: Cow Parsnip Ice Cream! At least in Anchorage, cow parsnip now is too mature to use in recipes like this one.
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Laurie Constantino
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When do cow parsnip stems need to be peeled? Is it okay to eat unpeeled cow parsnip stalks if they have been cooked? My answers plus recipes for Cow Parsnip Chips and Roasted Cow Parsnip Shoots. http://www.laurieconstantino.com/how-to-prepare-cow-parsnip/  If any members have better info than I do about the peeling issue, I'd be most interested.
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Just had my third meal in a row of cow parsnip and ready to head out and find more. It's delicious. More recipes to follow, but in tonight's post I explained how to harvest and clean cow parsnip shoots. The first recipe is for Greek Cow Parsnip Salad with Lemon Dressing. So easy and very good. If anyone tries this (or the other cow parsnip recipe), please let me know what you think!  I'm also interested in how other people are using cow parsnip (or may that should be "if" other people are using it.
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In ANC, dandelion greens are at their prime. They're absolutely delicious, but nutritionally they are very very good for us: "Wild dandelions, once a springtime treat for Native Americans, have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, which we consider a 'superfood.'"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/breeding-the-nutrition-out-of-our-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
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OH! For those of you who don't read my obnoxious facebook posts, I was on Good Morning Alaska Wednesday morning explaining how to harvest and use fresh dandelions in a salad: http://www.youralaskalink.com/good-morning-alaska/slider/Your-Cooking-Link-5-29-13-209388531.html
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Made Salmon with Rosemary Honey on ABC Alaska this morning. I love the audio - mincing rosemary and pan-frying salmon are great sound effects. I'll be doing more of these segments in the future - it was fun! http://www.youralaskalink.com/good-morning-alaska/slider/Your-Cooking-Link-5-13-13-207571731.html
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What a wonderful video, Laurie! Thank you for sharing it!
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Laurie Constantino

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Thanks Maya!! This is very very helpful information. You are truly a star!!! If any others in the community do anything differently, it would be wonderful if you could share your process.
 
Hi friends - first off, let me say that it was a delight to see a handful of you at the Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off last night. 

+Laurie Constantino has requested that I post my typical routine - a behind-the-scenes look, if you will - for "publicizing" my website content to social media and other sites that bring traffic to my food blog. I know this may seem like a lot, but once you get into a rhythm of publicizing that works well for you and your content, it begins to feel more organic and not like a checklist. 

1. Write a post and publish it.
2. Post a photo to Facebook with a link to the post in the photo caption. [Photos get much higher traffic than straight links in the Facebook algorithm]
3. Post link to Twitter using relevant hashtags. For example, I posted my recent Honey Rosemary Roasted Walnuts recipe to Twitter and used the hashtag #walnuts . Because of that hashtag, the California Walnuts company now follows me on Twitter and has reposted this recipe to their followers. Hashtags are extremely helpful in networking. 
4. Pin the post to Pinterest [it helps if you have Pinterest-friendly SEO titles on your photos when you create the post]. 
5. Save the recipe to my ZipList Recipe Box.
6. Post link to Google+, and also to any relevant Google+ communities, also using hashtags (although I haven't found the hashtags here to be as useful as on Twitter and on Instagram yet, although I fully acknowledge this may be my lack of experience on Google+ thus far). 
7. StumbleUpon the post. 
8. Post photo and link to Sulia.com in relevant categories. 
9. Submit the best photo from the post to Foodgawker, Tastespotting, Tasteologie, and Serious Eats (Photograzing). 
10. Submit the photo and recipe to Tasty Kitchen. 
11. Post an iPhone photo of the same recipe to Instagram and use appropriate hashtags [again, hashtags are very important here]. 

Then, if I get any response from my publicity efforts (such as Facebook comments, Tweets, or comments on my website content), I make an effort to respond positively and quickly. I've found that if people feel like you're "reachable" in the social media sense, they will engage you more often in the future. 

Hope this is helpful! Feel free to ask any questions or contribute any of your own ideas. :)
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Laurie Constantino
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General Discussion  - 
 
A friend recently got sick from eating undercooked fiddleheads - always a no-no. With foraging season in full swing, it doesn't hurt to revisit the rules for safe and ethical foraging of wild plants. Follow the link to my most recent version of the rules: http://www.laurieconstantino.com/safe-and-ethical-wild-plant-foraging/

Be safe!

The post also includes my last and final cow parsnip recipe from this year's season: Cow Parsnip Ice Cream! At least in Anchorage, cow parsnip now is too mature to use in recipes like this one.
1
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Laurie Constantino

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When do cow parsnip stems need to be peeled? Is it okay to eat unpeeled cow parsnip stalks if they have been cooked? My answers plus recipes for Cow Parsnip Chips and Roasted Cow Parsnip Shoots. http://www.laurieconstantino.com/how-to-prepare-cow-parsnip/  If any members have better info than I do about the peeling issue, I'd be most interested.
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Laurie Constantino
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General Discussion  - 
 
Just had my third meal in a row of cow parsnip and ready to head out and find more. It's delicious. More recipes to follow, but in tonight's post I explained how to harvest and clean cow parsnip shoots. The first recipe is for Greek Cow Parsnip Salad with Lemon Dressing. So easy and very good. If anyone tries this (or the other cow parsnip recipe), please let me know what you think!  I'm also interested in how other people are using cow parsnip (or may that should be "if" other people are using it.
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Thank you for the feedback!
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Laurie Constantino
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Food Photography  - 
 
Here's Food Photography Advice From Marian Braccia, via Linked In (I don't know her, just saw the advice on a board). I agree with most of her suggestions, except the shooting overhead bit. With good props and styling, overhead pictures can be very interesting. Curious what others think of Marian's list, particularly people like +Nicole Pearce and +Alaska from Scratch who put a lot of effort into making gorgeous photographs.

Here goes:

Cookbooks and Food Photography. Advice on how to shoot great food images.
I think if a cookbook writer wants to try and photograph their own dishes, I'd definitely encourage them to do so. Here are 10 tips I can offer. Others, please feel free to add your own tips and advice.

1. Rarely shoot directly overhead. It's usually a dull angle and almost never works when plates are round, because photographs are rectangular or square.

2. Don't use a flash camera. Use natural light and a few bounce cards if you need them. Flash produces a very flat shot and glaring highlights. If you absolutely have no other option, back way up creating distance from the subject and zoom the lens in. Then the light won't be so hot. (This is much more flattering for people, too.)

3. Never, ever use a light box. This light is too even and looks fake. If you do use one, your food will not look real. It will look more like a Hallmark card circa 1970's.

4. The other trick to making sure your images don't look like Hallmark cards is to have some of image in sharp focus and allow that focus to soften toward the background. Photos where the entire image is in focus don't look natural because if the dish were actually in front of your reader, their eye would not see it that way.

5. Make sure you look at everything in the frame and take all extraneous things from the background out, unless you specifically want them there.

6. Shoot so that your photographs have a very large file size that will equal at least 300dpi so that when it goes to print, the images will remain clear. There's nothing more disappointing than a great photo that doesn't have enough resolution to be printed.

7. If you don't absolutely love the photograph of a particular dish, omit it. If there are poor photographs it very quickly lessons the perceived professionalism of the whole book.

8. Don't ever grab photos off the web to use on your own material. You must have copyright for all images. If a publisher finds out one of your images isn't being used legally, I can promise you they won't work with you again. Their liability risk for being sued is too high and too costly.

9.Be sure to choose props that are unique to each shot. It's important to have other things in the frame, not just your food. It should look like we just arrived a talented host's home where everything was beautifully laid out. I shop thrift shops constantly for tablecloths, napkins, utensils, dish and bakeware. Make sure everything you use is laundered, polished and immaculately clean.

10. After a few attempts, if your work isn't top shelf, find another photographer and negotiate a rate you can handle.
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Thanks Nicole! I like the idea of collaborative blogs. It's very difficult to do everything, plus have a life.
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Finishing the current installment of ANC Ethnic Market stories with a profile of the Eastern European Stores & Delis, one in ANC and one in Mat-Su. EES&D sells indispensable ingredients for making Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, German, Serbian, Armenian, and Greek foods. They also sell prepared house-made salads, soups, pierogi, pelmini, and piroshki. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious.

If you cook traditional foods from other countries, there's nothing better to do than to scope out new restaurants, cafes, and markets. Here's a piece on the Eastern European Stores & Deli on 36th that outlines that you can find at the store.

There to take pictures, I ended up buying a bunch of food, including a traditionally made, Greek-style, Soutzouki (smoked beef sausage). which I turned into a delicious garnish for bean soup. Sooo gooo!



PS: I posted this link on Facemail and almost immediately received a demand to know how much I'd been paid to write this profile. The answer is nothing, zero, zip doodle. They  didn't even give me a piroshki - good thing, as I don't need to eat delicious sweets that only make me hungry for more. Oh well...

Read more: http://www.laurieconstantino.com/cooking-lesson-1-anchorage-ethnic-markets-part-4-of-4/#ixzz2U0hPYd19
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Made Salmon with Rosemary Honey on ABC Alaska this morning with Stevie French. I love the audio - mincing rosemary and pan-frying salmon are great sound effects. A couple of you report problems with viewing the video from the link below, so here we go again! See if this link works better: http://www.youralaskalink.com/good-morning-alaska/slider/Your-Cooking-Link-5-13-13-207571731.html
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Thanks Maya!!
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Work
Occupation
Food Writer and Teacher
Employment
  • Self-employed
    Food Writer and Teacher
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Anchorage, Alaska
Previously
Atsiki, Limnos, Greece - Portland, Oregon
Story
Tagline
Recipes and Resources for Food Lovers
Introduction
Have you ever been stopped at customs with 30 pounds of cheese in your suitcase? It’s a regular occurrence for Laurie Constantino, a passionate home cook, and her husband, Steven. Each year the pair travel between their homes in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, and Limnos, a rural Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea.

Laurie’s love affair with Mediterranean cooking began 30 years ago when she met Steven, a Greek-American, in Bethel, a remote Eskimo community, where she was working as the District Attorney.

In 1987, Laurie and Steven traded the windswept tundra of Bethel for the sun-bleached beaches of Limnos to live in the home they inherited from Steven’s grandmother. There, Laurie learned Greek by cooking with her new relatives and shopping in tiny supermarkets and market gardens. After a year centered around the kitchen, it was as if she’d completed a comprehensive course in traditional Greek food and cooking.

In 2007, Laurie’s book Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska, containing 182 fully-tested recipes, was published; a revised edition adding new recipes came out in 2011. The recipes are for authentic Mediterranean fare using ingredients readily available in Alaska and throughout the United States. Also in 2007, Laurie started her blog, Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, selected by Saveur Magazine as Best of the Web/Site We Love.

Today, Laurie dishes up Mediterranean home cooking inspired by her travels, and her collection of 3500 cookbooks, and writes about it at www.laurieconstantino.com. She also teaches classes on wild edible plants, foraging for wild mushrooms, and Greek/Mediterranean cooking.


Education
  • Western Washington University
    Theater, 1970 - 1974
  • Lewis & Clark Law School
    Law, 1975 - 1978
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Other names
Laurie Otto