Friday, April 27, 2012

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

When Elmo attacks!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morning makings.

Once again I find myself in the kitchen 
early as can be.
I love it.
I'm whipping up a little something for a friend about to bring new life into the world for the second time.

Butternut squash and swiss chard mac-n-cheese! Woot!


And after.
In all it's bubbling-golden-brown-goodness!
Nursing mama's need there iron.

One last fire on this chilly gray morning.

The aftermath.

Who could complain about dishes while 
surrounded by all this beauty?
Certainly not me.

And just because it makes me smile, and my last early morning "culinary adventures" ended in song, please enjoy this one.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Random Things.

I wasn't feeling too bloggy last week so I decided to
 give myself a break.
I like breaks.

I'm still working on my photography skills. 
Here's a little taste (punny!!) of my David Loftus FoodiePac from Hipstamatic.
Learning about lighting and some 
homemade tricks to 
help in that regard.

This little one seems to be enjoying dress up more and more.
Nothing like a mama made pillow case dress over organic terry pajamas.
It's a look worth rockin'.

I made this lovely concoction from one of my pins on Pinterest.
It's a goji berry lemonade.
Apparently, it's supposed to work like a liquid sunscreen.
I'm not sure if it worked but it sure does taste good.

And these two...

the best of friends!!

And finally, for a baby who felt less than 100%, 
a movie in a basket.

I want to start doing a kind of product review post once a month.
I've seen some things in the grocery store that have
 piqued my interest. 
I had a lightbulb moment.
It will also include anything from apps to cleaning products.
Look for that soon.

Enjoy every moment!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

Miso Soup!!

Thank goodness for suction cup bowls!
We took the week off to enjoy the weather and for Iris to recuperate from yet another cold.
We shall return on Monday! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - no words - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

SOOOO Excited!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dandelions 3 Ways.

I'm not sure if this is a post about dandelions or an exercise in trying to improve my food photography. 
Let's say both.
Not perfect but I'm still learning.

Anyway, in a perfect world I am a master forager with infinite knowledge on all kinds of edibles, including mushrooms, making the most of the wilds that surround me.
But alas...

Let's start with what I do know.
Dandelions are extremely good for us.
And, in our chemical-obsessed-kill-the-weeds society,
we take them for granted. 
All they want us to know is that 
they're here for us...
if we need them.
That's why they're like...ya know...everywhere.

So get outside and start plucking those 
usually demonized little buggers.
I like to pick them in the quiet of the dewy morning when the interior of our house is at it's calmest and I can slip away 
unnoticed (most of the time).
It becomes a mini meditation with my eyes on the ground and my mind focused on the task.
When my bowl is full and my fingers numb from the cold earth I head back inside to clean my harvest.

This is easy.
Give them a rinse in said bowl then strain out the water and refill the bowl with cold water and let them rest.
Most of the dirt will settle to the bottom of the bowl.
They seem to enjoy sitting in the water.
I've kept them on the counter for several days in a bowl of water and they live quite well like that.

Dandelions are rich in vitamins (Vitamin A especially), minerals and are an excellent liver cleanser. 
The entire plant is edible including the root so try to get some of those too.

You can use them in several simple ways.

The first is tea.

Simply place a handful of leaves, roots, stems in a teapot.
Boil water.
Pour over dandelions.
Let steap for 10 minutes.

The second, and probably most common way, is in a salad.
I use smaller younger leaves when making salad.
They are delicious!

The third is to juice them.
You can use the whole plant for this one.
Mix them in with other greens and vegetables or 
just on they're own.

Here's to your health!

PS - Do not pick dandelions in yards that are treated with chemicals or near yards that are treated.

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 TDL: Update!

I thought I'd kick the week off with an update
First, here's the list.
1. Chalkboard paint and frame out the bulkhead in the kitchen.
2. Reorganize my Pinterest boards.
3. New curtains in the dining room.
4. New hummingbird feeders.
5. Laundry room renovation
6. iPhoto overhaul. Delete/Albums/Save
7. Empty at least 2 of Iris's "old clothes" containers.
8. Grow some of our own food.
9. Update/Reorganize some blog stuff.
10. Tap the maple trees

#2. Done.
I added a few new boards and organized my pins accordingly.
Now I can find things easier.
I could go on all day about the silly things (in my opinion) that people pin.
 I don't understand why a scene from Twilight needs to be pinned.
Just me.
Just sayin'.
But I find Pinterest to be such a great organizing tool.
No paper.
No clutter.
I can link to infinite websites, tutorials, and blogs.
#7. Done and done!
Read more about that here.
#8. Progressing.
 I'm going to cross it off but it will really be a work in progress all season. I'll post some pictures just as soon as the work begins.
Danielle and I are planning a trip to the nursery today.
#9. In progress.
You may have already noticed I've deleted, and reorganized some things on my page.
I still want to rewrite the "about blog" and "about me".
Both these things have evolved and I want to update them so they reflect both blog and me accurately.
# 10. Over and out!
We didn't have much success getting alot of sap.
In the end I think we ended up with about 2 oz. of syrup.
But that's ok!
We learned alot (do's and don'ts) and from what I understand, because of this mild winter, nobody had a good harvest.

So things are moving forward and I'm very pleased!

We've been enjoying warm afternoons here out on our back deck.
Enjoying sunshine, spring blooms, and eachother.
Spring fever...the good kind!

Friday, April 6, 2012

{ this moment }

a friday ritual - a single photo - no words - a moment I want to pause - savor - and remember
inspired by soulemama

So many wonderful moments this week, I couldn't pick just one!
Please enjoy our multiple moments...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Garden and Workshop.

So are you ready for all my good news that 
I teased you with on Monday?

Our beautiful weeping cherry tree in all it's glory!
I'm so excited to tell you that I was fortunate enough to land myself a plot in our township's new community garden.
So #8 on the 2012 TDL is in full effect.
Some of the plots are reserved for our local food bank and I hope to donate any surplus we have to that cause.
Some of the loveliness I'll be growing:
2 types of tomatoes 
(sungold cherries and some other heirloom)
Swiss Chard
Spinach (maybe)

That's what I've got so far.
If there is any room left I'd like to do a cucumber or squash.
The garden has a community asparagus, horseradish, and ruhbarb patch too.

I'll keep you up to date as things progress.

My other bit of good news is that I'll be participating in the 
30 Day Vegan Workshop over at Beauty That Moves with the lovely Heather!

photo from Beauty that Moves

We've been doing well with eating better and I've been working out almost everyday!
This is going to be a great vehicle to help take us to the next level.
Let me also say we are not and do not plan on becoming totally vegan.
But we could stand to eat less meat and dairy, and have, 
since my 10 day fast.
I always buy organic sustainable meat, fish, and dairy when I do.

I have my good friend (of the same name) Jamie to thank for both these things!
She's been hooking me up left and right.
Thanks Jamie!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

What we've been eating...

I've been trying some new things around here as well as bringing back some of the healthier dishes I've made in the past.

Miso glazed salmon over Forbidden Rice with homemade peanut sauce topped with chopped unsalted peanuts and cilantro.
If you haven't tried Forbidden Rice, you must! It's a revelation!
I always cook my rice in vegetable stock instead of plain water.
I find rice to be bland otherwise.
I mix some soy sauce, jaggery, lime juice, fish sauce and miso and glaze the salmon with it as it bakes.
This is an oldie around these parts and also a favorite! You'll want to lick the plate.
The peanut sauce recipe can be found here.

Pan seared haloumi over a water cress salad with radishes, pumpkin seeds, heirloom tomatoes with a yogurt dill dressing.
This is new. I have always wanted to try haloumi ever since seeing it in the beautiful pages of Donna Hay Magazine years ago.
I finally got around to it and it was well worth it.
I simply cut it into slices, heated a nonstick pan with a scant amount of olive oil and seared it until it was brown on both sides.
The dressing is a couple tablespoons of yogurt, the juice of one lime and dill (fresh or dry). It doesn't get much easier than that. 
Haloumi (if you don't know) is a hard cheese similar to the taste of feta but far less crumbly.

Sprouted lentil pate.
Now, the original recipe calls for cooked lentils but I like to raw this one up as much as possible so I spout the lentils a few days ahead of making this. I love to have it around to spread on crackers or dipping veggies. You could spoon it into endive leaves as an hors d' oeuvres or use it as a spread on a sandwich.
Lentil pate
adapted from Angelica's Kitchen
2/3 cup sprouted lentils
2 cups walnuts
1 tbsp. avocado oil (you can use olive)
3 cups diced onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. mirin
4-5 chopped cornichons
1 tbsp. Ume plum vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. 
1 tbsp. dried basil
Start the lentils sprouting about 3 days ahead. When they're sufficiently sprouted, saute the onion and garlic (you can leave them raw too but I like the sweetness it adds when they're cooked).
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
If you need to loosen the mixture add a bit more vinegar and oil until you reach the desired texture.

Stuffed Zucchini with pine nuts.
I found this one through foodgawker and immediately though of G. He has a slight obsession with zucchini (soup and tomatoes too).
I served it with a salad.

Roasted Beet Risotto.
Ok, this is probably one of my all time favorites.
Follow a basic risotto recipe.
Before you start though, clean 2 medium sized red beets and wrap them in foil. Roast them at 375F for about and hour or until tender.
Remove from oven and let cool until they're able to be handled while making risotto.
When the risotto is almost done, peel the skins of the beets and throw them in the food processor. When they're smooth mix them into your risotto.
I saute wild mushrooms and toast pine nuts and then top the risotto with them.
I also chop up a good amount of fresh basil and sprinkle that on top.
If you want to get crazy (which I do) a drizzle of truffle oil will take this dish to the moon and back!

I hope to improve my food styling.
I even bought the David Loftus Pak on Hipstamatic.
By some miracle I think this will help. 
We'll see.

I also have some exciting things going on and I can't wait to share it all with you.

Happy Monday Everyone!