Tag Archives: vegetables

Writer’s Block of Chocolate

Today, I don’t feel so much like writing. I think I wrote too much at work and used up all my words.

Instead, I feel like eating chocolate. And that shouldn’t be a problem because I just replenished my stash.

I love chocolate….and it loves me, too. Know how I know? There’s a love poem inside each one of these…

Found these on clearance at the Tar-zhay for $1 each. They were in my basket before I even knew what happened. Yup, I bought ‘em all. And they should last me a good, long time since I have to watch my caffeine while nursing. Only one little square at a time for the mama.

And on my last shopping excursion, I found this strange creature:

That’s right…bread and chocolate. It’s a chocolate bar with French bread in it. I’m going to h*ll, fo sho…

I’m not opening that one yet. It’s going to wait until I get in that French bread and chocolate mood. Don’t act like you don’t know that mood…

Don’t you just love the clearance aisle? I do…but it makes me sad, too. I often find my favorites in there, or products I’ve been wanting to try, and finding them there emblazoned with a big red clearance sticker is a little rush, no doubt, but it also means that those products are most likely being put out to pasture because nobody is buying them. Then, I can’t buy them anymore either. :(

I hate that.

My latest trip to the clearance rack also yielded a box of cinnamon Clipper Tea (it seriously is a soft, fuzzy blanket and slippers in a mug)  and a bottle of strawberry basil balsamic vinegar. Fun!

So, I mentioned that yesterday was my husband’s family reunion. That might seem the perfect vehicle for blog fodder, but it just didn’t happen. I was going to put together a side dish, but I totally s**t the bed and brought drinks.

I know. You don’t have to say it. Bad blogger. Bad foodie. Bad healthy eating advocate.

But at least I brought Honest Kids juice. It’s not even sweet, and it’s the only juice I’d give my kid out of a little bag if I did, in fact, give my kid juice. 

We played some games and the husbo won a big watermelon. I was kind of stoked about that. 

Then I won. What did I win, you ask? Well, I won this:

Yes, that is a 7.5 lb bag of sugar. Ummm…….yeah. That’s what I thought, too. :?

The heat and humidity were out of control, but somehow I got talked into walking these steps carrying a 20-lb baby on my hip…

…and found this at the top! 8O

Who knew I’d find a big lake at the top of a flight of stairs? It was like finding Narnia or something. 

My husband got a hankering for a nip of wine on the way home, so we stopped at a local winery (Hunter’s Valley) that’s just a little too far out of the way to visit regularly, and picked up two bottles for home. Way to multi-task! 

I had only eaten some mixed bean salad at the reunion, so I was ravenous. I had visions of a falafel salad dancing in my head, so I got out the mix I had in the cabinet…

Did you all know about this stuff? 

It was the easiest thing ever, inexpensive, and it made really good falafel! Better than I’ve had in a lot of restaurants even.

Who knew?! 

I’ve been paying out the nose for falafel! NO MORE! Five bucks, my foot!

Falafel from scratch would be more impressive, yes. But this stuff is welcome in my pantry any time! Thanks, Casbah!

Feeling very proud of my warm falafel patties, I found them a home on top of a bed of organic greens and baby spinach, along with organic grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, fresh crumbled pepper-crusted chevre, a few artichoke hearts and a dressing I threw together with dill from the garden. (I thought it was a lot like tzatziki, until I looked it up and realized that I had, in fact, made tzatziki.)

Wow. This post is way random, and I think it has too many links. I promise to be more coherent tomorrow. 

I’m gearing up for my first giveaway in the next few days, so be sure to check back in soon!

‘Nite. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………

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Have you ever made falafel from scratch? How did it turn out?

Do you ever have trouble stitching the pieces of your day together into one cohesive blog post?

and finally,

what would YOU hope to find at the top of that flight of stairs?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Squash Blossom Insecurity

OK, crafty foodbloggers…I have a challenge for you.

It irks me to no end that there are so many things I don’t utilize from my garden. 

I was reminded of this irkiness by a post on Oh She Glows this morning…(garlic scapes are among the things I don’t use.)

…along with beet greens, fiddlehead ferns, and many other things I probably don’t even know I can use.

But by far, the one thing that makes me feel the most wasteful is:

THE SQUASH BLOSSOM.

I know these can be eaten, as I’ve seen many a cooking show featuring beautiful chevre-stuffed, tempura-battered squash blossoms with luscious dipping sauces. 

I just don’t know if I can pull that off. :? But I sure would feel like a pretty hot mama if I did…

Does anyone out there have any tips, recipes, general words of encouragement pertaining to the use of the oh-so-beautiful squash blossom? I sure do expect a lot more to pop up soon, and the husbo really wants to eat them (of course, he could learn to prepare them! But I’m not holding my breath… )

Help!

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad

I saw an article this morning that said Facebook games are experiencing a big decline right now. I’d like to think that’s because we are a nation of such productive gardeners and farmers that we can’t bear the winter months without having something to hoe, and now that the real gardening season is underway, we much prefer to get out and work in the real dirt, tending to real ghost peppers and pattypan squash, sweeping our virtual FarmVille selves under the rug until the next frost. 

I’d also like to think that someday I’ll fit into those shiny silver pants I used to wear when I danced to Front 242 at the Vault so many years ago.

I fear that neither of these things are true.

Speaking of real vegetables, did I mention that I love BEETS?

I really, really love beets. I love them plain with butter and salt, I love them pickled, I bet I’d probably love them grilled, and I especially love them when they’re grown in my yard!

Remember these guys? Thanks to all for your great beet suggestions! The general consensus seems to be that beets are best when served in some kind of salad, and since I had to find a way to use both my handy dandy new food processor and this fresh dill…

(could this be THE fresh dille?)

I whipped together a lovely pink Summer Beet and Cucumber Salad!

I boiled the beets until fork-tender with an inch of stalk left on so as not to let all the nutrients escape…

Then, immersed them immediately in cold water so the skins peeled right off. Ees pretty, no?

Next step: I thinly sliced half a red onion and put it in cold water to soak while preparing the dressing.

For the dressing, I whisked together the following:

8 Tbsp olive oil

6 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

big handful freshly chopped dill

2 Tbsp agave nectar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 generous squirt lime juice

I then sliced one large cucumber (with a 2-second whirr! Beautiful!), quartered the tiny beets, and tossed them together in a large bowl with the dressing and the onion, drained.

Pretty in pink!

Lest you should think that I eat healthy all the time ( ;) ), I’d like to mention that we had a charity luncheon at my office, which featured this delectable little dessert:

In fact, it was so nice, I ate it twice! Someone who heard me say how much I enjoyed it brought me another one at my desk. On any other day, I would never consider accepting it, but today I’m subscribing to the Tao of Granny… 

Yup…you got it. I ate ‘em both, and I loved it.

So there. :lol:

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Burger and Fries!

I have some catching up to do!

What gets my vote for best 3pm snack this week? 

These guys, who made a surprise appearance at my desk during the afternoon slump! They arrived courtesy of my friend who happens to be a registered dietitian, so I ate one happily, no questions asked, and packed up the other for the Hus.

CHOMP!

Did you ever just get bored with your ol’ standby breakfast, only to eat it and realize why it became your breakfast of choice in the first place?

Yesterday, my cup runneth over with So Delicious coconut milk (beverage) and Granbiotics granola, topped with cranberries and one date, for good measure…

…along with more Mother’s Milk tea. I think this stuff is really working! I thought all that galactagogue talk might be a bunch of hooey, but my supply is increasing nicely. I still don’t like the anise flavor, but it’s not bothering me that much anymore. Besides, I never really liked handling poop or having bags under my eyes from sleep deprivation before either, but I deal. It’s all part of parenting, right?

Breakfast was fun. Little F is getting so curious about Mommy’s food, and he intently watches as I raise and lower my spoon for each bite, not aware that he’s imitating my motions with his mouth. It’s super cute, and I love that he’s watching me eat something healthy (most of the time… ;)

I just love being a mommy. Especially his mommy.

Daddy wanted burgers and fries, so I decided to oblige him, ABCGP-style!

I had a bunch of beautiful parsnips, courtesy of my favorite grocery store Produce Man (my Dad!) so I cut them up and made some parsnip fries! A drizzle of olive oil on one side, macadamia nut oil on the other, salt and pepper.

I also sprinkled a few with some chipotle powder a friend made for us out of our garden jalapenos…

400º for about 25 minutes…

A few were a little thin, but the core was really fat and I didn’t have much choice. Maybe smaller parsnips are better?

His burger: moo-cow. Mine: Sunshine!

Fresh salsa, crumbled feta, and basil from the garden, with a swipe of avo-hummus underneath.

Bruschetta Sunshine Burger, maybe? Either way, deeee-lish.

It was time to thin out the beet patch, so I found myself with these beautiful babies…

Not sure what I’ll do with them yet, but this new addition to the family sure is giving me some ideas…

I can’t think of a better present right now! Many thanks to Grammie Garden Pea!

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Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every day? Do you get bored? (I find that limiting my options makes it easier for me to make sure that A. I actually eat breakfast , and B. I make a healthy choice at 5am. Do you agree?)

What’s your favorite way to eat beets?

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Filed under Home & Garden, Recipes & Food

Local, seasonal food hits the spot!

It’s been a rough week. The best medicine? Local, seasonal, freshly prepared food from Emma’s Food for Life in Selinsgrove!

You know the conversation…

“What do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t know…what do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t care. Whatever you want.”

and so on, and so on…

We were fully engaged in that back and forth last night when we drove by Emma’s and I remembered that I had seen Lemon Quinoa on their specials board outside. I figured it would feature peas and asparagus, because that is what’s in season here right now, and it did.

I just may turn into a pea with the way I’ve been eating lately, but I guess that’s what eating local, seasonal produce is all about, right? If peas are in season, you eat a lot of peas.

So Emma’s it was, and it did not disappoint.

She: Lemon Quinoa (a thick, warm, creamy quinoa in a lemony sauce that reminded me of risotto! Comfort food at its finest. It had lots of greens, peas and asparagus. Sadly, it promised to come with a side of cabbage and beet salad, which was nowhere to be found :( ) It did, however, come with a little green side salad. I chose the lemon tahini dressing (not my favorite, by far )  The husbo chose the cilantro lime dressing, so I stole that :twisted:

Accompanying my dinner is some organic Mother’s Milk tea from Traditional Medicinals…it tastes like strong anise, which I despise, but it came highly recommended and I need the help right now in strengthening my supply. It tasted just a little better in my new W mug (a gift from my thoughtful husband!)

I poached us each a piece of salmon for a little extra sumthin’, and it was pretty tasteless until we realized we could dip it in the dressing. Cilantro Lime Salmon, coming right up!

He: The hus chose the whole wheat fettucine with bacon, peas and asparagus. It was really good…I had a bite with bacon in it, and I wanted to eat the whole thing! I guess there’s just no denying the seductive qualities of bacon. The one bite was enough, though…I don’t plan on becoming a bacontarian.

BIG portion!

 

These dishes didn’t really lend themselves well to pretty pictures, but they were delicious! I inhaled mine. Just what we needed on a night when I was exhausted, still a little concerned about my health, and not wanting to settle for any kind of fast food. (Sadly, we were left with a mountain of styrofoam containers. I was surprised to see that from a restaurant like Emma’s. Surely they could find recycled cardboard…)

Our boy joined in the feast with his new favorite…avocado! I’ve given this to him a couple of times now, and he just devours it! I always seem to have just a little left over whenever I use one, so this will work out perfectly! This was the most perfect avocado I’ve ever cut into (like BUTTAH!) and he said, “Mmmmmm….” with each bite.

Mortared and pestled…

Next time, we combine the ‘cado with a nanner. 

Newsflash: I’ve decided to cave a little on my dairy weirdness and eat some yogurt. I need calories, protein and calcium right now more than ever, and you just can’t beat the nutritients in Greek yogurt, so I looked up my old friend Fage….

This sucker comes with a lot of honey! I amped it up with a little Granbiotics granola and some walnuts…

I had forgotten how good this stuff is…

I’d go so far as to call this the perfect bite!

I guess a little yogurt now and then won’t hurt anything. But no fruity-bottomed ones, and you won’t catch me with a glass of milk in this lifetime, either…

Now, off to get groceries and skedaddle home to my boys. Last time I was in the store, I heard Jive Talkin’! I hope there’s a fun playlist today…I love grocery shopping!

Have a great Sunday, all!

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What’s in season now where you live? Have you had your fill of it yet?

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Filed under Product & Service Reviews, Recipes & Food, The Everyday