Sunday, June 24

Someday Dreams. I have this dream, where I wake up in the morning in an old, white farmhouse. I go to the kitchen to get my coffee and look outside at the rolling fields. I have a kitchen garden nearby the house, and a river running through the property. It's more of a daydream than a dream...but still. It's not my reality just yet. 

I took a drive today when I saw a bit of property for sale not very far from where I live now. It was almost 20 acres of rolling hills and fields, with a large stream...almost a small river, an old white farmhouse (needs repairs the ad said). The distance wasn't far at all, and the neighborhood looked friendly. One major problem though, the house was no more (sigh...). I don't know if it fell down, or if it'd been ripped down, or if a strong wind blew it over, but it lay there in pieces near the road. How sad. 

The land was absolutely stunning though. Breathtaking enough to make me realize that while this wasn't the land I've daydreamed about for years (with the river and the fields and the old farmhouse with the big front porch with a swing where I'm sitting drinking something cold on the hot summer days), I'm gonna start keeping my eyes peeled. You never know when that perfect place'll pop up at just the right time. 

Wednesday, June 13

Basil and Green Bean Penne's my second farmer's market recipe post! (Although, a few of the ingredients came from my raised bed, and they were delicious) We were really tired today, so something quick and easy like pasta sounded perfect. I had some meatballs still in our freezer that we threw in, cause my kids love 'em. You could substitute with more veg, pancetta, bacon, chicken...just make sure the proportion is correct. You don't want your dish overflowing with meat. I usually eyeball it so that in relation to the amount of pasta I've used, there is about 1/4-1/3 meat. That way there is enough for each bite, but not sooooo much that you wish there was more pasta. Here's the recipe:


1/4-1/2 lb green beans (ours were haricot verts from our garden)
2 small sweet onions, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2-3 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1 pkg. mini penne
10-12 small meatballs
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


-(if using meatballs) preheat oven to 350 degrees F, cooking for 15 minutes
-cook pasta according to package directions, and drain while making the rest of the dish
-blanch the green beans for 4-5 minutes, drain and set aside until ready to use
-heat 1-2 Tbsps olive oil in a large skillet
-add the onions and garlic, and sautée until soften and just beginning to turn golden brown
-season with a dash of salt
-add the shredded basil leaves to the oil, and sautée for a few minutes more. This allows some of the basil flavor to diffuse into the oil. 
-add the blanched beans, sautée 4-5 minutes more, until the beans begin to brown just slightly. You want them to still have some of their fresh from the garden crunch, so don't overdo it. 
-stir in the pasta, making sure to mix well with all the yummy onions and garlic. Add a tsp or so more olive oil ONLY if the pasta appears to be too dry still after you've mixed it thoroughly
-Mix in the meatballs
-season with salt and pepper to taste

Saturday, June 9

Risotto, yo.

This is the most amazing time of year for finding fresh from the fields fruits and veg. Farmers markets are around town almost every day of the week. CSA's are arriving packed full of all different sorts of deliciousness. I get so excited about figuring out new, easy dinners to make with whatever managed to make it home in my bag from the market. 
I decided, hey, maybe I should start sharing these on ye olde blog...the successful ones at least. So here's one of my first farmers market mash-ups, from a few weeks ago. Risotto does take a little bit of time, but is really not that complicated past that. I included the veg I found while I was at the market, but many others could be substituted: tomatoes, turnips, daikon radish, squash, arugula, greens...the list is endless. Have fun with it!

Farmers Market Risotto

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups of broth (your choice)

(these are the basic proportions for a anything below this is really flexible as far as ingredients.)

1 zucchini, diced
2 small white onions, diced
1 small bunch spinach, loosely chopped
2-4 Tbsps olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper


-put a few Tbsps of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat
-add garlic and onions, sautée til onions are soft
-add zucchini, sautée for a few more minutes
-add the spinach at the very end, cooking til just beginning to wilt
-pour the veg into a bowl to rest until it's ready to be added to the risotto
-add a few more Tbsps to the saucepan, and lower the heat to medium-low
-add the rice to the oil and sautée for a few minutes, til the grains are translucent
-stir in the balsamic vinegar, coating all the grains evenly
-add the veg back in, and begin the process of adding the broth
-slowly ladle the broth in, 1/3 to 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until all the moisture is absorbed by the grains. Over time, the grains will begin to break down and the delicious creaminess of the risotto will be able to be seen, but don't add more broth until the liquid has been absorbed. This should take approximately 20-25 minutes. The low heat is crucial to the risotto dish, so resist the temptation to turn the heat up, even if it smells delicious and you want to eat it. Also, it may seem impossible for the 1 1/2 cups of rice to absorb 6 cups of broth, but it will. Just be patient and keep stirring. 
-when done, first be really proud! Then add a little salt and pepper, make a side salad, and dinner is served!

Friday, June 8

La Plage!


La Plage, a set on Flickr.
Here's some recent photos from our trip to the beach! New blog post coming soon!!