May 31, 2011

Our Garden, Part 4

All the rain we had last week was like steroids for our garden!

The strawberries are growing and are starting to turn a rosy red. The local farm market is planning on having u-pick strawberries in early June, so I'm hoping ours are ready about the same time.

Mom gave me these cauliflower plants and they're more than 3 times their original size. The seeds from last years tomatoes survived the winter and are sending up baby tomato plants in the same area. An unknown variety of squash/melon is creeping up, too.

Our sugar peas are too tall for the fence we gave them to climb. Except for the closer end where the rabbits nibbled them off - those shoots are coming along, but they're not as tall yet.

Zucchini!!! This might be what I'm most looking forward to. I love it on the grill, in bread, with pirogies, sauteed, baked, made into lasagna; every possible way, I love zucchini!

It's only the end of May and we're already harvesting! :-)

May 30, 2011

Busy Days

I haven't been posting as frequently because I've been busy for the last few days. Weeks, really.

Here's some highlights of what I've been up to:

Celebrating at Ashley's bridal shower! Congrats Ash! <3

Eating lots of guacamole. Mmmmm...

Making lots of cake pops!

These were one of many trial runs (yellow cake + pb icing + milk choc coating). The real deal comes this week - we have to make sure they're sale ready!

Eating this pizza...

...and this pizza. It was tough to decide which was best, but the winner was the white asparagus version. Must be spring!

Dealing with a seriously out-of-control garden. The strawberries are finally turning red!

Spending as much time as possible with him. <3

Celebrating Tiffany's birthday with food, drinks, & fire! Happy birthday Tiffy, we love you!

And last but not least, drinking these bursts of sunshine!
*2 parts OJ, 1 part Orange Vodka, 1 part Triple Sec, 1 orange*

May 26, 2011

Blue-barb Crisp

I got the idea for this from a lady at church who was talking about blue-barb syrup that she saw on a TV show. I went home and told the Bup who wanted to know why I wasn't making blue-barb crisp.

My go to recipe for Rhubarb Crisp is from Eating Well. It doesn't make enough (is it ever enough when it comes to dessert?), and it needs a few substitutions, but it's delicious.

I used that recipe and tweaked it to make it with frozen blueberries from last year's harvest.

The Bup was very happy. Crisps are one of his favorite foods.

After we finished our bowls (he literally licked his clean and then wanted to know why I hadn't given him any), he started a conversation that went something like this:

"Hey Babe?"


"I have 2 words for you. Blue-barb. Crisp."


"Hey Babe?"


"I have 1 word for you. Fantastic!"

Blue-barb Crisp
Adapted from Eating Well
Serves 6

4 c rhubarb, chopped
2 c frozen blueberries
1/2 c organic sugar
2 T finely shredded coconut
1 T cinnamon
1/3 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/4 c light brown sugar
3 T butter, melted
1 T pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350*F. Lightly spray a 9"x9" pan with cooking spray. Combine rhubarb, blueberries, organic sugar, coconut and cinnamon. Spread evenly in pan. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, maple syrup and salt. Once crumbly, sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. Bake until the edges start to bubble, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly before dishing. Serve warm. Crisp will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Heat in microwave before serving.

Rhubarb Crisp on FoodistaRhubarb Crisp

May 23, 2011

Rock Movers

Last weekend we went up to my parents' cabin and helped build a rock wall.

As you can see, there are a lot of rock walls already up there. Really, there are a lot of rocks and making walls is the best way to keep them in line. It seems like everywhere you turn another rock is popping up.

Before my parents even bought the property, there used to be a barn yard that had a rock fence around it. It had already fallen down before they got to it, and it was in a field that was rarely used. Since they built the new cabin, it's now in the backyard.

We cut away the weeds and worked on moving the rocks to re-form the wall.

I was in charge of hauling the cart of weeds and brush down to the opposite end of the yard. I can't even describe to you how wet my feet got. It wasn't raining while we were working, but it had rained that morning and the ground up there is perpetually wet anyway. The water from the grass seeped up my pants all the way to my knees.

I love seeing my dad and husband work together. It makes me so happy to see them getting along and growing closer. They really do work well together.

I helped line up the front stones and keep everything interlocking. There were a few times when Dad said that Grandpap and Uncle Sisto were probably rolling over in their graves. They were both very particular about building with stones and taught Dad and his brothers a lot about it.

We made it to the end of one side and stopped for the day. After moving rocks for 4 1/2 hours, it was time for beer!

The cornerstone.

Can we go back again soon?

May 21, 2011

Corny Cornbread

It's been raining for the past week. Great for the garden, not great for feeling like summer's on it's way!

And that is my only explanation for why we had chili and cornbread on a May evening. 

Usually I'd reserve a meal like this for a cold winter night.

There really is something to be said for a nice hunk of cornbread. I like mine with corn chunks in it.

This doesn't mimic or taste much like the Jiffy kind in the little blue boxes, so don't make it if you're looking for that. Do make it if you want something delicious.

It's lighter and more cake-like. Less yellow, less dense, and full of nutrients.

Perfect for a May evening. Perfect with Cocoa Chili. If you haven't tried adding cocoa powder to your chili, DO IT. It turns the chili into something smooth and fancy.

And then when you dip in the cornbread, it becomes the ultimate rainy day meal, no matter what the season is!

Corny Cornbread
Serves 9

1 c cornmeal
2/3 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c ground flax seed
1 tsp salt
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 c corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 egg
4 T sour cream
2 T honey
3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray an 8"x8" pan with non-stick spray. Stir together dry ingredients. Add corn and mix. In a separate bowl, combine egg, sour cream, honey and milk. Add wet mixture to corn mixture. Let set for 5 minutes. Mixture will be thick. Spread in pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. It may take longer if using frozen corn, but keep a close eye on it after 40 minutes are up.

Moist Cornbread on FoodistaMoist Cornbread

May 17, 2011

Lemon Pepper Asparagus Pasta

I was inspired by these noodles from Trader Joe's. And the fresh asparagus my friend Jen from Jill Spills It All got for me at Roots Market. I just love asparagus season!

It looked so yummy that I had to try it fresh. My dad tasted this dish and didn't believe that I hadn't cooked the asparagus first. So yummy!

It really didn't need to be cooked. Now, I HATE mushy veggies. Especially things like asparagus, broccoli and green beans. So if you like mushy veggies, please cook your asparagus to oblivion. But I do not recommend it. You'll loose the bold flavor and the crisp crunch that meshes so well with the soft noodles.

Lemon Pepper Asparagus Pasta
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

1 8-oz. package lemon pepper papperadelle
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large bunch asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 T olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While it cooks, mix together onion, garlic, asparagus, olive oil, and lemon juice. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Add pasta and water to veggie mixture. Toss to combine. Add lemon pepper seasoning and sea salt. Stir and serve immediately.

First Note: This holds up well in the refrigerator and can be made ahead and served cold as a side salad.

Second note: A sprinkle of parmesan cheese would probably be tasty!

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette on FoodistaLemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

May 13, 2011


For a combination Mother's & Father's Day celebration, we took my parents to the Biergarten. There were 13 breweries and we received a 12oz. glass to use for the tastings.

They were calling for rain, so we had a gray day, but the tulips were in bloom and everything was lush and green.

As you can see, we got off to a great start! The stands were spaced fairly close together, so we started off with a bang at the first two. The second stand had one of my favorites of the day, Strawberry Wheat from Lancaster Brewing Co.

After that, we stopped for soft pretzels at one of the food booths. The booths were all from local shops or restaurants. I favored the lighter beers but the rest of my family liked the dark varieties.

One of my favorites was actually rather dark, a Sam Adams. I had to try it since chocolate was in the name! It tasted like Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla with a dark beer twist. Once I said that, the Bup wouldn't even try it. He was never a fan.

Another big hit was the Appalachian Brewing Company's Trail Blaze Organic Brown Ale. It was a little too dark and bitter for me, but I love that a local brewery has an organic option!

Beer tastings definitely give you larger samples than wine tastings do! We were ready for a nap after this. If you ever get the chance, go to a beer tasting. I'm learning slowly about beer and it was a great experience to broaden my beer thirst!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...