Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Green Peppers + Sadness

Hey look! I grew this! We are also eating lots of fresh basil and have just started on the lettuce (I've been happily helping my landlady with her lettuce overabundance, very nice as mine is puny). I will be eating chard and kale soon and the tomatoes and zucchini are just around the corner.

The sadness is that I finally got out to the store where I like to get eggs and learned that it is apparently now illegal for stores to sell farm fresh eggs unless the farm has been inspected and approved and so on. I was so mad I actually cried a bit. It's bad enough that it's hard to get good meat and illegal to get fresh milk but I thought I would at least be able to enjoy fresh eggs. I am so tired of having a government who feels it's okay to sell us cigarettes and aspartame but heaven forbid we get some eggs with actual nutrition in them. Thanks so much, for saving me from healthy eggs. It's so hard to feed my family well. I get so very very frustrated. And I wish I didn't feel so alone about it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Recipe | Potato Salad with Yogurt Dressing

I cannot lie, I made this off the top of my head and now I'm trying to remember it. So hopefully I get the proportions right! It would be local if it weren't for the lemon juice. Lemons kill me, why can't I get them here! Oh right, I live in Canada.

Serves 4-6 people. Ish.

1 cup plain yogurt
juice of one lemon
chopped fresh basil, maybe 1/4 cup. (dill would also work great)
3 Tbs whole grain mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp of paprika
salt and pepper to taste

4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
4 waxy potatoes, chopped and boiled with a glug of vinegar and a bit of salt (try not to over boil or they fall apart in the salad)

Mix with dressing! Eat. Mmmm. Hey look, the baby woke up. See you all later :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gardening | the plan

Here's my garden, and here's how it's doing so far.
*** = Thriving
** = Surviving
* = Fail

Side A = Full Sun
Side B = Lots of Sun
Side C = A very little Sun

1 - Green Pepper ***
2 - Jalapeno **
3 - Scarlet King Pepper ***
4 - Gold King Pepper ***
5 - Parsley ***
6 - Basil ***
7 - Rosemary ***
8 - Lemon Boy Tomato ***
9 - Pink Cherry Tomato ***
10 - Stupice Tomato **
11 - Marigolds ***
12 - Roses **
13 - Zucchini - ***
14 - Carrots - ***
15 - Snow Peas - ***
16 - Beans - ***
17 - Chives - **
18 - Lettuce - **
19 - Shallots - *
20 - Swiss Chard - **
21 - Kale - **
22 - Arugula/Cilantro - *
23 - Impatients - **
24 - Hosta - **

- Side A & B have a buried soaker hose. Side C had a sprinkler hose but it was leaking into the basement. So I hand water it.

- The shallots looked awesome and then all died. No idea why.

- The lettuce next to the beans was not as happy as the other row. When I thinned I replanted some to take over the shallot spot.

- The cilantro bolted before it hit the garden. The Arugula bolted before becoming edible.

- The pot of oregano was happy until I left and it went without water for 5 days.

- The hosta was happy in the spring but angry when the hot weather came.

- A bunch of seedlings on side c were killed by rain pouring off the roof. Need to fix the eavestroughs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bread Fail

So I've been successfully baking bread for some time now with my vital wheat gluten method. You'd think that would be enough, but the purist in me wants to figure out how to do it without. I know it must be possible. I love the recipes I've tried from my Christmas present "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart, so I decided to steal my mom's copy of "Whole Grain Breads". She was happy enough to see it go as she hasn't been able to get his method to work. I however, am determined!

This is his basic master recipe, using my sourdough start to make the starter.
So, fail number 1. Here's what worked:
- The first proof went well, it rose nicely in the bowl.
- I achieved the best window pane ever with only 3 minutes of kneading.
- It tastes amazing!

And what didn't:
- Well it kind of puddled out instead of rising up the second time. If you ever want a yummy bread puddle, I can bake one for you.
- Maybe slightly crumbly. Or maybe my toast just broke because it was eight inches long and only one inch tall.

I think that the main problem was that the dough was way too wet, especially the sourdough portion. I will try again later this week!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gardening | All set

So we finally got most of the garden planted today. May long weekend is when most people plant here so hopefully it's safe for my leafy little ones to be out in the dirt now. Most of the cilantro bolted before I could plant it so there's just a little scraggly one out there. Guess I'm cooking with cilantro this week!

I still need to pick up some supports for the beans and peas and I need to steal some oregano from my parents. It was great having Craig's parents here to help out and little S napped through the whole thing!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Kitchen | Save the Produce!

Raise your hand if you forget what produce is lurking in your fridge and then it rots. So tragic. The theory is that I will always know what I have (and how much) by looking at the list on the whiteboard. We'll see if it continues to amuse me as much as it did this week.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gardening | Greenhouse fun!

Just back from a week in Creston hanging out with the family. Good times, lots of fun food. Asparagus season is here! If you have too much asparagus (as if it's possible) check out my previous recipes for asparagus soup and asparagus fajitas. Came back to see my greens just barely up and some of my shallots poking their little heads up into the world!

So today we went to the greenhouse to get the bedding plants:
Basil x 4
(getting oregano from my parents)

3 bell peppers (red, yellow and green)
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cherry tomato
1 low acid tomato (I have another one from my aunt)

marigolds and inpatients (to sprinkle among the veggies, for funzies)

So I still need to hunt down a summer squash plant and get seeds for beans, peas and carrots. Yum.

And lilacs coming soon!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan

Monday Quinoa Black Bean Salad (46 Whitewater Cooks)
Tuesday Schezuan Ground beef and green beans (183 New Light Cooking)
WednesdayLentil Curry Wraps (132 New Light Cooking)(Didn't get around to this last week. Had waffles that night instead)
ThursdayTabbouleh Chickpea Salad (43 Whitewater Cooks)
Friday - Salmon Casserole
Saturday Pita Pizzas
SundaySausage and Perogies

Baking Bran Muffins with dates (Erin Cooks - these are the best muffins on earth, I use plain yogurt and add chopped dried dates to them)

Best thing last week? Bombay Wraps, soooo yummy. Also the first BBQ of the season was very much enjoyed.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gardening | A fresh start

Hmmm, I'm typing one handed while holding a baby, so please excuse any typos!

Well, it's a new house with a new yard. I will be a better gardener this year! I will not kill all the plants. I will not let the weeds turn it into a feral mess (why don't weeds need watering?). Why will I be better? Because I am not pregnant this summer (knock wood). I just need to figure out how to garden while holding a baby who refuses to be put down even to nap. Right.

So here's the tour. The flower beds haven't been properly cared for in 10 years. They are dug up now, but these are "before" pictures.

Front of the house. Something pretty will be going on by the door. I have planted lettuce, shallots, swiss chard, kale and arugula. Not sure if the shallots will be happy being planted so late, but it's worth a shot as I love shallots. This side is almost always shady.

Putting a tepee here for beans

Side of the house. The rosebushes have had a severe haircut. They have also attacked both Craig and I. Evil! This side is getting peas (on a trellis) carrots and zucchini.

And finally the back of the house. Full on sunny. Herbs and peppers and tomatoes. Also some marigolds methinks.

What are you planting this spring?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I have returned!

Did you miss me? So now that I am done being pregnant and done with the crazy first six weeks of mommyhood, I find that my thoughts turn again to food. Sooooo good to be able to eat normally again! Here are my goals for food as I get back into the swing of things:

- Menu plan. I will go shopping once a week for food. That's it, no picking up something midweek. Partly because it's easier (we live out of town, and have a baby and blah blah blah) and partly because I am trying to stick to a budget of $100 a week. That might seem like a lot still, but for me it would be a big improvement.

- Cut down on the refined food. In hopes of cutting down on the baby tummy. I let this slip with the puking and the sleeping and the not sleeping. Time to refocus.

- To keep my garden alive. I will not be a bad garden mommy like last year!

- To continue to eat as locally as I can. I've been doing well at this actually. Still not buying produce from out of country and all my meat and eggs are very local. Some of my dairy. My oats and lentils and WW flour are all from a local CSA.

So here's this weeks menu plan, even though the week is almost over. I hope these will be fun to read and give you ideas, even if you don't have my cook books.

Monday Big Barn Bowties (pg 181 Rebar)
Tuesday Bombay Rollup (Rebar)
Wednesday Hamburgers & Apples
Thursday Sushi Salad with wild BC prawns
Friday Pita Pizzas
Saturday Lentil Wraps (132 New Light Cooking)
Sunday Ratatouille (made and frozen last summer)

Oh, if you aren't a reader of my other blog...here's the adorable reason for my absence: