Thursday, June 24, 2010

Countdown to Beach Vacation

We are gearing up for our two week beach vacation in South Carolina!! The packing list is simple... suit:sarongs:flip-flops:books:sundress:floppy hat.

Can't wait to read these books {1, 2, 3}.

Loading up the iPod with some new tunes.

This looks like good backyard fun.

Just can't get enough of this song.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pint-Sized Design

Now this is just too cute not to share. My friend, Paige, at (pk)flynn has the most adorable set of mid-century modern chairs {think mini Bertoia & mini Eames} in her store from the Australian furniture company, little nest. If you don't have a kids room to decorate, you'll surely find an excuse to after seeing these.


the yolk

Monday, June 21, 2010

Garlic Scape Galore

Garlic scapes are delectable vegetables that you probably don't know about if you don't grow them or shop directly from farmers. They are an early summer treat and if you're like me, they are testing my creativity in the kitchen. They are great on homemade pizzas, pasta, breakfast scrambles. However, in order to keep up with the supply of my weekly CSA, I've been coming up with new delicious ways to incorporate these tasty treats into more meals (recipes below). Any other suggestions?

{garlic scape & almond pesto}

10 garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 c of parmesan
1/2 c of olive oil
1/3 c of almonds, chopped

combine garlic scapes, almonds and cheese into the food processor and pulse a few times. Add olive oil, pinch of salt and pulse until desired texture. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Makes about 1 cup.

{garlic scape & basil butter}

this is amazing.

4 garlic scapes, chopped
small handful of basil leaves
1 stick of salted butter, cut into pieces

combine scapes and basil into the food processor and pulse until scapes are broken into tiny pieces. Add butter and mix until well combined. I then transferred butter mixture to a small bowl and sprinkled with sea salt and serve with a good warm bread (i prefer ciabatta).

{summer pasta with scapes}

Note: you can make this pasta with just about any summer veggie. I use whatever is fresh: cherry tomatoes, peas, basil, asparagus, you name it. In the following recipe I used cherry tomatoes and basil.

5-8 garlic scapes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
pasta of choice (i use farfalle)
1 lemon
one basket of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
handful of basil, chopped
parmesan cheese (i use about 1/4 cup, you can always use more or less)

Saute scapes in olive oil over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes or until tender. Season with salt & pepper. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of salted water. When both the scapes and pasta are done cooking, transfer both to a large bowl. Add grated parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice of one lemon, basil and combine. I then add olive oil and a small amount of pasta water to help incorporate flavors and sauce. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper and enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

summer day!

It's a beautiful summer day here! I'm heading out to the garden to give the plants a shower and getting ready for an evening BBQ at our place. A few great finds on the web today:

i love this summer tunic found on unruly things.

watermellon mojito? yes, please.

inktank. the latest creation from my ever so talented friend, brandon joseph baker.

i can't stop "flipping through" the latest Lonny Mag.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Banana Bread Ice Cream, oh my.

Holy moly, I just woke up and I think I was dreaming about the the banana bread ice cream that my better half made last night. Yep, you read right.... banana bread ice cream. A pregnant ladies dream come true. It was so delicious, rich and bursting with the flavor of roasted bananas. It even had bit of melted chocolate whipped through it {think stracciatella}. You really should make it yourself, pregnant or not.

{Banana Bread Ice Cream}

3 ripe bananas
1/2 light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 0z. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (we left ours out and sprinkled on top when finished)

Note: Jon sprinkled some cinnamon and nutmeg on the bananas before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the bananas into about half inch pieces, and toss them in a small baking dish with the butter and the brown sugar. Bake the bananas for about 40 minutes, stirring them around once midway through. Set them aside and let them cool off a bit.

Once they’ve cooled, mix the bananas with the milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until you have a nice, smooth mixture. Let it cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When the mixture is nice and cold, just process it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. When the ice cream is nearly thickened to your liking, break the chocolate up into a microwave safe container, preferably one with a pour spout, like a pyrex measuring cup. Melt the chocolate at 10 or 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it’s melted through and pourable. Slowly pour it into the almost finished ice cream; it will freeze and form small chips throughout the ice cream. Finally, add the chopped walnuts and continue to process until the walnuts are mixed through and the ice cream has reached your desired consistency.

recipe courtesy of The Kitchen Illiterate. Photo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Paintings from the Heartland

I had the pleasure of attending a fabulous party on Friday evening while visiting my family back in Nebraska. It was a perfect summer evening with just the right amount of humidity and a welcoming breeze that moved the tall grasses like ocean waves. It was an art party of sorts and I had the opportunity to visit and meet with many of the various artists themselves. One of my favorite Nebraska painters, Stephen Dinsmore was there and I can't help but share a bit of his work. His paintings evoke a love and connection with nature. Simple, but lovely moments. I love the feeling of being lost within a scene of one of his paintings- a sense of calmness and beauty with just one look.

cattle in land

song of the lark

the days run away

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Inspiring Toys

Check out this simple and very cool wooden toy from Made by Joel. His work is so inspiring, it would be silly not to share his ideas.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Garden Harvest

Yesterday was my last day teaching gardening at the public school nearby. We celebrated by harvesting some early spring vegetables and making a meal. We made a mixed green salad and a few other delicious snacks. Hope these recipes inspire you to grab your favorite little one and head to the garden!

{roasted carrots & turnips with herbs}

-cut one bunch of carrots into diagonal pieces
-cut up turnips into 1/2 inch pieces
-add some chopped fennel if yours is ready (ours was too little yet)

Toss ingredients with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I fancy a little cumin powder on mine. Roast the veggies in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables start to caramelize. Remove from oven and add a mixture of chopped garden herbs (we used basil & italian parsley), fresh lemon juice & feta. Stir & enjoy!

{homemade hummus for garden veggies}

We had loads of broccoli & sugar snap peas to harvest. My goal was to get every little kiddo to enjoy their broccoli so I decided to make a dip that they can dunk their veggie into... and viola, it worked!

4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed
2 15-oz. cans of garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
2/3 c of roasted tahini
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c of water
1/4 c olive oil

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until smooth. Add salt to taste. Enjoy. Makes about 3 cups.

photo: Veer

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

rejuvenated & refreshed

I love the way I feel after relaxing, fun-filled days with friends. We just got back from our "home away from home" and feel refreshed after spending our days lounging in parks, feeling the ocean breeze, eating our favorite foods and dancing to some good ol' music.

A few highlights:

Brandon's delicious park bloody mary's (he even made virgin's for the soon-to-be mom's).

Birthday picnic in Washington Square Park.

Dinner at my favorite spot with some of my favorite people.

Fantastic Band of Horses show in my old neighborhood.

My first baby shower!
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