Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Not Goodbye Ballymaloe But Only Cheerio, Until Next Time...

Sitting down to write this Ballymaloe goodbye feels like that means it's all over. No more Buttermaloe, Doiliemaloe, or any other spoof on the cookery school on a mission to save the world from having the lights turned on when no one is around. Or does it? Maybe, it means I've only just started the journey chasing my true passion to cook, create, and inspire people in the kitchen? Surely, it means I'll embark on my own mission to save the world from the next horrible food fad, one forgotten culinary skill at a time! Yes, of course it does. Now, before I allow myself to accept Life After Ballymaloe, I'd like to draw out the honeymoon phase with a couple more reminders of my time in Ireland. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Culinary Industry Advice From Ballymaloe {that I don't want to forget}

Darina Allen's Dining Room Table
Darina Allen invited the students for dinner in her home.

The students of the September 2015 12-Week Cookery Course have cooked their final exam meals for Darina's tasting, sat for four separate two hour written exams, we've finished up last goodbyes at The Blackbird, and knives are packed-up ready to head home destined for a new adventure. The ending, of course, is bittersweet but exciting to be headed into the unknown because, You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. With that, I'd like to write out some learning points I don't want to forget (not that I'd be re-reading, or anything).

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Ballymaloe House

Afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House
The students of the 12 week cookery course were invited to afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House as part of our culinary learning experience. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon walking the grounds, touring the wine cellar, meeting the on-premise coffee bean roaster, viewing two of the sumptuous guest suites, visiting the event center, named The Grainstore, and finally, sat down for afternoon tea. As we sipped from elegant fine bone china teacups and nibbled an array of sugary biscuits, Tim Allen told the magical story of how the home became his parent's, what it was like growing up in the large country manor, and how his mother started the empire it is now. The afternoon was a refreshing change of pace for all the students and some (me) almost forgot we needed to get home and start writing up our order of work for the next day's cookings!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Final Exam Time at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Walled Gardens at Ballymaloe Cookery School turning brown in the fall.
Hello!! How is everyone? I miss home so bad. My bed! My car! Running on an actual path! Running! My friends! My Mom! My Dad! Sleep! Babysitters (you know who you are)! So much to say, I'm not sure where to begin. The 12 Week Cookery Course students are heading into week 10 at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Last week, some of the highlights were poaching a ray wing (basically a huge sting ray with massively sharp spikes all over it and slime. So much slime.), saucing up some spicy pork ribs (going to use that recipe again!), Christmas demonstration day (Pam sure knows her Christmas Cakes!), tasting Lustau sherry with the actual makers from the Jerez growing region in Cadiz, Spain, an olive and olive oil tasting (my belly hurt so bad that night — too many olives!), butchering a pig and helping the Nomad Food Company throw a pop-up dinner at school, making of puff pastry, a tapas demonstration, and most loomingly, preparing for our final exams!!! Daunt, Daunt, DAAAA!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week Eight at Ballymaloe Cookery School

How Julia Child would've sealed a classic French Paté Terrine, with fluting paste, not tinfoil.

I'm never going to be the same again. Without sounding like an egotistical culinary snob, at this point in the Ballymaloe 12 Week Cookery Course my culinary prowess has been elevated to such heights the universe's destiny to utilize me as a scepter of cooking knowledge is certain. So much has been covered, to actually attempt processing the knowledge while still enduring the process of learning is entirely overwhelming in itself, but let me try.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Midterm Exams at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Tim and Darina Allen in the Fruit Garden at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
We're heading into week eight at school which means almost four weeks have past since the last update on the lightening-fast-paced cookery adventures. If silence is any indicator of lacking mental energy remaining for these at the end of my day then let this be clear — I am tired. So. Tired. A teensy, weensy part of me wants the course over to allow a time of processing all I've cooked/read/learned/seen/heard/experienced. But, the other mostly large part of me says: bring it on! more. more! More! MORE!!! What else can I learn? Cook? Do? See? 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week Four at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Marzipan Stuffed Dates in Kitchen 3 at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Things are getting real as week four has been completed at Ballymaloe Cookery School because I've scheduled myself a sit down with Darina Allen in hopes of contemplating my future in the food biz and a couple resumes are in potential employers' inboxes. One resume to Travail Kitchen & Amusements, a fine dining restaurant in Robbinsdale, MN doing a unique chef tasting menu, small plates and seriously whacky behavior during service including drinking beer from a boot. Another resume to Scripps Network in Chicago, the mother network to Food Network, for a peon sales position job. The prior submission has me refreshing my inbox with fleeting hope they've emailed me a return message. Alas, trying to stay present and not worry too much about the future, knowing it will all work out, but I'm only human and I need to worry a little bit or what else would I worry about? In two weeks we'll be tested on our knowledge thus far, so I guess I could worry about an exam about identifying twenty types of lettuces and herbs. A more productive worry.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week Three at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Sunrise over Ballymaloe Cookery School
Sunrise over Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland.
On my way into school Friday morning the sunrise over the Ballymaloe Cookery School fields takes the breath away. As the third week of chef school ends and I head into week four, sitting down to write out some thoughts, I find myself needing to unbutton my jeans so I can breathe. Bread and butter in abundance (the school makes their own and it's divine), so much dairy (Irish cows make the best cream!), dessert after every meal (yes, I'll have seconds! and thirds! and fourths!). Eating comes with the culinary territory, I know, I know, and we're heading into sweater season, so I'm going to continue to eat with abandon. Because I'm probably here only once in my lifetime and if I miss one Orange Creme Scone or Smoked Haddock Fish Cake I may have missed a great opportunity to learn more about Irish culture (ahem). 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week Two at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Another week down in the Ballymaloe Cookery School Book has me falling into the groove of this place. Some of the highlights of the past week were breaking down a whole chicken, filleting a fish, and learning how to butcher half a lamb. It's so empowering to know I can now go to my local butcher, buy half a lamb and I'll know how to process and make it into cuts of meat.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week One at Ballymaloe Cookery School

Farmer's Market in Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland

Monday, September 14, 2015

First Day at Ballymaloe

Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland
Reception lobby of Ballymaloe. 

Exxxxxxxxhale. First day of school, check and done. Where to start describing this surreal experience (I still don't believe this is my real life, pretty sure I'm actually in a really, really long dream)? Ok, so,  at this point I'm adoring living in a European country. Spaces, cars, bathrooms, roads, everything is smaller. People don't waste like Americans do, paper cups, paper towels, paper everything is not a thing here. When you leave a room, the lights are turned off. Water is treated as gold. Europeans talk about issues. And they are quiet. So fucking quiet. Dam, I can easily feel like an elephant in a china shop because, first, I suffer from tinnutis making me deaf as a bat, so, I can't hear what the fuck you said anyways and second, people fucking mumble here. They are, like, mysterious and stuff. Well, hot dam, I can be mysterious, too! Back to the adoring part. So. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The calm before the storm // Exploring surroundings of Ballymaloe

Penn Castle, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland.
Penn Castle in Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland. Birthplace of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania State.
It's Sunday so naturally (ha!) we went to church. Liam is getting used to walking everywhere, it was weird for him walking to church, but he did and sat through Catholic mass. Big exhale. After a little lunch and rest, tonight I (nervously/excitedly/scaredly) make the five minute walk to meet all my classmates and have enough social lubrication to quell the butterflies a brick oven pizza. It's so unbelievable to have had this Mental Checklist of things I'd be doing before actually cooking in their kitchen, but here I am, completing the list and rockin' it! Like a MAD WOMAN! Let's keep the confidence. Yes? Yes. YES. YES!!! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Making my way to Ballymaloe // A morning in Dublin

Regency Hotel Dublin, Ireland
Good morning from Ireland! It's surreal to be drinking coffee in a Dublin hotel restaurant, about to write a blog about my travels, amidst din of other travelers, foreign language utterances floating around me, soaking it all in before it's work, work, work. What was a night of trying to sleep into the correct time zone, read: my eyes were brightly open after a measly two hours of sleep, staying that way for about four more hours, but thankfully fell back asleep and woke up at 8:00 am local time and *hopefully* will be on the regular sleep schedule tonight. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Chocolate Beet Cake + Preflight Musings

Chocolate Beet Cake Tomorrow I leave! Goodbye house, goodbye stuff, goodbye roads appropriate for two cars, goodbye family and friends, goodbye moon, goodbye chair, goodbye noises everywhere.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bacon Jalapeño Poppers {no cream cheese}

Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
Let's start September off with a plate of hot peppers stuffed with sweet corn, cheddar and basil. Huzzah! Huzzah? Mmm, hmmm. Over the weekend I was at the Renaissance Festival and they say things like "Huzzah" and "Good Moro" and the people watching can't even come close to the State Fair. And, I would contend, that the eating is just as good, if not better! Popovers, Scotch Eggs with gravy (!), the ever-present cheese curd, Shepard's Pie wrapped in Puff Pastry (gasp, choke, salivate!), Popovers drenched in butter and honey (yep, stung by a bee twice - not so allergic this time!), fermented honey wine called mead you drink out of clay goblets. It's so fun. If you've never attended, it's worth the drive. Make sure to pull out your archer costume and dress up! Something about an eclectic festival and a plate of hot peppers has me happily savoring the last bits of summer. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Butter

Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Butter
Sweet Corn Fritters with Honey Butter are for everyone. Evv-err-reee-ya-one. Everyone: your kids, duh, these are like puffy little pseudo-donuts. People at campfires. Husbands, or other manly men, like my brother — who just got engaged — yahoo! And just about anyone else on the entire globe who enjoys placing their lips around a pocket of juicy sweet corn (so, so sweet right now!), fried in luscious lard until slightly crisp, but decadently moist and tender on the inside. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 10

CSA Cooking Week 10
Hello! How are you today? Today Minnesota is having the most gorgeous weather day of the year. Guaranteed. Temperature is right around 72º, slight breeze, bright blue sky, a teensy, weensy chill in the air, alerting all to the certainty fall is right around the corner. In fact, I noticed the leaves of a maple tree turning orange yesterday as I bee-bopped around town. So many things to love about fall. Soup and crock pots, the smell of drying leaves, apple orchards, back to school, crisp days. This fall, my family may be experiencing the season a little differently in Ireland, but we are very excited. Fall is my absolute favorite season. What's yours? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Roasted Eggplant Rice Bowl

Roasted Eggplant Rice Bowl
Eggplant was intended for a great love affair with basil. Like Harry and Sally, red wine and chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, blue jeans and T-shirts, some things are meant to be paired together, forever and always. You can smell each individually and sense that somehow, together they are a match made in culinary heaven. This recipe was created impromptu and can (should) be interpreted a million different ways in your own kitchen. My only intention here is to inspire more eggplant eating as a self-proclaimed eggplant hater, I'm here to arouse eggplant conversion because eggplant should be loved, or at the very least, tolerated. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

10th Annual Minnesota Garlic Festival

Minnesota Garlic Festival
Cochon King, Thomas Boemer's Festival Masterpiece.
If you are a lover of all things allium sativum the 10th Annual Minnesota Garlic Festival held at the McCleod County Fair Grounds in Hutchinson, MN was the place you wanted to see, taste, hear, and be yesterday. A festival dedicated to all things garlic, garlic-afcionadoas traveled from far and wide to stock pantries for the coming winter months, snatch up garlic seed for the garden, and most definitely, to eat and enjoy all things garlic. 

Festival-goers devoured Wild Rice Burgers, Salumi Baguettes, Pasties, Heirloom Tomato Salads, and other garlic-laden eats from the Great Scape Cafe prepared by an all-star line-up of Minneapolis restaurants while enjoying several traveling bands like Scottish bag-pipers, a lively brass band, and a mysterious group dressed as animals dancing and playing folk music. Local craft beers, cider by Sociable Cider Werks, and wine by Crow River Winery saved people from withering under the hot, humid August day. And if you never thought you'd eat garlic and ice cream in the same bite, you did yesterday at Cranky's Ice Cream Roasted Garlic Ice Cream stand.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Moving to Ireland // Chef in Training @ Ballymaloe Cookery School

St. Paul's Irish Fair. Fairly certain Irish people will not dress like this. Or will they?
I'm moving to Ireland. To become a chef. That's right folks, I'll be attending culinary school in Ireland at Ballymaloe Cookery School. EEEEEEEK doesn't begin to describe the emotion I'm feeling. The possibility. The everything. There is no more preparation that can be made, I've crossed every T and dotted every I. I've googled and read each and every blog known to man on the subject of the school, I've networked with people in Minneapolis who've attended the school, I've read every Facebook post to see what the school is like, I meandered through Irish Fair in St. Paul last weekend and got a couple snapshots of what life might be like while in Ireland. They say the first two weeks of school will be the hardest. And I'm almost guaranteed to cut a finger, burn an arm, or at the very least, set something on fire.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 9 + Turmeric Refrigerator Pickles

Turmeric Refrigerator Pickles
If you're receiving a CSA basket, you may have reached the point of the season when staggering feelings of overwhelming anxiety hit you as you stand in front of the fridge and wonder where the fifty-third beet will fit in. But instead of becoming frozen in terror by a beet, get down to business. Pull all the produce out onto your counter, look it square in the eye, and show those vegetables who's boss. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

One Pan Pork & Korean-Spiced Napa Cabbage {Paleo & Gluten-Free}

One Pan Pork & Korean-Spiced Napa Cabbage

The headline of my newest recipe is paleo and gluten-free, but if you're like me and eat one-fourth of the chocolate chip brioche that came home from Aldi yesterday, than you can no longer pretend to adhere to fads like paleo or gluten-free. But we all need something to aspire to, now don't we? 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 8

Oh, my…where does the time go? Already on CSA Cooking Week 8?! I apologize if you've noticed an absence in the Recipe Writing Department this week, but because I've been busy boozing it up and working on the farm (both very important duties) I haven't had time to cook up all my delicious recipe ideas.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 6 & 7

Work Day at Sweet Beet Farm
Photo: Mary Sue Stevens
Another week participating as a work-share member at Sweet Beet Farm and I've got some vegetable love to show you! Plus, look at the teamwork in this photo…don't you love? Those bushels of rainbow chard are heavy! Read on for a couple more shots of the farm and the work-share members in the field. Plus, recipes that will inspire from my archives and around the web.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Minnesota Monthly Magazine's 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic

Minnesota Monthly 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic
I was invited to attend the 4th Annual Fine Spirits Classic held by Minnesota Monthly Magazine on Thursday evening because I submitted a photo of my favorite Summer Cocktail to their Twitter account using the hashtag #MNMOSummerDrink. I jumped for joy gladly said yes, I can come drink free booze, slicked my lips with gloss, grabbed my man by the collar and bellied up to the bar immediately after being able to say "I'm on the guest list." Pah-shaw! Take a quick peek inside all the glam here!

Spanish Tortilla with Garlic Aioli

Spanish Tortilla

So, here is the first time I made this Spanish Tortilla, and I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. The recipe is in no way a new or innovative recipe — it's a classic Spanish tapa found in every tapa bar I visited in Spain while there for my college degree (take me back!). I'm eating leftovers cold from the fridge right now, dreaming about the streets of Barcelona and the flowers at The Alahramba, and every bite is soooo snackable. The recipe might seem a little daunting, what with (ahem) five paragraphs, but pour yourself a (big) glass of wine, turn on some Florence & the Machine, and use up those Farmer's Market potatoes. You'll be glad you did. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Refrigerator Jam

Currant Refrigerator Jam

Today, between telling Liam NO, he could not have this 46th piece of banana laffy taffy, forgetting the hose running in the yard for hmmm, I think, 3 hours (shh, don't tell Travis), and a major clean-out-the-fridge-and-make-odds-and-ends-eatable day I think it was a great day! You know what I mean? A get sh*t done kind of day. Do you ever have those? So, one thing I did was make an odd cup of currants into jam! It's so easy. You SO need to make jam next time your over-ripe fruit is gathering fruit flies sitting around waiting to be something greater. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Farm to Table Experience at Sweet Beet Farm {Community Education Class}

Farm to Table Experience at Sweet Beet Farm
Farm to Table Experience at Sweet Beet Farm

Nick and Amelia Neaton graciously opened up their CSA farm operation for a BHM Community Education class, offering a tour of the working organic farm which is projected to be USDA certified organic in 2016. Our group toured Sweet Beet's acreage on a gloriously sun-drenched Saturday morning with icy cold cucumber mint water in hand. After the tour, they sat down for a true "Farm to Table" meal, created around local produce from Sweet Beet and The Local Roots Food Co-op. I don't want you to miss a bite so I've included the tasting menu with all the recipes, photos and shots of the farm. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Zucchini Parmesan Barley

Zucchini Parmesan Barley
I've made this recipe 2,000 times, but had never substituted the original recipe's main ingredient, orzo, until today when I needed to use up the ever-present summer staple — zucchini. Which, admittedly, had been hanging out in the fridge for way too long, but with no orzo I chose barley to stand-in and it works so very well. Barley has an excellent chewy texture, and super bonus — way more fiber and nutrition that orzo. Done deal. You've got to try this recipe, it's fast, tasty, uses up summer veggies and reheats well. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Detox Drink + acoupla shots of the Buffalo, MN Farmer's Market

Detox Drink
It's Saturday and the Buffalo, MN Farmer's Market sent me an 8:00 AM text alerting me that they are open for business! So, I'm about to drink up this Detox Drink and head on down to the market for some locally grown goodness. I'm taking along my camera because I want you to see my beautiful market. Check it out!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 5

How is your garden growing? What do you have an abundance of? Are you starting to can? My herb garden is always brimming and I've made my Chimichurri Sauce a handful of times and my husband and I have slathered it on everything. It's so good! We stirred into a Enchilada Chicken Stew, we topped Lamb Kofta, mixed it into every salad I ate, dipped naan into its emerald green goodness - and, yea, it got better in the fridge with time and stayed a bright green color! Today I'm looking at this Summer Bounty and wondering how I can use my third batch of chimichurri on these veggies. From L to R: Carrots, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Kohlrabi, Lemon Cucumber, Currants, Italian Parsley, Chard, Green Onions, Lettuce, Napa Cabbage. Read on for recipes.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Tart Berry Gelatin

Tart Berry Gelatin
Berry season in Minnesota has seen a bumper crop this year. Everyone's raspberry bushes are busting at the seams — who was it that said they needed to pick their bushes morning and night — a neighbor, or someone? Someone I'd like to know where they live! How are your berries faring? If you've got an abundance of berries or you've been given currants in your CSA I beg of you, try a 1970's Jell-O ring! No chemicals or nasty stuff here, though. Only berry goodness. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 4

Workshare at Sweet Beet Farm
Photo: Mary Sue Stevens
Volunteering as a work share member at Sweet Beet Farm has been so richly rewarding because the knowledge gained about (serious) gardening is immeasurable, I've gotten better at vegetable identification, I'm learning how food grows, and smelling the dirt in the morning is just fantastic - I've even come to crave the smell of the dirt in my hands.

And you have an opportunity to visit Sweet Beet in Watertown, MN! 

On Saturday July 25th at 10:00 Amelia will be guiding tours of her working organic farm. Come see the operation, it's beautiful! Rows upon rows of rainbow chard, witness a head of cabbage in all its glory, experience harvesting a vegetable or two. And then our group will have an al fresco lunch at the farm - all prepared by myself featuring Sweet Beet's unbeatable produce!

It's going to be so fantastic, you don't want to miss this! I cannot wait to meet you.
Sign Up Here: https://goo.gl/45zRnK 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bacon Grease New Potatoes with Mustardy Greens

Bacon Grease New Potatoes with Mustardy Greens
The heaping pile of mustard greens supplied by my weekly CSA had me wondering what I could possibly do with the abundant, slightly peppery, kinda toothsome leafy green. How are my non-vegetable lovers going to enjoy such an adventurous vegetable? To inhale? To say: MOM, you make the BEST dinner, ever! Please make mustard greens EVERY NIGHT! Well, folks, here is the way I was the best mom chef ever. People inhaled. There were requests for seconds. Bellies were full. It was all coated in bacon grease, why did I ever doubt? 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Savory Green Onion Noodle Cake

Savory Green Onion Noodle Cake
Pull out your Easy Summer Weeknight Rotation Meal List and add this recipe because it is beyond fabulous for so many reasons! First, allows you to use up cilantro and green onions from the CSA Box. Second, it's ready within 30 minutes. Third, leftovers straight from the fridge are your best friend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Chimichurri Sauce

If your herb garden is out of control blossoming beautifully you may be like me and desperate for ways to consume herbs in everything imaginable before the dreaded first frost of fall, summer is way too short lived. Time to slather herbs on EVERYTHING!!! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 2

Week two of Sweet Beet Farm's CSA bushel is here and boy, oh, boy is it abundant! Even as I find myself in my third year participating as a CSA member I'm feeling a leeeeetle overwhelmed I've learned to battle vegetable abundance into submission! So, come close, let me talk us all off the ledge because, look... as I type these words my kids are about finished polishing off two pounds of strawberries in a matter of 39 seconds. Other plans for vegetable abundance: Summer Herb Salad for friends of the co-op (tomorrow night - come see me!). And if becoming more svelte is a side-effect of eating 4 heads of lettuce for the next 6 days (until next week's harvest), I'm game! Today I've got some outstanding recipes you'll want to use for your own CSA cooking and some quick tips to keep produce fresher longer. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Korean Beef

Hello! Are you enjoying summer? Isn't it grand? Besides soaking sunshine up at the lake, usually with family, basking in lazy, long evenings summer brings salad on the grill, iced coffee that will buzz you up, kale in a cocktail, and (most hopefully) easy weeknight meals, like this Korean Beef. This meal is super economical, was on the table in under 30 minutes, and (shhhhhh) the kids. asked. for. seconds. That was pretty cool. Leftovers are going to be dreamy inside of a (CSA Time!) lettuce leaf tomorrow for lunch. Bookmark this recipe now - 'tis a keeper.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mary Jane's Grilled Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing

It's CSA time and that means heavenly, buttery, fresher than any grocer could ever provide lettuce will be on our plates for the next several weeks [super loud cheering, jumping up and down, shouting & joy]! Lots and lots and lots and lots of greens will force our inner creative to emerge because I suspect some may be tossing greens to the gerbils, me included. This salad was inspired by chef Mary Jane Miller who provided an excellent outdoor cooking demo for a Sustainable Farmer's Association Spring Picnic (I heart farmer's). She was the Star of the Outdoor BBQ and I learned so much that day! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

CSA Cooking {Community Supported Agriculture} Week 1

Week one of Sweet Beet Farm's Community Supported Agriculture bushel has arrived! You may remember how I documented last year's harvest. If you are newly participating as a CSA Members: 

1) From this point forward save all bread bags, apple bags, lemon bags, bags of all kinds and reuse them for the loose produce, which will be mostly loose. You'll want refrigeration organization because we know being prepped and organized leads to easier weeknight meal-planning

2) Be ready to eat a lot of greens. Did I say a lot? 

3) Bookmark interesting recipes you always wanted to try but never really had a reason to prepare - because now you will need that random recipe for let's say, pea shoots and get ready to be adventurous in the kitchen! 

4) Prepare yourself for the possibility of finding a green caterpillar or other bug in your produce. Don't worry, this is organic produce - bugs mean no pesticides - a symbiotic relationship of sorts. Just toss into the garbage and continue on. 

Strong Iced Coffee + {Driven Coffee Giveaway}

Come. Come close. Closer. Look…it's coffee. Hail the ever sacred coffee. How can a morning ever be started without? It simply cannot. And I have coffee to share! A local coffee roaster, Driven Coffee from Buffalo, MN is sponsoring a giveaway! Beyond exciting! My blog's first ever give away! All you need to do is head to my Facebook page, 'like' my page, and leave a comment answering this question: Where in the world was your most delicious cup of coffee? Now, back to coffee! Making iced coffee takes a little bit of effort, but really is quite simple and because your fridge will possess a jug of black magic for the next 3 weeks AND you'll save time not running into the coffee shop because whipping up iced coffees at home is faster AND you'll save money because no more temptation while waiting in line considering that pack of shortbread cookies I'm wondering why you aren't brewing up some coffee right now!?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spicy Kale Rum Punch

Ah, Summer! Hello! I'm so glad you're here. Why don't we sit on the deck with a Spicy Kale Rum Punch and catch up? This cocktail is herbaceous, spicy, and refreshing, it's a stomach primer for a big meal, spicy, did I say spicy? But after about the first three sips spiciness turns into a mellow, green grassy herb flavor that has you pleasantly sipping. You should've heard Liam poke Christian and whisper dramatically "Mom is… drinking… GREEN... juice" as I was pleasantly sipping mine. Ahhh. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fresh Spinach with Blueberry Vinaigrette {Local Roots Food Co-op Feature}

I want to eat simply and clean a majority of the time, yes there are those times when I chose carbs in between puffs of cream, but I want to spend most meals consuming a gargantuan plate of fruit or vegetables next to a clean protein. I also want my food choices to provide me with the highest nutrient density available and to achieve that I want to chose foods grown locally or in season because every second that passes from harvest to consumption nutrient content diminishes. Don't ask me how I know these things, but I can attest to watching a lot of Frontline and that may have something to do with it. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Charred Sesame Broccoli & Asparagus

If you happen to be counting how many recipes containing asparagus posted on this blog in the last month Charred Sesame Broccoli & Asparagus happens to be my third, after Beer Battered Asparagus with Yogurt Tarragon Dipping Sauce followed by Quick Asparagus Sauté with Caramelized Garlic and if these recipes were anything like children I could never pick a favorite.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Banana Oat Waffles

Ahhhh, waffles. How could I ever suspected the power of the humble waffle wielding hold over myself whom is passionate about being in the kitchen always creating something with newer, unique ingredients, upping the ante to be more creative than the last recipe, a fun recipe to top all other recipes ever created! But the power of enjoying a meal with two school age children eating a waffle hypnotizes me into cooking meals my kids will actually enjoy eating.  I'll save the gourmet  ingredients for my next adult-tastes dinner party. For now, let's eat waffles full of nutrition. I can't deny enthusiastically eating two huge waffles smothered in whip cream for lunch. Yes. I did.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hamburger Broccoli Pie

I'm obsessed! Apparently, I cannot stop baking inside of this artisan receptacle I picked up from Donovan at Local Roots because, I mean, who wouldn't be obsessed with thinking up more ways to fill a pie plate that not only is super practical but so extremely beautiful I leave it on my counter so that I can gaze at it all day long?! As if I have nothing else to do than gaze at a pie plate — who says that!? 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Foraging 101 {How to Hunt for Morel Mushrooms}

  • Morels are in Season When: 
    • Lilacs and cherry blossom trees are blooming.
    • Nighttime temperatures stay above 55ºF-60ºF. 
    • Abundant rainfall creating a humid atmosphere -- you can bet the forest is growing mushrooms!
  • Look for Morels Here:
    • Gaze into the treetops to decipher dead trees from the leafed out trees. Go to the base of dead trees in search of mushrooms.
    • On mossy slopes below dead trees — some say Elm trees, but I think any dead wood is a place to look.
    • Where ramps, jack in the pulpit, & other wild flowers grow.
    • In low lying, moist areas — You should see the ground covered in moss and 3"- 4" of grassy, patchy undergrowth.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Quick Asparagus Sauté with Caramelized Garlic + acoupla shots of Twin Cities Live

My whirlwind of a week is over and the diarrhea has mostly subsided my nerves have finally calmed to a place where I can begin processing that I cooked/spoke/appeared/didn't fall flat on my face on live television! Credit goes to wedge shoes and prayer and people I can count on, but I still find myself short on sufficient enough words to describe how amazing the experience felt. Adrenaline is one word I can think of, or, if I had the guts to skydive I would imagine jumping out of a plane to feel the same way I did on Tuesday. I confessed to my girlfriends it had to be the next best day of my life after the birth of my two children and the day I married the man of my dreams (no small thing!).