Thursday, September 29, 2011

sweet sage squash with rosemary roasted potatoes

:: sweet sage squash ::
(slight modification of muth family farm's recipe)

1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 T earth balance vegan butter
1 T maple syrup or brown sugar
2 tsp minced fresh sage
pinch of salt

rosemary roasted potatoes
(recipe by barefoot contessa)

1 ½ pounds small red or white-skinned potatoes (or a mix)
2 T olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 T minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 T minced fresh rosemary leaves

1 :: preheat oven to 400°F. 

2 :: place acorn squash cut side down in a glass casserole dish. 

3 :: cut potatoes in quarters and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary until well coated. spread on baking sheet in a single layer and bake with squash about one hour, or until potatoes are brown and crisped. flip twice with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.

4 :: while the squash and potatoes are cooking, prepare sweet sage butter by heating butter, maple syrup, sage and salt on low about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

5 :: coat squash with sweet sage butter and enjoy flavorful fall deliciousness!=)


at the community garden for rosemary, i picked some more greens and shot some more photos.


 arugula and peas


 pea blossoms

 our plots

cute shed

and lastly, the stars of tonight's show


 and rosemary

do you like rosemary and/or sage? what are your favorite ways to use them?

Monday, September 26, 2011

harvest monday

carrots, collard greens, red russian kale, plantain, parsley, rosemary, edamame and lettuce

everything but the carrots were grown at the community garden. the plants seem to really like the straight mushroom compost soil over there. 

this is my first fall garden, and i'm growing some of my favorite greens, including collards (woohoo!). i'm amazed at how fast they grow. this photo of them was taken last week and the leaves have since doubled in size. 

the rosemary and parsley are grown in a flower bed with dill and sage for everyone to share.

i didn't photograph the big bunch of arugula i harvested yesterday, but here's a shot of a few plants from last week. they're growing like weeds!

speaking of weeds, did you see what's growing under the arugula - purslane!  

for those unfamiliar, purslane is an edible succulent that contains more omega-3's than any other leafy vegetable plant. though most consider it an invasive weed, purslane is welcome in my garden - it's the best in smoothies!

if you're wondering what else i do with my greens, i use collards for green buns and make salads with kale and arugula. in this salad both are chopped and mixed in a balsamic-dijon marinade, topped with garden grape tomatoes and shelled hemp seeds. mmm!

harvest mondays are hosted by daphne at daphne's dandelions. visit her page to see what others are growing and doing with their harvest!

today's smoothie

this smoothie is the start of my detox. i'm excited to start feeling good again. 

ingredients: one frozen banana, half frozen peach, handful frozen blueberries, one small apple, one chiogga beet, one cucumber, six kale leaves, and juice of half a lemon. yields about 4 cups. 

cheers to the start of a nutritious week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

weekend recap

friday, my four year old niece alaina came over to spend the night and the next day with us. what an imagination she has! the best was when she turned my crochet hooks into dental instruments. it was so cute watching john the dentist work patiently on alaina's teeth with two yarn needles.=)

we broke up our saturday with trips to the pop shop, the collingswood famers' market, and the local library. the weather was rainy and the last time i took alaina to the community garden, she wanted to go home shortly after. and i had to carry her back. so i didn't mention it this time. however, alaina surprised me by asking, "can we go that garden place again?" we sure can!=)

 community garden 9/18/11

this time she ate tomatoes and lettuce straight off the plants. she admired each and every flower and wanted to know what the plants were called. she asked if she could pick things for me to take home. it was so sweet!

at the library, i read her some stories then let her choose some movies to watch later. she picked ramona and beezus and one of those teenie bopper's concerts whose name i can't remember. (do i sound old or what?) i chose mary poppins.=)

thankfully we didn't get to the concert, but we did watch about 15 minutes of ramona and beezus, which i enjoyed more than she did! as a child i loved beverly cleary books, and this was a surprisingly good adaptation. like many booknerds, i'm hesitant to watch movie versions, but ramona and beezus was pretty cute.

before alaina left, she told me i was her best friend, then sang a song about me being her best friend. there's nothing sweeter than her little voice. really there's nothing sweeter than just spending time with a child. i'm already planning her next visit!

we finally got some sun and i was able to photograph the results of my kitchen marathon.

first we have apple-banana fruit roll-ups. making fruit roll-ups is great because 1) they're a perfect way to use up ripe fruit 2) they're easy and inexpensive to make 3) they're a nice candy-like snack for when i'm craving something sweet and chewy.

i don't have a recipe for my fruit roll-ups, though my friend heidi has some good ones on her blog. what i do is throw about 2-3 ripe bananas and 1-2 apples in the food processor with juice from half a lemon per excalibur dehydrator tray. i've used all kinds of fruit with banana, like watermelon, pear, peach and berries.

when using ripe banana, there's so need for added sweetener. after processing the fruit until smooth, i spread the batter onto teflex dehydrator sheets thin, but not so thin that the teflex shows through, and dehydrate until dry and pliable anywhere from 110-135°. then with kitchen scissors, i cut each tray of fruit leather in sixths, roll them up, and store them in ziploc bags or glass jars.

rosemary and sage are growing gorgeously this time of year. i paired the two herbs to create savory flax crackers and raw pizza crusts.

a sweet version of flax crackers was made with apples, dates and maple syrup. they were lovely with a little peanut butter. i'd like to do some tweaking before i share the cracker recipes, as the batter was a little too thick and took a long time to dry.

my mom and i also had a nice two-and-a-half hour gabfest on the phone. we love to gush over alaina, and we're talking about doing a detox challenge together.

i hope your weekend was full of love, laughter, and yummy treats!

::floral divider source

Friday, September 23, 2011

the american dream

since the weather's been dark and dreary, my unsophisticated camera has been unable to take a decent shot of the food i made yesterday. instead i cleaned house, got ready for a sleepover with my niece, and rediscovered this comical yet informative cartoon on our money/debt system.

a few years ago i woke up and realized the american dream i was once slaving for was nothing more than a sugar-coated nightmare.

learning about our fractional reserve banking system and understanding what money/debt really is helped release me from its grip, when once my life revolved around it. i share this video today in hopes that it empowers you to free yourself from the hold money/debt may have on you.

may the information empower you, not bring you fear, lovebugs.=) 

"The AMERICAN DREAM is a 30 minute animated film that shows you how you've been scammed by the most basic elements of our government system. All of us Americans strive for the American Dream, and this film shows you why your dream is getting farther and farther away. Do you know how your money is created? Or how banking works? Why did housing prices skyrocket and then plunge? Do you really know what the Federal Reserve System is and how it affects you every single day? THE AMERICAN DREAM takes an entertaining but hard hitting look at how the problems we have today are nothing new, and why leaders throughout our history have warned us and fought against the current type of financial system we have in America today. You will be challenged to investigate some very entrenched and powerful institutions in this nation, and hopefully encouraged to help get our nation back on track."

"it's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." - george carlin

Thursday, September 22, 2011


after tonight's kitchen marathon, i feel like this:

biggles snoozing on some recipe books

there are fruit roll-ups, herb pizza crusts, and sweet and savory flax crackers all drying in the dehydrator, plus a big batch of chickpeas cooling on the stove. there's also a huge sloppy mess that's just going to have to wait 'til tomorrow. my cozy bed is calling.

stay tuned for the finished products!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

fall craft fair

this first fall-like weekend, john and i perused the pitman craft fair, which is held bi-annually on the quaint little main street i lived on when i first moved out. (memories...♪=)

these clay-sculpted earrings by kasie lyn are so pretty. i bought a pair of blue roses for myself and the pink hearts as a gift for a girl i watch. i took a photo of the hearts on top of a mosaic jewelry box i made a few years ago.

we also purchased a cute little clay monkey magnet for my mom, some spice mixes, and a pennsylvania soy candle. burning candles is a treat in our house. we buy one once a year, locally-made and hand-poured. after lots of sniffing and mmm-ing, we settled on autumn spice - a light, sweet and warm scent.

though the weather has been very cool, there are plenty of flowers still thriving, like these lilies.

in a thrift store on the same street as the fair, i reluctantly passed on a set of vintage 'crazy daisy' mixing bowls like these. aren't they cute? i'm kind of wishing i got them. my fruit bowl doubles as my mixing bowl now, and it's a real pita to take everything out. 


normally i dread shopping, but not when it comes to thrifted or hand-made.

do you frequent craft shows or thrift stores in your area?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

occupy wall street

john and i are there in spirit and in solidarity. may the protest be a peaceful and effective one.

click for live stream


"the police asked to speak to the leader. we told them that there is no leader. they didn't understand." - anonymous protestor on wall street

peach pepper punch, csa week 13, and alaina turns four

hi friends! i hope you're all having a nice weekend. now that i'm able to upload photos again, i thought i'd do a little catch-up post.

first, we have what was going to be my entry into a juice contest. it's a peach pepper punch, made before i got to work canning peach pepper jam with peach, cucumber, chiogga beets and jalapeno. it didn't taste as pleasant as it looked, plus i couldn't upload the picture, so it wasn't entered into the contest. i did love the peachy-pink color it made.

as feared, muth's crop was affected by the heavy rains caused by hurricane irene, and they'll be closed for a few weeks to allow their crops to "catch-up". to make up for the loss, they brought in organic carrots, celery, and potatoes from other farms. it seemed unnecessary, as they still have so many things to offer, but it was very much appreciated.

muth family farm's organic csa week 13: acorn and butternut squash, sweet peppers, raspberries, sage, patty-pan squash, tomatoes, jalapenos, potatoes, eggplant, watermelon, fennel, green onions, carrots and celery.

so colorful!

pretty peppers

we celebrated my niece alaina's fourth birthday last weekend, and the little skooch held her ears again when we sang to her. we're no partridge family here, but we're not that bad! (or are we...)

alaina and daddy (my brother, craig)

ps - alaina's shirt says "all you need is love"=)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

daily affirmation

Today I will let my vision be drawn to the diamonds, rather than the stones. I will see specialities rather than defects, both in myself and in others. This is how I increase the value of my life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

embracing fall: a compilation of past autumn posts

today it was back-to-school for most students in our area. oh where did the summer go?

fall is lovely but i think i resist it because of the frigid cold weather soon to follow. since i'm really not a fan of being cold or buying veggies shipped from far and wide, summer is my favorite season (though i did find myself fantasizing about cooler months in the midst of some oppressive heat).

i'm really, really going to miss shorts and tanks and tomatoes and melons. so to get me in the mood for fall, i've been going back and reading old autumn posts. i thought i'd share them with you, in case you are resisting the change of seasons too, and to give you some ideas for tasty fall food.

she's baaackkk - features a flavorful kabocha squash stir-fry with a summery twist.
(i know, mango in new jersey is shipped from far and wide, but it always seems to be on sale this time of year, and i can't seem to resist a good sale! i bet this would also taste good with peaches.)

oh, and i love that pansies are back in season!
raw apple cobbler - a nutty, healthy spin on cooked apple cobbler.

apple picking and wine tasting - a is for autumn and apples!

fall arts festival - a reminder to take advantage of all the fun festivities going on this time of year.

 stuffed squash and raw brownie bites - oh, i remember you yummy guys...

spaghetti squash and pumpkin cookies - and you yummy guys, too!

squash and greens - lots more squash yumminess and ideas for making fall treats with the kiddies.

stuffed acorn squash -  another delicious stuffed winter squash with massaged kale.

turnips and greens - a tasty fall dish that's easy to prepare.

festive fall eats - soups and salads and slaw - oh my! i'm so excited to make my sweet fall slaw again, plus lots of warm veggie soups. 

 homemade halloween cards - no food in this post, but a cute craft idea for kids and adults.

you see kelli, the end of summer isn't so bad!

so what are you looking forward to this fall?
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