Friday, June 29, 2012

june community garden

the garden's new sign 

lavender and sage

our new sign

our plot of corn, beans and summer squash 

brandy posing on a mosaic tree stump

lots of corn growing at the community garden this year!

tonight we are headed to our first food swap event. i'm swapping peach jam and some herbs. i'll be sure to take plenty of pics!

Friday, June 22, 2012

dream of broccoli soup

the broccoli in my csa basket was begging to be used in any other way than stir-fry, but how? there's cream of broccoli soup, but would it be good without the dairy? the answer: absolutely!

to veganize it, i didn't want to use rice or almond milk. so i searched through recipes and found one that used oatmeal. believe it or not, it was one to the tastiest soups to come out of my kitchen!

what i find most dreamy about this soup is the base ingredients: broccoli, oatmeal, and vegetable stock, that's it! (to make it gluten-free, i'd try chickpea flour or white beans in place of the oatmeal). the olive oil was ready to go but in the end just wasn't needed. the soup was perfectly creamy and flavorful with just a few leaves of basil and a little salt and pepper. simple yet savory!

dream of broccoli soup
(adapted from vegan cream of broccoli soup by funky jiva)

3 heads of broccoli, florets and stalks chopped
1/2 C quick oats
6 C vegetable stock
3 fresh basil leaves, more or less to taste
salt and pepper to taste

in a large pot, bring all ingredients but basil to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer until oatmeal is cooked, about 10 minutes for quick oats.

allow to cool slightly before carefully pureeing in a food processor with basil. for creamier results, mix in a high speed blender.

asparagus, corn, mushrooms, and other vegetables may also work well with this recipe, though i haven't tried them yet. in the fall i'd add nutmeg to this soup.

do you know any creative ways to serve broccoli?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

csa week two and sweet garden helpers

it's summer alright! we went from nice and moderate to scorching temps in the mid to upper 90's! i'm starting to wonder why i love summer so much? oh yeah, the fruits and veggies! what a nerd.=)

muth family farm's organic csa week two: frisee endive, baby bok choy, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, beets, basil, and green onions (they also offer their organic strawberries for $4 a quart.) 

this week i brought bub and ev to get the produce. (i love that shot of evie's little hand picking the purple pansy.) then we went to the community garden and they had the time of their lives choosing from a wide assortment of barrels and watering cans to drench the plants. good thing because i bet they're baking under that blazing sun today! thanks jt and evolet!

coming soon: june community garden update and a scrumptious dairy-free "dreamy" broccoli soup!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

wildflower earthly vegan fare

wildflower is an organic vegan bistro located in the glasstown arts district of millville, new jersey. it's a nice 45 minute ride south of us, past many farms and garden markets. wildflower's menu changes with the season and features locally grown produce. john and i ate there for the first time this weekend and shared tasty veggie filled wraps with a refreshing side of corn quinoa salad.

the cafe was really pretty with lots of personal touches. the owner made the big mural on the wall and i just loved how there were flowers everywhere!

roasted zucchini with pesto wrap, black bean chili hummus and avocado wrap, corn-collard quinoa salad with red peppers

the photo above and below are of surrounding cottages in the quaint center called village on high.

there was an artist's studio, some knick-knacky stores, a thrift store, and a very neat shoppe featuring handmade fares of local artists. i'm excited to go back and see what's in store this fall!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

farm to fork

someone needs to create a csa chopped. enough with the weird ingredients on that show - let's see what creative chefs do with a basket of locally grown food. i could really use the inspiration!

muth family farm's organic csa week one: broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, fennel, bok choy, chiogga beets, parsley and dill.

above was my attempt at a creative dinner - salad with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette (lettuce, sliced fennel tossed with dill and olive oil, and sliced avocado, perfectly ripe and oh so delicious).
it was very flavorful and the textures were nice, but it left us feeling hungry soon after. in hindsight i should have added pecans or something. what would you have added?

/strawberry balsamic vinaigrette/

2/3 C strawberries 
2 T extra virgin olive oil 
2 T balsamic vinegar
sweetener of choice, to taste 
salt and pepper, to taste 

blend ingredients well. for a nice touch, add a sprinkle of poppy seeds.

(did you notice my poppies in the first picture? they've bloomed!=)
this summer i'm going to challenge myself to use my produce more creatively and thoroughly, meaning little goes in the compost. plus i want to preserve more - those frozen bags of vegetables from last season saved us many a meal! also, i'd like to get kati eating more veggies. supposedly carrots and zucchini are great for cats! who knew?!

i hope you had a wonderful weekend. john and i took a trip to millville to eat at a yummy vegan cafe called wildlfower, and i took lots of pictures to share! so come back soon, ya hear?=)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

sweet peas and cat walking

our high scent sweet peas have finally bloomed and their smell is like heaven. the seeds were planted in march, when kati was just a dream. since i purchased one of the strongest smelling varieties, i fantasized that they'd attract a stray cat to our garden. naturally we'd call her sweet pea, she'd come in and stay with us and we'd live happily ever after, john, me and our sweet pea.=)

in reality, we got kati before the plants were three inches high, something's drawn to the garden and it's leaving three inch brown presents in the soil that i'm absentmindedly mooshing in my hands, and i can hardly go outside without someone meowing pitifully from the window.

so i was holding kati on the leash when i took the sweet pea photo. actually kati was yanking me, probably in the direction of a bird. she's obsessed. i will pay a hundred dollars for a cat toy that flies around indoors and mimics a bird. someone's gotta make those by now.

kati has gotten a lot better with her harness. there's room for improvement, but she's walking. when we first started she'd just stand or lie down. now she'll trot alongside of me! but mostly she wants to sniff, climb trees, lay under cars/bushes, and munch on grass/bugs. and of course, stalk birds.

what i've learned about cat walking:

take it slow. most cats do not like harnesses, but they do love treats. training your cat to accept the harness with treats is the first step, and it takes time. this article and video really helped.

be positive and patient. it's easy to get discouraged when your poor cat is trying to wiggle her cute little self out of the harness or she's hissing at you. remember that the rewards of safely taking your cat outside await you! keep telling yourself that it will happen, it just takes time.

it's a battle of wills. kati naturally wants to explore every area i don't want her to go (i.e. neighbor's yards, the street.) this is where we stand our ground for minutes until she finally caves and moves in another direction. i also stand in front of the direction she wants to go, and this usually makes her choose another route.

make sure the harness is tight, but comfortable. we tried one from petsmart that was too small and difficult to put on, so i returned it and ordered a nice walking jacket online. also, don't spray water near a cat. like a dummy i tried to powerwash and water the garden with her there. both times she flipped and got out of her harness. luckily i was able to catch her; now she wears her jacket a bit more snug.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

pressed flower bookmark

since reading kaylah's post last month, i've been pressing every flower i can get my hands on. it's so much easier than i imagined it would be. there are fancy flower presses out there, but i'm finding books work just fine. to keep the flowers from scattering all over, i fold them in tissue paper first. after about two weeks my flowers were dried.

for the bookmark i followed forever flowers, a nice book on flower pressing that i found at the library. i just glued the flowers on and when they were dry, i covered the whole surface with mod-podge. i'm going to give this bookmark to my grandmom. she loved to read and always bought me books. i'd buy her cute bookmarks at school book fairs as tokens of my appreciation. i can't wait to do more with pressed flowers!

Friday, June 8, 2012

friday harvest

escarole, beets, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, spinach and broccoli. 

today's harvest was a big one and included a fat ol' slug and nasty red beetles, blech. tomorrow i'll make raw sauerkraut with the cabbage and i'll save the beets 'til there's enough to pickle.

muth farm's organic csa starts monday. now i'll have no excuse to order out (but i'm sure i'll find one). bring on the veg!=)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...