Friday, August 28, 2009

Farewell Summer, Hello Fall

Summer is ending and I'm fine with that. I've discovered I'm not really a summer person. While I am NOT looking forward to buckling the kids in their car seats with bulky winter coats for 6 months, I think I'm ok with the other aspects of winter. My garden was slightly disappointing-- I was very lazy about it. I think next year I'm scaling back to tomatoes and herbs only. It's too much with the CSA produce delivery. I didn't enjoy going to the pool much and all our traveling happened so early in the summer it is now a distant memory. I'm alternately excited and nervous about the upcoming school year. Excited to get a new schedule underway already, hoping Talia will genuinely like Kindergarten and have a smooth transition, nervous that I'll never get her to school on time and she'll still "hate school" and not want to go and we'll struggle 5 days a week instead of the current 3. Lots of little things coming up in the next two months-- school, the Jewish holidays, a visit from my sister, a solo visit home to NJ/NY for a quick weekend, a solo trip with Ron to Puerto Rico, Halloween, etc.

This was a summer of milestones for Alex-- starting school, potty training and a full vocabulary. What a difference from June! I'm looking forward to spending some quality alone time with him once Talia is in school. I'm also looking forward to spending a little quality alone time with myself! I haven't spent any time in my sewing room this summer. Once again I'm backlogged with baby quilts (2 babies already born, one coming any moment, at least one other this fall and no quilts finished-- only two started) and I have a huge pile of ideas for clothes and home decorations that just gathers cobwebs in my mind. So, Farewell Summer and Hello Fall-- I'm ready for you!
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Giada's Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese

Um hmmmm. A nice red wine-y taste. Very filling. It's made with carrots, onion, red bell pepper, garlic/thyme/oregano, mushrooms (regular and dried-- important!), tomato paste, red wine and the trick is a little mascapone cheese mixed in. And parm of course. Here's the recipe...
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

If you are a dedicated reader of my blog (all 3 of you) you will remember that I hate potatoes (here too). That's not exactly true. I like potatoes somewhat, I just don't consider them healthy nor do I think of them as a vegetable. As a vegetarian, most of my main dishes either contain a grain- such as pasta, or are served over grains- such as couscous or rice. I don't, therefore, have any room on my plate for potatoes. That being said, if someone is going to serve me fries or mashed potatoes I'm not going to turn them down. I just wouldn't ever choose to make them. I do really like potato salad and I make it every so often but then I eat the whole thing and don't feel very good about myself. So far this summer we have gotten two bags of potatoes from the CSA. At this point they are pretty much still a novelty. If I am accurately remembering the amount of potatoes we got last year, they are soon to become loathsome.

The first batch of potatoes were made into "Burg's Potato Salad" from Orangette's book. I can't remember what was different about it from my own recipe but that's probably because Ron ate most of it before I could my hands on it. I do remember thinking it was a little labor intensive compared to my own which I love and can't stop eating, which is why I never make it (cook the shit out of the potatoes, mix it with mayo and hard-boiled eggs, mash it all up until it's the consistency of mashed potatoes and add lots of salt and fresh dill-- eat it while it's WARM!).

The second batch of potatoes got roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. It's not difficult but it takes an hour to cook and that seems like a silly amount of time to wait for breakfast. The key to roasted potatoes (or any roasted vegetable in my opinion) is to mix the vegetable with olive oil and seasonings in a big bowl BEFORE you put it in your roasting pan. If you do it straight on the roasting sheet you are missing out on really coating the potatoes well. You might have one less dish to clean but you'll miss out completely on flavor and crunchiness. I used my convection oven for this one, setting it to 400 (so it cooked at 375) and cooking them undisturbed for 20 minutes. Then I tossed them every 10 minutes for another 30 minutes (so, 50 minutes all together). Amazingly enough, EVERYONE in my family enjoyed them and begged for more. I don't think there is another food we have ever all eaten at the same time except pizza, which I don't love anyway. Even better, I sat on the back deck with the kids looking at books while we ate the potatoes and it seemed almost relaxing. Imagine that!
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Pretty Local

We had an almost completely local (and delicious) dinner:

- tomato basil mozzarella salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar: tomatoes and basil from my garden
-asian slaw: cabbage and carrot from our CSA, mint and cilantro from my garden
-green beans with lemon parsley gremolata: green beans from the CSA, parsley from the garden and local parmesan cheese (actually I used the recipe from How to Eat Supper but this one seems almost the same)
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Most delicious fennel beet salad

While trying to get through my CSA produce last week I searched for a fennel salad recipe online. Usually I just slice it thinly and serve it raw with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. One of the first hits I got was for this fennel beet salad. I decided to kill two birds with one stone (fennel and beets) and make it. I had very low expectations but it was EXCELLENT! Really tangy and delicious. I won't post the recipe here but I'll send you over to the website. The only change I made was that I didn't serve it over greens because I didn't have any. I would probably serve it without greens again. It was so simple and easy and yummy. And it used up my beets-- I like beets but they are such a pain to cook that I usually don't bother with them. Now I'm hoping to get some more fennel AND beets in my CSA box. Enjoy!
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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Look who wore underpants all day!

This morning was rainy and this afternoon was hot. We had no plans to do anything so... to change things up a bit we put Alex in underpants! He did great! I don't know if I'm ready to make the commitment. I should probably wait until winter, won't that be so much easier? Or is it easier now? He doesn't like the "little potty" so he pretty much needs me to help him get on the big potty. I rewarded him with a sticker if he tries and two M&M's if he actually goes. In order to see if he goes, I need to be in the room with him. Not that he would lie, but his reporting isn't that accurate. Talia didn't complain TOO MUCH about all the attention he was getting-- she was very supportive and she got two M&M's if he went also. Then again, Ron was around to help too. We'll see how things go today. It's nice to know that it IS possible!
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