Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've never been much of a collector. While my home is filled overfilled with stuff (and I hoard fabric of course), I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to decorative display items. I have beautiful built in glass display cabinets and yet I have no idea what to put in them. Recently, however, I've started collecting unique measuring spoons and measuring cups. There are some really cute ones out there and it's been lots of fun trying to find them.

I think collecting in this day and age is actually way too easy. Assuming the items you collect are inexpensive, finding and purchasing them is as simple as clicking a button on ebay. I feel like I've exhausted all the obvious venues (ebay, etsy, Anthropologie, Pier One, google searches) and it will now be more challenging.

I have a bunch more to show off in another post. These are some of my favorites-- the chicks especially! Let me know if you can think of other places to look for new ones!

What are you collecting these days? Do you think collecting is easier now than when you were a kid, before the internet?
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Stay at home weekend

We had a family portrait session

Did some reading

Worked on some art projects

Tried to roll over

Caught a caterpillar

Put together a new puzzle

Played with a new toy

Wrote and illustrated a story about the aforementioned caterpillar

Also: went to the farmers' market, played in the sprinkler, rode bikes, grilled dinner, worked on a quilt, went running (Ron, not me!), attended a birthday party (Talia) and spent lots of quality time together. Sometimes weekends in which we stay home feel a little claustrophobic but this one felt relaxing. Now if I could just figure out why and apply that knowledge to the upcoming summer...
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

CSA Week 2: Greens with Potatoes, Corn and a Fried Egg

One of the things I like so much about getting a CSA share is that it forces me to discover new recipes that become family favorites (and by family I mean only Ron and me). For example, Lentil-Rhubarb Soup has become a monthly staple in our house and I only discovered it because I wanted to use rhubarb without making dessert. Soy-Roasted Radishes, Grilled eggplant salad and Green Beans Gremolata all came out of necessity. This year we opted for a Spring CSA share as well as the summer share. The spring share has a lot of greens. A lot. I don't like bitter greens so much. I try to use them right away and am thankful they cook up from a huge batch into almost nothing. This week I took a recipe from the MACSAC cookbook From Asparagus to Zucchini and it was delicious. Then again, anything with a fried egg on top is delicious.

Greens and Potatoes with Fried Egg (recipe from book mentioned above-- this is from my memory...)

1 potato
bunches of greens
2 eggs

I sliced the potato and microwaved is for a minute or two to soften it and then I fried it up with regular garlic and the green garlic from the CSA. I added all the greens-- a bag of spinach and another huge bunch of... I don't even know what it was- the braising greens mix? I added a little water to wilt down the greens. Then I threw in half a bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Corn and some paprika. When everything was cooked through, I removed it from the pan and fried two eggs. This made 2 servings with a little bit of the potato and greens mixture alone for lunch the next day.

Here's what else I got in the CSA:
Scallions, one bunch
Easter Egg Radishes, one bunch
Braising Greens Mix, one bunch
Broccoli Raab, one bunch
Dill, one bunch
Green Garlic, one stalk
Elegance Salad Mix, one bag
Spinach, one bag
Kale mix, one bunch
Micro Greens Mix, clamshell
(Tatsoi, Pea Shoots, Carrot Greens, Beet Greens, Viola Flowers)
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CSA Week 1: Spring Greens


radish salad with cucumbers and tofu

Sauteed bok choy, shiitakes, tofu and broccolini

Sauteed greens with pine nuts and balsamic

This is the third year in a row that we have joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture- a co-op where you but into a farm for the year and you receive a box of their produce each week during the growing season). I like the challenge of tackling the box each week, trying to use the produce up before the week is through and another box comes our way. I've discovered new vegetables and new recipes that have become family favorites. It changed what I look for in a cookbook-- now I prefer them to be organized by season and also preferably organized by vegetable too. Each year I've tried to document on this blog what I received in the box and how I used it. Each year I fell off the wagon pretty quickly. So, once again, I'm going to give it a try....

This year we switched from Vermont Valley Farm to Keewaydin Farms for three reasons-- most importantly, Keewaydin delivers on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays. That way I can "fill in" whatever vegetables I didn't get from the farmer's market in Middleton on Thursdays. There are no farmer's markets in Madison on Fridays and I would always have to go to the grocery store and buy conventional or mostly non-local produce for the weekend. Another reason is that Vermont Valley has too many potatoes. Everyone knows how I feel about potatoes. Lastly, Keewaydin has a drop off site at my friend Annemarie's Bloom Bakeshop in Middleton and I wanted to have a connection to the shop (see my birds hanging in a corner there!). We are also receiving fresh local eggs and goat cheese every other week.

So, what did we get this first week?

Scallions, Cilantro, Dill
French Breakfast Radishes
Clam Shell of Micro Greens Mix(Rainbow Beet, Tatsoi, Mustard Greens, Pea Shoots, Carrots)
Bag of Baby Romaine
Bag of Spring Salad Mix (variety of flavors)
Bundle of Braising Salad Greens Mix
Sml Bundle of Spinach, Chard, Kale Mix
Bundle of Broccoli Raab
2 Red Bok Choy

Nothing I made this week was particularly amazing...

- Radish salad with cucumbers and tofu
- Sauteed bok choy, shiitakes, tofu and broccolini with a soy-rice vinegar sauce served over pasta (Actually this was pretty good)
- Sauteed greens with pine nuts and balsamic
- Toasted baguette with fresh goat cheese, tomatoes and micro greens (This was delicious)
- Salads, of course

That leaves only some spring mix and the baby romaine, which we will have tonight. Just in time for this week's box although I fear it will be more of the same...
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Friday, May 07, 2010

Alex turns 3!

We had sushi and ice cream cake with Alex's best friend Penny and her family. Compared with Talia at age three or just two months ago when she turned 6, Alex really got the shaft. I did not fill his room with balloons as I did for Talia. His presents were not wrapped, there was no card. He did not have a party with 20 friends. I didn't even make his "3" shirt until the day of his actual birthday. I did make him two "3" shirts though. And, truthfully, while Talia's "big present" was an American Girl doll she wanted (and never plays with), Alex is getting something twice as expensive and possibly better- Ron ordered him a Kettler Go Kart. As least, I think that's what it is because it hasn't arrived yet and it's 5 days PAST Alex's birthday. That's what you get for being the middle child. Considering I AM the middle child of my family, I'm getting lots of lessons about what it might have been like for me!
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

yada yada yada

I'm just going to yada yada over the last month. Yes, I had (have?) postpartum depression. Yes, I'm doing much much (MUCH) better. So, yada yada yada, Shayna is almost three months old, Alex turned 3 and spring is here. I missed out on some things over the last month but I'm not going to dwell on any of it. We have made some positive changes in our household; namely we hired a nanny to help out three days a week. She hasn't started yet but I have such high hopes! The kids became a tiny bit more self-reliant which is always good and Ron really stepped up to the plate. More on Alex's pitiful birthday celebration (ok, not pitiful in and of itself but compared to Talia) when I have another moment. Whew.