Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fresh Kale

I picked up some fresh kale tonight at Farm to Family. I fell in love with kale last winter and have been impatiently waiting for kale to make an appearance at my favorite farmer's market. I squealed with delight when I saw it come in last week!

On my way home from assisting on a photo shoot this afternoon, I stopped in and picked up some veggies for the week and almost forgot my beloved kale!! Fortunately, I came to my senses and grabbed a few handfuls. I thought about blanching it but that doesn't add any flavor so I threw a recipe together! Hope you try some kale and enjoy it as much as I did tonight!

Fresh Kale

2 handfuls of fresh kale, on the stalk
1 purple onion, sliced or diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
olive oil

Heat the oil in a pan. Add onion and let it start to become translucent. Add minced garlic and stir. While this is cooking, cut your kale into bite size chunks. If you have long stalks, cut them down a bit. Once the onions are soft enough for your taste, add the kale. Stir the kale a few times to make sure it all cooks down. This should take about 4 minutes. You don't want the kale to be limp and soggy looking.

Remove from pan and serve. Top with some Parmesan cheese if desired.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Any other children of the 80's with a certain song stuck in their brains right now?

Remember the scene... she's dancing like she never danced before... sweat pouring off her... a force of physical power pushing through the pain to be the best...

Now, imagine me at my sewing machine.

Stop laughing.

Stop! It's true! I'm a sewing maniac lately.

I made a queen size quilt for my son, a full size quilt for my daughter, finished a lap blanket, made a table runner and a Christmas quilt. I started on a full size quilt called Cabin in the Woods and have also started a ragged edge charity quilt.

See? Maniac.

Check out the charity work. It's for a super important cause - a friend in need of a double lung transplant. If you don't want to purchase a blanket, please consider making a donation to her surgical fund. Even a few extra bucks would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Veggie success!

I really don't like brussell sprouts. Really don't like them. At all. When my mom made them, I would drown mine in A-1 Steak Sauce to make them tolerable.

Despite my intense dislike for brussell sprouts, tonight for dinner I made Sausage and Potato Roast and brussell sprouts marinara (minus the marinara). The key to the brussell sprouts is the bacon fat. I cooked up three slices of bacon (and ate two of them on the sly while no one was looking), then cooked the onions in the bacon fat. Once the dish was done, I crumbled the remaining, lonely bacon slice on top of the brussell sprouts and then added the Asiago cheese.

Little M ate four brussell sprouts! He wasn't happy about it and there was a tremendous amount of parental cajoling, threatening and bribing involved... but he ate them! Both kids ate their brussell sprouts as did Big M who hates this veggie as much as I do.

Who knows.. I might make squash next!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Following a few giveaways

I'm always excited about blog giveaways and always hope I'll win. But this time, I AM winning. I am going to win these fabrics and make some amazing quilts!

Feather & Cloth is giving away a full set of Amy Butler fat quarters. Look at all this loveliness! I see one or two pinks in there that I'd pull to make Shaggy's pink girlie quilt. But the rest will be incorporated into the modified Chrysanthemum quilt I am going to make for myself.

Pink Chalk Studio is also giving away some fat quarters. Can you believe how cute?!

I have plans for all of these fabrics!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

L5 S1

That is the location of my ruptured disk.

That is where the doctor sliced open my back yesterday morning and removed the ruptured part of the disk.

That will - hopefully - no longer be the epicenter of pain that has ruled my life for the past three years.

Yesterday morning I had a lumbar laminectomy. After years of anti-spasmodics, narcotic and non-narcotic pain killers, anti-inflammatories, chiropractic care and physical therapy, surgery was the only option left. My pain was becoming stronger every day and I was having fewer and fewer days without pain. I didn't want to do surgery but I had finally reached my last resort.

The doctor said that it was a rather large rupture so I'm glad that I had the surgery. I am eager to recover so I can get my life back. I've had so much anger and resentment that my life could come to a screeching halt at any time because of a twinge or turning the slightly the wrong way.

Right now, my recovery involves walking as often as I can, sitting and standing as much as I can tolerate it. It also involves post-op pain but all of the sciatic pain I was feeling.... gone! Poof! I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until my follow up appointment on the 13th. I have no desire to lift anything -- it hurts! After the appointment, I'll still have restrictions and will probably do some physical therapy.

I am so determined to do my best to make this surgery a success. I'm not taking any chances; I'm asking for help or just not doing things if I can't do them.

I have a lot of hope and positivity about this surgery. I'm ready to be me again!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Farm to Family Veggie Potatoes

I always try to find ways to sneak extra veggies into my family's food. I haven't been on top of this so much lately but I'm trying to do better - especially now that I have so many veggies from Farm to Family that I wouldn't normally buy. F2F has been a big part of helping widen my ingredient base.

Little M literally begged me to buy more vegetables this week. In particular, he asked for red potatoes so we could make mashed potatoes. I set him up at the sink and had him wash the potatoes for me and put the potatoes into a bowl so I could cut them. He was tickled pink! He got to help; he got to participate in cooking; and he got to play in water.

F2F Veggie Potatoes (bold items came from Farm 2 Family)

1 white squash
1 white bell pepper
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup shredded monteray jack cheese
red & new potatoes
milk or yogurt

Give the squash and pepper a small dice and sautee with salt and garlic in a small pan and a little olive oil. Once it's soft, set aside. Either add as is to the mashed potatoes or puree in the food processor. I had to puree because my kids don't like chunks in their mashed potatoes and would pick these veggies out.

Use enough red and new potatoes to feed your family. Boil and drain as you normally would for mashed potatoes.

Once the potatoes are done, mix in the veggie mix. Blend. Add in your cheeses, salt and pepper to taste, and milk (I used some yogurt I got from F2F). Blend and add more milk and butter until you get the consistency you want.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Butter Bean Burgers

I LOVE lima beans (aka butter beans). My kids, however, aren't very interested in trying new vegetables. I picked up some fresh butter beans today at the Farm to Family market and came home wondering how I could entice my kids to eat them.

A quick Google search on "how to cook butter beans" brought me to a recipe for butter bean burgers.

Interesting. I'm intrigued.

I modified the recipe to better work with my family and they were a huge hit! My son, who can spot a hidden veggie before it even leaves the kitchen, gobbled his burger down and liked it. I'll be making these more often!

Butter Bean Burgers

1 package of lima beans (approx 15 oz)
1/2 onion, diced
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 t crushed red pepper
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 c grated sharp cheddar
1 c Panko bread crumbs
1 egg

Sautee onion. Once the onion starts to soften, add the fresh lima beans and cook until the beans are tender. Dump them into the food processor and run it until the mix is a thick paste.

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add in cheddar, garlic and lima bean paste. Mix. Add whisked egg and mix in.

Form into patties and fry in a little bit of hot oil. Turn over and fry the other side once it's crispy.

Next time, I'm going to add some shredded carrot and diced green pepper into the lima bean mix. Might as well add as many veggies as I can!