Friday, October 30, 2009

Books I would like to get... recycled and used of course!

Here is a list of books that I would like to rent, pick up off Amazon used of course, or if anyone has any of these I would love to borrow!!

Fanny Farmer Baking Book (there is also the Fanny Farmer Cookbook that I am very interested in) I feel that this may be a classic that many kitchens should have.

A Homemade Life A very heavy hearted story about a young woman: Molly Wizenberg from Orangette who's father dies from cancer and she finds herself reaching for more than her graduate school in Seatle. She travels to Paris where she and her father had taken a very memorable trip to and she rediscovers the foodie in her. She tells of her experiences and her recipes.

Once Upon a Tart
offers 225 recipes from this famous shop in Manhatan. They specialize in their tarts, but they also feature recipes of delicious soups, salads, and muffins.

Vegetables Every Day
."If you find yourself in daily dread of how to fix those vegetables that Mom always told you to eat, your lifeline is here. Unique and tempting recipes are abundant in Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day. Throughout the book's 66 chapters--one for each vegetable he includes in the book--Bishop features the retail availability of the specific veggie, the best season to find the most flavorful choice, and which characteristics to look for in a good specimen. He also includes recommendations for best preparation and which spices and herbs will best support and enhance the flavor of the vegetable of choice."-Amazon

The Backyard Homestead will teach you how to grow organically right in your back yard! "And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor. From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts." -Amazon

Farm City.
In this utterly enchanting book, food writer Carpenter chronicles with grace and generosity her experiences as an urban farmer. With her boyfriend BillÖs help, her squatterÖs vegetable garden in one of the worst parts of the Bay Area evolved into further adventures in bee and poultry keeping in the desire for such staples as home-harvested honey, eggs and home-raised meat. The built-in difficulties also required dealing with the expected noise and mess as well as interference both human and animal. When one turkey survived to see, so to speak, its way to the Thanksgiving table, the success spurred Carpenter to rabbitry and a monthlong plan to eat from her own garden. Consistently drawing on her Idaho ranch roots and determined even in the face of bodily danger, her ambitions led to ownership and care of a brace of pigs straight out of E.B. White. She chronicles the animalsÖ slaughter with grace and sensitivity, their cooking and consumption with a gastronomeÖs passion, and elegantly folds in riches like urban farming history. Her way with narrative and details, like the oddly poetic names of chicken and watermelon breeds, gives her memoir an Annie Dillard lyricism, but itÖs the juxtaposition of the farming life with inner-city grit that elevates it to the realm of the magical.

Cradle to Cradle

Here is a list of books that I would like to rent, pick up off Amazon used of course, or if anyone has any of these I would love to borrow!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sick again...

I doesn't seem like it wants to go away. It started with a cough and now I have a fever. :( When it gets better I have much posting to do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Say Good Bye to Gourmet

I just recently discovered Gourmet magazine, and now Condé Naste is saying it's farewell to this very classy "gourmet" food magazine.

(Picture shown is of the October 2009 issue, unfortunately I couldn't find a good picture of the November issue and I don't have a scanner!)

On this note, I decided that I wanted to reap all of the last benefits I could by picking up their last issue EVER! The November 2009 is their last issue that they are distributing. (I KNOW, NO Holiday Cookies!)

I would definitely recommen this purchase to the foodies out there! They have many great recipes to enjoy our upcoming Thanksgiving!

With Christmas coming, and my newly discovered lack of knowledge... I am challenging myself to get more knowledgeable about the food magazines that are out there. What a great Christmas present for someone who loves food! On my list: Bon Appetit and Suveur. I am currently receiving Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Food Everyday, and Rachael Ray. They are all fantastic, but I did have to make a cut this year. I continued with both of the Marthas, but I did drop Rachael. I did this because Martha Stewart has more "hostess" tips, and I really like the hostess and recipe combo. Any favorites out there??? (They don't have to be food)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rough week

Sorry guys! I'm having a rough start to my week. I promise a new post soon!!

My room doesn't look quite like this, but it is getting too close...

To do this week:

Finish class readings, take three tests, catch up for next week
Clean my room
Make a roast (I will let you know the skinny on this one!)
Clean the kitchen

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thanks Martha for the Great Butternut Squash Recipes

Martha does it again.
These are some great butternut squash recipes to get you in the mood for Autumn! Check them out here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Herbs I was able to Save!

Hello, Parsley, Rosemary, and Mint, how wonderful of you to graze us with your presence.

These are the tough herbs that survived the first snow/frost that my garden had. Funeral arrangements were made for Basil and Lavender (I'm holding out for chives because I feel that they will hibernate and appear again!).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Something Brothy to Keep in Mind

I was following up with some of my favorite cooking websites today and I ran accross an interesting soup recipe from Lovely Morning and Orangette that I would like to try: Green Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices! Doesn't that sound delightful! But before I post about the spicy goodness 1. I would like to make it and see if I would change anything about it. 2. This post is actually about broth!

Where does the Green Lentil Soup come in to play you may ask? Well it calls for homemade broth, and it had a link to a great broth recipe! Check it out here.

I've always wanted to get a good soup broth to make of my own... muahahaha! But seriously I'm going to try this recipe sometime this week because I can feel the chilly weather in my bones.

Basic Vegetable Broth

1 ½ Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely sliced
1 small leek, white part only, coarsely sliced
½ stalk celery, coarsely sliced
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely sliced
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
8 cups cold water
1 Turkish bay leaf

In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrot, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the water and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are very soft, about 1 hour. Strain the broth through a sieve into a clean bowl or heatproof container, pressing down on the vegetables to extract all their juices. Let cool, uncovered. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week, or freeze for longer keeping.<BR/>

Yield: About 6 cups, give or take a little

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 Ways to Winterize Your Garden

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I'm working to be better dedicated on Monday's. They are always my hardest days to post.

Now that Autumn is here it is time for us to winterize our gardens just like we winterize our houses.

HowStuffWorks has been my most recent favorite website to literally find how anything works! This morning they are telling us How to Winterize our Gardens!

1. Plant Bulbs
These little lovelies need the time over winter to store nutrients in their roots for next years bloom. The word "bulb" refers to the organ-like shape that these plants start in. Bulbs range from daffodils to tulips and many more. Some are better at with-standing the cold than others, so make sure to check yours out. The blooming for them also vary by type. After you plant them, make sure to insulate them with some shredded leaves (shred your leaves by mowing them) after the first frost. The shredded leaves still give them breathability so it won't smother and kill the grass that is under the insulation. Bulbs are an easy "head-start" to your early planting!

2. Growing or Maintaining Wildflowers
Now is the time to maintain your perennial wildflowers that you have, or plant seeds for some that you want to see spring up next year. Growing and maintaining wildflowers is very similar to that of the bulbs. Mow any of the perennials that you wish to see again next year and insulate it with mulch or shredded leaves. You may even need to water some varieties. To learn more, I would recommend reading more specifically into species that you would particularly like to grow.

3. Herb Cover
This is the time of year when you should pull in your herbs to save for using in the Winter months, and to tend to until replanting next spring. I'll show you which ones I was able to save from the frost this year in a later post. Also- I still had some pepper plants that were still producing, and I would have brought them in the house too if I had a good window space open. Consider, if there are any plants still producing, which ones you would like to shelter to gain the last of the fruiting.

4. Lettuce Varieties
My goal this winter is to read up on the lettuce varieties... how they grow? What they need to flourish? Which ones are good for you? Etc.. They don't need a lot of space, so I feel that this is a good way to still keep veggies growing in the Winter! I will keep you posted on my adventures. Let me know if anyone has tried this out for themselves!

5. Succulent Challenge!
Succulents/Cacti are plants that need very little maintenance. Someone tell me if they have any great Succulents growing! Plant these guys to liven up your house to defeat the winter dull. I challenge you to name them! Why not even greet them in the morning! It has been proven that plants grow better when communicated with, weather its you singing to them, or them even hearing music. They just want some love!

6. Water Features
If you have any water features that can be damaged from the winter. You should consider winterizing these so you can enjoy them again next year. Shut down the water and remove the pump. Place the pump in a bucket of water to prevent seals from cracking.

7. Ground Cover
Ground cover are things such as shrubs, vines, perennials, bulbs, etc... These are things that may be sensitive to the harsh winter weathers, and many need to be insulated. The best insulation is fir bark, sawdust, bark, tree leaves, gravel and rocks (as I mentioned before, shredded leaves works too). You should apply this to the ground cover after it has been established. On that note, ground cover for regions with cold winters should be planted in the early spring. Mild areas should plant in the fall or winter months.

8. Shrubs
If the rain is scarce where you live, give the shrubs a good dose of water before frost comes. Use wind breaks on the plants that are young or moderately resilient plants. To make a wind break, stake the ground around the shrubs with wood stakes and use a material like burlap to wrap the shrubs. When there is no risk of frost, remove the wind break.

9. Evergreen Maintenance
HowStuffWorks recommends that evergreens get a good dose of water right before Autumn. Well established evergreens wouldn't require water to live through the winter. Evergreen leaves produce moisture all year long, so they are sensitive to cold winds. You could apply 4 inches of mulch around the evergreens to ensure better moisture for the tree and to prevent the soil from freezing. Whack down heavy snowfall that may bend and break the branches.

10. Weeding
I'm sorry if many of you thought you didn't have to worry about this now that Autumn and Winter are fast approaching, but the lawn maintenance that you do now will save you time in the early Spring. Rake the leaves that fall to prevent grass suffocation. Weed your garden now so that the weeds won't be there waiting when the snow melts and your perennials are starting to show. Dispose of any annuals that are not looking as lovely as they once were. Throw them in a compost bin or in the trash. Clean pots that were outdoors and store them in a nice dry place for next year. And make sure you have your winter equipment in the front of your closets!

Good bye hott Summer, and hello Autumn colors and hot coco!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Morning Inspiration

I am up and feeling way better today then yesterday! I think the Echinacea is finally kicking in! Another cup and I am on the go. I'm going to pick up bread at the New French Bakery for work today at D'lish! It is wonderful there. We have great fall produce, pumpkins, cute gourds, and squash of many shapes and sizes, and so much more!

By the way- the farmer's market and canning last night was a wonderful success! It took much longer than I thought but it was well worth it! Now we can have fresh tomato sauce in the winter! I also made applesauce. I used Haralson, Sweet 16s, and I think the third variety was the Stella. When I took the canning class, Anna told us that it works really great to use a variety of apples when making the apple sauce. This is a great sight to check out for learning more about our apples in Minnesota.

Morning Inspiration

If this doesn't get you in the mood for Autumn and Thanksgiving I don't know what will!

My sister's dog Riley doing dog yoga in the morning. (And the fact that there is actually dog yoga out there! )This should remind us that stretching is good for your soul. (This is not a picture of her actual dog, but it does look really close)

You are never too old to jump in leaves!

Get some of your weekend tasks done today that you put off on the last two days!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Home, Sick...

Creaping in since yesterday have been flu symptoms. I am now in bed cuddling up with a glass of Simply Apple Juice.

There are two things that I have discovered in the past two days in between trying to cram a lot of reading in and running to the store balancing a box of Kleenex's, cough drops, and all of the "sick prevention" beverages that I could think of.

1. I have heard many people preach Echinacea tea for when you get sick, so yesterday I drank 4 glasses hoping to nick this sickness before it worsened. I feel like it helped a bit. What is so special about Echinacea?

The Echinacea flower (commonly known as the coneflower looks like this. It is grown primarily in the Midwest. This is a great flower for many people to grow because it is so colorful, and it does have health benefits. Echinacea stimulates the immune system by increasing activity to your white blood cells which help battle viruses and bacteria that may cause sickness. It is also known to treat respiratory illnesses like colds. I also read here to drink Echinacea tea about 2-3 times a day to gain it's benefits. (Looks like the rumors are true!). Coneflower is definately going into my garden this summer!

2. Simply Apple Juice is the best juice!

It is so good and so good for you! It is so natural and isn't caulk full of nasty preservatives and sugars to make the flavor fake. It is made of pure pressed apples. No concentrated stuff. No added sugars. Simply also makes a variety of other juices here! They are a little on the higher price point, but if you are a juice feen or the occasional juicer you must try this! It is like having your very own juiced apples! With their natural sweet taste. The website says it best:

"It isn't like the apple juice you've always known. It doesn't look the like apple juice you've always known. Or taste like it. It tastes like biting into a crisp, juicy, perfectly ripe apple.
Made from 100% pure apple, Simply Apple is never sweetened and never concentrated."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Something else...

If anyone has a really good recipe or some advice for me I would love to hear feedback! Try my recipies and let me know what you like, didn't like, changed, if you could follow my directions and actually make something the way it looks in the pictures!

You can email me:

You can post a comment on my blog. You can click on the place where it says "0 Comments" or "4 Comments" and then you can write something in the box and then click the drop down box to Name/URL (URL-which really just means who you email through ex: or or )
Any one can comment! (email me if you have questions)

Adding to the weekend board:

1. See Wednesday's post (Canning 101)

2. Homemade chili (Dan's mums savory recipe) CHECK! I did this on Friday....spicy food is supposed to be really good at clearing your sinuses as long as you can stomach spicy when you are sick.

3. Dig up and transfer some of my living pepper plants- (Too late. Woke up to snow this morning!)

5. Halloween party planning... date, who, and what foods (hopefully Martha can help with this one!)

Canning 101

With the summer season cooling rapidly, I bet many people are rushing around trying to squeeze in the last little bit of summer's food juices (literally!).

My exciting summer garden adventures are over and the Minneapolis farmers markets are starting to taper.... so its time to start PRESERVING!!! I am lucky because I have always been so close to my grandmas' great cannings that I haven't even given canning much more of a thought. I still get some canning from them, but I have to wait for such a long time in between that I wish I knew more about the underrated art!

My inspiration sparked from work one day (Local D'lish). Ann (the owner) decided to contact one of Minneapolis's well-known healthy living/eating experts Anna Dvorak. This woman is amazing and so inspirational. Check her out here and here! Fantastic artist as well!

The class was great. Ann and her daughter CC, Anna, and I canned all night long! It was very nice because we got to do a lot of hands-on to really learn the tricks and techniques. At the end of the night we walked home with a tasty treat! (A jar of concord grape jelly!) We even used organic sugar!! I'll let you know how my canning goes this weekend!

List of things to can before fall:

Tomatoes (stat!)

Apples (while the pickin' is good!)

Some fruits... (the farmers market will show me what there is now!)

Wish me luck at the Farmers Market this Saturday!!! Depending on how early I want to wake up I will either go to the Midtown Farmers Market or the NE Farmers Market!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall foods are beginning...

I have been trying to dive into using more fall produce to take advantage of what our seasons give us. So here is my second attempt (first attempt see Squash soup recipe)! It was amazing. A little spicy and very versatile!

The recipe was taken from Epicurious online and tweaked to Dan and my liking.


1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 garlic cloves (flexible for garlic lovers and haters), minced

1 t. ground cumin

1/2 t ground coriander

1/8 t cayenne (for the spicy kick!)

3/4 t salt

2 T chopped fresh cilantro (if you don't have fresh use less dry, but fresh is SO worth it!)

What I added as extra: (I would suggest putting your fav. veggies in this Moroccan Spice Sauce! Make more sauce if you want!)

1 medium scallop

2 chicken breasts

some broccoli (depending entirely on how much you like)

a few zucchini slices

2 corn ears

pepper (we used yellow because that was what was about to go bad), thinly sliced

Sriracha sauce (on the meal at the very end)

2 t olive oil

Cut holes in the squash with a sharp knife all around the outside and set it in a pan to bake in the oven for about 1hr on 375 degrees F. After the squash has been baking for about 15 mins you can start the rest of the cooking.
While the squash is baking, simmer butter with onion and garlic until transparent. Add remaining spices and let simmer. Boil water and put in broccoli and corn. Corn for 3 mins, and broccoli until softened. Fry chicken breasts in oil. Take corn out of water and set aside. After the sauce has been simmering for about 5 mins ad zucchini slices and peppers (or what ever veggies you have ready). Let this simmer on med low for about 10 mins to soften them a little bit.
Take the squash out of the oven and cut it in half the long way. Scoup out the seeds and start using a fork to scrape at the soft flesh. As you are scraping, put the spaghetti looking squash flesh into a separate bowl. When the squash is all scraped out add the sauce, chicken, broccoli, and the corn (we cut the corn off of the cob and mixed it into the whole shebang!). And Serve!