Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Abundant Harvest (for you, Mom)

This is for you Mom.  I don't mean to rub it in or make you jealous or anything, but you're always curious to know what's in my weekly Harvest box.  so, here it is:

3 beets
1 bunch red leaf lettuce
1 bowl of spinach (bowl not included)
2 small heads of broccoli
1 large head broccoli
1 bunch of sage
1 bunch of something that looks like grass (it sort of tastes like garlic)
2 small Sweet potatos
1 large Sweet potato
5 Fuyu persimmons
1 small bunch of carrots
2 large apples
1 small apple
3 large Russet potatos

the box as it looks from the truck

the unpacked produce

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Meant to Take a Picture

So, tonight was the annual Calvary Chapel Family potluck.  I signed up to bring stuffing and green bean casserole.  My goal was to not go to the store for any ingredients.  So, in the freezer I had a half bag leeks, a bag of artichoke hearts, and multi grain artisan bread.  In the refrigerator I had two leftover sausage patties from breakfast on Friday, a half eaten sweet potato, one roasted acorn squash, fresh green beans from my weekly delivery of organic produce, toasted pumpkin seeds, shaved Parmesan cheese, a half can of chicken broth, a quarter box of vegetable stock and some leftover honey butter I took home after eating breadsticks at the local pizza joint.  In the cupboard I had some Panko breadcrumbs.  I started with the stuffing.

"Leftover" Potluck Stuffing

2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 bag frozen leeks
3/4 loaf of multi grain artisan bread cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 baked and peeled sweet potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small roasted acorn squash cut up
2 small pre-cooked sausage patties
3 Tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
vegetable or chicken stock
sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper

cook off the leeks in butter
add the potato, squash, sausage, seasoning and spices
warm through
add stock
add bread
warm through
transfer to a large bowl
add pumpkin seeds
mix well
add more stock or seasoning if necessary
transfer to
a prepared 9x13 baking dish
dot top with honey butter
bake at 350 for 30 minutes
remove cover
add more stock if it seems dry
bake another 15 minutes or until top is browned

Carrie's Green Bean Casserole

2 Tablespoons butter
1 bag frozen Trader Joe's artichokes, defrosted and chopped
1 lb. fresh green beans
2 cups seasoned bechamel with nutmeg and red pepper chili flakes added
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

cook off artichokes in butter
set aside
parboil green beans
set aside
make bechamel
add the artichokes and green beans to saucepan
warm through
transfer to a prepared medium sized casserole dish
set aside
melt butter
set aside
put Panko and Parmesan in a bowl
add melted butter
mix well
spread breadcrumb mixture over the top of green bean and artichoke mixture
bake at 350 for 30 minutes
bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown

Both recipes turned out really well.  Green beans and artichokes do seem an unlikely combination, but it worked!  They were very tasty and I almost reached my goal.  The only thing I needed from the store was milk for the bechamel.  I love challenges like that and I like them even better when they work out.  :)

I Love You Guys.  <3 <3 <3

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It Only Took Two Days

It seems I've been lobbying to have this gargantuan tree removed from our backyard since the day we moved in.  The day finally arrived (nine years later).  Last Tuesday Drake from Ridgecrest Tree Service was hired to remove the enormous Eucalyptus tree from our backyard.  And he was successful.

Here he is on the first morning of his arrival sizing up the monster tree and calculating his plan.

He brought his wife and son to help.  They're on the ground.  Drake is in the tree.  This was taken a couple of hours after they began.

 This is the end of day one.

This is the end of day two.  Bye-bye tree.  Hello warm winters.  We had a friend come by to take some of the wood.  He filled up the back of his full sized pick-up and the piles look exactly the same.  That is a lot of wood!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Have a Mouse on Your Head!

Natalie decided to get in on the action.

There's Natalie with her Dillon's Candy Store shorts on.

 Of course a Pokeball

and Speedy! 

More Practicing

I spent some more time practicing painting for Monday night.

Fat Headed Snake-ee Poo.  I did some touch-ups later on.  It looked a bit better.  Greener.

 Princess Crown Mask.  Imagine John as a little girl.  =P

Harvest Pumkin


Butterfly too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Face Painting?

John and I volunteer every year to help out at Calvary Chapel's Harvest Festival that we host every Halloween. Last year we manned the cotton candy stand. By the end of the night we were covered in pink sugar!

This year we are manning the face painting station. I started practicing tonight. Here's what I have so far.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Dyed Eggs

These are not Martha's eggs.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vegetarian Chili

I've been craving chili for some a couple weeks now. I don't eat beef so . . . I looked for a vegetarian recipe online, but was not satisfied so . . . using a variety of recipes I came up with this one that turned out to be totally satisfying for me.

Here is the recipe for you:

Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 white onion - diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 red bell pepper - diced
1 green bell pepper - diced
1 large carrot - diced
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans kidney beans - drained
2 15 oz. cans black beans - drained
3 cups water
2 teaspoons Bisquick
1 teaspoon cornmeal

in a large pot
cook diced onion in heated oil until soft
add spices
cook until spices are toasted a bit
add diced vegetables
cook 3-4 minutes
add crushed tomatoes
warm through
add drained beans
warm through
add water
simmer for 10 minutes
in a small dish
combine Bisquick and cornmeal
add hot liquid until "soupy"
add the Bisquick mixture to the pot
if needed whisk to remove any lumps
simmer for another 10 minutes or until desired thickness is reached

suggested toppings: grated cheese, sour cream, green onion, cilantro . . . yummy!


This cornbread recipe was learned from a Country Cooks show with Chris Kimball on Create (a public television channel). It's a Southern cornbread recipe (the kind with no sugar added); which, in my opinion, is hard to find so, I wrote it down. And made it.

Southern Cornbread

2 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

on a large baking sheet toast cornmeal until slightly browned
in a large bowl combine toasted cornmeal and buttermilk
set aside
in a cast iron skillet heat oil until hot
add butter put back in oven until melted
reserve 2 tablespoons of oil/butter mixture
add remaining oil/butter mixture to the cornmeal/buttermilk mixture
also add combined baking powder, baking soda and salt mixture
then add eggs
whisk to combine
add reserved 2 tablespoons of oil/butter mixture to warmed skillet
pour completed mixture into heated/prepared cast iron skillet
bake for 10-12 minutes

cool, turn out, cut, enjoy!

This bread has so much corn flavor it's unbelievalbe.

Try it, you'll like it.