2015 Garden in Review

2015 Garden in Review

With 2015 wrapped up and tucked away, I thought I’d share some photos of my garden, lessons I learned along the way, and the dreams bouncing around in my head for this coming year. When I started building raised beds last spring, I thought to myself… This is going to be my first real garden. It’s going to be neat and tidy, and I’ll be organized, and all the little plants will line up in a row and I’ll have time to cook a delicious, home grown meal every night. Yeah, right. What actually ended up happening: I had home grown plants (they grew everywhere, bunched up in the corners and some of them falling over on top of themselves….. not in neat little rows) and I ate home grown food. Not a fully cooked meal every night though. Usually, it was just munching on cherry tomatoes from the vine when I was frantically running around with a watering can, trying to make it to work on time. I learned 3 very important lessons from last year’s garden: 1. There’s no such thing as a real garden. All gardens are real. Put some herbs in a pot on your porch – that’s a garden. Plant arugula seeds near the fencing in your yard – that’s a garden. Grow microgreens and you have a garden. I won’t fool myself anymore into thinking that I need to have a designated space for growing. It’s certainly nice, and slightly easier to keep weeded. But completely unnecessary. Any amount of growing your own food is now in my mind a real garden. 2....
Five Meals to Take Camping this Summer.

Five Meals to Take Camping this Summer.

If you follow me on Instagram (ps I love you all!), you may remember me disappearing on a four-day camping trip near Moab, Utah. It was glorious for oh so many reasons, including: lack of internet (yes, it’s good for me to unplug sometimes, even if I don’t want to), good company, cozy campfires every night, slot canyons, sunshine and mountain trails. Oh, and did I mention amazing food?! I want to share with you how easy and simple it can be to pack delicious meals for your next outdoor adventure. Bring a small cooler, and pack the bottom with some dry ice – Why dry ice? It’s relatively inexpensive and it sumblimes (That’s a science word for “evaporates” – so you won’t end up with a swimming pool in your cooler (Not that I speak from experience or anything….). Plus, dry ice is awesome. Just be sure to keep plenty of padding between the ice and your veggies – otherwise they will freeze…. Five Easy Meals to take Camping this Summer 1. Oatmeal (And don’t forget the instant coffee, please). You can buy premade packets of quick-cooking oats in a variety of flavors, or you can buy plain oats, and add in your own favorite toppings. Oatmeal for breakfast = boil water, pour and stir. Voila! Breakfast. We topped our oats with trailmix and dried blueberries. Now that’s called winning at breakfast. 2. Sushi – Why not eat gourmet food on shower-less day #4 in the dessert? Prepare your favorite sushi rolls at home, but don’t slice them. Wrap each roll in seran wrap and then eat them...
Avocado & Parsley Salad Recipe

Avocado & Parsley Salad Recipe

Confession: I’m madly, deeply in love with avocados. In fact, I’m so in love with them that maybe someday, inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Ode to an Artichoke, I can see myself drafting an Ode to Avo. Sooooomeday…Maybe. Or… maybe not. In the meantime, I’ll just keep putting them on everything in site. Today, I felt like cutting differently. I halved, peeled, pitted and punched out avocado pieces with a cookie cutter. And then, I fell even more deeply in love the soft gradient of green to yellow that appeared on these mini circles. Because, some days after cutting, stabbing out the pit, slicing, smashing with a fork, stirring and more smashing, I forget about how delicate avocados can appear. I try to stay consistent with the food I cook most days… I like oats for breakfast when it’s cold out, smoothies for a snack if the sun is shining, and I try to pack a salad every day for my lunch at work. But on the days when I’m cooking at home, I like to get a little lost in it – and slice and dice things my way, however the mood happens to strike. This creativity can get buried in my daily survival food – aka: meals I make everyday to get through the week. Don’t get me wrong, they taste delicious, but when I think about cooking, I think about creating, about having fun with it. Some days that could be a three-course meal for my friends, made with whatever happens to be in the fridge, and some days, it’s just as simple as taking a cookie...
Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Some weeks I get stuck in a salad rut. I rely on the same tired ‘ole veggies on the bottom shelf until they’re almost as tired of me as I am of them. And then… I remember rice vinegar. This is a traditional Japanese quick-pickled cucumber salad. You can get as crazy as you want with the recipe. Craving some heat? Add in some ginger juice or diced chilis. Looking for more color? Add rainbow carrots, red bell peppers, radish slices, maybe even try some cabbage. Whatever veggies you use, be sure to slice as thinly as possible. Ingredients 1 cucumber (Persian or Japanese cucumbers are better, but an English cucumber will work as well) 1/4 tsp sea salt 3 Tbsp rice vinegar 1 Tbsp mirin (or sugar) 1/4 tsp shoyu (soy sauce) 1 tsp black (or white) sesame seeds, toasted Rainbow carrots (or other veggies of choice), optional Directions 1. Thinly slice cucumbers and carrots (if using). Add salt, stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then, squeeze all the liquid from the veggies, and set aside. 2. In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, mirin and shoyu together. Stir to combine. If using sugar, mix until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Be sure to adjust seasonings as there is quite the variety of shoyu and vinegar available. 3. Add vinegar mixture to cucumbers and carrots and mix well. Stir in sesame seeds. Eat immediately, or store, covered in the fridge for your next salad adventure. If you have leftover dressing, store it in a jar in the...
Make Tonight’s Dinner Sexy. DIY Microgreens.

Make Tonight’s Dinner Sexy. DIY Microgreens.

If you’re looking to take your dinner plate to the next level, nothing looks more beautiful than a lovely, edible garnish. And nothing is more delicious and gratifying than a homegrown garnish. Check out the Microgreens Tutorial I wrote for Simply Canning. All your questions answered in one place. Planting, growing and harvesting. You’re only one sunny windowsill and 30 seconds a day away from a sexy dinner plate. So, take it up a notch. You’ll love the results. FREE Monthly Inspiration? Hook Me Up! Email address: First Name: Last Name:...
Radish Greens and Clementine Salad

Radish Greens and Clementine Salad

If you’re looking for a crisp, refreshing salad to serve, grab a bunch of radishes and start chopping away. Radishes are usually sold with their greens still attached – have you ever tried eating these greens? They’re delicious! They have a slightly peppery flavor and pair well with a bit of fruit or some fruit-infused balsamic vinegar. If you pick up a bunch of spring radishes, you pretty much have a salad in your grocery basket. It just needs to be washed and chopped. Ingredients Salad 1 bunch radish greens 2 clementines, peeled and separated into segments 2-4 radishes, sliced into matchsticks Vinaigrette 1 Tbsp lemon infused olive oil 1 1/2 tsp strawberry infused balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp chives, green onions or shallots, minced 1 pinch sea salt Directions 1. Trim radish greens, wash and spin dry. Peel clementines and separate into segments. Wash the radishes and slice into matchsticks.  2. Combine radish greens, clementine segments and radishes. 3. Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette. If you don’t have an infused olive oil to use, you can add a tsp or so of lemon juice. Pour over your salad and enjoy! Soundtrack: Laura by Scissor Sisters...