Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Adventures in the Kitchen: CSA Week #5

The farm that we get our CSA box from is about 3 hours away from our house. But the farmer does a drop for 10 families in our area at a house that is about a mile from our house. So today Rebekah and I took a walk up to get our veggie box. And since my parents are in town for the week, they came with us too. A family walk (well, minus Daniel who is hard at work) and some fresh veggies make for a great summer day! Here is what is in this week's box:

Beets, lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, tomatoes, and some black raspberries! 

I don't think I have every had black raspberries before. They are a bit smaller than red raspberries, and a little sweeter too. Yum! 

Tonight for dinner we are having Inside Out Egg Rolls like these ones from Nutmeg Notebook  because we are still trying to use a few things from last week's box, like cabbage and green onions. 

And I'm pretty excited for the beets in this box!  I LOVE beets. I know, it's kinda a weird thing to love. I like them just cooked with a little honey. Or Roasted. Or on salad. 
I just discovered a blog called My Heart Beets, and it has tons of beet recipes!
Beets are just so pretty, and added to any dish make is such a pretty purple/pink color! 
Do you like beets?
Do you have a favorite way to eat beets? 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Adventures in Life: Crying Over Cantaloupe

Memories are a funny thing. I can be going along, in the middle of a normal day, and suddenly something I  see/hear/smell brings to mind a vivid memory. (Am I the only one that this happens to?!)

It happened to me yesterday, while I was cutting up a cantaloupe.

In the summer when I was growing up, I got to spend some time at my grandparent's house. A few days of just Gramma, Grandpa, me...and my little brother too. And one of my most favorite things to do with my Gramma Seger was to cook with her. She was an amazing cook. I am trying to think of something that she made that I didn't like...but I can't remember a single thing. She made the best of everything.

As you know, in order to cook, you need groceries. So she would take me with her into town to the little grocery store. I loved helping my Gramma at the grocery store. Everyone there knew her, because she worked occasionally as the sample lady. And I'm pretty sure she was the world's best sample lady...she always let kids have 2 samples! Ok, I'm getting off track - back to cantaloupe.

Whenever we were at the store my Gramma would always have me pick the cantaloupe. As we walked up to the bin in the fruit area she would say that she could never pick a good one, and that I was the best cantaloupe picker she had ever seen. She would say if I picked the melon, she knew it would be a good one.

I took my melon picking job very seriously, studying each one carefully. Looking, feeling, smelling for the best one in the bin, because Gramma said that I always found the best one.

Yesterday, as I was cutting a perfectly ripe cantaloupe that I had picked out, the memory of our trips to the grocery store came flooding back into my mind.

And I burst into tears...because I realized that those times with her, picking out melons, were so much more than just some fruit. She made me feel special. She encouraged me. She helped me develop confidence in my abilities...

Sure, it might have just been about the fruit then, and she might have been bad at picking out melons, but because she let me do it, I felt like I was contributing in an unique way to our meal. Another way in a long list of ways that she made me feel special.

So today, I am SO thankful that I have so many wonderful memories of the times that I got to spend with my Gramma Seger. And that even thought she has been gone from this earth for a few years now, I am thankful that I'm still learning lessons that she taught me long ago...even when they make me cry over my cantaloupe!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adventures in the Kitchen: CSA Week #4

I might have said this before, but getting this CSA box every Wednesday has made me much more excited about planning and cooking dinner! I've been loving trying new recipes and planning on how to get all these veggies into our meals. So here is this week's box

New potatoes, green cabbage, radishes, peas, onion, kale, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries. 

Can I just stop and say that those little baby cucumbers are like the cutest things ever! And the yellow squash this week is like picture perfect. Such a pretty yellow color. 

The last time we got kale in our box we pretty much just used it in salads and smoothies. But this time I would like to try something new. Maybe these Kale & Quinoa Patties I found at Making It With Danielle 

We just finished the last of the sweet slaw that I made with the purple cabbage in last weeks box. I think I am going to cook a little more with this cabbage - maybe make some Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole like this one at Giver Recipe

Or maybe even just roasting some cabbage steaks - I've been big into roasting vegetables lately. I roasted the cauliflower from last weeks box and it was so yummy! 

How do you use cabbage and kale? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adventures in Food: Sweet Slaw

Growing up I was never a big fan of coleslaw. When it came as a side dish at a restaurant, I would usually pass it along to a family member to enjoy. But in recent years, I have come to really enjoy a good, crisp, fresh coleslaw. My sister-in-law came up with a different twist on the traditional coleslaw a few years ago, and I wanted to share the recipe with you. I've started calling it sweet slaw...

Isn't it pretty! This is the first time I have made it with purple cabbage, and I'm loving the color! So girly and purple/pink! We had a purple cabbage in our CSA box last week and I knew right away that I was going to use half of it to make some sweet slaw.

Depending on how many people you are feeding, you will want to adjust the ingredients accordingly. I made a fairly large batch because Daniel likes to take this in his lunch and it lasts in the refrigerator for a few days.

Slaw Ingredients:
1/2 of a head of cabbage (any color works)
1 apple (any kind works - I used honey crisp)
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion (any kind works - I used a purple onion)
1 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:
3/4 cup mayonnaise 
3 Tablespoons vinegar 
2 Tablespoons white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

All you have to do is chop or shred the cabbage and apple - I actually used my food processor! It really depends on how you like your coleslaw. Some people like small pieces of cabbage (so use the shredder) and some people like the larger strings of cabbage (so just chop with a knife). Add in the thinly sliced onion and dried cranberries. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl, and pour over the fruit/veggie mixture and toss. Ta-da! Sweet slaw! 

This is a great dish to bring to a summer BBQ - it's gluten free and dairy free so most anyone will be able to enjoy it! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Adventures in Faith: Thankful Thursday

Sometimes I get caught up in life. Does that ever happen to you? Each day is filled with tasks that I need to get done. Right now it is things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, making sure Rebekah doesn't eat something she shouldn't... 

And at the end of the day, my head hits my pillow, and my brain is filled with the thoughts of the tasks I didn't get done. Feelings of frustration about having to push things to the next day. Anxiety about not getting enough done...and I forget to be thankful. 

I forget to be thankful that God has provided us with more than enough clothes to wear and a washing machine to clean them in. 

Lord, help me to be thankful for laundry. 

I forget to be thankful that God has provided us with more than enough food to fill our tummies...and even extra for Rebekah to throw on the floor...but I'm trying to teacher her not to do that!

Lord, help me be thankful for cooking. 

I forget to be thankful for the house God has provided for us to live in. Thankful that I have a bathroom to clean, and that Rebekah has toys that I can pick up. 

Lord, help me be thankful for cleaning. 

However, most nights, before I drift off to sleep, I do remember to thank God for my wonderful husband and our sweet Rebekah. I am so thankful that He has allowed me to have a hard working husband who supports me staying home to raise our daughter. 

I am SO thankful that He has entrusted the sweetest little girl there ever was to her daddy and I. 

I am thankful for the smiles and giggles we all share every day. 

Lord, thank you for my family. 
I am so thankful! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Adventures in the Kitchen: CSA Box #3

Last week we had a few things in our CSA (community supported agriculture) box that were not on our normal grocery list, but we used and enjoyed every bit of our box. I have found myself much more excited to cook meals at home having new and exciting ingredients to work with! 

After some searching, I decided to roast the radishes along with some cut up sweet potatoes. I tossed them in some olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 25 min - and they were so yummy! In the same meal we also grilled one of the summer squashes and some pork chops. 
As you can see Rebekah could hardly keep her hands off the yummy food!

The box this week was super full - here's what we've got: 

Strawberries, green onions, lettuce, spinach, peas, zucchini, yellow summer squash, tomato, cauliflower, new potatoes...and a mystery item! Anyone have any guesses as to what these little guys are? 
At first I thought they were giant chives. But the stems are not flexible like chives are. I bit into one and they have a garlic flavor...but I'm just not sure what they are! What do you think? 

Besides our mystery item, most of the things this week are fairly normal ingredients in our kitchen. 

I'm thinking of using the tomatoes and some basil from my own plant to make some Caprese Pasta like this one from Diethood...but with gluten free pasta...and dairy free cheese for Daniel. 

A favorite in our house is rosemary and chive smashed potatoes similar to this recipe on The Comfort of Cooking, and I think the new potatoes will be perfect for this!

And I'm planning on making my sister-in-law's apple craisin coleslaw with the cabbage - and I will share pictures and the recipe when I do. It's a super yummy summer side dish! 

Well, I'm off to wash the lettuce and spinach from this weeks box, and then plan what to make for dinner! 
Happy CSA Wednesday! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Adventures of Rebekah: 10 months old

Dear Rebekah,
You are 10 months old - today! (Momma is on the ball this month!)

This past month has been a busy one! 

The highlight of our month was taking a road trip to Minnesota. The first leg of our road trip was just you and Momma. (Daddy had to stay home to work). And you are a very good road trip buddy! We drove 5 hours together to Wabasha, MN where we met Gramma and Papa Ron and a whole lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins for your Great-Grandpa Seger's 83rd Birthday.

{Road Trip Buddies!}

{My Grandpa with almost all of his great-grandchildren. My cousin Leah took this epic picture! Can you spot Rebekah?} 

{swimming in the hotel pool with Papa Ron}

Then we went to Gramma and Papa Ron's house to spend the rest of the week with them. Daddy joined us half way though the week and we had a fun mini vacation. 
{Knocking down towers at Gramma's House}

{Meeting New Friends ~ Molly and Rebekah}

You got to meet some new friends while we were in MN, and it was so fun watching you play with babies who are about the same age as you. You are very curious about other babies...and not very gentile with them. 
This month has been pretty exciting in the food category. You got to try fish, chicken, beans, zucchini, broccoli, pancakes, rice, and a few other new things. Rebekah, girl, you LOVE to eat! When it's time to eat, your zoom over to your booster seat in your walker, lifting your hands up in the air for me to pick you up. As soon as you are in your seat, you little legs start to kick, and your little lips start to smack. Getting your squirmy little body buckled in and your bib on can be a challenge when you are so excited to eat! Your little fingers grab the food off of your tray and put it straight into your munching mouth. Most of the meal time is filled with the sound of your smacking lips and a loud "mmmmmmmm" sound that you make when you are enjoying what you are eating. 

Since the weather is warmer now, we are spending more time outside! You love to go for walks, visit the park, and sit with mommy on the front steps and watch for daddy to get home from.

You are just the best little shopping buddy there ever was. One day we went to get flowers at the flower store to plant in the front window box.

And we took our first trip to our local swimming pool. 

And mommy put your hair in your first pony tail!

Each month you just get more and more fun to play with. Oh, I almost forgot, you learned how to do peek-a-boo all by yourself this month. It is so cute - you hold a blanket or other toy over your eyes and when I say "where is Rebekah" you pull it away and I say "peek-a-boo!" and you just laugh and laugh.

You are also learning the meanings of things that mommy and daddy say. The most recent one is "let your pee-pee's out". It started when I would take off your diaper to change you, if I would say the magic phrase about half of the time you would do it! So just in the past few days we got a little potty and we are practicing "letting your pee-pee's out on the potty". And you do!!! (Only about half of the time - but it's pretty exciting for mommy and daddy!) 

You must be growing so much because for most of this month you were waking up 2 times a night to nurse - and you were so hungry each time! Mommy loves spending time with you in the middle of the night, when everything is quiet and peaceful...but I will be very thankful when you start sleeping through the night again!

Mommy and Daddy love you so very much, our sweet girl! We can hardly believe that your first birthday is coming up! 

(10 month outtakes - you were very interested in the sticker this month and were very good at taking it off!)