Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly Menu

Monday: Black bean & sweet potato torta (in the crock pot)

Tuesday: Spinach & mushroom frittata w/tomato Bulgar soup

Wednesday: Pasta w/roasted veggies & fresh salad

Thursday: Left-overs

Friday: Italian bean & squash soup

Saturday: MI Harvest Beer Festival-eating out!

Sunday: Tunisian potato turnovers, fennel roasted beets, carrots & purple onion & an arugula salad

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekly Menu

Monday: Spinach, feta pie & Savannah beans and greens soup

Tuesday: Spinach & pesto risotto & fresh garden salad

Wednesday: Pasta w/leftover pesto & pine nuts & an arugula salad topped w/roasted pumpkin, currants, red onion, goat cheese, pepitas & maple vinaigrette

Thursday: Greg's cooking night

Friday: Homemade pizzas on the grill

Saturday: Pumpkin Curry Soup & salad

Sunday: Left-overs & block party

All of the pumpkins...well almost....

Here are almost all of the pumpkins we grew this year, two had already been given away at this point, so I would say we have a pretty successful pumpkin year!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where is the time going?????

Seriously, I feel as though it was the first day of school for my kids last week and they have been in school for a month and I have been in school now for 3 weeks. Yes, I have made it through my first 3 weeks of graduate school! Not quite sure how, but I have made it. And I decided that today would be a day off, my first day of no homework in 3 weeks and ahhh....feels nice; even though I know I have to hit the books hardcore tomorrow!

So with my "day off" I have done some canning, sewing, cleaning and now blogging. I just added a canning list in the sidebar to help track how much I have canned this year. AND I have been thumbing through cookbooks, one of my favorite past times. I like to read them like novels and a friend let me borrow Seasonal Desserts by Deborah Madison and A Year in the Life of a Vegetarian by Jack Bishop and OH MY GOSH!!! I NEED these cookbooks....LOVE both of them and don't even know where to start since everything in them sounds divine.

Enough rambling on and on...just checking in and hopefully I will get a chance to post my pictures of the pumpkins and maybe even a photo of a meal from one of these cookbooks and maybe even the sewing projects I have been working on. Okay, enough rambling on, I KNOW, I KNOW!

*Is it obvious that I have had a lot of coffee today?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weekly Menu

SO yes, a little late...but here it is...

Monday: Veggie lasagna w/ veggies from the garden & an arugula salad

Tuesday: Left overs & salad

Wednesday: Italian bean & squash soup, fresh bread & salad

Thursday: Greg's cooking night

Friday: Taco Soup (recipe below)

Saturday: Going to an Oktoberfest party!!!

Sunday: Farmstand Casserole w/fresh garden salad

*This is an adaptation of a recipe that I got ages ago from my sister-in-law. This recipe is so good, so fast and if your family loves taco night or chili they will love it!


1Quart or 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 large jar of Randall's northern beans ( or a quart of northern beans)

1 quart of pinto beans or 2 cans

1 can of kidney beans

1 to 1 1/2 cup of frozen corn

1 large diced onion

1 pkg. of taco seasoning

1pkg. of ranch seasoning

1 quart of water

Combine all things in a large pot and let simmer until the onions are soft. OR...I like to throw it all in the crock-pot in the morning and let cook on low heat all day. Enjoy topped with your favorite toppings and tortilla chips!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday Menu

Monday: Tomato, avocado & queso salad and Greek style veggies w/cannellini beans & orzo

Tuesday: Chilled avocado orange soup and red Thai curry

Wednesday: Fresh salad and pizzas on the grill

Thursday: Chickpea spinach curry

Friday: Arugula salad, Grilled potatoes w/tons of garlic & paprika, fresh MI corn on the cob, jerk tofu, Carolina Kale

Saturday: Cucumber & yogurt salad, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, kale sauteed w/onions & bulghur and mujudra

Sunday: Greg's night for dinner

Monday, August 23, 2010

When the garden gives you an abundence of carrots...


* These are the carrots that my gurl grew in her own 2ft. by 2 ft. garden bed...I still have to pull the 8 rows that I planted!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Garlic Scape Pesto

I LOVE garlic scape pesto and I usually have it made by this time of the year, but pine nuts have been difficult to find and I have been lazy. So today I spent the day in the kitchen and the pesto was 1st thing on the list to get accomplished.

Garlic Scapes:

Washed & chopped & ready to go:

Ready to throw it all in the processor:

The Finished Product:

If you love garlic and would like to make your own garlic scape pesto here is how I make it. You can substitute the pine nuts for walnuts or pecans if you prefer.

Garlic Scape Pesto:

8-9 scapes

1 C. of Parmesan

1/2- 3/4 C. of toasted pine nuts

1/2 C. chopped parsley leaves (no stems, too course)

Salt to taste

Put the scapes in the processor and chop then add the parsley and process it a little more. Then add in the nuts and process it until the nuts are chopped. Then add in the cheese and process it some more until it is all blended well, but still has texture. Turn the processor on and slowly add in the oil while it is running. At this point I always taste test it and continue adding nuts, cheese or salt until I get the consistency & flavor that I want. Now enjoy on sauteed veggies, fresh bread or pasta!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Menus

Menus are so hard for me in the summer because so much depends on what is ripe in the garden and what is in season at the market. So I am going to try to get back on track since school starts next week and we need to start getting back into a routine.

Monday: Veggie Nachos & a tomato, green bean & corn salad w/fresh basil & a Dijon vinaigrette

Tuesday: (having friends over for dinner) Cucumber & onion salad w/fresh dill, Arugula w/goat cheese & pecans, kale sauteed w/ caramelized onions, roasted fingerling potatoes w/tons of fresh garlic, Greek stuffed summer squash, & MI peach cobbler

Wednesday: left-overs & Greek salad

Thursday: Salad, Roasted onions & sweet potatoes, sauteed kale w/white beans & stuffed squash blossoms

Friday: Tomato, avocado & Queso Blanco salad, pizzas on the grill

Saturday: Egg noodles & steamed veggies for the kids (mom & dad's night out!)

Sunday: Arugula salad w/pine nuts, red onion, pears & chevre & pasta primavera


Monday, August 9, 2010

Fun for mom & the kids!

As anyone with young children knows, long car rides can be pretty painful at times. This year when we started planing our annual trip to Northern Michigan I started thinking of ways to keep the kids entertained in the car. I decided to make the kids some activities bags for vacation and fill them with plenty of books and art supplies for the trip. So here was one of my favorite sewing projects of this year; I am very happy with the way they turned out. You can find this AMAZING free pattern for messenger bags here:

Sorry it has been awhile

I haven't been into posted much lately as you all can see it has been pretty boring and nothing really interesting in terms of food, feminism or my sewing & material addiction. We took a nice long holiday and went to Northern Michigan and then my sister was in from Wyoming so life has been busy. This last week however was a week full of tragic news and drama from every angle and so instead of being social in any way, shape or form I decided to bury my head in a book and a sewing project.

Today is the beginning of a new week and I am trying to be hopeful of what will unfold this week...although I am still not feeling too social and I have moved on to a new book and a new sewing project. Pictures to come soon!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden Stroll

Here are a few pictures from my stroll through the garden this morning. I am starting to get very excited since I have harvested my first tomatoes this week as well as pounds of arugula, swiss chard, kale and now a few summer squash. It is once again extremely hot and humid today and although I need to finish weeding I think I am going to sit at the sewing machine today and finish up some projects. More on that later this week!

The Pumpkins

Here is the first pumpkin in the pumpkin patch. I can't believe how crazy the pumpkins are this year, thanks to all of the humidity and rain they are out of control and I hope to get a good picture from one of the windows on the second floor so you can see just how HUGE these pumpkin plants are.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday Menus...a few days late!

This week the kids have been in camp down at the Boll Family YMCA in downtown Detroit-LOVE IT!!! I meant the camp, but I would be lying if I said that Greg and I haven't enjoyed our days together without breaking up fights every 10 minutes or the constant whining. Oh the joys summer can bring: delicious fresh & local food, warm weather & C-A-M-P!!!!!! We have spent most of these last few days wandering around in the city and I will post on that at the end of the week with a special post on our favorite new and old place in the "D," but for now I will leave you with a new weekly menu and recipe.

Monday: Taco Night

Tuesday: Spanish saffron rice, sauteed kale w/ golden raisins & pine nuts & an arugula, tomato, cucumber & feta salad

Wednesday: Left-over rice, steamed broccoli, sauteed summer squash topped w/garlic scape pesto & panzanella salad

Thursday: Arugula tossed w/goat cheese, pine nuts & red onion & a balsamic vinaigrette, gratin of potato & summer squash w/Herbs de Provence & fresh bread

Friday: pear, fig & gorgonzola salad w/ homemade personal pizzas night

Saturday: Graduations Parties

Sunday: Watermelon, feta & mint salad & a sweet onion tart


serves 4

3 Tbsp. of e.v.o.o.
1 medium onion minced
1 1/2 C. long grain white rice
1 1/4 C. stock (Veggie or Chicken)
2 C. peeled, seeded & chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1 tsp. saffron threads
Coarse Salt ( I prefer Pink Salt for this dish...would love to try gray salt with it as well...)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C. roasted red peppers diced
1/4 C. Spanish green olives cut into thin strips
1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add rice and stir to coat the rice with oil for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high and add stock, 1 cup of water, the tomatoes, saffron & 1 tsp. of salt (Most of the time I use an extra cup of stock rather than water for extra flavor.) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed-about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and season to taste with fresh pepper.

Add the red peppers, olives and parsley to the rice and fluff and mix with a fork. Season to taste with pepper & serve.

*This is adapted from the cookbook: You Say Tomato by Joanne Weir

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Stroll Through the Garden

Tiger Lillies

Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Fig Tree

Wild Arugula

Kale and Chamomile

Rose Bush


White Echinacea

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Favorite Sewing Project

Okay so I know this isn't the best picture, but I had to
write about this Anna Marie Horner bag (Multi-Tasker Tote) that I just made. I LOVE it! Not only is it cute, and functional, but the realm of possibilities are endless with so many great fabrics out there right now. It was a fairly easy project that came together a lot faster than I expected. You can find the pattern here and while you are there check out her amazing fabrics, other patterns and blog. I have already planned on making another one for myself and a few for birthday presents this year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


For almost a month now we have been able to pick salad greens out of our garden every night for tasty and healthy salads. We have been eating loads of spinach and arugula with a little baby lettuce thrown in every few days. I can't seem to get enough of eating salad and I love being able to experiment with what is in season and in our freezer, fridge and pantry to top these beautiful greens. I thought I would share some of my favorite combinations:
*pumpkins or winter squash (from last season) cubed and oven roasted in oil, maple syrup & pepper flakes combined w/ sheep's milk feta, toasted pecans or pepitas & red onion w/ balsamic maple syrup vinaigrette
*goat cheese, fresh MI strawberries, toasted pecans, balsamic vinegar & e.v.o.o.
* oven-dried tomatoes (from last season), avocado, toasted pine-nuts, red onion w/ balsamic maple syrup vinaigrette
* straight up arugula w/goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, balsamic vinegar & e.v.o.o.
* fennel sliced very thin, white beans, oven-dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, lemon juice & e.v.o.o.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Healthy Lunches

Now that the kids are home I am determined to be on top of keeping our snacks and lunches healthy and diverse. So I will periodically be posting some easy, fun, and healthy snacks as well as lunch menus for all of those mamas and papas out there who are trying to do the same.

This is what we ate today...

Here are the recipes.

Yogurt Dip/Salad Dressing:

1 Cup of plain yogurt

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1-2 tsp. fresh dill

1 tsp. black pepper

salt to taste if you wish

*Combine & good for 2 days

Brown Rice Salad:

1 Cup of cooked brown rice

2 diced carrots

2 celery stalks diced

1 red, yellow or orange sweet bell pepper diced

1/2 red onion diced

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

fresh dill

1 clove mined garlic

rice vinegar


sea salt & pepper

Cook the brown rice and let cool. While the rice is cooking/cooling chop up all of the veggies and put in a large bowl. Toss the veggies in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and about 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Once the rice is cooled a bit add it to the veggies and mix well. Then add in the garlic, dill and pine nuts and mix well. At this point I do a lot of taste testing and continue to add rice vinegar, dill, salt and pepper till I get it where I want it. Enjoy!

New Look!

I LOVE this backdrop...but wondering if it is a little too busy? What do you all think? Please drop me some comments and let me know!

Even MORE Rhubarb!

10 1/2 lbs. of rhubarb =

2 quarts & 1 pint canned
6 half-pints of rhubarb ginger jam

6 cups of diced rhubarb in the freezer


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday Menus:

Monday: asparagus w/ lemon & oregano aoili, brown rice salad & a fresh spinach & arugula salad

Tuesday: orzo & pea soup, sauteed cabbage in bebar spice & arugula tossed w/aged balsamic vinegar, e.v.o.o. & goat cheese

Wednesday: Nachos & fresh salsa & guacamole

Thursday: Breakfast for dinner at the request of the kids-Sweet potato pancakes, fresh MI strawberries, yogurt & homemade granola

Friday: Cold avocado soup, panzenella salad, homemade bread w/ white bean spread

Saturday: Veggie Lasagna and salad

Sunday: left-overs

Sunday, June 6, 2010

3-2-1 COUNTDOWN!!!

Yes, we are in countdown mode here in our house due to the fact that school is done on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. We are all counting down for different reasons of course. The gurl can't wait to be done and have everyday to do what she wants to since she is "the boss;" the boy can't wait to have his sister home to play with everyday (which I am sure will not last long); dad can't wait for his work load to lighten since he works in administration at a school and all of the students and most faculty will be out of the building making the days easier; and mom is counting down MANY things such as my last few days with just me and the boy, the end of my quiet mornings, and possible the end of my sanity! So while they nap and the house is so peaceful and quiet I am enjoying this delicious dessert and "my" time because I know that is just a couple of days the chaos of summer begins!

This is a rhubarb kuchen that I blogged awhile ago. I finally made it this weekend and it was amazing. I altered the recipe a little because I wanted the custard filling to be a little thicker and richer so I added some creme friache' to it and oh good heaven is this tasty! I have been eating it for dessert, breakfast or basically whenever I feel like it!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Just a few things for you to think about...

Here are a few stats from the book Radical Homemakers:

75% of plant genetic diversity has been lost and 30% of livestock breeds area at risk of extinction

75% of the world's food comes from twelve plants and only five animal species

Six companies control 98% of the world's seed sales, four companies slaughter 81% of American beef, and four companies control 70% of American milk sales

66% of adult American are currently overweight or obese

Today's children are now the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Opting In: Having a Child Without Loosing Yourself

I just finished reading the book Opting In: Having a Child Without Loosing Yourself by Amy Richards and decided to share some thoughts about it since it got my feminist mama juices flowing. Let me just start by saying that I am a fan of Amy Richards. I think she has done some amazing work in the feminist community and she has been a role model and spokesperson for my generation of feminists, 3rd wave or 21st century feminists, whatever it is you may want to label us. She has been very outspoken on prominent issues in the movement and in her own life, and has taken her passion and activism for feminism to the pages and has written three books: Manifesta, and Grassroots: A Fieldguide for Feminist Activism, co-authored with Jennifer Baumgardner and her most recent book Opting In: Having a Child Without Loosing Yourself.

This book isn't that new of a book, it was actually published back in 2008. It was a book that I had read a review of it when published and wanted to buy, but put it on one of many book lists that have been lost or forgotten about. Recently while surfing Amazon, I came across this again and decided it was time to purchase it.

This book is an easy read, definitely not full of studies and academic jargon that will make your head spin. In my opinion is was written for new feminists and feminists who are new to motherhood. I say motherhood rather than parenthood because it really is directed toward mothers; even though she discusses issues such as the importance of partnership, letting dads be actively involved and the debate over using the word parenthood rather than motherhood, it is still intended for mothers to read. I also have to say that I believe the book is directed at heterosexual mothers. She touches on issues that may be important to feminist lesbian mothers, however, when discussing the role of partners, she speaks primarily from her own experiences which happen to be with a man and the father of her children. Even though this might be a turn-off for some feminists, I believe that the book would still be a worthy read since she does an excellent job of arguing this idea of "choice" applying to all areas of a womun's life; not just to reproductive rights.

She begins this book by approaching an issue that is difficult for many feminists - how to blend your feminist belief system with your own desires to become a mother. How to come to terms with "how such a political movement that is historically known to free womyn of feminine expressions can support such a personal decision that is seen as the ultimate feminine expression." She uses history, research, personal experiences of her own as well as friends and strangers (who have emailed her at AskAmy on to demonstrate how motherhood and feminism can co-exist in a womun's life.

As she moves through the book she ties the idea of "choice" into many different topics that it should be applied to such as working vs. staying home, pregnancy & birthing choices and gender issues. She also discusses the history of feminism and motherhood, the truth about our biological clocks, relationships between mothers and daughters, and practicing our politics through parenting.

I could take up a lot space and time writing about this book and my own opinion and experiences as a active, third-wave feminist mom, but I have done some of that in past posts. And I am sure I will do some more writing in the future on how I have struggled with blending these two identities and how I have learned to navigate motherhood from a feminist perspective and how I continue to grow and learn how beautifully these two identities can mesh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Menus

Monday: Menestra w/fresh bread

Tuesday: Grilled MI asparagus, eggplant & peppers w/ brown rice & fresh arugula salad

Wednesday: Greg's dinner night

Thursday: gazpacho w/tomato avocado salad

Friday: Mujudrah, spinach pies & Arabic potato salad

Saturday: MI Asparagus, Corn & tomato salad, quinoa black bean salad & tapas dishes

Sunday: Veggie Lasagna

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Everything Rhubarb

It is the time of year that rhubarb is in season here in Southeast MI and I plan to take full advantage of it! I love rhubarb and every since I made some tasty rhubarb turnovers last week, I have been itching to eat something rhubarb every day.
SO with the help from a friend who gave me 10 cups of frozen rhubarb from her freezer stash and the availability of it at the Eastern Farmer's Market I plan to definitely get my rhubarb fill.

Today I decided to bake a Rhubarb Crisp that I found on Mom's Kitchen, another MI Lady Blogger that has great food blog full of a lot of delicious recipes and information. I changed it up a bit by adding fresh minced ginger to the rhubarb mix rather than the ground ginger in the topping and I also used oat flour in the topping to make myself feel like this isn't that bad for me-fruit & oats are very healthy, right? :)

And here is a picture of it with a dollop of creme fraiche'...delicious!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fabric I am drooling over right now!

This is from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow fabric line and I bought this fabric to make the Anna Marie Horner Multi-task Tote for my mom not anticipating how much I would LOVE this is going to be very hard for me to let go of it!

This is from Laura Gunn's Poppy fabric collection and I AM IN LOVE!!! I have thought about all of the wonderful things I can do with this fabric and I am thinking of a few gifts for a few very special people and then a Multi-task tote for me. If I had a more money I would snag up every piece of this collection, so in love with it!

Here are a few fun fabrics that I couldn't resist. Starting from the left is a fabric by Alexander Henry Fabrics in the 2D Zoo collection, then there are the luna moths from the Flora & Fauna collection by Patty Young, Garden Party by Anna Marie Horner and then the snails from the Shade Garden collection by Michelie Engel Bencsko. These are basically for baby gifts, well except the garden party material...I bought that to make gorgeous napkins to go with my Fiestaware collection!