Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Weekend's Bounty

Oh my, I am sorry for my sudden disappearance. It has been a crazy past couple of weeks involving both D and I going away on separate trips, my class coming to an end (meaning multiple papers due within a few days of each other), and lots of working. But now I have a few days off for B.C. Day, so I can share my life a bit more with you!

Today was the first market I have been to in two weeks, and boy am I glad I went! I was met with beets, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, and....

Raspberries! I bought a flat of the fat, juicy berries and have already been sampling! Raspberries are another berry with a short season where we simply fill our faces with them until there are no more to be found. I made jam last year and still have a ton of it, so these will be enjoyed fresh and baked into a few simple desserts.

I also made my way down to D's parents house, where they have their own personal grocery store in the backyard! I was given beans, lettuce, a green pepper, rhubarb, and the first of the apricots! Oh, we are going to be eating well this week! Here is a picture of some of the delicious produce:

Summer has been cool and rainy so far, but this past week has given me a bit of hope that we are finally in the midst of one of the greatest times of year!

How is your local produce doing? I will be back with an update on our tomato plants in the next few days!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Gray Weather

It has been awful weather here lately, so this post will be photo free because the grey and rainy weather just makes for terrible pictures! We seem to be missing out on summer here for some reason. Typically this time of year is met with temperatures in the mid thirties and endless sunshine. So far this year we have had one day above thirty and countless days of rain and thunderstorms. I am not a big fan of the heat, but I do enjoy the sunshine so I am missing it along with everyone else! This terrible weather has also had a huge effect on the farmers market. Strawberries were almost non existent (I was one of six people to get a flat from a local farm that usually sells easily 50 flats per year), and there has been no sign of the usual carrots, beets, or anything really besides lettuce and other greens.

I have been keeping busy inside though with school work. My class is ending in the next couple weeks so I have been cranking out papers and reading like crazy. It is kind of nice not longing to be outside while having to do school work, so there are some benefits to the grayness! As I sit here typing I can hear the rain pattering on the grass and there are low rumbles of thunder every few minutes. There is a cat snuggled up on a blanket next to me and a freshly emptied cup of tea in front of me. It almost feels like fall! Bizarre. Fall is my favourite time of the year, but it just feels wrong to be experiencing it in July!

We celebrated D's birthday earlier in the week with lunch out at an Indian restaurant, homemade dessert, and a night with his family. It was simple and wonderful. Otherwise things have been fairly routine around here. The tomatoes absolutely hate this weather, so they are at a bit of a standstill. All of them have teeny tiny tomatoes on them, and two of them have some the size of golf balls. I'm not sure if they will actually be given a chance to ripen from the lack of sunshine, but only time will tell. I will post photos of them as soon as it is a bit less drizzly out, but that isn't supposed to happen for another week or so.  

What have you been doing lately? How is your summer compared to ours?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday

Here is to a healthy, happy, joy filled year to my one and only on his birthday. I love you!

Us, about 2 years ago (one of my favourite pictures!)

Birthday Pie, Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter.

See You Soon,


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quiche Again!

Tonight, we had quiche for dinner again. I love quiche. It's a great way to use up lots of vegetables, and it feeds the two of us for at least 4 meals. This weeks was different from the last, as we are in the midst of different vegetable seasons at the market. This week's recipe is:

Summer Quiche

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup ice water

Pulse flour and salt together in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Slowly stream in water until dough is formed. Cover and let sit in the fridge while you get the filling ready.

6 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sliced broccoli
1 cup sliced swiss chard
small handful pea greens
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/2 small onion, sliced
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie shell that has been rolled out and placed into a greased pie plate. Bake at 375 F for about 45-60 minutes.

Have a lovely evening,


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Handmade Pasta and a Birthday Dinner

Earlier last month was my dad's 50th birthday. His request for a present? A home cooked meal in our new kitchen that included cupcakes. Done. I love to cook for family, and this was the first meal D and I have cooked for company since our new kitchen was installed. We had the dinner last weekend, and here are a few photos of the main dish being prepared.

The Menu

Handmade fettuccine with pesto sauce (frozen from last year's garden)
Handmade spaghetti with tomato sauce (tomatoes canned 2 summers ago)
Sauteed beet greens with garlic
Steamed broccoli with olive oil
Green Salad with radishes and cucumber
Strawberry Shortcake with vanilla cupcakes and ice cream

Unfortunately, I did not think to take photos of anything but the pasta making process. Trust me when I say it was delicious! All of the vegetables were from the market along with the strawberries. Everything was made and eaten with love.

Homemade pasta is one of my all time favourite meals. It truly tastes entirely different from store bought pasta, and is surprisingly easy to make. We received our pasta attachment for our mixer as a Christmas gift last year, but you could do this easily with a hand crank or by hand! I really encourage you to give it a try, it is delicious!

Pasta Dough

4 large eggs
1 tbsp. water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Place eggs, water, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix all together using either a wooden spoon or the dough hook attachment if using an electric mixer. Beat for 2 minutes with mixer, a bit longer by hand, until smooth dough forms. Hand knead for an additional 2 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes. Divide into 4 pieces and roll out to desired thickness. Cut into any size pasta. 

** We had to add a few more tablespoons of water to get it to come together, just do it by feel.

Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, until al dente.