Monday, May 31, 2010

earthly delights: csa bounty week 2

here is this week's csa share from
~ earthly delights farm ~
forellenshuss romaine lettuce
pirat butterhead lettuce
red giant west indian mustard greens
mizuna bunch
red pac choi (it's really bok choi)
a mix of spinach, arugula, and purple orach (mountain spinach)
one long spring onion
broccoli (just a little)
rainbow chard
sage (for making sage butter - yum!)
easter egg radishes

it's all amazing,
but i want to share two of the highlights:

pirat butterhead lettuce
look how lovely it is!

purple orach
(a.k.a. mountain spinach)
we are familiar with this only because
casey & lori introduced us to it last year.
this is something that i never would have tried
or even heard of were it not for our beloved csa farm.
this has a mild taste that it very slightly salty.
it is really quite delicious & it MUST be good for us,
just look at the color!
want to find out more about our farm?  click here
want to find out more about csa's?  click here

Sunday, May 30, 2010


i ♥ popcorn

made the right way, with the right stuff

popped on the stovetop
with butter & yeast & salt.

are you ready to ask me about the nutritional yeast?
now, don't knock it til you try it.
it might look like fish food flakes...
but it's buttery & nutty.
hippie food, i know.
i love it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
okay, a few notes on my "method":

in my opinion, the whirley-pop is the very best
(because it has a little arm that spins around
to keep the popcorn moving on the bottom of the pan)
but any heavy bottomed pot with a lid will work, just keep it moving.

1. drizzle canola oil in the bottom of the pan
(2 Tblsp maybe)
2. over high heat, toss in a few kernels
(they will pop when the oil is hot)
3. when kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn
(mine works best with 1/2 c)
4. turn the crank even before you hear popping
(this is loud & keeps getting louder as the popcorn pops)
5. lift it off of the direct heat when it's almost finished
(to avoid scorching)
6. dump the popcorn into a big bowl
& sprinkle with butter, yeast, & salt!
☼ YUM! ☼

i use
spectrum canola oil (another thing i buy in bulk at my co-op)
yellow popcorn (also bulk)
melted butter
nutritional yeast (bulk)
popcorn salt (extra-fine salt, great for french fries, too!)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

kinetic sculpture race - arcata, ca

in arcata today,
the noon whistle blew
as it does every day.
but today's whistle signalled
the start
of the 42nd annual
►kinetic sculpture race◄
a 3-day race
along the roads and beaches and waterways 
of northern california.
the race is held every memorial day weekend,
beginning saturday on the arcata plaza
and ending monday in downtown ferndale.
(photos are mine from 2007)

here's ned watching the race in 2007 (he was 2):
i lived there for many years
and this unbelievably cool race
which fuses
full-on wackiness
is the pinnacle of the creativity and diversity
that defines life in arcata.

 to check out the official website
with live streaming video.

a few things you need to know
about the kinetic sculpture race:
1. all machines must be solely human-powered
2. some of the teams spend all year building their machines
3. there is a kinetic sculpture museum in ferndale
4. there is a rutabaga queen
5. machines & teams are judged based on criteria such as:
kinetic thrills, humor, theatrics,
glory, crowd appeal, and bribes for the judges
6. there are 7 pages of rules (click here to read them).
one of my favorites is this one:
Since mothers are discouraged from running alongside,
racers must carry a comforting item of Psychological Luxury
no smaller than a restaurant coffee cup at all times.
An old security blanket (your "binkie", or whatever you called it!),
a soft teddy-bear or sock doll will suffice.
"Teddy Bears" are highly recommended
or an unreasonable facsimile thereof.

(please note: the name of the race has been officially changed to
"kinetic grand championship" for some complicated legal reasons.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

old mother hubbard

do you ever
to run out of groceries?
i have been putting off a shopping trip for a few days,
and making a concerted effort to polish off what we've got
before buying more.
we are out of a few essentials:
whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and salt.
we have one egg, one banana, and one orange.
we have about 3/4 cup of cheerios left.

i like to do this for several reasons:

1. it is
to make do with what we have,

2. it stimulates my
"what can i make with 4 carrots, 2 eggs, and 1 can of white beans?",

3. it creates
empty space
in my fridge & pantry
so i can wipe the shelves clean & take inventory.

today, in the midst of the clean-out, ned's lunch was
~ banana houses with peanut butter roofs ~
no bread required!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

♥ missy ♥

i have a best friend.
her name is missy.
i have known her forever.
♥ i love her lots. ♥
after 6 long months,
t o d a y
is her
would you please celebrate this day with me?
stand up right now
and pretend like you're at a baseball game...
let's do
~the wave~
((buh-bye, cancer.))

if you want to send missy your own good wishes,
you can leave her a message in my comments below,
you can email her here:
or you can mail her a note here:
missy gruen
p.o. box 119
kneeland, ca  95549

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

lunchbox notes

i've been tucking these into my kids' lunches
for more than a decade now.
i'm sort of a pro.
ned starts kindergarten in the fall,
so i'm looking at many more years of
~lunchbox notes~
my mom used to write a note on my napkin.
she would also write my name on my brown paper lunch sack
with a little mouse hiding somewhere in the letters.
(thanks, mom!)

here's how i do it:

blank 3 x 5 index cards / stickers / scissors / double-stick tape

fold an index card in half - peel & stick a sticker on the front.

"bubble cut" a sticker for your child to peel when they open it.
(cut around the outside of the sticker, leaving it stuck to the sheet.)
stick it to the inside of the card with double-stick tape.

♥ then, write a little note. ♥

my notes usually say
"hope you're having a good day"
"i'm thinking about you right now"

some of my all-time favorites are:
"eat more, talk less"

"roses are red, violets are blue,
please eat your apple, and your carrot, too."

or a kid-friendly joke:
"what do police use to arrest pigs?"
(you can write the answer on the back...)

"what time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?"
"time to get a new fence"

these little notes are good for big kids & grown-ups, too.
hide one inside
a book
or a pocket
or a wallet 
or a suitcase

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

earthly delights: csa bounty week 1

we are so very STOKED.
monday was our first csa pickup of the season.
what's a csa? 
i'm glad you asked...
csa stands for
~community supported agriculture~

here's the deal:
we pay our farmers in advance for the entire growing season,
then we get a "share" of the weekly harvest from the farm.
for us, it is a
◄scrumptious fruit & veggie subscription►
for our farmers, it is a
◄sustainable business model►
and for our community, it is a
◄vibrant local food system►

our incredibly cool farm here in boise is called
earthly delights farm
you can click here to check out the earthly delights website

these are our fab farmers, casey & lori (& norm, the dog)
casey & lori, with the help of several farm interns,
grow our food in a few urban lots & yards in northwest boise.
we are eternally grateful to them
for giving us the opportunity to be a part of something amazing.

our share from week 1:
forellenschuss lettuce head, red oak leaf lettuce head,
mizuna bunch, arugula bunch,
red giant west indian mustard greens,
pac choi, red russian kale, a big spring onion,
french breakfast radishes, flowering chives, rhubarb,
and a cherry tomato plant (to grow at home).

and here's where i might rant a bit...
do you want to make a difference in the world?
it's all about L♥Ve, really...
do you L♥Ve our planet?
do you L♥Ve where you live?
do you L♥Ve the food you eat?

share the L♥Ve by joining a csa in your town.
go to to find a csa farm near you.
you'll be supporting your local economy and locally grown food.
~ L♥Ve your farmer ~ L♥Ve yourself ~

Monday, May 24, 2010

marmite on rye toast

it's nothing new,
but i am obsessed
marmite on rye toast.
my children balk.
i do not care.
it is, to my taste,
dear marmite,
if loving you is wrong,
i don't want to be right.
yours truly,

Sunday, May 23, 2010


is it bad to admit that i had never played
until last night?
i found a vintage parcheesi game
(with all the pieces) 
at one of my favorite thrift stores.

i have a thing for vintage game boards,
so i knew i would use it
in a vignette somewhere in my house
even if we didn't like the game.
{are you checking out how insanely cool the game board is?}

i played last night with marian (10) and ned (5).
we were learning the game as we went.

despite the fact that it has a few complicated rules,
it was instantly fun & we can't wait to play again.

during our game, i had several conversations with ned
about being a good sport (which he found difficult).
i made up a new rule:
if a person starts to feel like whining "no fair!"
they must stand up & do a little parcheesi dance.
~it worked wonders~

Saturday, May 22, 2010

mr. kung fu

ned said,
when i was doing dat kung fu move, 
i kine-a punched myself in da eye.

Friday, May 21, 2010

marinara...'s what's for dinner.
tonight, marian has a friend here for a sleepover,
so she requested a special dinner:
pasta with homemade marinara
it's a small thing, really,
but it warms my heart that my 10-year-old
1. notices what i cook
2. likes what i cook
3. thinks it's special enough to serve company.
the recipe came from giada,
but over the years i have made a few changes.
i wanted the recipe to be easy to divide,
for times when i only have 1 can of tomatoes
or only 1 onion
or only a little bit of olive oil left.
i streamlined the recipe to have 4 of everything
(or 1 cup of olive oil, which is really 4/4 cup).
it's funny, though, because i just peeked at the online recipe
and it seems that she made the very same changes.
oh, well...
it was her recipe, and it still is.
marinara sauce
1 cup olive oil
4 onions - chopped
4 garlic cloves - minced
4 celery stalks - chopped
4 carrots - chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cans of tomatoes (i use 28 oz cans, san marzano variety)
4 bay leaves
heat olive oil in your biggest, heaviest soup pot.
saute onions & garlic with some salt & pepper (10 min).
add celery & carrots with more salt & pepper (10 min).
add tomatoes & bay leaves.
(one hour? two hours? more? do what you like.)
(did you remove the bay leaves?)
using a stick blender, blend until smooth.
adjust salt & pepper.
at this point, i take out what i need for dinner,
warm some cream & whisk it in with loads of grated parmesan.
i freeze the rest for future pasta dinners
& also for pizza (recipe coming soon).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the margarigio: a pinot grigio margarita

several weeks ago, i wanted a margarita,
but didn't have the ingredients to make one.
i had pinot grigio & limeade.
i did not expect it to be good at all.
well, guess what? 
so, here is my recipe for:
~ the margarigio ~
simple version:
to a glass of crushed ice,
add pinot grigio to 3/4 full,
top with limeade.
fancy version:
add a salt rim & lime wedge.
☼ cheers! ☼

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

i dig it: bota box

     for quite a while, i have been quite a fan of
here's why:
the wine is very good (award winning, no less)
it is a great deal (one box = 4 bottles and costs less than $20.00)
i dig the "flextrap" spigot
the packaging is very eco-friendly
and, did i mention that the wine is very good?

my favorite is their
~ pinot grigio ~
i will post a quick-easy-cheap-delicious
cocktail recipe using this wine.
having collected a few empty botas, ahem,
i couldn't stop my wheels from spinning...
so, here are a few of my
☼ repurposeful tips ☼

empty bota boxes are great as is
for storing & dispensing plastic bags for reuse
or you can cut the ends off & use as containers
i like to punch a few holes,
then connect two together to make a sorting bin:

please note:
the makers of bota box did not pay me to review their wine
or give instructions for repurposing their boxes
but they are more than welcome to do so.

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