Each month I think to myself wow this month has been so crazy. Next month can't posibly be so crazy. Things are surely settling down!
June was another wild one. Lots of travel, lots of reunions with friends and family, plenty of stress with finishing up school for the quarter, family emergencies, etc. So many emotions this month. Some truly beautiful highlights and also some tough spots. Not as much time to cook at home this month, but lots of gathering inspiration from around the country. The magic of summer produce certainly had me swooning more than once. Let me tell you all about it.
I'm pretty much in love with this tzatziki recipe from Sarah Britton's cookbook My New Roots. I've made it twice and will probably have to throw together another batch pretty soon. I used it on homemade gyros, but it's equally welcome as a dip for veggies, pita, or anything else, or dolloped on the side of a salad. Sarah pairs it with a fabulous black lentil salad in her cookbook. I'm planning on posting the recipe up here any day now, so stay tuned....
One of my adventures this month took me to North Carolina to see family and hang out with lightening bugs. While there, actually at a fundraiser for women in agriculture (go female farmers! Wooooo!!!), I ran into the woman who we used to rent our house from when I was a kid. When I was between let's say four and eight or so we lived in a brick house in rural North Carolina, owned by a family who lived in the next house down the road. Long story short, it's been 22 years since I'd seen her last (I was eight when we moved to Alaska), so running into her was a big treat! A couple of days later my sister and I went to check out her new house (where an abandoned barn that I played in as a kid used to be), see the pond that we played in as kids, and generally reminisce. We got the chance to tour her unbelievable garden! Omg you guys. I am sooooo jelly of her garden. It is truly stunning. She told us all about how her son now works on a weed farm and has developed some crazy organic fertilizer that she uses on her vegetables. Hence this giant cabbage! Mind = blown. Honestly the whole experience was such a crazy trip down memory lane it was wild. Also, I love how the lil' purple cabbage is photobombing here. ;-)
Saw these gorgeous peaches at a giiiiiant farmer's market in Asheville on my first day there. I had only slept about four hours on the plane the night before so maybe everything felt a little brighter and more beautiful than usual... I couldn't resist snapping a pic of these babies. Sadly, we didn't get to eat these particular peaches because they were not grown organically (sigh), and according to my Auntie (who Knows Such Things), non organically grown peaches contain lots n lots of arsenic. Yuck. Apparently peaches are on the list of things you really really ought to only eat if it's organic. Good to know! Also, lesson: I am extremely lucky to live somewhere where most of the local produce available to me is organic. I recently overheard a conversation at a Seattle farmer's market between a customer and a vendor where the vendor was explaining that although their small farm was not certified organic, their practices exceeded certified organic standards. I definitely take stuff like this for granted! I get the sense in Seattle that many local farms are smaller and family owned, while in the rest of the country overall many farmer's markets sell food grown on large, industrialized commercial farms. These are all sweeping generalizations of course. It was a good reminder to be a little more mindful of how my food is grown- when in doubt ask questions! Interesting food for thought. Definitely gonna have to get my hands on some organic peaches ASAP.
warm shrimp salad
A stunning recipe from Mindy Fox's Salads: Beyond the Bowl cookbook. I got the chance to try out this recipe on a rare quiet evening at home. It was sooooooo delicious you guys. Will definitely be making it again soon. The shrimp was delectable and satisfying and the indian spiced lentils underneath were to die for. I love how creative Mindy is within the framework of salads! This one was a showstopper. Check her out, n check out her book. www.mindyfox.net
A simple lil' not-recipe that I was obsessed with in June. Ok fine I'm still pretty obsessed. Tortillas with refried beans and melted cheese, topped with shredded kale scrunched with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and maybe a dash of red pepper flakes. Boom. Done. Soooooooo good. It may sound weird but I found myself seriously craving these this month. They are so fast and easy to make, super filling and satisfying, and I think I can safely say they fall into the category of healthy-ish! What more could a girl want in life.
Speaking of kale. This was a quick breakfast I threw together during a crazy crazy week. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off between work, school, and taking care of some family stuff. I found myself alone at Mama's house and starving, so I started rooting around and this is what I came up with. Garlic, kale, eggs. Was just what the doctor ordered in that moment.
Ok. I guess I didn't realize how much kale I ate this month. What can I say, I love it! It may not be the trendy veg any longer, but it still has a big place in my heart... in fact of anything, it's growing on me! I mean, it's not literally growing on me. But if I could grow kale instead of hair on my head... I definitely would. Annnnnnnnyway..... I had a weird lip twitch at the height of some stress and after some quick internet-ing I decided I needed potassium. So, I threw a banana and some kale into my smoothie along with my yogurt and mango. My twitch eventually subsided. Case closed. #kalelife
This was a pretty grapefruit that I ate. That is all.
This was a lovely nectarine parfait I made for breakfast. When I am actually home I like to eat a good breakfast. When I'm traveling I subsist primarily on ice cream (and sometimes pie, but that's July talk). Anyway, this nectarine parfait was yummy and I kinda want to make another one right now.
So that's it! A little taste of my adventures in June. I know I keep talking about how crazy busy things have been... but seriously, now school is out and I'm done traveling for a while, so things (really, seriously) should be settling down a bit! Also... my CSA is starting this week! Woohoo!! So get ready for allllllll things veggie up in here as I attempt to control the vegetable tsunami that's about to take over my home! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
There's a Leek in the boat!!