Monday, June 30, 2014

June Focus: Food (Round 2)

In May I took on the challenge of learning about FOOD. It turned out to be so much info that I extended it to June. Here is what I read/watched this month:

Read: Make the Bread, Buy the Butter
Watched: Fork Over Knives
Read: Fork Over Knives Cookbook
Read: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Read: Food Rules
Reading: Cooked 

There is still so much to learn about food, but I think it is time for me to move on to my next theme. For July I am going to be focusing on memoirs. Let me know if you have any good memoirs to recommend!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Adorable Vegetable Finger Puppets

Since I don't get to see my niece and nephews very often, I like to bring them something handmade when I do. This past trip home, I made a set of finger puppets to give them. My nephew always says that he wants to be a farmer when he grows up so I made a set of vegetables and also a set of farm animals (I'll post about them later).

When I saw this, I just couldn't resist making my own because they are just so cute! I'm pretty sure my nephew didn't quite know what all of these veggies were but what better way to learn about them, right?!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

No Sew DIY Shirt Revamp

I've had this shirt for quite some time. It is hard to see in the picture, but the neck has kind of a twisted edge to it that sometimes gets too twisted. I was going to toss it out but I got an idea that I could maybe flip it upside down and use the bottom elastic as the top for a strapless tank. So I cut from armpit to armpit and flipped it upside down. And there we go!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy Zucchini and Cauliflower Curry Recipe

My husband whipped this recipe up one night and I loved it. Curry is one of my favorite flavors both to smell and to eat--so it is extra wonderful anticipating this recipe while it cooks and then also getting to eat it. This recipe came from Telltale Farm.

You will need:

1 ½ tablespoons Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Cumin
½ large red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
One 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 zucchinis
1 heaping cup cauliflower florets
1 carrot
¼ cup coconut milk
Chopped parsley for garnish 

Here is what you need to do:

1. Heat oil in large sauté pan. Add cumin. Immediately add chopped onions. Cook on medium heat till the onions are lightly browned.
2. While the onions are cooking, puree the tomatoes. Place the canned tomatoes in a blender. Fill the empty tomato can with water, pour this into the blender as well. Puree well. You should have about 30 oz of puree now. Set aside.
3. When the onions are browned, add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add curry powder and stir another 10 seconds. Then pour in pureed tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, partially cover the pan with a lid and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes or till the sauce thickens a little.
4. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Cut the zucchini into 3/4th inch rounds. Peel and cut the carrot into ½ inch pieces. Break up the cauliflower into florets. Toss the vegetables in the curry sauce, cover and cook till the zucchini is soft, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the coconut milk. For an extra creamy curry, add 1/2 cup coconut milk instead of the 1/4 stated in this recipe. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot with rice or pita bread.

Friday, June 20, 2014

DIY Men's Shirt to Tank Revamp

I saw this tutorial over here and decided to give it a try on another one of the shirts I nabbed from my husband's discard pile a few weeks back. The tutorial is really helpful and easy to follow along with.  And now I have a new tank top to wear!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

Check out this gorgeous salad!

 Surprisingly, I have never made my own salad dressing before. I say surprisingly is so easy that I have no idea why I never made any. It feels great actually knowing what I'm putting on my salad instead of just dousing it with dressing that has a gazillion preservatives in it and who knows what else.

 This recipe comes once again from the Telltale Farms newsletter that coincides with our CSA box. The picture above utilizes the lettuce, strawberries, garlic, and thyme that we received in our box.

You will need:

3 Tablespoons of lemon juice

Lemon zest from half a lemon

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

3 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons rice or balsamic vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2. While you are whisking, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue whisking until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Correct the seasonings (you might want to add more vinegar or honey) and add salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

No Sew DIY Dress Revamp

I swear this is the easiest revamp I've ever done.

I've had this dress for a long time and I never really liked how it looked on me.  It always felt like the bottom weighed down the top making it hang funny. So I decided to just chop that bottom part off. And voilĂ ! I now have a tank top that can breath easy without that heavy bottom frill!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Greens Croquettes

This was another recipe that came with our CSA box from Telltale Farm. We made something vaguely similar to this a while back with broccoli so I was eager to try these. Overall, I don't think they are very attractive but they are delicious!

You will need:

2 bunches leaves of mixed greens (we used collards and kale!)

2-3 garlic gloves, finely chopped

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup cheese, grated

2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs, plus extra

Salt and Pepper


What you do:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and then add the greens in order of coarseness. Cook until just wilted, no more than a minute or ninety seconds. Drain thoroughly. Allow the greens to cool, and then roughly chop.

In a mixing bowl, combine the greens, garlic, eggs, cheese, pepper, and approximately half of the breadcrumbs. If the mixture is too wet to form cakes, gradually add more bread crumbs until it is possible to mold the mixture. Form small patties, roughly the size of a small hamburger, and set aside.

Over medium heat, cover the bottom of a cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan with oil. Add a few of the cakes to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd it. Cook for approximately five minutes, or until browned, flip the cakes and cook an additional five minutes to brown the other side. Repeat until cakes are cooked.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Easy DIY T-Shirt Revamp

I bought this shirt several years ago because it is has that perfect t-shirt feel to it. The problem was...I never liked how it fit. The neck was just too tight and the sleeves were too long. So what did I do? I cut the neck wider and cut the sleeves shorter. It is amazing what three chops can do to a t-shirt. It is now one of my favorite tees in my closet!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

White Beans with Greens

This recipe comes from the newsletter of Telltale Farm--as do the vegetables that we used in the recipe! This mixture is so tasty. I had it for dinner and for lunch the next day and wished we had more of it again for dinner that night!

You will need: 

2 (12 oz) cans white beans, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch kale, cut into wide ribbons
Fresh ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Grated Parmesan for topping

Follow these steps:

Heat the oil over med-high heat in the widest skillet available. Add the beans to the hot pan and stir to coat the beans with the oil. Let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion softens. Stir in the greens and cook until just beginning to wilt. Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous dose of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with grated parmesan.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Beautiful CSA Box!

Look at all this tasty produce that we've gotten so far from our CSA box! Since this is our first time participating in the CSA program and weren't sure if we could keep up with it--we opted to get the box for only one person. And it has really turned out to be a great size for us. We are able to try tons of new vegetables that we wouldn't typically try (like different greens, herbs, and root vegetables) but are still able to eat most of it by the time the next box arrives.

Our farm, Telltale Farm, also sends us a newsletter that tells us about what is going on at the farm and also has a bunch of recipes that correspond with the produce that we got that week.

It is such a cool program and I don't know why we waited so long to participate!