March 30, 2015

A Cedar Planter for Herbs

Although some might not find it worth the time and effort to grow vegetables, for me, the value in it is huge. There have been years when I have had space for a large garden, and others I only had a place for a few little pots on the patio, or a windowsill. No matter what kind of space I've lived in, however, I've nearly always made the effort to grow something - simply because I find the investment to be small compared to the rewards. The vegetables just taste better than what I can buy in a supermarket and, frequently, I end up saving some money. Plus, there is some comfort in knowing that I am able to provide my family with at least some of our food, and not have to rely entirely on the industrial food system.

Elevated Raised Herb Planter Bed
Elevated Cedar Herb Planter

March 26, 2015

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus season - cream of asparagus soup

Asparagus is a vegetable I rarely eat out of season. It’s a delicacy so firmly associated with spring in my mind, that it just seems wrong to eat it all year-round.  Asparagus heralds spring in the same manner as the bright yellow daffodils, and the green buds on the trees. It is also a vegetable that, while available year-round, is definitely less expensive when you buy it in season.  You can buy it at the supermarket, or buy it locally-grown the farmers market. This is also the time to buy a big bunch and preserve it for the rest of the year. Pickled asparagus is lovely alongside a sandwich or in a Bloody Mary, and since a jar can be quite expensive, it’s definitely worth making yourself (I really will try and get a recipe for pickled asparagus posted soon).

March 12, 2015

Beef and Guinness Stew

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

This week I have been debating whether or not I should make the traditional corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day (still haven’t made up my mind). I've read some speculation that corned beef and cabbage is actually more of an Irish tradition by way of NYC, than it is a tradition imported directly from Ireland, but it was always something my mom made in our Irish-American household as I was growing up. Now, as a grown-up in my own kitchen, I sometimes want to make something different for St. Paddy’s Day, so I look to other Irish-inspired dishes to celebrate the day. There are so many good options, but this stew is one of my favorites.

March 4, 2015

Huevos Rancheros with Avocado

Huevos Rancheros with Avocado

Huevos Rancheros is a classic Mexican breakfast or brunch recipe. There are countless ways to make it, to be sure, but at its most basic, it consists of a tortilla, some beans, an egg, and a tomato-based sauce. It is so simple, yet elegant, and I could eat it every day (as I often do for long periods of time). This time, I also threw in a little sliced Hass avocado. (Avocados being another food that I find myself eating almost daily these days.) For some reason, I have been on a little kick where I just can’t get enough of those creamy avocados. For me, an egg paired with an avocado = magic.

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