Saturday, September 18, 2010

These are NOT Your Grandma's Pickles

I was watching a new morning show on Hallmark.  "What Ever"   Martha Stewart has apparently taken over the channel with all her new shows.  I think it was the first show with her daughter Alexis and friend Jennifer, when Alexis started complaining about all the vegetables her mother had delivered to her apartment.  She was a little cranky while explaining how she had spent her whole evening roasting the vegetables to process them all.  Okay follow me now...;)  early last week I had watched a cooking show on pickling veggies with Jamie Oliver... I think.  Then I read a recipe for pickling on the internet...just to get the basic vinegar, water, salt, sugar ratio's.  That recipe suggested a marinade for veggies after they were pickled.  I thought the idea was brilliant, instead of leaving the veggies sitting in all that brine and getting soggy.

Sooo my creative right sided brain goes into action and some how I come up with all these amazing veggies combos.   I roasted two pans.  One pan with peppers, tomatos and onions.

Then the other pan with brocoli, carrots and cauliflower. I tossed them both with olive oil, salt, pepper, and freshly minced garlic.  On the one with peppers I sprinkled dried oregano and basil.   When the veggies came out of the oven I squirted them all with fresh lemon juice.

The peppers and onions I am using for a pasta salad tomorrow night.  The cauliflower, carrots and brocoli we ate tossed over some brown rice with some shredded pork I had simmering in the crock pot. YUM

 I still had some more cauliflower and lots of cucumbers to do something with.   So I did two separate batches of pickling water.  I just didn't go heavy on the vinegar or sugar.  I did throw in a few mustard seeds, and a pinch of salt.  When they were both gently cooked, I drained them and cooled them off in a marinade of olive oil and garlic.  I tossed fresh basil and cherry tomatoes in with the cucumbers.  Then with the cauliflower I used fresh oregano!!!  That was key.  I usually don't use my fresh oregano...I don't know why. I think I will quickly find more uses for this fresh herb.

For lunch that day I tried all my veggies over some low fat cottage cheese.  It was sooo delicious.  I am  never going to do the canning thing, but I must say both of these methods are a great snappy way to use up all those excess veggies coming our way this harvest season.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

End of the Summer Whirlwind

Another one of those whirlwind seasons.  It really was calm for the six weeks of Dan's recovery compared to this.   We have had birthdays, a wedding, a funeral, three sets of visitors, another art show all in the last three weeks.  Did I mention we are helping plant a new church in town, and next week is the launch? lol  I am in constant fifth gear it seems these days.  I know I have another two busy weeks in front of me and then perhaps the calm after the storm will come :)  Then hopefully I can get to my completely neglected garden.   Although I still am enjoying all its last fling beauty from a distance... when I don't look too close :)

Here is one day during the last three weeks were I had a little overflow of Nana creativity.  Meg asked if we could just have a simple family birthday party for Eden at my house this year.  She is in a 700 sq ft. apartment with two babies and in the middle of building a house.  That is another story...

So I said sure.  She warned me...keep it simple.  When I went to the grocery store that day, the Dollar store just beckoned my attention and I thought...well maybe I will just run in there real quick and see what I can do for under ten dollars to decorate for the family birthday.  Needless to say I was quickly inspired :)
 It turned into a fairy princess theme.  Notice the butterfly wands in the vase, and the fairy wings on my chandelier. 
 It all started when I saw these resin fairy princesses in the front of the store...for only dollar...I ask you how could I resist?

 All ready for the party when  in walked the birthday fairy princess!
 She was so thrilled with her party!

 of coarse little baby sis was adorable Sweet Pea
 I can hardly believe my Eden is three!

one other princess joined us for birthday cake

The evening ended with some wonderful entertainment from the hula  girls :)
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