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Monday, 12 November 2012 21:34

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

I can't believe that next week Thanksgiving will be upon us yet again! For Thursday girls, this holiday is one of our absolute favorites-- a holiday that is solely about food and family, what more could you want from a day? So, over the years we've amassed a nice collection of Thanksgiving-appropriate recipes from our friends and family. Since I'm not a meat-eater, the side dishes have always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving and I think it's very important to pay just as much attention to the supporting dishes as the main star-- the turkey (or tofurkey, in my case.) To help jumpstart your Thanksgiving meal planning, here are some of our favorite recipes for you.

Enjoy!

colleen

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thanksgiving_saladSalads and Veggies

Aunt Patsy's Spread Salad

Cozy Roasted Cauliflower

Pennsylvania Dutch Succotash

Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole

Squash It Out Fritters

 

Soups

Asya's Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Soup

Pumpkin Spice Soup

Down Home Tortellini Soup

Desserts

Great Grammy Alice's Apple Cream Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

Apple and Maple Bread Pudding

Figgy Biscotti

 

thanksgiving_drinkDrinks

Mulled Wine

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 21:00

Braised Carrots

I've always felt a little perplexed as to what to do with carrots. I like them. I like to snack on them. I've heard that they are curiously good with potato chips.  But in terms of doing anything creative with them, I've never felt all that inspired. That is until, of course, I found this recipe for braising them. The natural sweetness in the carrots that we all know and love is paired perfectly with loads of garlic and a few dashes of cumin and (my personal favorite) smoked paprika. I suggest serving these guys with pork chops or perhaps as a side at Thanksgiving dinner.


Braised Carrotsbraised_carrots-2269
adapted from NY Times

What you need:      

  • 3 lbs carrots
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 2 tsp mild red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika, smoked

What you do:

Peel and cut carrots lengthwise and then quarter them.  In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add carrots and turn them over to coat in olive oil.  Add a generous amount of salt.  I would start with a couple of dashes and work from there.  Add garlic and one cup of water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until carrots are just tender.  Remove lid and continue cooking until water has cooked away.  Add cumin, red pepper, and paprika over the top of carrots.  Stir dish around a couple of times.  Serve immediately or reheat at 400° F for 10 minutes.

Serves 4

Feed Me Phoebe: Root Vegetable and Black Bean Chili
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Carrots With Chile and Agave
Haute Apple Pie: Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
And Love It Too: Vegan Carrot Cake Coconut Macaroons
Virtually Homemade: The Silver Palate's Carrot Orange Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Copper Pennies aka Glazed Carrots
The Heritage Cook: Maple Roasted Carrots, Apples and Onions
Made By Michelle: Carrots and Caramelized Onions
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Carrots
FN Dish: Best Carrot Sides for Thanksgiving

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:06

TND: Hurrication Style

Happy happy Thursday! It has been quite the week in Ft. Greene.  First, we want to send our love to anyone who was affected from Hurricane Sandy.  We were incredibly fortunate at our little pink house in Brooklyn.  I’m happy to report that Ophelia made it through safe and sound and is quite ecstatic about the fresh pile of branches that fell in the backyard.  I’m pretty sure that it looks like one giant dog playground to her.  I hunkered down with two bottles of water, lamb, artisanal cheese, and wine.  Thankfully, my hunkering partner, Dave, was far more practical and brought along two flashlights, enough mixed nuts to feed us for at least a week, refried beans, and a headlamp (obviously).

daves_hurricane_supplies

My sister, Meredith who lives down in New Orleans called several times to check in and offered her expert hurricane survival tips or in her words “how to best enjoy your hurrication”.  Her advice included things like: Get plenty of wine. If you lose power, you’re going to get really bored and will want plenty of wine. Keep laptops and cell phones charged.  Again, if you lose power you’ll want to be able to watch movies on your laptop and remember that your pickings will be slim because that means no Netflix. Enjoy as much refrigerated/cooked food as possible. Pretty soon you’ll be stuck with peanut butter sandwiches. Oh! And did I mention wine? Get plenty. 

Being that Meredith has been through a few of these bad boys, we took her advice very seriously for our hurrication and headed straight out to the wine store to pick up an additional bottle of wine and cooked ourselves small feasts for each meal.  The first night we started with burritos.  This is Dave’s specialty, so he was in charge.  He cooked up a mixture of refried and black beans with onions and served it with fresh salad mix from the farmer’s market. We happily slept in the next day and when we woke up I decided that pancakes sounded like the best thing ever so we piled on our rain gear, grabbed Ophelia, and headed to the market for milk and eggs.  I made fresh buttermilk pancakes with loads of butter and doused in Vermont maple syrup and Dave made scrumptious scrambled eggs. 

blueberry_pancakes-6024

After a few dutiful hours working away at our laptops, I decided that it was time for a little baking and that it had been far too long since I had made Brooklyn Banana Bread. Caitlin enthusiastically agreed so I broke out my beloved Kitchen Aid mixer.

bk_banana_bread-1610

In Caitlin's words, the bread turned out “off the freaking hook”.  We all ate it for dessert and have been snacking on it since.  For dinner that night we made lamb with roasted brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes topped with frizzled leeks.  We paired it with a lovely Rioja and it was heavenly.  Wednesday morning we woke to find that we still had power and water and that the backyard was mostly still intact.  Dave whipped up some huevos ranchereos from our leftovers and served a black bean and refried bean mix, rice, tortilla, fried eggs, and a cherry tomato and onion mix.  I had been craving it ever since we had the burritos so it really hit the spot.  

Now we're all attempting to get back to some sense of normalcy. With our wifi out at the house, Caitlin and I have set up camp at Smooch for the day.  The neighborhood has the energy of a Sunday afternoon with people packed to the brim in our local cafes and bars. Parents seem to be thrilled to get their kids out of the house and the off leash hours were full of happy dog owners and their puppies running around like they haven't breathed fresh air in months.  We're all hoping to get back to our offices by Monday, but in the meantime we're enjoying our little hurrication with slightly more extravagant homemade meals, wine, and mixed nuts of course.

xo,

stephania

Recipes:

Black Bean Burrito: Dave doesn’t have a formal Burritos recipe written out, but Colleen and I have a pretty good one that will more than suffice.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Brooklyn Banana Bread

Huevos Rancheros : we just threw our leftovers together, but Colleen’s Rise ‘n Shine Breakfast Burritos are fantastic


Lamb with Garlic, Mint and Cilantro
by Stephania Stanley

What you need:      

  • 4 lamb chops
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup mint, finely chopped plus 4 separate whole mint leaves
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 1/8” slices of fresh lemon
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, rinsed

What you do:

Preheat oven to 375° F. Mix butter, garlic, mint, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread butter mixture over both sides of lamb chop. Place each lamb chop on a separate piece of foil (large enough to fold and cover with lamb and mushrooms).  Layer 1 mint leaf and 1 slice of lemon on lamb.  Divide mushrooms into four equal parts and add them to each lamb chop.  Fold corners and sides of foil up and twist to close over mushroom and lamb.  Repeat for remaining lamb chops.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve lamb on plate with foil or remove lamb and drizzle juices over the top of the lamb.

Serves 4

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 09:22

Bell Pepper and Black Bean Salad

judy_tableHappy Halloween, everyone! This Bell Pepper and Black Bean salad recipe is great if you're looking for a last minute recipe to take to a Halloween get-together tonight or this weekend. This is always a big hit at get-togethers and I especially love that it's vegetarian friendly. And just because she's sitting on my arm right now making it hard to type, and because she's in her Halloween costume year round, here's a photo of my little Judy misbehaving by sitting on the table. But she's so cute, she pretty much never gets in trouble.

Enjoy!

xo,

colleen

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Bell Pepper and Black Bean Saladblack_bean_salad_2
by essie reilly

photo from kalynskitchen.com

What you need:      

  • 3 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp group cumin
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

What you do:

In large glass mixing bowl, combine rinsed and drained beans with remaining ingredients and gently toss until mixed. This salad is best if made in advance so the flavors have time to mingle. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature ½ hour before serving.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:32

What Grows Together Goes Together

I was first introduced to this salad when I was researching menu items for the new Lincoln Center theatre, LCT3. Our chef had mentioned something about it and at first I must admit that I was a teeny tiny bit hesitant. Don't get me wrong. I love watermelon and I love tomatoes even more, but together? Needless to say, I was intrigued and after my first bite I was pretty happy that I didn't put up an argument about this dynamic duo. Watermelon and tomatoes grow together and along with the zesty cilantro and crunchy cucumber, most definitely go together. This dish is really easy to whip up quickly and makes an excellent side dish for your next dinner party.

Enjoy!

Stephania

PS. Check out below what our fellow bloggers have created with tomotoes this week! 

 

Tomato and Watermelon Saladtomato_and_watermelon_salad-8930

What you need:

  • 4 small tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" chunks (I suggest using a mix of different colored heirloom tomatoes)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2" cubes 
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 cup of seedless watermelon cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette 
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

In a large bowl mix all ingredients together except for the olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper.  Gently toss together.  In a small bowl mix together the final ingredients to make the dressing.  Pour over the tomato and watermelon mixture directly before serving.  Enjoy! 

 

 

 

Cooking With Elise: Fresh Tomato Sauce
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Tomato Gazpacho Salsa
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato Cobbler Anyone?
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Fresh Corn
What's Gaby Cooking: Chicken Kebabs With Romesco Sauce
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Salmon Spaghetti With Plum Tomatoes and Avocado
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Fresh Tomato Puttanesca Sauce
Chez Us: Easy Tomato Tart
Made By Michelle: Tomato and Pesto Pizza
Ingredients, Inc.: Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes
Delicious Lean: Creamy Light Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Tomato-Tomatillo Chicken Tenders
From My Corner of Saratoga: Tomato Jam
Dishin & Dishes: Tomato Zucchini Frittata
And Love It Too: Roasted Garlic, Basil and Tomato Paleo Tart
Healthy Eats: The Fresh-for-Once Tomato
Sweet Life Bake: Pico de Gallo
Zaika Zabardast: Grilled Tofu and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sandwich
Thursday Night Dinner: Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Cooking Channel: How to Prepare Summer Tomatoes
FN Dish: Tomatoes Go Beyond Salads

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:40

TND: A Couple of Kid-Friendly Recipes

Happy Thursday, you all! We hope that you've been enjoying Kid Week here at Thursdays. Earlier this week, Jana introduced us to the lovely Beth from YardBird Gardening, a boutique gardening service located in LA that's all about teaching people how to grow their own food. Beth's brother-in-law Paul, who happens to be a chef, has very kindly shared a couple of kid-friendly recipes for you to try with the kiddos. And hey, who can resist a photo of his adorable daughter helping him in the garden? Cue the "aww."

Enjoy. And happy, happy Thursday!

xo.

colleen

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Low Country Lemonadeyardbird6

What you need:

  • Juice of a dozen meyer lemons
  • 2 cups of water
  • sugar to taste
  • 1 cup of blueberries & 1 cup of strawberries, both smashed. 'Cause kids are expert smashers.

What to do:

Mix in a large pitcher. Let sit for 2-4 hrs. Strain. Enjoy!

Spring Veggie Pasta Salad

What you need:

  • 2 cups dry pasta (any will do, but kids seem to love orecchiette (little ears), Israeli couscous, penne/ziti (finger puppets), fusilli)
  • Peas, blanched
  • Pea shoots (tendrils)
  • Sliced green onion
  • Baby zucchini
  • Baby squash
  • Grape tomato
  • Broccoli
  • Lemon cucumber
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese Ciliegine (bite-sized ball)
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

What to do:

Boil pasta. Drain and cool. Cut veggies to desired size and shape. Add remaining ingredients and mix.  Let your Jr. Chef decide the amounts of veggies/cheese.  Garnish with edible flowers- nasturtium, pansies, herb blossoms.

photo courtesy of YardBird Gardening.

 

Scrumptious Orzo Salad

What you need:

  • 1lb orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ head broccoli florets
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese (more or less to taste)
Note: Serve as a side dish with Lemon-y Grilled Salmon. Or add one 16 oz can of chick peas when you add the veggies to the skillet to serve as a stand alone meal.

What to do:

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Combine olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook garlic until soft.  Add broccoli, red pepper, asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add veggie broth and lemon juice.  Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli is tender. Combine orzo and veggies in a serving bowl.  Add feta and mix well. Garnish with scallions.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 23 April 2012 19:57

Kids and Urban Farming

These days we're all getting more and more conscious about where our food comes from and many of us are venturing into the world of growing our own food. As the mom of a toddler, Jana has wondered how she can get her little Josie interested in gardening when she's a little bit older.  To help her get some answers about kid-friendly gardening Jana talks with Beth from YardBird Gardening.  (Stay tuned for some kid- friendly recipes later this week from Beth's brother-in-law, a chef).

xo,

colleen

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I absolutely cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to help me garden. I love seeing her fascination with the lemons on our lemon tree and her glee at any flowers or greenery that catch her eye.  Gardening happens to teach children some valuable life lessons - bonus!  They learn about patience as they wait for the garden to grow (remember, The Carrot Seed?); responsibility as they see how necessary their care is to the garden; and even loss when flowers die at the end of a season. "They learn about nurturing a life and what it takes to keep something alive," says Amy Gifford, an education associate for the National Gardening Association.

Gifford also extols the value of exercise as children physically work in the garden and the benefits of families learning to work together and share.  Gardening also helps build a child's senses, literally from the ground up. "One of the most important things about [vegetable] gardening is understanding where food comes from," says Gifford. She says young children love seeing food when it's pulled from the ground, and they notice the similarities and differences between their garden vegetables and produce from the grocery store.* (from Ready, Set, Grow: The Benefits of Gardening with Kids by Christine Beaudry)

So, cut to reality—Los Angeles. Springtime...I'm outside in the garden, staring at my sad, sickly veggie beds containing the dried up remnants of last year's edible gardening attempts.  I'm feeling very overwhelmed.  Now that I have an 8-month-old daughter, spending countless hours tending to the garden is no longer a reality.  But, my heart actually aches to see this prime gardening space go to waste, and I really wanted to be able to share the gardening fun with my daughter.  How can I be superhuman gardening lady?  That's where Beth Armstrong of YardBird Gardening comes in.  She is superhuman gardening lady, and I am so lucky that she will be coming to help install and maintain an amazing urban garden for us.  I asked Beth to share some wisdom about her business, gardening and gardening with kids.  She was also kind enough to share some kid and garden-friendly recipes from her chef brother-in-law!

-jana

yardbird2

Jana: What is YardBird Gardening?

Beth: YardBird Gardening is a boutique gardening service based in Los Angeles. When designing a yard or veggie space, I aim to make it another part of your home, a place you'll want to be part of and appreciate. My goal with urban farming is to grow food organically & responsibly for my Los Angeles neighbors, while creating a beautiful and sustainable growing space. We provide vegetable garden installation, yard design & installation, container gardening for small spaces, gardening consultation (DIY) & yard maintenance.  On a philosophical note, YardBird is really about the entire utilization of the plant— from the seed to your table to the compost bin.

Jana: How did YardBird Gardening begin?

Beth: I started YardBird Gardening after being in the horticulture world and realizing that the most important part to me was creating spaces that people would love to be part of in an environmentally responsible way. Whether vegetable gardens or designing your landscaping, my aim is to help get your space to work for you while creating a sort of harmony with nature.

Jana: How did you discover you had a passion for gardening?

Beth: As a kid I was really into nature. That is a relationship I believe I have always been aware of. My parents took their home garden seriously & definitely had a natural talent for it. My sisters and I observed their appreciation and I, especially, was heavily influenced by that. My great-grandparents were farmers so I was also around food production on a large scale.  After realizing that gardening was something I wanted to do professionally, I have felt these early influences in my gardening. It's important for me to create spaces for people that keep them in tune with nature, help provide food for their family and friends and then hopefully turn into something they will be part of.yardbird3

Jana: What is your #1 gardening tip?

Beth: When it comes to vegetable and herb gardens it's key to grow what you and your family will eat. I've come across veggie gardens that aren't being enjoyed as best they could...try to imagine what your family will grow and cook together.

Jana: What are your favorite veggies/herbs to grow?

Beth: For the warm season I absolutely love growing eggplant. This is possibly the most gorgeous of plants for the veggie/herb garden. Eggplant is one of my favorite veggies to cook with fresh from the garden, superb flavor!  I'm also all about hot peppers. There are so many varieties for Southern California and in a lot of gardens they will produce year-round. There's nothing like that fresh zing.

Jana: What is the best way to get kids interested in gardening?

Beth: Just letting them be involved in their own way. My sister Cary said she might give my niece, Marty Grace a watering can, and she may very well dump it on herself, but that is part of it. She has started weeding and watering with her dad in the mornings, which has become the cutest bonding time for them. They'll cut a flower or veggie for Cary and Marty Grace will get to see how happy that makes Cary. Marty Grace gets to see how much they appreciate the garden. The whole experience just becomes a positive one. Planting from seed really teaches kids how they get their food. I also think that frequenting the farmer's markets is a great idea. Kids see fresh and in-season veggies for their area, and can also get a glimpse of what their seeds will turn into.  I find that once they start digging, the rest takes care of itself.

Jana: What types of veggies and herbs would you recommend planting for a child's beginner garden?

Beth: It's great to include things that a kid will want to eat and something that they can pick themselves. Root veggies are great because they are such a surprise - carrots, radishes, beets. Beans and peas are fun to pick and eat right off the vine...strawberries and blueberries are also great for kids. Mint and thyme are nice to have as well, they are fairly low maintenance and the flowers are pretty and edible...and fruit trees especially. When planting it's great to use seeds when you can. Kids love 'em and using transplants can be tricky with non-delicate hands. I also think that a kid seeing something grow from a seed to what they can pick is a rad experience...

To contact Beth at YardBird Gardening: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photos courtesy of YardBird Gardening

Adorable baby courtesy of Beth's sister

yardbird5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 19 April 2012 10:16

TND: Cucumber and Tomato Salad and DIY Garden Bed

Happy Thursday! This week we've been all about green living.  We've given you tips on bringing green into your home, the best earth-friendly lighting, reusing materials to make anew, and an intro to the slow cooking movement.  It's been an inspiring week around here.  A really easy way of making your life a little bit more earth friendly is by shopping locally and seasonally.  Not only does the food taste so much better when it's fresh, but buying local uses far less energy and resources than it does to buy products that have been shipped here from all around the world.  I was most excited for this week because I was bound and determined to try out a new salad recipe and with the weather warming up the farmer's market is finally beginning to fill up with mouth-watering produce once again  I must confess that I have been greatly lacking in the creativity department when it comes to salads.  I make my beet and goat cheese salad and my arugula and Parmesan salad, but that's about it.  I was recently hired to come up with a menu for the new Lincoln Center theatre, Claire Tow Theater, and was faced once again with my shameful salad selection, so it was time to go to work.  The first salad that I'm going to try out for the tasting this week is a simple, but wonderfully flavorful Cucumber and Tomato Salad.  I suggest pairing it with fresh toasted pita and maybe some hummus for a little mezze. 

For the craft, I'm sharing Caitlin and Alex's DIY flower bed.  They spent last Saturday afternoon building this and I cannot wait to see their work come to fruition (I have the pleasure of sampling the goods without having to do the actual yard work:).  If you're looking to add a compost to your backyard as well, check out our instructions here.   

I'm also looking for a few ideas for this little bundle of branches.  Ophelia and I were on our way home from our walk last weekend and I spotted this bundle of branches neatly taped together just a few stoops away from my house.  

bundle_of_branches_stephania_photography
Photo: On Instagram? Follow me at Stephania_Photography

Much to Ophelia's great disappointment I scooped them up and decided that they would be perfect for a crafting project and not a giant bundle of chew toys like Ophelia was thinking (she keeps barking at them and then looking at me like I'm the meanest mommy in the whole wide world. It's pretty cute).  However, I'm completely stumped as to what on earth to do with them! What do you think? Any crafting projects come to mind?!

 

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

by stephania stanley (adapted from Bon Appetite; June 2011)

tomato_cucumber_IMG_7013

What you need:

  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes or about 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Combine ingredients for salad in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together ingredients for dressing and lightly drizzle over the salad.  

 

DIY Flower Bed 

by Alex Norbom & Caitlin Hinz

diy_flowerbed-7037diy_flowerbed-7043

What you need:

  • 2 pieces of 2"x 8" x 3' wood
  • 2 pieces of 2" x 8" x 6' wood
  • plastic tarp (this is only necessary if  you will be planting anything edible and if you're soil's components haven't been tested for chemicals)
  • hammer and nails
  • soil
  • plants

What you do:

Lay down plastic tarp.  Form a rectangle with your pieces of wood and nail each edge together.  

Fill bed with soil and plant away! 

 

 

Scrumptious Orzo Salad

What you need:

  • 1lb orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ head broccoli florets
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese (more or less to taste)
Note: Serve as a side dish with Lemon-y Grilled Salmon. Or add one 16 oz can of chick peas when you add the veggies to the skillet to serve as a stand alone meal.

What to do:

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Combine olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook garlic until soft.  Add broccoli, red pepper, asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add veggie broth and lemon juice.  Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli is tender. Combine orzo and veggies in a serving bowl.  Add feta and mix well. Garnish with scallions.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 19:52

TND: Orzo Salad and DIY Pillow-Making

Happy, happy Thursday to you all! There's nothing that helps welcome the spring better than spending some time with the girls, so I'm really glad that it's Thursday. We want a light, but flavorful dinner tonight, so we're making this yummy orzo salad and pairing it with some Lemon-y Grilled Salmon. And for the craft, I just had to share the adorable pillows that my mom and I have been making. I've been wanting to get new pillows to give the living room a different, fresh look for the spring but I haven't wanted to spend the money. Then a couple of weekends ago, my mom and I were out shopping and we found a bunch of really cool cloth napkins on clearance for $2 at World Market, and I knew I'd have a bunch of new pillows for a teeny, tiny fraction of the cost. We've been having a blast making these pillows, and I think you will, too!

xo.

colleen

 

Scrumptious Orzo Saladorzo-salad

What you need:

  • 1lb orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ head broccoli florets
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese (more or less to taste)
Note: Serve as a side dish with Lemon-y Grilled Salmon. Or add one 16 oz can of chick peas when you add the veggies to the skillet to serve as a stand alone meal.

What to do:

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Combine olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook garlic until soft.  Add broccoli, red pepper, asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add veggie broth and lemon juice.  Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli is tender. Combine orzo and veggies in a serving bowl.  Add feta and mix well. Garnish with scallions.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

orzo photo from here.

 

DIY Cloth Napkin Pillows pillows_finished

by colleen and essie reilly

What you need:

  • Cloth napkin
  • Scrap fabric in complimentary color, cut about 1/2" larger than the napkin
  • Fabric scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Stuffing from old pillows and/or polyfill (from the craft store)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Thread

What you do:

pillowmaking1First choose a backing color for the pillow. My mom and I used scrap fabric that she already had, but new fabric can be used as well. Lie scrap fabric on a flat surface. Lie the napkin on top of the scrap and cut the scrap about 1/2" larger than the napkin. Next, you are going to "hem" the frayed edges of the scrap.

Turn one edge of the scrap down about a 1/2" and using an iron, press the edge down. Repeat for each side. Next, using straight pins, pin the napkin to the scrap fabric. All the edges should match up pretty well. Then start sewing. Sew as closely to the edge of the pinned together napkin and fabric completely along three edges and 1/2 of the 4th-- this will leave room for stuffing the pillow. 

If you're using stuffing from an old pillow, cut open the pillow, fluff up the stuffing and begin putting it inside the new pillow. You are going to want to slightly over-stuff the pillow because it will flatten down a bit as it gets used. 

Move the stuffing around inside the pillow to work out any lumps and bumps. When the pillow is sufficiently stuffed, sew up the hole you left open for stuffing. Repeat for each pillow, and in no time you will have a new look for your couch or bed for a tiny fraction of the cost of buying new pillows at the store. pillows1.htm

 

 

Scrumptious Orzo Salad

What you need:

  • 1lb orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ head broccoli florets
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese (more or less to taste)
Note: Serve as a side dish with Lemon-y Grilled Salmon. Or add one 16 oz can of chick peas when you add the veggies to the skillet to serve as a stand alone meal.

What to do:

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Combine olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook garlic until soft.  Add broccoli, red pepper, asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add veggie broth and lemon juice.  Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli is tender. Combine orzo and veggies in a serving bowl.  Add feta and mix well. Garnish with scallions.  Serve hot or room temperature.

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