Friday, March 26, 2010

Winter Buyers Co-op, Week 8

I totally took a picture of the goods we received on March 25th, but my Palm Pre decided it was going to randomly delete 150 photos from my phone.  ARG!

Anywho - this is what would have been in the photo posted here:
Celeriac, Valencia Oranges, Onions, Carrots, Colby Jack Cheese & Chorizo Sausage

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not-So-Dark Days - Week 18

This past weekend I did something that I RARELY EVER DO.... I ate almost EVERY meal out.  It was insane.  Friday night was a birthday celebration for a couple friends of mine, Saturday's dinner was a foodie potluck with a group of local food-obsessed home cooks (so I guess that's not as bad as a restaurant), and Sunday I had brunch and dinner out.  It was not my ideal weekend. 

I wrote that last sentence, and had to laugh.  It may have been my ideal weekend a couple years ago, it most certainly was my ideal weekend.  I thrived on going out with friends and keeping myself busy around town running errands and such.... but now I am much happier staying around the house most the weekend catching up on "me" time (some of it is "us time" I suppose what with the husband being home and all).  Reading a book or actually spending time knitting, cooking food from scratch, poking around in the backyard which will soon be our garden.... it helps me balance the hectic pace of the rest of my week.

So due to all the eating out, I haven't made a specific "dark days meal" again since we have leftovers out our ears and between those I've been noshing on all the items I posted about last week.  I have all the ingredients for the parsnip recipe I hinted at a couple weeks ago, and I have yet to have the time to make them.  Worked last night and have class tonight.  Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow night?

I just wanted to tell a little more about the potluck we went to Saturday.  First - it was another BEAUTIFUL day in Baltimore - sunny and pleasant and wonderful.  The couple who hosted the meal had a good sized garden in their back yard to tour, as well as edible landscaping in the front and some city chickens that provide them with eggs.  I had such a good time I can't believe I forgot to take pictures.

People brought an amazing array of food and drink.  Home brewed beer, home-fermented kimchi, duck-fat eclairs stuffed with olives and onions, red lentil dal, potato & beef perogis, an amazing asparagus salad with roasted red peppers, olives and almonds... the list goes on and on.  Dave volunteered to make our dish. He used the last of his pickled pork to make pork and red beans over rice... a big hit!

It's quite a sustainable group; everyone brings their own plates and flatware so that no paper goods have to go to waste.  We spent most of the time chatting about how to best trellis your peas, which weeds the chickens don't like (and which house plants they do!), and where to buy local fruit trees.  There was also ALWAYS someone throwing a ball around with the very fetch-obsessed dog.

Dessert was Egyptian orange cake with chocolate glaze - and homemade chai tea. This is a monthly potluck (and March was the first one we could make it to), so I'm looking forward to more yummy dinners in the future!

(next week I'll have a much better dark days post to wrap up the challenge)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Design Post

Today was an odd day.  I was technically "working," but work consisted of driving a 15-passenger van full of Israeli teenagers around Baltimore site-seeing in the most beautiful weather we've had all year.  What can I tell you... I get paid to do good work.

The highlight of the day was twofold: being outside in the beautiful sun most of the day, and getting to go to the National Aquarium for the rest of the time.  I've never been to the aquarium since the ticket prices are rather absurd, but after seeing it today - I may splurge in the future to go with visitors.  It's quite an aquarium!

Here's me being a tourist with Mr. Great White of Jaws.

The dolphins blew bubbles at us... the jellyfish exhibit was INSANE!

This made me laugh... a crab, in its "natural" Chesapeake Bay Habitat. 
I wonder if they add toxins to the water to make it feel at home?

Relaxing in the Inner Harbor soaking in the sun...

Taking a small rest on the pavement while waiting for the group to meet up and head back uptown.

After all the fun of the day, this evening Dave and I switched gears to go visit a friend whose grandmother had died and was sitting shiva.  I added the blazer to try and not stick out without having to change entirely.

skinny blue jeans: Mossimo from Target
green tank: Gilligan & O'Malley from Target
white button-up (in shark photo): Columbia Titanium line (it's SPF 30!)
sunglasses: H&M
blazer: another awesome sale purchase at Banana Republic
sneakers: Simple from Marshalls

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dark Days - Week 17

So behind this week!

No pictures have been uploaded, so it's a little boring, but these are SOLE items which have been gracing my lunchbox with their presence:

fridge-pickled carrot sticks
(lazy person's recipe: when you run out of your store-bought dill pickles, cut carrots into sticks and add to the jar with all the leftover pickle juice.  Let them chill out in the fridge for a couple days and then get your carrot pickle on!)

boiled root veggies
Dave made a corned beef boil (sadly, the beef was not so SOLE) with all the lovely root veggies we had hanging out: carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and rutabagas.  We took the boiled veggies out and mashed them all together chucky style with a fork.

cheese cubes and boiled eggs
smoked swiss and colby cheese cubes
boiled local eggs... not much else to say there!

an orange and an apple a day
oranges aren't local, but they are organic and in season, and I wouldn't have even bought them on their own if they hadn't have been given to us in our Winter co-op share.

locally made (by my secret Amish farmer) sauerkraut
just when you think you can't eat any more cabbage...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Are you serious?

Are you serious?
Originally uploaded by daftly smitten

Went to Target to get a gel seat for spin class... And came across this gem of a product.  An ash tray... For your bike.  Because all bikers who smoke while riding are so gracious to depose of their butts properly.  Insanity!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Winter Buyers Co-op, Week 6

Today we trekked out into the rain to retrieve: baby beets, fingerling potatoes, 4 (giant!) Matzu apples, 1 fuji apple, 4 pink lady apples, block of colby cheese (any ideas what to do with this?), two boneless pork chops and parsnips.  This is my plan for the parsnips.  YUM!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Design Post - this week!

Nothing brightens up a home more than flowers.  Dave and I both appreciate having flowers around the house, so in addition to buying him the cookbook I Know How to Cook, I got off work early and showered our home with flowers the day before his birthday as a surprise gift.  Bonus for the both of us!

Here is a photo tour of the flowers:
I LOVE Hydrangeas.  If you are detail-oriented, you may notice that in my clothing photos, there were two bunches of hydrangeas, whereas here there is just one.  Sadly, for some reason the white bunch just shriveled away to nothing overnight.  Didn't even leave a note to explain itself!

I love the contrast of the roses with the deep purple and kermit green!

I put the flowers where I knew he would enjoy their presence most (flanking the TV).

These roses opened up beautifully almost instantly!

I love putting flowers in the bathroom.  It makes you feel like you're in a fancy hotel and you should tip the towel guy on the way out.  Conveniently we have two bathrooms:

This is in the master bath.

and this is in the half bath.

All flowers were purchased at Trader Joes!

Thursday design post (from last week!)

Things got hectic and I did not get to this last week, but today I will make up for it!

This is what I wore Monday.  I should not have stood with my feet together (obviously), as it creates too great a difference between the width of my hips and that of my ankles (it's the truth, so I'm just saying it and moving on).  But I was on a small chair.  And so it goes.  The flowers were for Dave - his birthday was Tuesday so I filled the house with flowers (more on that later today).

Yeay power lines!  It was *almost* still light out when we got home from work.  ALMOST.

Close-up of the jacket.  I love that it's both black AND brown, so it goes with everything, but I most often wear this with a bright pink to go with the magenta stripe in the fabric.  Puts a little kick into an outfit.
Sadly, it took years of sitting in the back of my closet before I suddenly realized that this jacket is a gem and should be worn in heavy rotation.  I like how the arms are a little long and flare out at the end.
And not to forget my favorite part... MY NEW BOOTS!  These are one of three pairs I bought last week in a crazy fit of boot-buying at the local shoe and chocolate shop (don't YOU have a local shoe and chocolate shop?).  They were having a one day sale.  I actually have deep regrets for not going back and getting the fourth pair of boots that I had told myself would just be too much.  I really don't buy shoes all that often - especially boots since they rarely fit over my enormous calves!  This pair and one other are by OTBT (Off The Beaten Track), and they are ultra comfy.  I will be on the lookout for more of this brand in the future, because they are just heavenly!

UPDATE: (forgot details)
white collared shirt is short-sleeved; Columbia sportswear on sale at REI
pink sweater vest: Cherokee from Target
jacket from H&M circa 2005
Mossimo black skinny jeans from Target
OTBT boots from Ma Petite Shoes in Hampden, hon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dark Days - Week 16

CABBAGE!!! I have had a monster head of cabbage just hanging out in the fridge for weeks now, and I was hoping to do something with it this weekend.  So here are two cabbage dishes I made yesterday to feed us cabbage for weeks to come (some went in the freezer).

1. Another spin on the rustic cabbage soup I made back in January (can you believe it was that long ago?):
This time I stuck with green cabbage only and switched the other veggies up a bit.  Started with 2 carrots and 3 rutabagas diced (in place of the potatoes) - threw those into the dutch oven with olive oil to brown for 5-10 minutes.  Added 1 diced onion and 1 tsp smooshed garlic.  2 minutes later, added the dice cabbage, gave it a quick stir and then poured in 4 cups beef stock and 1 cup water.  Let that simmer with the lid on while I sauteed the innards of 2 sweet italian sausages in a separate skillet, then added the sausage and one can of cannellini beans (only non-local ingredient - still can't find any local beans!!!) to the soup.  Seasoned with salt and pepper and it was all good!

2. Tried another recipe passed on to us shareholders at Mill Valley for Braised Red Cabbage with Apple and Mustard:
Obviously, I used green cabbage.  I think this will make a very nice side for meals throughout the week.  Rather tart for my husband's taste, but I like it.... especially the mustard.  The soup is really more for his consumption - I put the sausage in there just for him!

That concludes this cabbage smorgasbord! 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Design Thursday?

I totally owe you all a design post, but somehow photographs did not get taken Thursday of what I wore, and then I had planned to take pictures of what I had on today to make up for it and then I changed into my PJs before remembering!  I hope to make up for it later this week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Winter Buyers Co-op, Week 5

This week's share: Thick-cut smoked bacon, eggs, whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread, oranges (valencia this time - much tastier than the oranges last week which, apparently, were better for juicing), carrots, boston lettuce, red potatoes.