I can’t believe it has been two weeks since my last blog post. I told my dad the other day that life just gets in the way! It’s not because I have been slacking, but because I have been extremely busy. Since I have gotten back from vacation the weather has been beautiful. This means massive yard work, and a re-construction of our new garden box (pics and post to come). Warm weather and the arrival of Summer also means Wedding Season. So 13 hour work days and 6 day work weeks are not uncommon. And when you are this busy, why not paint your master bedroom? Or offer to help cater your husband’s work party for 300 people on the side? Or host a two day garage sale? Why do I punish myself? I love the longer days of Summer because I can accomplish so much more, but sometimes I think I need to slow down and enjoy the season. Continue reading
So I am on kick to make everything from scratch apparently. First marmalade. Then english muffins. And now yogurt. Next thing you know I’ll be churning my own butter. I wish I could make everything from scratch, but there are just not enough hours in the day. Sometimes you just have to give in and buy pre-made items at the store. Every week I drop a quart of European yogurt into my cart, and don’t even look back. Thanks to my Pinterest addiction though, and all the beautiful photos people have posted of their homemade yogurt, I was inspired this week to make my own yogurt. I have read that the process is super simple and produces a yogurt that is so creamy, tangy, and delicious that you’ll give up on store-bought forever. So I thought “why not?” What’s the worse that could happen? Well, I’ll tell you: everything they say about homemade yogurt is true, and now I am stuck making yogurt at home for the rest of my life! Continue reading
With spring comes thoughts of planting a garden, eating outdoors, planning summer menus, and lighter and healthier eating. This past week I made a trip to the new co-op in Reno to see what kind of early spring produce is growing locally. The Great Basin Community Food Co-op just moved from a 600sqft house, to a 7000sqft building in downtown Reno. The new location is beautiful and offers a ton of local produce and products. It can be difficult at times to find locally grown produce in Reno since the growing season is short and the ground is so hard (at 4500 feet, Reno is considered high desert). The co-op though did not disappoint, and was brimming with early spring crops. Continue reading
Ever since I saw Michael Chiarello on the Food Network boasting about the deliciousness of Model Bakery’s homemade english muffin, I knew I had to get my hands on one. I had heard of Model Bakery (in St. Helena in the Napa Valley), but hadn’t yet found the time to visit. I think the reason is because they are located in the northern part of the valley and I was always easily sidetracked by Bouchon Bakery, Dean & Deluca, and the many wineries along the way. A couple of years ago though, they opened a second store in the town of Napa in the new Oxbow Public Market. It was here, in their new southern location, that I finally got my hands on one of their muffins. It was everything Michael Chiarello said it would be: fluffy, buttery, airy, and light. The only problem? I live 200 miles from Napa. The only way I can enjoy a fresh, hot english muffin whenever I have a craving is if I make it myself. Continue reading
That’s right. In case you missed the title of this post, today is the first day of spring. It may not feel warm, but there are signs of seasonal change all around. Even though there was a dusting of snow this past week at my house, the tulips in the yard are starting to sprout and I found one lone pansy in my garden box (where did that come from?). Hopefully this is a hint of sunnier days to come.
What’s better than homemade granola? How about homemade granola mixed with butter and sugar and baked into delicious cookies? I don’t know why I have never tried combining the two before. I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and this just takes them to the next level. The cookie still has a chewy, buttery texture, but also crunch from the nuts and sweetness from the chewy bits of dried fruit. For these cookies I used my homemade Ode to Portland Granola, which has hazelnuts, coconut, figs, and almonds. I based the recipe on the basic Quaker Oats oatmeal cookies, but I reduced the butter and sugar because I thought the granola cookies should be a bit healthier. Continue reading
Yep, that’s right. Pistachio nuts have their very own day of celebration. Every year on February 26th we are supposed to rejoice in the pistachio (and my mother-in-law – she is lucky enough to share her birthday with the pistachio – Happy Birthday Susan!). For some reason I don’t find many reasons to use pistachios on a daily basis, and I rarely have them in my kitchen. To honor this 9000 year old nut, I bought a pound last time I was at the store. I wasn’t sure what I was going to use them for right away, but I knew I wanted to use them with these awesome Tahoe Gold Mandarin Oranges. I thought it would be a great flavor combination since pistachios and mandarins are both prolific in the Mediterranean. Continue reading
I think it is fitting that one of my first posts is a granola recipe. I say this because I find myself making granola at least once every couple of months. It is a staple at my house. I love it with Greek Yogurt for breakfast on the go (which is like every morning), when I’m craving a crunchy snack, and sometimes even for dinner. I have also been known on occasion to carry an extra bag in my purse to dump on tart frozen yogurt from my local yogurt shop! Granola is also an awesome gift. I just mailed some to friends that are about to have a baby and included it with their baby shower gift (extra food around the house when you’re new parents is a good thing right?). And did you know that granola freezes really well? I always make large batches and then freeze half, that way there is extra on hand when I need my granola fix. Continue reading