Hardy Kiwis

These hardy kiwis from Greenwater Farm located in Port Townsend, WA are hands down the best fruits I ate all year. Unlike the kiwi most of us are used to seeing, these kiwis were so sweet. They tasted almost like concord grapes, except without the tart skin. Last week was the first time I saw these at our farmer’s market and I was told they may or may not be at the farmer’s market tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers for the latter. If you see these at your farmer’s market, grab them while you can.

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Monday Inspiration

“People have the power to redeem the work of fools.” – Patti Smith 

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Bouncing Around

Have a laughter filled weekend everyone! Some notable posts and news:

How bad are microwaves?

Wow, a four-ingredient pumpkin pie.

Advice on health from someone who recently turned 100 years old.

Stop using dryer sheets and you’ll save money and reduce toxins.

10 protein-packed plants.

Do you use umami-boosting ingredients?

We all know five-inch stilettos might do a number on our feet, but those thin and flimsy ballet flats might not be so great either.

I read things like this and cringe when I think about how much McDonald’s I used to consume.

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Living Forest Designs & A Chow Life – I Won!

Yesterday morning I looked out my window and saw blue skies and sun illuminating the gorgeous Fall trees and I knew it was going to be a good day. Well, my day got better. Robin of Seattle-based food blog A Chow Life informed me that I won her Living Forest Designs giveaway! I’ve never ever won anything in my life. Not even a bingo game. Seriously. And it doesn’t really take much to make me happy, so I was just giddy with joy. I called my husband and said “I won something!!!!” He said, “What? A trip somewhere?” Me: “No silly, bunny bookends!” That’s right folks, I scored these adorable bunny-shaped children’s bookshelf from Living Forest Designs (also based in Seattle – I’m feeling some Seattle pride right about now). What’s absolutely wonderful is the bookshelf is non-toxic and crafted from sustainable wood.

Living Forest Designs makes products and furniture that are built to last a lifetime. Think carefully crafted goods “like they used to make ‘em in the old days” that can be passed on from generation to generation; thereby reducing waste and keeping family memories alive. A majority of the lumber they use is certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the finishes are water-based and have low levels of volatile organic compounds. Oh, and even their website is hosted on 100% solar-powered servers. They do custom work, single pieces, and small production runs, and can make everything from a pen to coffee tables. How beautiful are these food-safe bowls?

And a few other beautifully crafted pieces for the little ones.

This is a small company that just launched last year. For those that can financially afford to spend more on well-crafted investment pieces, please support local and independent businesses whenever possible! Check them out on their Facebook page.

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Basic Celery Soup Recipe: Very Light Yet Creamy & Healthy

For me, celery tastes great mixed sparingly with other things, but I’ve never been a big fan of celery as the star of a dish. It’s just one of those things that never really jived with my palate. But as of late, I’ve been looking at celery in a new light after reading about its many health benefits. For example, celery can balance the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity. Celery also has anti-inflammatory properties, may lower blood pressure, and has the potential to combat cancer. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, B-vitamins, folic acid, and essential amino acids.

What’s also great is that the beneficial compounds of celery are said to hold up well during the cooking process. So as the farmer’s market nears its final stages (big sigh), I’ve been quickly trying to add celery to my weekly meal plan. And because it’s been so cold lately, celery soup immediately came to mind. I’d never made celery soup so I was searching for recipes that didn’t incorporate too many extras like milk or heavy cream. I decided to adapt this recipe from Chef in You. Celery as the star of this light soup dish was a success! The celery flavor gets really mellowed out, but it’s definitely there. The soup was both refreshing and comforting. And since we didn’t use too many ingredients, the soup was affordable and healthy. I served this with some lightly toasted sprouted bread. Just note that this recipe is very light on flavor (for example, I used water instead of stock), so it might not be for you if you’re used to a lot going on in your soup. But because it’s a nice basic recipe, you really can use this as a starting point to venture into different directions depending on your taste and what you have on hand.

Ingredients :

  • 7 stalks of organic celery
  • 1 onion
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil for cooking

Method:

  • Chop onion, clean and chop celery
  • Saute onion with curry powder and turmeric on medium heat for a few minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add celery and potatoes, and saute for five minutes. Add salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Add water, add more  black pepper, cover and cook until the celery and potatoes are fairly soft (15 to 20 minutes).
  • Puree the vegetable mixture in food processor (or blender) in batches – it took us about 4 batches for our small food processor. Pour back into pot and heat back up, add more black pepper, herbs or other garnish as desired. Serve immediately and enjoy.
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Gift Idea: Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Here’s a gift idea for the foodie, farmer’s market lover, or illustrator in your life: Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Brooklyn-based illustrator Julia Rothman. I suppose I’m recommending this book as a gift idea since it’s a book I wouldn’t mind receiving as a gift myself. This book is a colorful, visual tour of farm life, inspired by the author’s visits with her parents-in-law who run a small farm in Iowa. Everything from crop rotation patterns to farm tools are illustrated to give you a glimpse into the world of a small country farm. I’m sure one book can’t adequately show us just how hard farmers work to produce the food we consume, but I think it’s a fun way to peek into at least some components of the beginning of the food production cycle, and definitely would be a fun book to look over with the kids.

Images via Growing with Plants and renest.

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Roasted Purple Potatoes & Cauliflower

One of the easiest at home lunches: roasted cauliflower and purple potatoes. All you need are 1 small head of cauliflower, 3 or 4 potatoes, some herbs (I’m always partial to rosemary, thyme, and oregano), tiny dashes of black pepper and salt, and a bit of olive oil. Just put them in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, and voila a savory lunch. Aren’t purple potatoes beautiful?

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