Friday, July 9, 2010

It's FARM DAY!!!

I'm not sure where I get the energy to create things on farm day, but the veggies are so beautiful that's where I get my inspiration~ This week we received (from left to right) a single Fava bean, multi-colored carrots (Kendall's favorites!), .75 lb of mixed greens, Radicchio (or we could have picked scallions),  radishes, green head lettuce, red lettuce, flat leaf parsley, Kale, Fennel (across the bottom) and I scavenged the U-Pick Fava Beans (in the basket).

The board said that the Fava beans and shelling peas were almost done and we could scrounge if we'd like to. I REALLY enjoyed the Fava beans so I gave it a go and spent about a half hour mucking around in the rows. I found some interesting looking beans.... Some had black spots all over the pod, some were withered, and some only had one or two beans per pod (instead of the 4-5 we had been getting). The COOLEST thing about these beans is the pod they're housed in. It's VERY protective and cushiony (is that a word?). The beans are great inside even if the outside leaves something to be desired.

The other cool thing about these beans is they grow "up" on the plants instead of hanging down. You can eat the pod and all on the young plants, but as they mature you only will want to eat the bean. The other interesting thing about Fava beans is the bean itself has a covering. Blanch the beans then use your fingernail to split the covering and squeeze the inside bean out! I found a lot of neat things about Fava beans on I'm starting a produce page to keep interesting information!  For instance, Fava beans are one of the oldest plants under cultivation, and they were eaten in ancient Greece and Rome. Despite the name, fava beans are a member of the pea family, though they are also known as broad beans, pigeon beans, horse beans, and Windsor beans.

So I was looking for a tasty recipe to use my beans in and remembered a pasta salad I had read about in Tastes of Italia one of the very cool cooking magazines I picked up at Schuler Books last weekend. It was originally a Pasta and Broccoli Salad, but substitutions had to be made! I'll put the recipe (adapted as well) on my Recipes~ page.

YUM! I served it on a bed of fresh greens from the farm. It has an olive oil, balsamic vinegar dressing that turned the pasta an interesting shade of beige. Neither kid was crazy about it, but they ate their greens first with Ceasar dressing and LOTS of croutons! I told them we needed to start making our OWN croutons (because they eat a bag between the two of them!) and Kendall said: "Mom, we don't have to make EVERYTHING!" :)

The dessert was a brilliant concoction I dreamed up after reading an advertisement in the Taste of Italia for Bel Gioioso Mascarpone. I had seen the product but didn't realize it was one of the oh so very tasty ingredients in Tiramisu! It's used for savory dishes as well, but my sweet tooth was demanding something else!

 SOOoo I started off with about a 1/2 cup of the Mascarpone (about 1/2 the container), added a 1/2 cup of organic sugar, a dash of vanilla, some dairy fresh cream and 1/4 of a very ripe peach. I blended it all together in my favorite appliance, The Bullet!  I cut thin slices of a rectangular angel food cake (about 1/2 -3/4 inch each) and spread the cream mixture between the slices and on top of the cake. I refrigerated them and then served them with the fresh peaches, fresh Michigan blueberries and a drizzle of organic raspberry syrup. Oh my HEAVENS!!! Kyle gave it a 4 out of 5 stars and Kendall gave it 2 plate licks and an OH MY! ;) Gee, I think they'd like to have that again!

David had to work late and didn't get to eat with us, but he really enjoyed the pasta salad. The dessert was a bit on the sweet side for him, but he enjoyed the extra peaches. Tomorrow I have 20 pounds of organic cherries to deal with! WOO HOO!

klah <3

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July and the Fifth!

Happy Independence Day!

Kyle demonstrates his special technique: lighting the sparkler in two places, bending the stem and twirling!

I'm a flower!

Kyle decided to purchase some fun fireworks "with his own money." We had a "blast" in the backyard on the 4th! Sparklers are still my favorite!

Kendall's camera had some interesting settings~ her sparkler-heart looked very different from ours!

Happy 5th of July! :)

Logan loves going ANYWHERE with us! Especially when we're all together!

This time of the year is so BUSY! The 2nd is Kendall's birthday, then there's the 4th of July and if it happens to fall on a Sunday, then we celebrate on Monday the 5th. Grandville has an AMAZING Independance Day celebration! The parade has over 130 entries and we enjoy the craft show, the entertainment, and of course the socialization! In past years the kids and I were in the parade for the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts & Boy Scouts. This year Kyle was supposed to march with the High School Marching Band but he pulled a muscle in his back hauling some rocks in the backyard. He has a "marching horn," a mellophone. Through the concert year he plays a French Horn. He's very good and enjoys it. I think Kendall's REALLY glad the orchestra doesn't march!

We saw some wonderful friends (Ella and Ian Curtis-above & their mama & dad) and a NEW friend: Ava Faith!

After the parade & craft show we chilled out at home for a few hours (it was almost 90 degrees!!!) I made a couple of dishes (see the Recipes~ page): Quinoa with Chard Salad, Quinoa & Cranberry Beans, hummus with greens and a veggie platter. We went to Marnie, Bob, Ben & Erin Walski's house. We met Cathy, Mike, Taylor and Nick Burns there and we had a great time. The kids took turns doing tricks off the diving board.


CHEEZE!!! Kyle, Ben, Nick, Erin & Taylor!






The perspective makes it look like Taylor has MAGIC hands!

Kyle bravely holds Mike Burns' BIG candle!

We had burgers, hotdogs and lots of tasty treats. Marnie had brownies with ice cream and hot fudge sauce for dessert. The kids enjoyed sparklers and fireworks in the driveway. I showed Marnie and Cathy how to take a photo without the flash so the sparklers leave a beautiful trail. Then we watched the Grandville fireworks from poolside. They were beautiful as usual, but for the first time that the Walski's can remember, the wind was just right and we had firework ash blown all over us! It was very disconcerting~ like fluttery bugs randomly lighting on us.

Relaxing by poolside!

Driveway Fun!


Cool designs!

The pool was sprinkled with firework ash, too!