26 June 2014

One Dozen Years

Our little girl has turned into a little tweenager!  She was treated breakfast in bed...

Birthday Breakfast in Bed

Birthday Breakfast in Bed

I can't believe it's been TWELVE years!!! It seems like just yesterday when....

08 June 2014


About 6 weeks ago I posted some inspirational recipes and that I'd recently gotten a new cook book and was trying to make it through every recipe in the book. Before today, I'd made 3 recipes from the book: 2 roasted garbanzo bean dishes and the sweet potato and black bean enchilada. Now, it's been 4.

The next recipe in the queue was the Yolo. It rhymes with Rolo and is the natural version of this treat. They are vegan and gluten-free and they are yummy!

Making YOLOs

06 June 2014

Love Affair with Farro

My family has recently welcomed farro into our world. I think I've had it in a dish before at a restaurant, but I hadn't had any hands on experience with it until recently.  The bag of grain has been in the pantry for over a month waiting for me to get with it.

Love me some farro

I decided at the last minute to sub farro in for Jasmine rice in an Asian chicken dish and the kids absolutely loved the grain. They asked for seconds of the farro only (no asian chicken) with tomato, onion and soy sauce.  I obliged and partook as well.

Farro with Tomatoes/Onion/Soy Sauce

I really enjoyed the chewiness of the farro and imagined subbing it in for oatmeal for breakfast.  With the leftovers of the 2nd half of the bag I added butter, honey, currants and milk. It tasted just like I imagined - creamy and chewy and healthy.

Farro for Breakfast

The reason it took so long for me to tackle farro is because I was unsure of how to cook it properly. Isn't that silly? To cook white rice of any type, I use my rice cooker. That's a no-brainer. But when I tried cooking brown rice in my rice cooker (many, many moons ago), the steam holes were gummed up with brown rice residue. I researched a better way to cook brown rice and found that baking the rice worked perfectly.

Because it was last minute and I just wanted to try it already, I dumped the farro into the cooker just as I do with white rice. 1 part grain to 2 parts water. It turned out perfect both times.

Now I want to use it in a salad. I've found a lot of recipes that add a lot of ingredients to make a very heavy dish (which I am sure I'd be okay with) but right now I'm picturing adding in farro to the tomato feta salad we serve up around her this time of year.

I am also thinking that adding cooked farro into cookies might be a cool yummy thing too...

What do you think? Have you tried farro? Any suggestions?

04 June 2014

Antipasto Salad

Even though the name means "before the meal", we typically have this with the meal at our house.  It's also a favorite item to take to a potluck.

Antipasto Salad


Purple Onion
Black & Green Olives
Dry Cured Italian Sausage (Bridford pepperoni from Walmart)
Sliced Provolone 
Grape Tomatoes
Artichoke Hearts (optional)
Asparagus (optional)


Crushed Red Pepper
Black Pepper


Olive Oil (5 oz)
Garlic, 2 cloves pressed
Dijon Mustard
Red Wine Vinegar

Chop up the salad ingredients into small pieces and toss them into a big bowl. Rub the dried green herbs between your palms over the bowl to release their flavor. Add the crushed red and black peppers and stir well.

For the dressing, place the olive oil in a salad dressing bottle with the 2 cloves of garlic. Add 1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard and about an ounce of red wine vinegar. Put the lid on the bottle/jar and shake well until the dressing emulsifies. Toss the salad with the dressing and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.

02 June 2014

In Concert

Lately, life has been abundant with opportunities for time spent with family, outdoors, eating good food and taking in live music.

The Giving Tree Band played at the first Summer Breeze concert of the season and they were really great. Reminded me of being at Winfield.

Helping Out

Aubri learned another life lesson the hard way at this concert. It’s probably hard to imagine that such a cute little dog would nip or scratch when our little Gracie is quite patient with the kiddos, but after years of trying to drive the point home, a concert-goer's dog freaked out when Aubri tried to love on it and scratched her face.