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Monday, April 30, 2012

When it rains, it pours


As you know, last month was a bit chaotic for us (to put it mildly).

My mom had surgery for breast cancer, my uncle had a heart attack and my great-nephew was born 3 months early.

It was a bit too eventful for my liking.

Then just a few weeks ago a dear blogging friend of mine lost her baby girl just 5 months into her pregnancy.  I think about their family and cry for them.  I know that each day they heal a little more and I'm inspired by the good they can find in this situation.   They are such a wonderful couple, say a little prayer for them.


I am so very pleased to report back that mom's surgery went well.  Clear margins, clear lymph nodes and after some fantastic new oncotype testing we found out that she won't have to go through any chemo.

She's healing up from surgery and feeling better every day.

My uncle had a heart attack the day after my mom's surgery.  I've heard we lost him completely for a second there but emergency response, modern technology and his guardian angel were there to take care of him.  He has recovered and is feeling better then he has in a long time.

Baby Conner is healing from a surgery to repair a heart valve, weighs more than 3 lbs now and is growing by the day.

We really are counting our blessings every day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Passion for Food


Have you been to visit Relyn at Come Sit By My Fire?

I know some of you have and those who haven't will love it there.
So perfectly named, visiting her blog is like stopping to have a hot cup of coffee and warm muffins, fresh out of the oven, with a dear friend.

Lovely music, poetry, pretty things to look at, reflection and a reminder of things to be thankful for...
her blog soothes my soul.

Sometimes I keep her blog up as I do my own writing because I find the music moves me.

Relyn does an annual personal passions month where she has guest posts from various bloggers in addition to her own posts.

Each post is about something that the writer is passionate about and I was lucky enough to write for her this year.

Can you guess what I'm passionate about?!

That's right, it's food!

Come join me by the fire at Relyn's for my guest post!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#15 & 16 / 52 Food Adventures: Homemade Ranch & Parsnip Muffins


Playing catch up with our food adventures today.

We've done homemade ranch and parsnip muffins... although not together.

Actually I'm convinced that Peanut would eat anything with this dressing on it.
It gets to the point that he just wants the dressing and is sucking it off of his food.


I used THIS dressing by Baked Bree with a few adjustments.  I accidentally used cilantro instead of parsley.  I just grabbed it from our CSA and didn't pay much attention.  

Also, I suggest starting with half of the buttermilk.  I thought it was too thin and ended up adding more of everything else.  I used half the amount of dill and a bit more garlic.
This is all more because I didn't pay attention to my measurements.

So here's the verdict.  This dressing is absolutely fantabulous.  Everyone loved it.
I'll definitely be making it again.

BUT I'm willing to admit that nothing will ever compare to Hidden Valley.
This dressing is phenomenal and probably better than traditional ranch but nothing is really comparable to Hidden Valley.  This dressing is also much healthier than Hidden Valley so I feel much for comfortable drenching my food in it.


This week we tried Parsnip Muffins because it came as a suggestion from our CSA and I found Alton Brown's recipe.


They seemed to waver between sweet and savory.  Sort of ambiguous.
I think we need to add either something like raisins or something like bacon.
Apple would be great too.

I think this has really great potential though and I plan on working out the kinks.

What have you tried lately?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Conner


Baby Conner came into the world yesterday a total of 14 weeks early.

He is my newest great-nephew and I was able to visit him in the NICU today.

Born at 26 weeks, he is 2 pounds, 6 ounces and 16 inches long.

He's stable now and we'd like him to stay that way.  Grow, little Conner, grow.

Please send out your prayers and keep Conner in your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#14 / 52 Food Adventures: Lemon & Lime Thyme


Is there anything better than fresh herbs?

The dried versions are not even comparable and I find I'm using more and more herbs in every day cooking.  Peanut loves flavor and we all love thyme.

I found these two different kinds of thyme at a farmers market...

Picnik collage

Unfortunately the gorgeous variegated leaves of the lemon thyme did not survive me forgetting to water them for several days.

It's so sad.  I hate to kill plants and I despise wasting food so this really is a crime.

I've been cooking with them regularly but I've hardly taken any pictures lately.

Peanut likes thyme added into his scrambled egg and quiche and all 3 of us devoured this French Onion Chicken dish.  It's one of Peanuts favorite meals and the thyme really sings in it.


How sad is that lemon thyme?

Oh and there is a extremely noticeable difference in the smell of lemon and lime thyme.  The lime smells just like lime and the lemon smells like lemon balm and lemon grass.

The flavor difference in a dish is slight but it's there.

I'm gearing up to try thyme in ice cream and in the crust of my lemon bars.

What did you try this week?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Have a very Happy Easter!


Just another trip to the mall to terrorize my kid while I snap some pictures!

Yay for holiday cheer!

Picnik collage

Does this look familiar?

Maybe just a little like THIS picture with Santa?

Well, I hope you have a good visit from the Easter bunny and a day full of fun, family, friends and of course, food.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In which my MIL does it all

Picnik collage

My fantastic mother-in-law flew out last Wednesday when my mom had surgery
so that she could take care of the Peanut while mom was recuperating.

We're so lucky to have family that loves Peanut (and us) so much that they'll do things like that.

She stayed Wednesday through Sunday and proved that it is indeed possible to:

watch the baby
and keep the apartment clean
and spoil the baby
and make dinner, all of which were special requests, 
from scratch
every single day.

She also nearly finished 2 books.


Did I mention that she watched Peanut and made dinner and 
the place was cleaner then when she got here?

I'm pretty sure she blew my cover because it's taken me 
17 months to convince B that none of that was possible.

But can she do all that AND browse Pinterest and Facebook?
Can she?  Huh?!


The outlook isn't good, my friends.

We're running out of leftovers from her visit
and there are toys everywhere
and there are dishes in the sink

wait a minute... where is that kid anyway?

Monday, April 2, 2012

#13 / 52 Food Adventures: Honey


At first you might not think that honey can be considered a food adventure.
Yes, I've had honey.  

In fact, I love honey.
It wasn't until I met this man that I realize I've never really tasted honey before.


The Bennett's Honey Farm has lots of different kinds of honey.
People pay them to bring out their bees and have them pollenate the crops.

The result is honey from a variety of different crops with a variety of different flavors.
They were kind enough to take me through a tasting of the different kinds of honey.


First off, you can see the difference in the honey colors, from the darkness of the Eucalyptus to the light cactus honey that looks as it's been whipped (it hasn't) and all the shades in between.

Tasting them next to each other, with the guidance of the honey expert I was really able to taste the differences in flavors.  The creaminess of avocado honey, the really full-flavored buckwheat, the mild sage honey, the slightly floral flavor of the orange.

I think I'm becoming a bit of a honey snob.

Adding to my love for their honey is the fact that the honey farm is 100% solar powered and all of their honey is raw and unfiltered preserving it's natural goodness.  The less processing the better.

Picnik collage

In addition to honey over herbed goat cheese I also made these honey panna cotta's with berries.

Do you have any honey recipes for me?

What did you eat this week?
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