Sunday, July 24, 2011

CSA Week 7

This weeks photo was artfully arranged by my Mom and Dad since we were away on Holidays!  
As per my weekly email from Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze this weeks basket included; red bunching onions, napa cabbage, zucchini, red potatoes-a new variety we are growing this year called-Norland, cucumber, sweet yellow banana pepper, and something a little different, purslane.

I grill wrapped the 'taters' with olive oil and chopped herbs from my garden.  We had them with homemade souvlaki kabobs and a Greek salad.  Always a favourite meal.

On Monday and Tuesday we vacationed in the Niagara on the Lake area staying at Maria's B & B in the Laura Lynn Suite.  Maria's B & B is perfectly located close to all attractions, dining and wineries.  Marielle and Jai were awesome and funny hosts providing delicious breakfasts and a well maintained, clean home.  We visit the Niagara area often and this will most definitely be on our return list.

While in Niagara on the Lake we enjoyed "High Tea" at the Prince of Wales Vintage Hotel. I begged my husband to go to this and I'm so happy he enjoyed it as much as I did.  The hotel is FANCY!  I would love to stay there sometime, it was just a bit expensive for our trip budget this time.  I really enjoyed this experience--the hotel lobby was filled with fresh roses and smelled so pretty.

On Wednesday we went to Stratford to see the Grapes of Wrath.  I chose this play because I wanted to see Janet Wright.  You may know her as "Emma" from Corner Gas.  I'm going to be honest, all of the actors in the play were FANTASTIC, the play however ---- ummm --- perhaps I should have read something about it before going??  It was not really our thing; we found it very depressing and a bit awkward and squeemish at the end.  

In Stratford we stayed at the The Caversham House Bed & Breakfast staying in the Sheridan Room.   Mary Lou and John have created a elegant B & B experience.  The house is decorated beautifully and located within easy walking distance to all the theatres and shops. Breakfast was outstanding and I loved that they make the effort to source their produce locally and that everything was home-made.   

I sadly said goodbye and gave my trusty Singer Sewing machine to my niece for her 10th birthday.  My Singer was a wedding present from my parents and has served me very well for the last decade.  I discovered my love of quilting with this machine.


On the upside!  I did go and pick up this baby on Tuesday via a little cross border shopping trip to Bailey's Embroidery Supply in Leicester, New York.   It's a Bailey's Home Quilter Pro 15. 

I am so excited to have this machine!!!  I know with time and practice my long arm quilting skills are going to be amazing with the help of this machine.  It's the stretch-limo of sewing machines!!

Thanks Big Man for such an awesome week off together.  You work so hard for our family.  I hope you know how grateful I am to have you and all that you provide.  XOXOX  --- except for this cold you gave me, that kinda sucks!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CSA Week 6

This week so far has been my favourite from Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze!
As per my weekly email from Lisa and Steve:  "This weeks basket includes; snow peas (do not pod), a small bunch of beets, including the beet greens, (use these in salads, or steam like spinach), zucchini, fresh garlic, a cucumber, head of lettuce and fresh new white potatoes. (superior variety)".

GARLIC!!  I love fresh garlic it beats the poop out of the stuff you find at the grocery store!  I used it in Chicken Fajita's on Saturday and in a marinade for Steak on Sunday.

3 Zucchini's--that's a challenge in itself!  I sauteed two with the Snow Peas in a chicken broth, thyme and cornstarch glaze.

The rest was used to make "Chocolate Chip Orange Zucchini Bread".  This has been a go to recipe I found at All Recipes a few years back.  It makes two loaves that slice and freeze perfectly.  If you decide to make this, be sure to beat the eggs and sugar until they look "lemony fluffy white"; this is really what makes or breaks this recipe.

I spent most of this weekend using my long arm quilting frame to stitch a clam shell pattern onto a charity quilt my Mom and I have been working on.  We will be donating it to my cousin to raffle off for the "Make a Wish Eastern Ontario" chapter in the fall.

This weeks newly blooming flower was a Day Lilly.  The cat in the background is my neighbour's cat "Misty".  Every time I come back from a run she hangs around with me while I "stretch things out"; she's a sweetie.  A co-worker gave me an orange miniature Poppy that continues to keep flowering.

Sunday's dinner:  garlic marinated BBQ steak, boiled beats, sauteed zucchini and snow peas, grilled foil pack potatoes with sage -- delish!!

Wow, Southern Ontario really need some rain!  My grass has stopped growing and is brown and dry.  I've been watering my potted plants which seem to be surviving so far.  My poor herb garden is so wilted; I'll have to water it tomorrow morning for sure.
This week has been really hard for running (ok, who are we kidding, slow jogging).  After my run on Saturday I seriously almost passed out twice!  Once while picking up dry cleaning and then driving for groceries.  I had to buy and chug a Gatorade--please try to keep cool and power down the liquids.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

CSA Week 5

This week my share from Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze brought Green Onions, a Green and Yellow Zucchini, Red Leaf Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli, Green Peas and 3 Bok Choi.  Wow!

My whole family is really pleased with how our farm share adventure is going.  A co-worker commented this week about how great my salads look.  I told her all about the share, she was surprised and admitted that she had never heard of the farm share concept before.  Perhaps another convert in the making?

This weeks flower is a daisy again -- but a super awesome watercolour daisy.  Joy, my friends Mother so graciously painted and framed this picture for me.  Stephanie's house is full of beautiful pictures and I admire them every time I visit her home.

Joy, Thank You so very much for this painting.  I LOVE it!  I've hung it up in my living room just outside the kitchen and I admire it with every passing.

I'm in awe of anyone who has artistic talent no matter what type of medium they create with.  I'm good at quilting; but drawing and painting are definitely not a talent I possess.

Sunday's dinner consisted of a simple Romaine Lettuce and Green Onion Salad.  In the oven I roasted the Green and Yellow Zucchini, along with Red Peppers, Red Onion, Mushrooms and the stems from one of the Bok Choi's.  My Husband requested the Green Onion and Cheddar Scones again.

Anyone who has a Costco membership knows how big the pack of pork ribs are! I used two slabs and made the "Baby Back Ribs on Maple Planks" from the most recent Summer 2011 Food and Drink magazine available at the LCBO.

I used Pineapple Juice instead of Apple Juice ('cause that's what I had on hand--keep comments to yourself Mother).  I also did not grill them on the maple planks but on my stoves grill pan on the top shelf of the BBQ.  Mmm, hmmmmm........sticky, crunchy, barky, goodness.  I recommend!

As per the picture above, I have finally gotten a smart phone!  YEAH!  It is an HTC Sensation 4G Android phone.  I'm learning how to use it but I look forward to posting much more interesting "Tweets" now that I can include pictures.

I know there is the hot debate between Android and Apple.  I chose the Android platform to work in conjunction with my Husband's phone.  I already have an I-Touch that I want to keep more for songs, movies and the occasional "app".

That's it for this week.  I hope the weather chills down just a little bit; it's so hot to run in the morning if I'm not out there early.....let's not even discuss the colour of my poor lawn.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

CSA Week 4

This weeks share from Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze contained Asparagus, Large Green Onions, Garlic Scapes, Savoy Cabbage, Red and Romaine Lettuce and a Zucchini -- the box was heavy and could hardly be closed!

I've been taking salads for my lunch at work and popping lettuce into my husband's sandwiches.  The Asparagus was grilled to go along with Turkey Burgers that I blended Scapes and Green Onions into the patty mix.  We still haven't used the Savoy Cabbage; not sure exactly what to do with it?

Wednesdays, Watson's Farm has a table outside of the subway station by my work.  I picked up 2 baskets of Strawberries for $8.00 and made Strawberry Kiwi Jam.  The recipe is from a book written by Yvonne Tremblay -- "250 Home Preserving Favourites".  This is my second year making it after watching a segment on Canada AM.

The jam labels were created by Cathe Holden and are available to use on her blog called "Just Something I Made".  She is very creative and is an amazing digital artist.  I love her site and all the crafty projects and inspiration that she provides.

Daisy's were the blooming flower this week in my garden.

Tonight I made "Zucchini Spice Loaf" created by Jennifer MacKenzie found via the Summer 2005 LCBO Food and Drink Magazine.  It smells fantastic and if it tastes as good as the batter it should be YUMMY!

I've also started work on quilting the baby quilt on my Grace Mini-Pini quilting frame.  I'm trying out a pantograph pattern that I purchased from Digi Tech Designs.  I bought the PDF file but I think next time I'll just order the printed copy and have it delivered.

The quilt is for a co-worker but I'm using it more as a practice piece.  My long arm quilting skills are very new so I don't feel that I am "fantastic" yet.  I've been reading lots of blogs and instruction books but I think it's going to come down to lots of "Practice makes Perfect".