Sunday, July 27, 2008

blueberry cheesecake ice cream

So far, this summer has been full of real food: fresh veggies and fruit, homemade bread and pizza crust, farm fresh cheeses, and now, real ice cream. On a whim, we bought an ice cream maker last weekend, this cuisinart model that seems to be very popular. The first batch I made was chocolate cinnamon gelato--this recipe minus the toffee. And yesterday I made this blueberry cheesecake ice cream, from this Cooking Light recipe (halved, but with less than 3/4c sugar). The natural color of the blueberries is amazing, and the creaminess that the cream cheese adds is a nice first-bite surprise.

I first got really inspired by Jamie Oliver's new show Jamie at Home. Oh, he cracks me up! He makes cooking real food from scratch look so effortless. And it is so worth the time, and actually I spend less time shopping for food, and more time enjoying experimenting in the kitchen. Thank goodness I have a guy who doesn't mind doing dishes!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

new favorites

I ate a lot of those white bean and avocado club sandwiches after I discovered them, but now I'm on to a new favorite. Now, I'm quite picky about my sandwich bread--it has to be pretty substantial, so regular sliced bread doesn't work for me. I discovered new ciabattas on the bread aisle recently--not as good as fresh-baked, but really great toasted. The bread, spread with my pesto+mayo and filled with veggies makes an unbelievably delicious combination. This week, the veggies are zucchini (of course), bean sprouts, and asian cucumbers.

And my other new love--my birthday gift from E. I dropped some pretty big hints, but I'm still impressed that he got the exact style and color I wanted. It's made of navy blue super-soft glazed fabric, and it's from crystalyn kae, found through not martha.

Friday, July 18, 2008


It's easy to get so busy we forget we live in such a wonderful place, but the last week has reminded me how lucky I am to live in Florida. We left our normal life 'in town' and spent a few days at the beach with both immediate and extended family. We joked that it was a staycation, but, really, it couldn't have been better anywhere else. The days were filled with bike rides and walks on the beach, board games and frisbee, and lots of good food.

It's been a hectic week of returning to work while family's still in town, working extra so that I could work from home today, and our school's annual river cruise last night, so I'm looking forward to a weekend with plenty of (quiet) time on the sewing machine. I'm glad I took reminder photos of my latest project so I can pick up where I left off!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

American made

On Thursday last week, our school had a 4th of July party, just for fun and to teach our students a little about American culture. We had a watermelon eating contest and then a sunflower seed spitting competition(watermelons are seedless now!).

We also had a 'best dressed in red, white, and blue' contest, so I came up with this 'costume' (that's what the students were calling their outfits). My good friend sewed this dress for me in her sewing class when we were in high school. I loved it sooo much back then, so it was fun to get to wear it again, even though it's a little too short to wear as a dress these days! Before I left for school, I asked E if my outfit looked too silly, and he said "You're wearing a table cloth... with ants all over it." I guess I got my answer:)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

locally grown

Thank you so much for the squash ideas! It made me realize how many more ideas there are to try!

We've recently started eating a lot of arugula. We have been buying baby arugula and using it in place of spinach in pastas, salads, and on pizzas. I was so excited to find out that it would be included in our CSA share. Last week, we got a bunch of arugula, along with a recipe for arugula pesto--basically using arugula instead of basil. I used part of it to make a pizza (so tasty, I think it's time to invest in a pizza stone!). Before the pizza was baked, the pesto was so spicy--I finally understood why people always use 'peppery' to describe arugula's flavor. And after it baked, so good! I hope we get more this week.

Outside, my upside-down tomato set-up is doing a better job at growing basil (planted in the top of the bucket). That, along with another pot of basil will soon be made into traditional pesto.

The basil, 2 tomatoes, and 2 green peppers are the extent of my garden victories so far this year. Of course, I'd love to have the 'problem' of growing so much I have to give it away, but I'm ecstatic about what (very) local produce we have been able to enjoy!