Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Compost piles, gardening, radishes, and a facebook group that loves to chat all about it.

Tomato plant green (c)nwafoodie

Seasons are chapters in the garden of life.  

Each one tells a story, its own unique story, which picks up each year at the same time.  We build up with excited anticipation as a new season approaches and moan with impatience at the dragging moments towards the end of it. I like seasons, the beginnings, the middle, and the ends of them.  

Take, for instance, all the chatter going on right now about gardens.  Everywhere I look, I see your lovely photos of fresh perfect mounds of gorgeous soil.  I am drawn to your compost piles.

compost pile (c)nwafoodie

Your trellises wow me and so does your bamboo stakes.  Yes, I love your cute painted rocks with plant names on them.  Your tomato plant seedlings impress me.

tomato seedlings (c)nwafoodie

Before you know it, those seedlings will blossom and bloom and lo and behold, will be ready to gloriously eat.  Each plant that produces a leaf will be looked at with curiosity, a thoughtful wondering whether, “Will this work in pesto?”

radish greens (c)nwafoodie

You will finally get to pick that first perfect beautiful tomato.

first tomato (c)nwafoodie

It may be hard to remember this, but at some point the abundance may overwhelm you.  Friends, neighbors, and co-workers will run the other way as you walk in with (yet again) more squash.  You may even find yourself scratching your head, wondering what do with all those radishes.

bunch of radishes (c)nwafoodie

If you are nodding your head, “yes, yes, yes” to these statements, I bet you are someone who loves to share, discuss, contemplate, meditate, educate, or just really dig all things gardening.

You’re not alone.

There is a (mostly) local facebook group called “Grow Yer Own! Plus how pets help!” that I was introduced to over the winter months by local Fayetteville gal, Marianne Beasley.  She created this facebook group two years ago for friends and folks who are trying to grow at least some of their foods.  They share pictures and talk about their gardens each season as they plan, plant, harvest, can, dehydrate, freeze, and eat.  (That’s my favorite part.)  Many in the group participate in a simple soup Sunday in-home event where some prepare a soup made from simple ingredients from the garden, inspired by the Twelve Months of Monastery Soups cookbook.

Happy composting, gardening, tomatoeing, radishing, and facebook sharing.

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dust off your cheese dome.

Dust off your cheese dome (c)nwafoodie

Visit any flea market in town and within hosts a ghost town of cheese domes.  Large ones, small ones, cheaply made ones, and elongated pretty ones.  All long forgotten and abandoned and most likely snatched up by an eager dealer who knows the value of a good find.  My friend Beth uses her cheese domes to display artful treasures in her home although I daresay she most likely uses them for entertaining as well.  Cheese domes are not just for fancy-schmancy  French aristocrats or cheese snobs.  They are for real people like you and me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Brazi Bites help keep it real.

Brazi Bites (c)nwafoodie

Heads up: I received free product samples of Brazi Bites (yum).

Each week after Church we have light snacks, coffee, tea, and lemonade.  The drinks are replenished throughout the afternoon by volunteers and I wonder if anyone else personally struggles with the idea of scooping out a mix of bright pink powder that magically turns into pink lemonade.  The kids seem to enjoy it so the mixing goes on.

Light snacks are provided by the whim of whomever.  The occasional mega-pack of pretzels, chips, and cheetos snuggle in next to that crazy pink lemonade.  Some weeks it is obvious someone went on a baking spree as the countertops fill up with bite-size treats that encourages more pots of coffee.  A dose of protein like string cheese will pop in, here and there, and cause me to mentally breath a sigh a relief for all those little kids hyped up on pink lemonade and treats.   

Friday, March 28, 2014

Snacks and lunch bags are on my mind.

I like to keep snacks on hand and ready-to-go when I leave the house. How about you? Are you taking good care of yourself when it comes to keeping grown-up snacks on hand? This article of mine about snack packs was featured on peekaboonwa today.

grown up snack packs (c)nwafoodie

I wish I had an entire closet full of insulated lunch bags, containers, bottles, and all-things-storage containers.  Does that make me obsessed?  How about you? Are you looking for inspiration on grown-up lunch bags?  These are fun.  This article of mind about lunch bag foodie finds was featured on Arkansas Women Bloggers today.

five foodie finds for Friday, March 28, 2014 (c)nwafoodie

I must be hungry.

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cauliflower and Rice croquettes.

How to make cauliflower and rice croquettes patties cakes (c)nwafoodie

Cauliflower is a cool-season crop and boy is this cool-season still going strong.  Instead of fighting, whining, grumbling, complaining about our little Spring peek-a-boo party, let’s embrace what we’ve been given.

Cauliflower just wants a little love.

Recently I was asked to write a monthly post for Taste Arkansas, an Arkansas Farm Bureau publication, so I decided to play around with cauliflower and rice. You know why I chose cauliflower but why rice? Arkansas rice is one of the backbones of our state's farming economy, so I figured it only right that I let them play together.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Need a little pre-Spring inspiration?

pre-Spring daffodils (c)nwafoodie

Don’t let that little sleet-ice episode fool you. Spring has penciled in her dance card and her number is coming up next. 

The daffodils don’t lie.

My sister Stacey and I have a cute little give-and-take.  When I get stuck on which blog picture I should post in a series of photographs, I text them to them her and let her pick.  9 times out of 10 we pick the same one. When she is stumped on what to serve for dinner with, say steak, she texts me for suggestions.  10 times out of 10 I wish I lived close enough to her to bring the side dishes over myself.

So I got to thinking about Spring and decided that you may need a little full-course meal inspiration to get you in the mood for Spring… complete with the photos that received the solid thumbs-up.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five Foodie Finds for Friday, March 14th.

Five foodie finds for Friday, March 14, 2014 (c)nwafoodie

Lately I’ve been thinking about starting a pepper grinder collection.  Are you into that? I found out that there are about a trillion salt and pepper shaker options out there on the interweb. Here are five to get you started.

Go timeless. These timeless shakers are made of brass and have an antique silver patina finish.  Perfect for every day shaking.

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