Friday, July 20, 2012

A breather from the heat!

This week has been one back on my feet.

Temporary single mama while my husband was away in Japan for work.  My older son was with my parents for VBS at their church.  It was just the little one and me.

We had a great time hanging out and doing things just the two of us.  Mostly playing, reading, working at the patch, and cooking.  It was too hot to be outside at the beginning of the week - except early in the morning when we'd go to the community garden to water, weed, and plant some more seeds (how did we miss planting sunflowers???).

The little one is quite the independent child - keeps himself busy most days until he wants to read with me.  I took the time to catch up on housework that's been ignored for many months and to prep veggies for today's cooking - it's been in the low 70s and high 60s all day - perfect weather for baking and cooking!

This morning we made a batch of blueberry zucchini mini loaves with zucchini from the patch.  I still have shredded zucchini in the fridge, trying to figure out what I'll do with it tonight or tomorrow.

Then we ran to a local farmer's market where corn is buy a dozen, get a dozen free - it's not organic, but it's local.  I husked it while my mother-in-law and older son (who came home today) picked silk.  Then I cut it off of the cob and bagged it in one cup portions before putting it in the freezer for this winter... This is my favorite corn chowder recipe - but I use two tablespoons of olive oil in place of the bacon and stir in low fat sour cream to each serving instead of using the heavy cream in the whole batch.  That way we can eat it over many days without it separating when we reheat, also saves on the calories!

I have a container of sliced red onions from the patch.  I'm perusing for recipes for what I should do with them.  I really want to make a caramelized onion jam of sorts (not too sweet) so that I can use it off the pantry shelf for my caramelized onion and goat cheese tart with thyme that I love to make - but rarely do because of the planning for time to make the caramelized onions!

Last night's dinner and today's lunch was tortellini soup with white beans and the base is tomato goodness from the 2011 crop.  You can see how to make tomato goodness here. To make the soup I defrosted a quart of tomato goodness, then added a can of small white beans that were drained and rinsed.  I snipped in some fresh parsley and basil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  The tortellini was cooked separately and then added to the soup.  I finished it with a grating of pecorino romano.  It's delicious with fresh bread to dip into the broth.  The second day the broth is thicker because of the pasta and beans absorbing the moisture.  You can add chicken or vegetable stock to thin it, if you prefer.  I actually prefer the soup better on day two.  If you want more depth of flavor, you can start by sauteeing pancetta and finely chopped onions and then adding the tomato goodness.  In lieu of tomato goodness, you can use a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes with basil and adding half to one cup of chicken stock.  It will give you a similar consistency and flavor to the tomato goodness.  This is such a quick dinner - it's ready as soon as the tortellini is finished cooking - so however long it takes to boil water plus eight minutes... It really couldn't be easier!

The husband's plane has landed and he's on his way home.  I'm so glad!

Updates about WoodstreamDream and WoodstreamPapery will be coming soon... in the meantime check out the shops - I've added new items in the past couple of weeks!

Thanks for stopping by to read!  Have a blessed weekend!

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