Best Hamburger Buns

A few nights go Matthew wanted a burger but we had no buns.  None of us were in the mood to run to the store, but then I remembered  I had saved a recipe a few days before on what some people call the best hamburger buns to the point of they don’t buy them store bought anymore.   Hamburger buns were made.. from scratch!  Honestly, they take a bit of time of course to rise, but they are filling, soft, fresh and everything dreams are made of.  I made a few extras so we could freeze them.  Let’s make some buns!

The recipe comes from King Arthur’s who’s Bread Flour I always buy and used for this recipe, even though regular flour would work too.
Note to recipe: This makes 8 bun pieces (so 4 burgers).  These were on the large size, so you could probably make 12 smaller ones (6 burgers) and that would be ok too.

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So many pictures behind the cut, prepare yourself.

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Birthday Boy

Today is Matthew’s happy day! We will be celebrating with some hugs and this chocolate delight from DOUGH.  After thesis is over and he can breathe (Matthew is about to finish up Grad School – NYU ITP) then we will do a post celebration at Peter Luger’s later in May, just made reservations today!   Happy Birthday my little pumpkin boy!

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And of course the rhododendrons decided to bloom on this happy day!

Hello Broccoli!

If you read this blog you know I have a crush on our broccoli.  You also know that I sing and dance around it, and give it daily pats of encouragement.  I think it’s paid off… because today… this is what… I saw!!
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The winds this week have been pretty intense and you might be aware that wind is our worst enemy when it comes to gardening (and my hair).  Wind has killed pumpkins, ripped down beans, broken tomato branches, but what do you do when there’s 40 mph winds on a roof with fragile plants? Really not much you can do, I can only stand in one spot to attempt to wind block for so long (just kidding, maybe).  So it saddens me to see some broccoli leaves broken. The plants themselves are fine, but I would love to see these monstrous guys protected from everything.  <3
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Go Broccoli, go!
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Weekend Pictures

This weekend has mostly been spend checking things off on my “to do” list.  There’s been many hours spent talking about ideas that will be storyboarded and pitched, some good cheese fries, friends stopping by, and one Brother  Bear who has meowed with love more in the last 2 days than in his entire life – one step closer to becoming a snuggle bear!

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I made eggs and toast for us for brunch today.  Essy was all over it.

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Morning Drive to School

Spotted this video this weekend and wanted to share it. This brings me back to memories of jamming out in the car to Prodigy with my dad and Presidents of the United States with my mom.  I’m not even going to talk about the Dead Kennedys phase I went through. Or Nsync, those were good years.   Teenage Angst at it’s best.

Kale Harvest + How to Blanch Kale

We had our first kale harvest of the year today! Because I’m obsessed with this cookbook and knew we were going to make kale calzones tonight (recipe soon!) I had to pick a bunch!

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Bushy kale..

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The harvest basket is back. :)

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BEAUTY! Ignore the nails.

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Then it was blanched for dinner.  Don’t think we didn’t sneak a few pieces of this fresh too, best kale I ever tasted in my entire life. <3

Directions on how to blanch kale behind the cut.

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Garden Expansion

I make a list of topics to talk about on the blog because I have a bad memory.  This usually goes on a big piece of brown paper that hangs next to my desk on the wall.  It has work projects on it too, which means I can never escape from them.  One that has been haunting me for the past few weeks is “Garden Expansion”.  So today, without any further wait, let me show you how we’ve been expanded a bit and gotten the garden more ready for prime time season. This is what Garden Expansion now looks like on my list. :)

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A few weeks ago when it was warmer than what it is today we went to Home Depot to buy more PVC pipes.  The tomato cage that surrounds the tomatoes  needed to be built.  This encloses all the tomatoes together as well as acts as support for a wall of wind blocker fabric which will wrap around.  We just got the fabric yesterday after being back ordered, it’s 8 feet by 500 feet.  It’s so big it didn’t even come in a box but in a green plastic container.  Hoping this will easily last the rest of the year and maybe next.

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We also then straightened up the entire space and got the other boxes in order of where they were going to go.  I’d say this is pretty close to all the boxes, size of what’s going down this year.  There’s some off to the side you’re missing which might be home to the pumpkins or watermelon.  We’ll be transplanting those soon.

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Then last week we baked 2 big batches of brownies. Just kidding. I wish. Could you imagine? I could.  Anyways.  This past weekend we filled up the tomato bins with their potting mix, perlite, nutrients and then sealed them up.  So now they’re all ready for the tomatoes and peppers which will be planted very soon.  Currently the tomatoes/peppers are on the roof hardening off, getting strong for the summer.

More pictures behind the cut.

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The Victory Garden Cookbook

Please let me introduce a friend you are going to be seeing often in the next few months, The Victory Garden Cookbook.  It just arrived today and I was so excited I set up delivery notification to text message me when UPS delivered it.   In my never ending search to explore our harvest and use everything we grow, sometimes you can become a bit bored by the usual salad or tomato sauce, this book here solves everything.  It has over 800 recipes, all arranged by vegetable.  It has a great Index in the back too so you can quickly search “pizza” and it gives you multiple options to get your vegetables in it.  I’m already exploding with ideas so stay tuned for some (many) recipes from this book.  The book is out of print but if you’re interested in it you can buy it on Amazon, I got mine used for $14 with Amazon Prime.

Here are some pictures..

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I am not familiar with Marian Morash as this book was published when I was 1 year old, but I’m ready to become her best friend. 

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The back of the book. SWOON.

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Handy contents page, you can see everything is organized.  It makes me want to plant more. AHHH.

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Every section starts out with a lovely picture.  Then it goes on to describe basics of cooking this vegetable.  After that, it’s pages of recipes.

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Here are some pumpkin recipes.  Pumpkin scramble – are you kidding me! Omg.

More behind the cut, of course. I can’t control myself.

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Kitchen Thoughts

Some random thoughts from the small area I call a kitchen..

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San Marzano is the best brand of tomatoes you can buy. I’m not lying, and I don’t know how they do it, but if you’ve never tried them, next time buy a can and I bet you’ll never go back! The only type of tomatoes better is the ones you grow in your garden. :)

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We’ve been snacking on cut vegetables lately so I’ve been buying broccoli and cauliflower heads and cutting them up as soon as I get home.  Throw them in a ziplock bag and you have instant healthy snacks when rooting through the refrigerator.

More behind the cut.

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Lettuce Wraps

Can you believe I went from hating lettuce to now using lettuce as a main ingredient?  What have I been missing out on? I’m glad my taste buds changed, thank you.  As I continue my mission to eat everything we grow, I picked some lettuce for lunch but wasn’t really feeling a salad.  So a quick Google search led me to some great lettuce ideas, including using it as a wrap.  Although this is a little sloppy it’s quite delicious and super fresh.  I put on some Northern beans, tomatoes, salsa and a little bit of Monterey Jack cheese.  Fold them up and you got yourself a great lunch!  I’m thinking if I had chicken to it, it would be great for dinner too.

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Ricotta, Basil, Tomato Tea Sandwiches

These are a little late coming as the tea lunch date was close to 2 weeks ago, but sometimes it takes a bit, and these are worth it.

Ingredients:
Bread – I used Arnold’s Whole Wheat
Ricotta
Fresh Basil
Garlic Cloves
Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper

Directions:
Marinade slices of tomatoes in olive oil, salt/pepper mixture overnight.
Mince garlic and some basil (leave some for the topping) and mix with ricotta.  Store overnight.
Cut your bread into hearts with a heart cookie cutter.
Add some ricotta on top.
Add either a fresh basil leaf or a marinated tomato on top.
Enjoy!

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Many more pictures behind the cut.

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