Friday, September 19, 2008

one more food blog!

Oh my goodness... I have to blog about this! Lindsey Laricks from Hammerpress started her own business and it's a gourmet snowcone stand called Fresher than Fresh. Amazing and inspiring. Way to go, lady!!

fall and food

It's really beginning to feel like Fall here in Michigan! I love it, and I hope it lasts for a long time this year. Fall is the best. I just went to the Farmer's Market this week and filled a basket with all kinds of squash/pumpkin. I got about 12 of them for $8... can't beat that!! Now, to bake and freeze. This is my new favorite recipe I plan to use at least 1/3 of my stash on.
Simply in Season
by Mary Beth Lind, Cathleen Hockman-Wert
Serves 6

• 1 pound / 500 g penne pasta (or other chunky pasta)
Cook, drain, and set aside.

• 1 pound / 500 g bulk sweet Italian sausage
In large deep frypan, brown sausage over medium-high heat. When cooked, remove meat and set aside. Drain fat from frypan and return pan to stove.

• 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
• 4 cloves garlic (minced)
Add to frypan and saute until soft, 3-5 minutes.

• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tablespoons fresh sage (cut into very thin strips)
• 1 cup / 250 ml dry white wine or chicken broth
Add and cook until half of liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.

• 1 cup / 250 ml chicken or vegetable broth
• 1 cup / 250 ml pumpkin or winter squash (cooked, pureed)
Mix in. Continue stirring until sauce starts to bubble. Add sausage and reduce heat.

• 1/2 cup / 125 ml evaporated (or regular) milk
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• coarse salt and pepper to taste
Stir in milk. Add seasonings and simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken. Remove bay leaf. Pour sauce over cooked pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish with freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and fresh sage leaves (optional).

Those who know my deep, sincere love of all mac and cheese may be surprised to hear: I would choose this over even fancy Gruyère mac and cheese any day. I made this with Rakowski's sweet Italian sausage(they are at the Fulton farmer's market every Saturday and their sausage is the best). Too bad I didn't take a picture, because when it's done, the orange of the squash and the bit of green from the sage are lovely. But, we ate it up before I could think about getting Sheila (my camera).

Speaking of farmer's markets, I just read about this sweet restaurant opening in DC. It's called Founding Farmers and their website says, "Owned by a collective of American Family Farmers, Founding Farmers restaurant exists to promote the products and services of family farmers, ranches, and fisheries. We also want to educate the public about the long-standing connection between farmers and their historic stewardship of natural resources, the first to lead the 'green' movement." Sounds pretty cool.

Last thing on my brain are these gorgeous spreads from Amy Atlas. This is enough to make we want to throw a party.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

deep freeze

In other news... today I broke-down and bought a nice chest-freezer for our home. It's a cute little GE model with 5-cubit-feet of space. I've been holding-off on this purchase, but our normal freezer is already full and our farm share is just NOW starting to really pick-up. Plus, this summer I've already frozen about 10 pounds of sour cherries, 5 pounds of blueberries, and loads of peaches - we haven't even hit applesauce or pumpkin time yet! This is in an effort to really take advantage of the amazing fruit season in Michigan and make it last into March, so I'm looking at it as a great investment. Here's to bubbly peach cobbler in the snow storms!

moving right along

Today is Katy's M-day: Move in to the dorm day! What a huge step. I remember my move-in day; it was the worst day of my life. I still feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it. But, as in many things, Calvin just knows how to turn this scary day into a fun, happy one. First thing, when they pulled up in the van to the parking lot, a group of students came out with grocery carts and hauled all the stuff to Katy's room for her! She's met her roommate, her Resident Director (who was an RA with ME when I was a student), and students on her floor. Her room is SO cute in it's pink and brown palette.

My mom, Kates, Sandra, and I ate lunch in Knollcrest dining hall where Katy met more amazing people. I enjoyed some superman ice cream - Hudsonville Creamery can't be beat. Here's a picture of the two ladies who lunch...

Now they are getting some last-minute shopping in before the final cookout where the parents say their goodbyes and the students start their "Quest" (the second phase of orientation). Everyone is happy with tummies full. My mom said that she just feels so much better leaving knowing that at the very moment she leaves, Katy is with new friends doing fun things - not sitting alone in her unfamiliar room wondering what's next or where to go.

And, needless to say, I am just bursting with joy to have both Katy and Peter at Calvin while I work here with Daniel. The group of us have already designated Monday nights to be home-dinner nights where Peter and Katy will accompany me, Sandra, and Daniel home to cook and share dinner together. I'll probably cry at the first couple b/c I'll be so happy. I hope they are as happy about their new life here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

blogging friends

I love that so many people have blogs! This is my friend's blog... her name is Joy'l and the image above is a sample of her amazing talent when it comes to design. She does everything from greeting cards to wedding invites and websites.

And Nectar & Light is my new favorite find... I don't remember where I found this one, but the sunny photos and recipes are so wonderful!! Like this photo full of pink (and I love Hunter boots!).