On March 30th, my eldest turned 28. She and her boyfriend came down from Brooklyn to celebrate last weekend.Here’s birthday girl, Lauren, with our formerly feral cat, Brippy. This picture was taken in the middle of a party. Brippy has adapted.This is my youngest daughter, Laney, and Brippy. Laney is the one who tamed her with love and attention and time and treats. When Laney comes home from college, Brippy will often play hard to get – punishing her for her absence. But Laney is the only one who gets this melt down head-on-the-shoulder hug. This is my son, and Laney’s twin, Patrick. Oh, and Riley. Riley knows how to seek out the best sofa/pillow experience.Here is a quick shot of some family members at the party. I don’t usually include family photos; we’ll see if I get the business.My brothers in law made this amazing onion bread for the party. Spike and Daniel recently moved up from Florida and we are so happy to have them so close!Here’s my new favorite thing – the cutting board Spike and Daniel gave me. It’s a cut from a tree of theirs. Pretty awesome. Oh, and those rosemary bar nuts? Amazing!
I’ve been thinking about my favorite vegetable to grow, harvest and cook, and to my utter surprise, it’s swiss chard. It’s super good for me; it has vitamins K, A and C, and it is anti-inflammatory & has anti-oxidants.As a plant, it’s easy. It always grows; I’ve never had one die on me. It forgives me if I don’t pick it at just the right moment. It keeps growing all summer, and it’s pretty. It’s simple to prepare. I rinse the leaves off, pile them up, slice them lengthwise 3 or 4 times, then chop it up. I saute it in olive oil and water with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (because red pepper flakes are good with everything). It’s tasty just like that. But I make a ton of it and keep it in the fridge to do this:
- add to eggs and omelets
- spread over sautéed chicken & top it with swiss/parmesan cheese
- spread on top of pizza
- add to any kind of pasta
- add to soups and beans
- toss into salads
- spread onto toasted bread (with or without cheese – oh never mind – WITH cheese)
So I have to give an A+ to swiss chard: healthy, easy, simple, delicious.
Every year around this time, I start to run out of ways to use up all the tomatoes. Here’s a list of my current favorites:
1) tomato & pesto sandwich
2) tomato pie
3) tomato salad with green beans & black olives
4) pizza topping
5) salsa (always)
6) halve cherry tomatoes, chop green pepper & onions & sprinkle with oregano. Keep in the fridge ready to add to: pasta, omelets, salad, soup, quiche, or pizza
How do you use tomatoes?
I avoid my oven in the summertime; I don’t like how it heats up the house.
So by fall, I’m really hungry for all of the things I haven’t been cooking: bread and baked potatoes, pot roast and cinnamon buns.
I’ve made the switch now, and I’m enjoying the winter menu.
I also like how all it takes is a little bit of prep work . . .and the oven does the rest.
I’m going to miss you, my little vegetable garden.
I make pesto, and I use it. I spread it on half a bagel and toast it. I use it as a sandwich spread (my favorite: chicken, roasted red peppers, and pesto).When I get tired of it, I freeze it for later.