Tag Archives: food

the taste of lavender

Ever so often we head west and anchor ourselves down in the State of Colorado. Last fall when settling into a weekly resident in Mancos, Colorado I scuffled through Ansley’s stash of readable material and found Edible Magazine. From there started a lengthy conversation and sharing of regional recipes. The premise of Edible Magazine is to feature a region and its local, seasonal culture. (There is not one for Western NC just yet but I am definitely keeping my eye out!) I always enjoy chatting with Ansley about food, gardening and babies! Just our thing!

There were some specific recipes that caught my eye that had been shared in the spring edition of Edible San Juan Mountains. (Mancos is located in the San Juan Mountain region of CO) Excited to share Ansley’s hubs, Barry, headed to the printer to make copies for me. For nearly six months now I have been looking for an excuse to make this drink, The Green River Martini. It is infused with Honey Lavender Simple Syrup. Seriously.

When our beach trip arose and our friends, the Wheeler’s, agreed to join us for one of the two weeks I knew I had found my excuse. We headed out to the yard and picked 4 cups of fresh lavender and set it out to dry (makes two cups). Packed the lavender and the honey and loaded it to the Outer Banks. Week one consisted of making the simple syrup and letting it marinate. It smelled exactly like it was going to taste. Floral, light, heavenly.

The martini itself is a bit complicated in flavor but over ice it mellowed out and was pleasant to sip on a warm afternoon. But the syrup has many purposes. The best I’ve experienced thus far is over vanilla bean ice cream (yes!) or dolloped in a warm cup of green rice tea. The taste of lavender is delicate and floral and purely satisfactory. A pleasant way to embrace summer.



we be jammin’

…slathered on the sourdough. Dee-lish!!

Did not miss the opportunity to purchase extra strawberries this week for the sole purchase of strawberry jam! More strawberry recipes to can next week! This particular recipe is easy and so rewarding. Great for the newbie. I think this jam slathered on a biscuit with the lemon curd we canned a while back sounds pretty dang good!!

Doing the jiggy dance! So thrilled the season is upon us!


holy shiitake

I can’t believe that I haven’t told you about our first CSA box for this season!! It started one week earlier than anticipated due to the strawberries coming in! I can’t believe we are already slurping fresh, local, organic strawberries. And they are just as delicious as we remember them.

I will have t0 say that I was blown away by the first box. It was full and quite heavy for it being this early in the season. We have a big bag of spinach, Pac Choi, Red Russian Kale, green onions, a bunch of turnips, popping corn and thyme. But what I really was surprised by and most certainly enjoyed were the shiitake mushrooms. It is a change of pace. It was like opening a gift on christmas morning!

I shared my joy with our chef and nutritionist friend, Spencer Brown. Immediately he shared his thoughts on the best way to prepare shiitake. Oh. my. god. Sooooo good. Crunchy, yet meaty, earthy flavors flew around in my mouth. The best part, it is extremely easy. Goes a little something like this…

Slice mushrooms down the center, through the stem. Sprinkle the mushrooms with sea salt, pepper, a little olive oil and toasted sesame oil. Roast in the oven to desired texture. We chopped the mushrooms and put them on top of the spinach with walnuts, cranberries and a little bit of parmesan. I made a balsamic vinaigrette infused with the fresh thyme. Just. so. good.

Here’s to a delicious season! Cheers!


what a doozy

Friends, what jet lag! This family has a way whacked schedule. The poor kid, we’ve gone to bed at 2:00 am both nights. Slept till 12:00 noon yesterday. Michael and I pulled ourselves out of bed at 9:00am this morning determined to battle our confused minds and bodies. How do you get a child on board? You don’t. You let their body and mind work through it as long as it takes. So, she is still sleeping!

Although, we concocted a plan that involves heavy, physical, fun activities, after dinner, pre-bed. Like a long bike ride and a tool around the park! I suppose that is a way to encourage her body/mind to leave the 6 hour time difference behind. Wear it out!! 🙂 I’ll let you know!

Jet lag or not, we are still amped to be home. Both of us fired up about chickens, plotting the property for our future coop, as well as other landscape plans we have had up our sleeves for years but never executed! We walked the 1 acre yesterday and mapped out possibilities. Why the big deal? What’s the excitement? Mostly that for our nearly 12 year relationship (celebrated 9 years of marriage on the 11th) we have been on the go people. Always looking for a new place to discover, live, play. Our time was always spent finding a new river to paddle or a new pub to taste.

Fortunately, our kid has slowed us down. She has kindly forced us into a pleasant flow and hum of a schedule. For the first time, we have actually slowed down to smell the roses. And, my friends, we have discovered that we love this place. We really love our home, our community and the opportunities here. We want our roots to grow deeper. As always when you travel you appreciate home but this time, we are ready to dig into the dirt. Help our own paradise flourish!

I hope you are all well! I look forward to sharing more with you when my brain gets a proper reboot! While I break out the blender to make a coconut, mango, banana smoothie, make sure to take the time to inspire your mind, body, heart and soul!


plentiful harvest

We’ve managed to avoid eating junk and grunge on this holiday. Lucky enough to find the Haleiwa Farmers Market after three days of being here, plus privileged to have the ladies laying enough eggs to supply breakfast and, as mentioned before, fruit and avocados from the tree. What the ladies can’t provide (there are only three of them and several people vying for their supply!) we are able to supplement with those $8.00/dz eggs from the farmers market.

Tonight was the cream of the crop. After a day in the sun, an evening in the rain and walking the 100 steps up to the treehouse several times it is refreshing to have a plentiful, healthy meal. We made the Raw Kale Salad (now a family fav) with organic kale, raisins and mixed raw/unsalted nuts, quick steamed asparagus, red potatoes sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a few slices of salami, italian style. For the slurping kind we made a pineapple, mango smoothie with coconut water.

Our days are counting down to our return. We look forward to capturing as much of the local harvest as we can before we return to our non-tropical roots. Coconuts, coconuts and more coconuts! Not to mention the organic bananas freshly harvested….

Well, the sun has magically appeared just in time for sunset. Will grab the wine and head to the deck. In the meantime, click on the photo below to see the rainbow we saw today!

the not so pretty

There is absolutely nothing glorious or glamorous about cleaning an incredibly cruddy oven! I can pretend that our roasted vegetables don’t have a burnt bacon accent to them or that the sourdough bread doesn’t have a crunchy cheese topping that I did not put on there. At some point though, you have to commit and conquer.

So, this morning I did just that! With the sourdough batch waiting in the background to bake I rolled my sleeves up and got down to the grime of cleaning the oven. And believe it or not there were some really sweet, positive moments that mellowed out the moaning and groaning. With the child sitting attentively on the floor next to me with a bowl full of freshly popped popcorn, we had grand conversations about mother nature, dinosaurs and baby goats (we get to head over to the school this morning to visit with baby goats that are being brought in for the class to see!). She was curious as a monkey watching the baking soda work with vinegar water. She was amazed that the soapy water sopped up the gook (me too!).  The simple things in life can be so amazing!

As for the weekend, we couldn’t be more content with the visit with the fam. The day we arrived we were greeted with 75 degree weather and a pleasant sunset. Immediately we stepped out the car, grabbed Kaleb (the families 15 year old pup) and traced the farm road behind the house for an evening stroll. A great way to kick off the visit! Friday and Saturday we were met with rainy days. Non the less, we filled them with visits and fun. I have to say it was a pleasure to take RCB to a the IMAX 3D theatre to watch The Lorax on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Her first movie theatre experience and it was joyful to see her physically move with the  3D action on screen! There are so many highlights from the weekend that I don’t even know where to finish! From Grandma Iris to Lee Dunn (my brother) to cooking every morning with my Dad, it was just delightful!

As for the week ahead, we will continue to put our noses to the grindstone! In the meantime, we will make sure to find the delights in the not so delightful task!!