Wool & Flax

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pinterest Prevails Tonight.

It's taken a while for me to get really interested in checking out Pinterest, but I did this week, and I think I'm hooked.  While I love the recipes offered, the main draw for me is the "Kids" section.  I've stalked many of my friends who have kiddos near G's age, and it's been amazing to see the different ideas people have to have fun (big thanks especially to Paige, Liz, & Kristy).  Tonight we had the shaving cream in the tub adventure.  I thought it was going to be a major fail at first - G started crying when I painted stuff on the wall.  But then "fun dad" helped out and we were finally getting him out of the tub about an hour later.  Big win!!! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Post, New Life!

So I missed an entire month of blogging.  That's okay though - life happens.  And in case anyone missed it on Facebook, here's a big part of our life right now:

Baby Walters #2 - due May 23, 2012
(sorry for the extra space - I'm too lazy to crop it out!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Grasshopper love

This little guy was hanging out outside while Keith was doing some major yardwork (thanks, dear!).  I can't remember seeing many g-hoppers in the past, but apparently there's a lot of them right now.  He's pretty cute.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I know there are people out there that don't like leftovers.  I am not one of them, and thankfully I don't live with one of those people.  I am usually quite thankful for leftovers, whether it be because I've had a long day at work and am tired, or because we have something to do after dinner and I don't want to rush to cook.  I have no problem sticking yesterday's dinner in the microwave and making it tonight's dinner.  But sometimes it's nice to revamp last night's dinner and make it something completely different, so that it doesn't really feel like leftovers.  That's what I did with a rotisserie chicken and bag of steamed corn this week: they became Green Chili Chicken Enchilladas. 

Here's the scoop:
Half of a rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
5 oz. steamed sweet corn
2 oz. diced green chilis (more if you like)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can chicken broth/stock
1/4 C AP flour
1 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper
1 jar (2 C) salsa verde
Cilantro, chopped (unless of course you're one of those people who can't stand the stuff, which I will pardon, but I'll feel sorry that you're missing out :))
Corn tortillas
2 C Cheddar-jack cheese (or whatever you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
For the filling: In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and saute until translucent, ~7 minutes.  Add chiles, garlic, and cumin and allow to saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant.  Add flour, stir to coat, and cook 1 - 2 minutes.  While whisking, slowly add chicken broth to make the veloute.  Continue stirring until sauce thickens.  Add shredded chicken, corn, and 1 cup of salsa verde.  Stir in chopped cilantro to taste (I like a lot, but add however much you like).  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Tortillas: If you have a gas stove, heat tortillas over the flame until soft.  You can also do this in an electric stove using the broiler setting.  Just pay attention!  If you want an easier way to soften the tortillas, place several between a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. 
To assemble: Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with about 1/2 C of salsa verde.  Add a small amount of filling to each tortilla, top with a sprinkle of cheese, and roll in the sides, placing seamside down in baking dish.  Continue in this fashion until you have filled your baking dish - but don't overlap.  Top the entire thing with remaining salsa verde, and the remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned.  Top with sour cream, more salsa, cilantro, or whatever your favorite toppings might be.
Serve with rice.

G$ loved this meal, so make good use of your leftovers, and ENJOY!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Family Vacation!!!

We had the extreme pleasure to spend last week in Lake Lure, NC, which is about an hour east of Asheville.  It's an hour east, but it's only about 30 miles away; it takes so long because of the winding, winding, curvy roads.   I wasn't sure how G$ would do on this road, but he was great the whole trip!  We joined my parents there, to stay in the timeshare they've had for the past 25 or so years.  I have so many memories at this place, and it was so much fun to share those memories with G this year.  I can't wait to make many more together!!!  Here are some highlights from the trip:

G had a BLAST in the pool!

The fam at the top of Chimney Rock.

The boys eating some delicious BBQ on such a gorgeous day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Failure vs. Success

I'm not immune to making mistakes in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination.  However, I do try to avoid them as much as possible because 1.)  I am afraid of disaster (imagine a fire needing to be extinguished after a failed homemade popcorn attempt...ahem...not that anyone in my family would know about that) and 2.)  I don't like cleaning up a mess. 

Two weeks ago I wanted to take full advantage of our beautiful sweet corn that we received from the CSA and make a corn chowder.  This is one of my favorite things to eat, and although it's still warm outside, I decided that soup was in order.  I worked hard shucking the corn and getting every last kernel off the cob, etc, etc.  G and I enjoyed a nice big bowl of corn chowder that evening.  The next night I planned to have leftovers.  Instead of microwaving individual bowls of the chowder, I just put the pot back on the stove to heat.  Well, that was my mistake.  I turned the burner on too high (which is something I'm constantly nagging someone else about), walked away, and that was THE END.  What had been a delicious, garden grown corn chowder ended up as nasty, bitter, BURNT corn chowder. 
Underneath this nice top layer filled with corn, onion, a bell pepper (all from the CSA), stock, and cream lay a black layer that totally consumed every ounce of deliciousness out of this pot.  I don't know about you all, but when this happens, I get a wee bit upset.  All of the work and produce had to be thrown down the drain, and the burnt remains took about a week to scrape off of the bottom of the pot! 

So last week I decided upon a fool-proof recipe from my dear friend Nada (also my former boss) that G and I could enjoy together, without any heartbreak or burned pots.  The recipe she came up with was so easy (great for a last-minute meal, or when you just don't feel like taking a long time to cook) and resulted in a really tasty pasta dish.  I know it's not really homemade, but sometimes it's fun to take a short-cut.

Spinach-Alfredo Pasta
1 jar store bought light Alfredo sauce
1 package fresh baby spinach
1 onion, diced
1 lb. penne pasta (or other favorite shape)
Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:  Cook pasta according to package directions (make sure you season the pasta water with salt!).  Meanwhile, saute chopped onion in olive oil or butter until translucent, about 7-10 minutes.  Add fresh spinach and wilt to desired doneness.  Stir in Alfredo sauce.  If the sauce is a bit thick, save some of the pasta-cooking liquid and add a little bit at a time to get the texture you want.  Drain pasta and add directly to the sauce.  Season with salt & pepper (if needed...it really doesn't need salt if you seasoned your pasta, but you might like pepper or red pepper flakes), and top with some Parmesan cheese. 

Then, watch your G$ devour it like it's candy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Memorable Weekend

For some reason I've procrastinated putting up this post.  I think it's because so much went on last weekend that I'm just now recovering from it, and am just now letting my mind get back to the present.  Last weekend we made a trip up to Northern KY (Taylor Mill, for those of you "in the know") for my 13th HS Reunion.  My graduating class was an astounding 43 people, and less than 1/10th of us attended the reunion.  Pretty sad, huh?! :)  Nevermind - I am thrilled at the 10 of us who were there.  Some of these people I haven't seen in 13 years; others in about 10, and a few (lucky ones) I've seen this past year.  We had a great time just sitting around talking, laughing, and trying to figure out where our other 33 classmates might be.   I honestly felt like I was in some kind of time warp, because I felt like 13 years hadn't passed since I was sitting in the lunch room with these people. 

Emily & Brad, Jenny, Andrea, Drew, John, Melissa, Jennifer, and Josh - it was GREAT to see you all!  I definitely think we should try for a 15-year reunion!!  And John, thanks for the face.

After slightly recovering from a late night, we had a going-away party for Jono & Kirstin, John, Julianne (again) and Janna at Starbucks.  I am so thankful for the people who work at Commerce, because they really are a wonderful group of people.  I tell Keith all the time how lucky he is to work with such great individuals.  A bad day for him is typically a "normal" day for me. 

Thanks you all (and to those of you not in the picture too - Jan, Juanell, etc) for making Keith's job so great, and for caring about your customers the way that you do! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

For the love of IKEA.

This past weekend the boys and I made a trip up to Cincinnati for a little whirlwind vacation.  We were only away for maybe 30 hours or so, but it was a great time.  We had several places that were "must-stops" since we were only going to be there a short time. 

First we got to see our awesome friend, Kristin, whom I haven't seen since last fall.  It was great to catch up with a precious friend.  While we were visiting at Starbucks, G$ decided to eat some dirt.  That was his first dirt experience, and hopefully it will be his last, but I'm not going to bank on it.  Since the place we were planning to go for dinner had an hour-long wait, we decided to make Graeter's our dinner.  Smart.  To continue the sugar-high, we then hit up our old friend Tim Horton's for some delicious Timbits.  Thank you, Tim, for the Blueberry glazed!  YUM.  We went back to the hotel and decided to take G for a dip in the pool.  It was super fun, although I think he wanted to swim on his own instead of being contained in the float. 

Saturday we enjoyed a lovely (FREE!) breakfast at the hotel and headed nextdoor to IKEA.  This was the star, and the reason for, the trip.  Keith has never actually experienced IKEA before, except for the 2 times he used their restroom - once in Malaysia, the other in Burbank, CA.  Yep.  We've been wanting to get a shelf or shelves for our kitchen for me to store my ever-growing collection of cookbooks.  We dont' have a ton of cabinet space, and some of the books are simply too big.  We had seen several online that we liked, but once we got there, we knew we had to have this one:

I absolutely love it, and it is perfectly functional.  Thanks to Keith for putting it together and hanging it, without busting a hole in the wall. :)

We also found a cute little chair for G for the living room, now that he's getting to be such a big, big, boy.  He seemed to approve (pardon the paci).

He has loved having his very own chair (and he knows it's his!).  He climbs in and out of this thing all day long.  He's really into "reading" right now, so he will bring one book after another out and throw it in the chair and climb up.  It's pretty cute, if I do say so.

We also hit up the outlet mall a few exits up, where we found some great deals, and then we headed straight to our cherished TJ's.  We have so many favorite things we buy here - can't wait until there is one in Lexington.  Finally we stopped at Mio's Pizza, which took me back to my high school days.  I have lots of memories at this place, so it was nice to think back on them. 

Speaking of high school, we're off to Cincy again tomorrow for my high school reunion: Lucky #13!!!  Can't wait to see some of my dear friends.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What goes around comes back around....

My love of farm-fresh vegetables has definitely been passed down to me from my parents.  When I was in about 2nd or 3rd grade, we were lucky enough to have a garden at our apartment complex.  I'm sure you're picturing some kind of flower box contraption on our deck "filled" with 2 - 3 plants, but this was East Tennessee, and we had land.  It really amazes me once I think back to it, because it was such a unique situation, but behind the pool was a massive garden area, where many of the tenants could plant several rows of whatever they wanted.  We had about 5 -6 rows all total: 4 rows of green beans, plus okra, zucchini and yellow squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  I remember it all so vividly, mainly because we ate green beans, okra, squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers at almost every meal for an entire summer.  I always like to remind (i.e. give her a hard time) my mom that one night for dinner we had zucchini casserole, boiled squash, and zucchini bread.  I love the stuff, but that was a bit much!  My mom was warned that if she ever brought squash or cucumbers to church to give away, people would run in the other direction.  If you've ever seen how much one single squash or cucumber plant can produce, you'll understand. 

Though that was the only year we've ever had a garden, we've been lucky enough to find half-runner green beans every year.  My mom and I (and my dad, if we were lucky) would spend an entire weekend stringing, breaking, and then canning beans.  The process was long, tedious, and hot, but we were always so thankful to be eating green beans in December!  I have many memories of breaking green beans.  We broke beans outside, we broke them inside, we broke them on a car-ride from North Carolina to Northern KY, we broke beans while watching a horse auction at Keeneland, and I could go on.  I'm sure I would always complain, but I always did it.  It seemed to take a lifetime to get all those strings off those beans!

And that brings me up to the present.  The past 2 weeks in our CSA we've received green beans.  Luckily for me (and Keith) these are stringless beans, so it just requires breaking them.  I don't have the tools for canning, so I decided to freeze them instead, so that we can enjoy them in Winter.  I couldn't help but laugh as I stood there with my green beans, breaking them into the pot.  Can't wait until G$ is old enough to help his momma! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, aka Mama's Got a Brand New Toy

Upon Keith's urging (and I'm actually being serious here), I just got this BEEYOUTEEFUL Spinning Wheel.  It's used, but very gently used. 

Can't wait to get some instruction from experts like Jan & Sara!!! 

It's called the Schacht Ladybug - it's a very light & portable wheel, and each wheel comes with its very own ladybug tucked away somewhere for the owner to find.  LOVE.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm in a Pickle

Okay, okay, I'm not in a pickle, but I love pickles, and after years and years of wanting to make my own, I finally made a quick version this past week.  Some background is needed, I think.  My Aunt Ann & her mother, Virginia, canned the most heavenly pickles I have ever had.  Virginia was part of The Oakdale Club, and while they produced many quilts during their time, they also produced some mighty delicious food.  The ladies of the Club compiled their many recipes into a cookbook that sits in my cabinet today (Virginia gave me a copy she used).  I refer to this cookbook all the time, and many of my family's favorite recipes come from the pages of this precious book.  One of the recipes in this cookbook is for pickles - the ones Ann & Virginia would make.  They picked their own cucumbers from Virginia's garden, and I've never seen anything like them.  Whenever we would go to visit them in Statesville, I would look forward to enjoying those pickles.  Ever since I had those, I've been a bit obsessed with pickles.  They are a food I crave on regular basis, and I can put down a jar in no time. 

Since I haven't found any perfect pickling cucumbers, but our CSA box has been loaded down with larger cukes, I decided to try to find a quick recipe to satisfy my desire to make pickles.  I found a great recipe, and tweaked it only the slightest bit to remind myself of Ann & Virginia's pickles.  They turned out pretty good.  I think Keith was shocked.  And that's why I love to cook. 

Quick Pickle Recipe
1/2 C white or cider vinegar (just eyeball it)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp whole mustard seed
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 TBSP chopped fresh dill, or 1 tsp dried dill
1 bay leaf
4 kirby cucumbers, sliced about 1/2 inch thick on an angle
optional: 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, pierced with a knife
Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and the sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, jalapeno (if using) and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

In other food-related news, apparently mango juice makes for a very posh hair styling product.  At least that's what this goober tells me.  You too can look like THIS!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Garden Gazpacho & a Treat (of course!)

So the whole computer issue has really slowed me down in blogging.  It's frustrating, really, but that's okay.  Here I am again.  This past week I found myself needing a good recipe to use several veggies from our CSA.  Our fridge is a pretty good size, but each week when we get our box, I wonder where on earth I'm going to store all these things!  So I needed to move some produce.  I settled upon an easy, healthy, no-cook gazpacho.  I basically used Ina's recipe, but added/changed some things.  CSA items used:  2 regular cukes, 1 green bell pepper, 2 cloved of garlic, and about 5 large cherry tomatoes.  I also added a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and garnished with cilantro and lime juice.  This soup definitely gets better with age, but it was really lovely and refreshing on a hot summer night.  And we ate this with some nice crusty french bread.  YUM.

Since we were going to have such a healthy dinner, I decided we needed a treat for later.  That's fair, right?  So I perused countless blogs and other food websites thinking about what I'd like to make.  Then I saw it.  From Lexington's own BraveTart.  City Slicker S'mores.  Yes, please and thank you.

For about the past 3 months, I've walked past the s'mores "stand" in Kroger.  They have it all there for you: the Graham crackers, marshmallows, and choclate bars.  They stare at me every time I walk past.  And there's no getting around this particular area.  I have to walk past.  But I've been trying to be "good."  But not eating some delicious s'mores doesn't mean I haven't thought about them.

So when I saw Stella's recipe, I knew this was my chance to actually make something totally from scratch that I would really enjoy.  I didn't actually use her recipes (at least, not exactly), because she weighs everything out, and that was just going to take too long that day.  So I chose this Graham cracker recipe and Alton's marshmallow recipe, only with the addition of liquid smoke.  I need to do a better job with the Graham crackers.  I don't think I rolled them out thin enough.  Truthfully, I should've had a ruler/measuring tape out and figured out exactly what 1/8 inch looks like, but I was in a hurry.  They were tasty, but not perfect.  Honestly I'll probably try BraveTart's recipe next time.

I've made marshmallows several times before, but I think this was my best batch.  They were delicious.  I should've added a couple more drops of the liquid smoke so that the flavor would have been a little more distinct, but I was SCKEEERED to have my marshmallows taste gross.  They do require effort, after all!  If you've ever wanted to try to make your own, please do.  They don't compare to what you get in the bag.  And they're easy (if you have a stand mixer, that is).  I can pop these things like candy, I tell ya!

Anyways, back to the S'mores.  I also made a simple chocolate ganache of semi-sweet chocolate and heavy whipping cream.  I assembled them and heated 'em up in the microwave for about 7 seconds (10 was too long, I found out) to get that warm, gooey mess that screams S'MORES!  You can't eat these puppies without utensils and some napkins nearby.  But I'd say they were worth the mess.  Keith didn't complain either.

I'll say it.  I want S'more...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Not enough time!!!

So my computer was only able to be used for the weekend, and then I had to bring it back in to our IT guys to have it worked on some more.  Apparently dropping a computer can cause quite a few "hiccups."  Go figure.  Anyways, over the past few weeks I've had quite a few things I've wanted to blog about, but I haven't been able, because of my lack of working computer at home.  So, I have lots of things in my head, but of course, not much time, to post.  I'm sure you all need a tissue because this news brings tears to your eyes.  Basically I just wanted to let my 1-2 readers know that I'm here, and will post more soon. 

On a side note, I was just discussing with my mom that there's just not enough time in the week!  I mean, maybe if I didn't come to work 4 days I might be able to start checking off the plethora of baked goods, yarn projects, etc, that I want to tackle....not to mention that laundry that seems to continue to pile up!  I participate in this awesome knitting & crochet community called Ravelry.  This place is an addiction, for sure, but it's also a great resource.  I've been adding projects to my queue, and I'm suddenly beginning to feel overwhelmed.  It's hard to know which project to start first, or what I can wait on until later.  I realize it's only July, but in my mind, Christmas is right around the corner, and I have gifts to make!!!  This is the same way with baking.  I'm sure Jan knows my pain all too well.  There are so many recipes I want to try, and I just don't know where to begin! 

All of this to say, maybe I'll decide to tackle my baking queue soon - so be on the lookout for some yummies!!! :)

...well, that is if I get my laptop back..... :)

Ooh, just realized I can post a gratuitous picture of one item I've been able to check off my queue:  Chevron mitts.   Can't wait for my hands to be all toasty roasty in the winter!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I know it's been a long time since my last post.  I had a little computer mishap, and I haven't been able to get to my pictures or anything for a while.  The computer, while on its last leg, is in working condition again, so here we are again!

Last weekend the boys, my parents and I headed out to Reed Valley Orchard for their annual blueberry festival.  I've been wanting to go for YEARS, but for one reason or another just haven't been able.  I've had this thing on my calendar for about 5-6 months now, and there was no way I was going to miss it again.  The weather was perfect and the blueberries were extraordinary. 

The best part about the morning was picking blueberries with Graham.  He caught on immediately, and I've honestly never seen anything more adorable.  He was grabbing them off the tree and putting them in his mouth so fast I couldn't keep up!  Thankfully we did manage to come away with quite a few berries still in our buckets.  It was such a special day.  Below are some of my favorite memories.

 Enjoying the pancakes

Picking his own blueberries

Going for the big loot

Mouthful of blueberries

Enjoying the harvest - Blueberry buttermilk scones

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Digital Photography

This weekend I was lucky enough to take a class on digital photography, taught by a very talented local artist, Lennon Michalski.  I have always loved taking photographs.  I remember taking over my parents' camera whenever we would go anywhere, because of course I could take better pictures!  As I've grown up, many of my "big" gifts have been cameras (thanks to my parents for indulging me!).  But as much as I've loved photography, and as much as we have invested in cameras, I've never had any instruction on how to take better photographs.  I'm a hands-on learner, so just reading a manual doesn't always cut it for me. 

So when my mom found this opportunity for me through UK, I didn't want to miss it.  We spent about 2.5 hours in the lecture room for instruction on ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, and then we went out to the Arboretum for practice in the field.  We had a lunch break in between, and I'm pretty sure that during that hour, everything I thought I learned flew right out of my head!  When I walked up to the first subject to take a photo, I had NO IDEA what to do.  Honestly, I couldn't even take a picture in focus!  Finally I just decided to take several pictures of the same thing using different settings, and that helped me tremendously. 

I don't think for a minute that I took excellent photos, but I learned, and that was important for me.  I look forward to taking thousands more photos, and hopefully I'll continue to learn and grow in this area.  Below are just a few results of the day.  I'll spare you the out-of-focus shots!!

eta: These weren't edited in any way, because I just wanted to focus on what I did, not what my photograph could look like. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dinner & a Cutie

I am late posting about this past week's CSA delivery, but better late than never, right?  We got lots of leafy veg this week, including a TON of spinach, butter lettuce, field greens, and some greens (not sure eactly the variety), as well as some oregano, snap peas (pic below - I love the sweet little flowery-looking tops!) and asparagus. 

With so many greens, I knew I had to do something more than just a plethora of salads, so I decided to make a pizza with the asparagus, spinach & oregano.  I think anything and everything must taste good on a pizza, but that's just me!  Used a basic pizza crust recipe, using half AP flour and half whole wheat flour, sauteed some onions and spinach, chopped up the asparagus & oregano, and threw it all on the par-baked crust, then topped with a light layer of mixed italian cheeses.  It's hard to feel bad about eating this pizza when it tastes so good!!

In addition to this delicious food, I have a cutie to share with you.  This picture may not seem special to anyone, but G is wearing his daddy's outfit from 28 years ago.  Thanks so much to the Walters' for keeping these things to share with us.  He's such a cutie!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Carseat Advice Needed!

Okay folks - and by folks I mean you all with babes that can offer us some advice.  Our G. Bob has finally outgrown his infant car seat (although he may have an ounce or two to spare, he's over on length), and we're moving on to a convertible car seat.  This (<---clickety click) is the one we got, in case anyone is just dying to know, thanks to the advice from several people (thanks Kelli!).

Anyways, the seat is wonderful, and G. Bob looks so comfy in it.  There's one problem though: 2 cars - 2 transporters.  Keith and I have completely different schedules, and we both HAVE to drive him to and from his caregivers' place.  So what do we do?  We can't take the seat in and out everyday, and it might become a pain to have to switch cars on days where that might actually work.  But the BIGGEST issue is that more than one day a week one of us drops him off and the other one picks him up.  It seems like our only option is to buy a second seat.  But oh how we would love to avoid this!!  So, what do we do??

Thoughts and/or advice anyone?!?!?!?  It will be much appreciated!!!! 

We do it for him.  Maybe he'll beam us up later to thank us.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Love!

Congratulations to my dear friends the Swansons on the birth of their fourth BEAUTIFUL boy this morning!!  He's soooo precious, and TINY! :) 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The G man has been hinting to us that he might want to begin walking soon.  In fact, the week of his Birthday he fell right into the coffee table because he decided to "let go" moving from the ottoman to the coffee table.  I guess we needed a big hint.  He has continued to show more signs of this 2-legged movement this past week. 

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and a Walters' - Secrest family get together to remember our fallen soldiers (we also got to look through my dad's photo album from Vietnam which was really neat). 

G wearing Papa's army jungle hat

We were sitting around the living room together talking and enjoying some dessert, and G decided to put on a show for us.  He started at the coffee table, and proceeded to walk about 5 or so steps out into the middle of the room.  Obviously we hadn't been giving him enough attention - and those steps sure turned that around really fast!  Time literally stood still (and our mouths stood open) as this little person in our lives walked.  It was an incredible moment.  We are so thankful he decided to put on this little performance in front of his whole family!!!

I know it won't be too much longer until he learns how to RUN, but for right now I am perfectly content with slow, deliberate steps, one at a time.

I love how he's pointing at me.  "I want YOU."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

As I said in my first post, we decided to join a CSA this year.  We really love all kinds of produce, but we want to integrate them into each and every meal, and we want to increase the quantity of fruits and veggies we eat each day.  We've talked about joining the past couple of years, but thankfully K reminded me this year right before sign-ups were closed, and we're finally in!  As Kentuckians we're really lucky to have access to so much fresh produce, and there are several local CSA's, but we chose to join with Elmwood Stock Farm.  I always shop with them when I visit our Farmer's Market, and they always have such great variety.  In addition to produce, they offer organic eggs, chicken, and meat. 

So what do we "get" from it?  From Elmwood's website:

"Weekly from mid-May to mid-October, boxes of seasonal produce are delivered to convenient pickup locations in your area. In a time when grocery food travels an average of almost 2,000 miles to reach our tables, a local CSA offers a fresher, more sustainable alternative...These are gourmet quality vegetables freshly harvested to ensure high flavor and nutritional benefit. The variety and bounty depend on the season: at the beginning quantities tend to be smaller, with a focus on salad, greens and spring veggies. Toward the middle of the season, quantities can be bountiful. By fall, the range of vegetables has changed yet again."

Say no more.  I'm there.  Another advantage for me is that I will be "forced" to cook with specific ingredients every week, thus expanding my own personal recipe box.  As I found out after the very first week, it might take some creativity to use all of these ingredients!!  If I happen to make something really interesting, I plan to post a recipe (whether my own or "ganked" from someone else) in my FOOD. secion.

So let's get to the bounty of weeks 1 & 2 (they were the same): Strawberries, black beans, over-wintered spinach, sage, asparagus, and garlic greens.

I want to spend a moment to talk about the garlic greens; they are a completely new ingredient to me.  They look like a cross between a green onion and a leek, and from what I read you typically just use the whites and an inch or two of the greens.  I really didn't know how on earth I was going to use them, so I just thought I'd use them like I might use a leek.  The first week I made an asparagus and garlic greens risotto (recipe here), and this past week I used the greens to impart flavor to chicken on the grill.  Just put the greens down on the grates and then lay the chicken on top.  I used a simple seasoning of s & p and some smoked paprika, and the flavor was incredible.  So if you find yourself in the company of some garlic greens, I hope this will help you think of ways to use them!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Graham is ONE!

My baby is one.  We can't believe it!  What a year it has been.  It's hard to remember life without our little guy, but it really does seem like yesterday that we were at the hospital ready to deliver. 

We started the day with some fun animal pancakes.  I think G had the monkey and the alligator.

I finally got everything together for the party, and we had a great time.  My parents & Keith's parents and brother came over to celebrate with us.  And we were inundated with gifts!  Graham is not going to be bored for a long time. :)  A couple of his favorite items from the day were the lawnmower (which he amazingly is able to push unassisted!)

And a drum from Uncle Eric:

And we had some yummy cake, although Graham wasn't quite as enthused. :) 

One of the best parts of the whole day, though, was when we gave him his birth minute kiss (9:49pm).  This isn't a picture of that, but it's our night night kiss.  We love this boy so much, and are so blessed God was gracious and kind enough to give him to us.  Momma, daddy, & Jesus love you, Graham!