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CSA Week 8: Bring on the Veggies

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I can’t believe I didn’t even post on my blogiversary. Lame, I know. Truthfully I had nothing to say. I sort of had an off night in the kitchen last night and I haven’t been sleeping well so I was pretty grouchy. It’s probably for the best I didn’t bother posting, but I do thank you all for taking the time to read. It’s so much fun sharing my creations with you.

I did get my new batch of CSA veggies yesterday, and they look gorgeous as usual.


  • 2 bags of lettuce mix
  • bag of parsley
  • pretty eggplant
  • 1 green smoothie’s worth of kale
  • head of cauliflower
  • shallots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 4 ears of corn

Our CSA stuff has just been getting better every week. I think I might make make some Eggplant Parm this weekend, and the corn will probably be going on the grill because that’s my absolute favorite preparation for it.

I love the lettuce mix we get every week. I always look forward to it. Today for lunch I ate nearly all of one of the bags along with half of one of the cukes on a salad.

HPIM3856See those beautiful red and yellow tomatoes? I grew them!! 🙂 And they are super sweet and delicious!

How My Garden Grows

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Still scorching over here in Indiana, but the humidity appears to have reached an all-time high! Brent and I went for our run this morning, and I felt soaked with sweat the minute I walked out the door!

During this heat wave, I’ve been especially concerned about my poor little garden. I don’t really have a green thumb as it is and with 90 degree weather, I wasn’t sure my plants would make it. The good news is that pepper plants love the warm weather, and none of the others appear to be suffering too much.

Asiatic Lilies:

HPIM3539Cherry Tomatoes:

HPIM3540(Soon to be) Yellow Pear Tomatoes: I love how they look like rain drops.

HPIM3541(Soon to be) Red Bell Peppers:

HPIM3542Blueberry Bush:

HPIM3543I can’t wait to enjoy some of the fruits of my labor! I’m especially excited about the red bell peppers, because those are so expensive! Did you plant anything this year? How’s your garden doing?

A Beautiful Weekend

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It’s been 80 degrees and sunny all weekend! With all the great weather, I was feeling extra productive and we got quite a lot done this weekend. Saturday morning we went to Schmucker’s Amish Market to check out the first produce of the season (not super impressive) and ended up picking up some veggie plants. We also stopped by the outdoor mall to purchase some work clothes for Brent and found a small wine tasting there as well! 🙂

hpim32401I spent most of the afternoon playing in the dirt and transferring each plant to its own little pot. Above are a few of my red bell pepper plants, and below is a cherry tomato plant and one of several yellow pear tomato plants. I’m hoping I can keep them alive and thriving!


While I was making a big dirty mess, Brent was doing such husbandly things as washing the car and mowing the lawn. 🙂

The greater part of today was also spent outside.  After breakfast and some weight-lifting at the gym, Brent and I decided to take the dogs on a walk in a new spot. We loaded them in the car and headed to the Rivergreenway, which is a long trail that winds all over Fort Wayne. I loved the change of scenery and spending this gorgeous day outdoors. We did about 4 miles with the dogs this afternoon and by the time we were done, all four of us were pooped!

Remember my Rachael Ray confession? Tonight’s dinner was another recipe I saw on her show: Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Shells.  It incorporates my current favorite ingredient — artichokes! These stuffed shells were delicious! (although maybe wait until it’s not 80 degrees out to make them).

hpim3236I love the lemon zest in these – so fresh tasting! I had way more filling than just 20 shells’ worth, so I kept filling and added more tomato sauce too. This ended up making 6 servings for us. I put the shells into two casserole dishes, baked one and froze the other so I’m sure we’ll be having these again soon.

Now I’m getting ready to do some yoga and then head to bed. I hope your weekend was as beautiful and fun as mine.

Proud as a Peacock about my Pepper

I’ve been growing a few things in pots in the front yard along my driveway. We’ve eaten quite a few cherry tomatoes that I’ve grown, used some basil, and now… finally… we had a grown red bell pepper!!

It was very thin. I could have probably waited another few days for it to ripen a little more, but I was ready now!

I sliced it up and turned it into some shrimp fajitas! (Any excuse to make guacamole is good news to me!)

Dinner has been rough this week. I got home kind of late Sunday night and I tried shopping without a well-planned grocery list. Normally I make a list of several meals I will be making during the week, and then an organized list of grocery items to buy, but that so did not happen this week! I thought I had it all under control and everything would be fine. Unfortunately, I managed to get very few things that actually would constitute a full meal, but we’re making do. I’m trying to use the experience to “be more creative,” so we shall see what happens.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies!

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I love peanut butter and jelly. A lot. I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, but I decided to make it a cookie tonight. Well, I didn’t decide tonight. I’m been thinking, hoping and dreaming about it lately and tonight was the night. I wanted to originally “hide” the jelly in the cookies, but then I thought maybe that seemed a bit unwieldy. That jelly could come flying out of there at a moment’s notice. So I chose to keep my eye on it and do some thumbprint cookies.

These cookies represent everything that is perfect and wonderful about PB&J. Maybe when I have children, I will make them these cookies and they and their friends will love them and I will be the coolest mom on the block… or maybe my kids will throw a fit and ask why they can’t eat Chips Ahoy and go to McDonald’s like the other kids.

My first batch, seen on the right, I feel I made the thumbprint too deep and wide.

After biting into it, I could tell this cookie was structurally unsound. Notice the droopy middle.

I made adjustments to the next batch.

These were an improvement. Brent’s reaction upon biting into it, “Yep. Peanut butter and jelly.” He’s a man of few words, but I guess that’s the “flavor profile” I was going for so I can’t complain. I may make other modifications to this recipe, maybe sub out yogurt for something else to make the peanut butter part crunchier, but the recipe as I just made it is posted to the right.The peanut butter cookies are “cakey” because of the yogurt.


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup preserves, jam or jelly.


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Cream together peanut butter, yogurt and sugar.
  • Add soy milk and extract
  • Add flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Scoop out by by the tablespoon on the baking sheet, make into circle and then press a slight indent into the middle.
  • Fill the middles with 1 teaspoon jam, preserves or jelly.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Cool before eating.

In other news, I bought a new ingredient tonight. Any guesses as to what I’m planning on making? The winner will get a sweet mention on this blog, which is not something to take lightly. I’m pretty sure a few of my friends read it.

And, I got a Basil plant… more pesto!

Bountiful Harvest

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I have been patiently trying to grow red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes in my front yard, and I’m finally seeing results. Nothing really edible yet, but things are definitely growing. Here is my pepper plant. It’s so cute!

And here is my cherry tomato plant!


For dinner tonight we used our last bagels as buns for grilled veggie burgers, which turned out great. I think the bagel buns were a perfect size and texture for the veggie burgers. We used the “everything” flavor bagels. We had grilled asparagus and sweet potato fries as well.

Friday Cocktail

On Friday nights, we like to make a different cocktail. It’s a fun thing to do, and a good way to end the work week. This week we tried our hand at sangria.

We’re trying to use up things we have in the house, so our mix was:

  • half a bottle Pinot Noir
  • 1 bottle other fruity red wine that we can’t pronounce
  • 1 cup Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lb. sliced strawberries
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 sliced lime
  • 1/2 pint blackberries
  • 5 cherries sliced

    That’s pretty much what we had in the house. I think some sliced orange and/or orange juice would have been nice and complimented the orange liqueur, but alas… maybe next time. The sangria tastes great and we’re keeping it in a pitcher in the fridge so it should be good tomorrow too.

    Happy (early) Birthday to Me!

    Brent got me some birthday gifts, and because he knows me very well, he did not bother trying to hide them until my actually birthday. I see more creative cupcakes in my future!! I’m so excited!

    And he was considering getting me another Moosewood Collective cookbook, but he thinks everything we’ve made out of Veganomicon has been really good and so he saw the author’s first book and decided to go with that. I’ve been skimming through it trying to decide what to try first.

    I’m making my first sourdough bread tomorrow. I hope it has been worth the wait!