Saturday, June 29, 2013

In Memory

I would like to take little break from food talk to celebrate a life.

This week, my mom's very good friend and my friend, too, Marilyn, passed away after a 2 1/2-year battle with lung cancer. And although I am so sad that she is gone, I am happy that she is no longer suffering and reaping her rewards in heaven.

Have you ever met someone and immediately known, no matter your age difference or your locale, that you would be friends?

Even though I only got to hang out with Marilyn on a few occasions, I felt this way about her. I found her sense of joy and incredible sense of humor to be magnetic and she always made celebrations even more fun.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pork...In Moderation

You're all in for a treat today.

Because this mostly vegetarian, sweet-toothed food blogger is giving you a kickin' pork tenderloin recipe!

Again, I am not a huge meat eater, but after tasting this sweet, savory and tender pork tenderloin, I was definitely glad that I still eat meat on occasion and in moderation.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Random Acts of Foodness

Here's another round of Random Acts of Foodness (aka good news about food) to start your week out on a positive, tasty note.

1. Cupcakes and Compassion: I love this story of how the owners of a local cupcake shop (Bliss) here in Northwest Arkansas are selling their business and moving to Malawi to help feed orphans.

2. How CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are bringing the farmer and the consumer closer together.

3. Encouraging composting in NYC.

4. Sip and Give: Tea that supports a good cause.

5. How our soil can help us with our health.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Simple Saturday: Quinoa

I've been afraid of quinoa for quite awhile.

I tried making couscous a few times and totally failed getting good flavors into it. And I (wrongly) assumed that I would fail at quinoa, too.

But I finally got up the courage when I found a recipe for really fresh, delicious-looking quinoa with lime juice, garlic and cilantro. And then I saw another recipe with black beans.

And this cilantro and black bean quinoa is a happy marriage of all of those southwestern flavors.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Berries are Back in Town


Let whatever beautiful images, smells and tastes that that word conjures up take over you for a moment.

Berries have got to be one of my favorite fruits and I'm learning even more this summer that when they come from local farms, they are ten times better.

Although they're fantastic just popped into your mouth fresh, they also bring a bright, sweet flavor to a myriad of baked goods.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Getting Creative with Carrots

Re-introducing vegetables in a fun and exciting way is a great ploy to get your family to the table...and use up your vegetables.

Even the humble carrot can be made into a creamy, spicy, sweet and unexpected soup.

We love our local CSA, Farmbox Delivers, and most weeks we get 1-2 lbs. of fresh, crispy carrots.

I like to enjoy these carrots chopped and dipped in hummus or cut in rounds and put in stir fry. But sometimes we get a bit overwhelmed with the number of carrots in our fridge at one time.

Is 20 too many? Ok, yeah, it is.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Simple Saturday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato

Grilled cheeses take me right back to being a kid, coming home from preschool and eagerly awaiting my cheese crisped sandwich paired with tomato soup and an episode of Barney.

The life!

My mom always made me the best lunches and she even introduced me to the Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sandwich.

She visited South Africa for a month when I was young and learned about this British-inspired deliciousness there.

I spunk-ed up this sammie with the addition of fresh basil and super sharp cheddar.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Make So-So Wine Shine

My husband recently did some freelance work and got paid in wine.

Pretty good deal, right?

And it's been nice to always have a bottle of red or white around to celebrate with or enjoy with a special meal.

But there was a lot of wine...and some of the wine was not my favorite drinking wine.

What's that saying? When life gives you not-so-great wine, make sangria.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Random Acts of Foodness

Welcome to Random Acts of Foodness, a list of stories and events that are focused on food doing good in our world and in people's lives (thanks to my husband for the fun name idea). I hope that this list is an encouragement as you start out your week and gives you a healthy dose of good news!

1. How cool is this? A local couple, Scott and Julie, who used to go to my church raised money through donations and by selling homemade pound cakes to help send Scott to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to help diagnose some neurological problems he has been having.

And they exceeded their goal! I love seeing how a community comes together to help each other out!

2. Did you know you can host a bake sale to help the No Kid Hungry movement? Pretty cool and you can follow this Twitter handle to see how they helped in Chicago.

3. Good news for bees!

4. Learn about the Cookies for Kids' Cancer movement.

5. I stumbled upon this inspiring story on the blog for Nature's Bakery (whose fig bars I wrote about recently). It reminds me a lot of the soccer program I get to help promote at Firefall International. (If the link on the story doesn't work at first, just refresh the web page.)

P.S. This might not be food-related, but if you need a Father's Day gift idea that does a lot of good, check Don't Buy the Tie out.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tacos and Slaw

I keep thinking that I'm going to be a vegetarian...and then I realize that pulled pork and pimento cheese burgers exist.

All that I know is often when I eat meat my stomach does not approve. And I want to kick myself for picking meat over veggies.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Snacks on the Block

I'm a snacker...always have been and probably always will be.

I mean, what if you eat a meal and get hungry a few hours later; you've gotta have some back ups.

You know how they say instead of eating three large meals, you should eat several small meals?

I would like to combine those two to find a happy medium.

And although I love to snack on fresh fruits and veggies, sometimes it's nice to just grab something to snack on. Here are a few of the healthier snacks that have been making it into my snack time as of late.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Simple Saturday: Herbs

One of the easiest ways to add some flavor and color to a dish, drink and even dessert is to add herbs.

And they are practically fool-proof to grow. Trust me, because I am definitely no master gardener.

I suggest picking up herb plants at the farmers market (they're extra good there), planting them with some dirt, watering them most days and giving them lots of sun.

As you can tell, I'm no expert but I can grow herbs just fine!