garden to table

Welcome to our new layout!  We’ve switched things up a bit at circadee.com to make more of a landing page for those looking for information on our shop.  If you’re here for the blog posts, you’ve found them!  We’ll continue to post regularly about our adventures, finds & projects.  That’s how this little business got started after all.

broccoli & edamame

Lately I’ve been spending all of my spare moments in the garden.  Early morning seems to be ideal.  Before the sun peaks but also when the mosquitoes are at bay.  It’s amazing how rapidly everything is growing.  The sporadic thunderstorms have certainly helped.  Alleviating the plants from the 90 degree temperatures and also alleviating me from the chore of watering.

oregano & lemon balm

Our harvest has already been plentiful with much more just around the corner.  At this point, the snap peas are about spent but I’m hoping to yield another harvest later this summer.  I’m still tucking bean seeds in vacant spots as I see fit.  They sprout almost immediately!

There have been a number of volunteer plants including two tomatoes, beans and a few squash – we’re not sure which species yet.  I’m certain that we can thank our compost pile for this surplus.  It has made for a few crowded beds since we weren’t expecting them but everything seems to be content.  The more the merrier!  I like to practice close planting to keep the weeds down anyway.

squash flower

We’re almost ready to harvest the kohlrabi and broccoli.  We’re seeing the first signs of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The potatoes are growing like wild fire.

This is actually our first year growing potatoes which we did in two plantings.  The first cycle in containers and the second in the ground.  The containers we’re using this year are actually terracotta chimney flue liners.  I’m digging the height they add and the border they create at the end of the garden.

chimney flue liners as raised garden containers

I seem to be favoring the herb garden most this year.  Last year, I was all about the flower bed but I think the herbs are stealing the show.  I expanded their footprint this year by taking three large galvanized tubs and creating a double-decker border so each herb has its own pot.

galvanized tub herb garden

The herbs have made a cameo in almost every dish.  There’s the obvious basil pesto but we’ve switched it up and added it to fish and fruit like shrimp and watermelon.

Basil Pesto

We can’t eat pasta everyday but when we do we’ve used oregano pesto with whatever veggies we can steam or saute.

oregano pesto

My tried and true summer carb is rosemary bread.  I follow a simple beer bread recipe and fold in loads of rosemary right from the garden.

Rosemary Bread

But what to with all of the that dill?  It makes a pretty, airy bouquet!  I’ve also mixed dill with chives to create a tasty little dip that complements homemade pita chips.

Dill & Chive Dip

What’s growing in your June garden?  I’m off to figure out how to use this morning’s marjoram harvest…

 

the quesadilla i can’t quit

Winter.  Blah.  Let’s not even talk about it.

Let’s talk about beautiful, tropical colors instead.  How about some superfoods?

mangos

Yes, I went there.  Superfoods.  Such a trendy term applied to foods that have health benefits and in some cases may even help medical conditions as well.  Avocado, mango, beans to name a few of my current faves.

Superfood Quesadilla Recipe - avocado mango black beans

They’re so tasty when pressed together between a tortilla with shredded cheese, a dash of onion and spinach.  I simply can’t quit this tropical combination.

To make a quick quesadilla for one, I fold a round tortilla in half on a Foreman grill, line it with ingredients, pull the other half of the tortilla over and close the lid.  I don’t like greasy, soggy quesadillas.  The Foreman method has worked for me for ages vs. pressing it in a pan.

Superfood Quesadilla Recipe

Don’t forget a dollop of Greek yogurt.  Possibly my favorite part…  Trick yourself into thinking you’re eating sour cream.  Go ahead.  Try it!

Superfood Quesadilla Recipe - avocado mango black beans

What are you snacking on this winter?

kohlrabi stew

I’ve mentioned kohlrabi a few times this past summer.  It is still a phenomenon to us.  How have we never heard of this root vegetable before this summer?  It is one of Ryan’s new favorites.  Buuuut…we can’t just keep roasting kohlrabi.  Boredom will certainly set in.

It is fall now which means a warm hearty stew is in season.  So, friends, kohlrabi stew is born!

kohlrabi stew

This may possibly be the least photogenic dish but don’t hold that against it.  Trust me that kohlrabi stew is tasty and not so bad for you considering how creamy it is.

kohlrabi stew

Here’s how I made this which yields 4-6 servings:

  • Cover the bottom of your pot with sunflower oil, simmer and saute 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped scallions
  • Chop one large kohlrabi into 1/2 inch chunks and add to the pot.  Simmer for a few minutes on medium heat until they are soft
  • Next add 2 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken stock) and 1 can of cream of broccoli soup
  • Season to your preference: salt, lemon pepper, parsley, thyme
  • Put the lid on the pot and boil for 20-25 minutes
  • Allow the entire mixture to cool for about 20 minutes before transferring to a blender or food processor
  • Puree in batches
  • Once pureed, transfer back to the pot and add in 1 cup of small pasta shells
  • Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil, cooking the pasta right in the stew.  This is also where you could add in pre-cooked beef
  • Serve and enjoy!

kohlrabi stew

Side note:  I have been wanting to make butternut squash soup for a long time.  Longer than I have been cooking, actually.  It is always so delicious but I’m quite aware that it is usually made with lots of heavy cream.  I am going to try it by following the above principles (minus the pasta).  The cream of broccoli soup is the only creamy offender here.   I will let you know how it turns out!

What are you cooking this weekend?

beet stuffed peppers

I’m back with another food post, friends.

I’m talking about beetroots today.  They are said to be a natural anti-inflammatory vegetable which is what we are after in our house.  But what can be done differently with beets?  Well, this is one of my new faves that I like to think I made up because I’ve never heard of a Beet Stuffed Pepper before. About a week ago I posted a prep picture of this entree on instagram and got a lot of inquisitive likes.

Beet Stuffed Pepper

So I’m sharing the deets but hold onto your seats because there’s really only one thing you need to know about making this deliciously, filling vegetarian dish.

Are you ready for it?

The secret to Beet Stuffed Peppers is to follow your favorite traditional stuffed pepper recipe and then subtract the ground beef and add ground beets.

That’s it. Earth shattering, I know.  It kind of rhymes too: Subtract the ground beef and add ground beets.

Here’s exactly what I did to make this simple yet tasty dinner.

  • Take 3 average size beets, wash and peel the epidermis.  Grind the beets in the food processor.  Next, mix seasoned bread crumbs into the ground beets.  I used about a 50/50 ratio of bread crumbs to beets.  The bread crumbs absorb the moisture that the beets cook off.
  • Wash and core 2 green peppers.  A tip I learned from a friend when baking stuffed peppers is to briefly cook the peppers in boiling water to soften them.  This way they are more pliable and do not tear when you stuff them.
  • Next, you guessed it, stuff the peppers with the beet mix.  I sprinkled fresh shredded parmesan cheese to the top along with more bread crumbs.  Also, a dollop of raw honey (my favorite sweetener) on top complements the beet flavor very well.  The honey will cook into the stuffed pepper.
  • Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes and enjoy!

Beet Stuffed Pepper

These stuffed peppers are so filling that I couldn’t even finish mine!  Let me know if you give it a try.  And again, try this with your own stuffed pepper recipe and just substitute the beef for beets.

P.S.  Doesn’t the color remind you of red velvet cake?

summer peachza

I’ve never been much of a cook.  At all.
Until recently. I’ve suddenly tapped into this whole healthy eating thing, knowing where my food comes from, etc. and it’s made me incredibly interested in cooking. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life with a strong preference to eating out or at least having someone else cook for me.  I simply thought cooking was dull and that I was just too busy for the task.

Until recently when I had my aha moment.  Get creative in the kitchen.  Why not?  Do what I want.  Not follow a recipe per say but make it up as I go.  Creativity is something I’m into so if I can pull it off in the kitchen, I’m in.  I’m still focusing on simple recipes yet they’re totally interesting and tasty in my opinion.  I’m not onto, say, making dough from scratch or anything like that.  But I’m trying to keep it as healthy as possible.

But don’t worry, I’m not ready to jump ship from vintage and furniture into food blogging here.  However, when I reviewed the pics I took last week, I realized there were many more food photos than any of vintage treasures and furniture.  So without further adieu, I share with you my nearly famous Summer Peachza recipe.

delicious seasonal peach fruit pizza - peachza recipe

Yes, it’s a Peachza!

slice of peachza pie - delicious seasonal fruit pizza recipe

This is so easy to make and my favorite dish of the moment.  Peaches are abundant this time of year.  I seriously can’t get enough of their juicy flavor.  We’ve had peach smoothies, peach sangria, warm peaches and ice cream and now Peachza.

To get started, take two peaches and cut them into thin slices.

delicious seasonal fruit pizza recipe - sliced peaches

On a cookie sheet or pizza stone, roll out your secret ingredient…are you ready for it?

Crescent rolls.  Pop open a can of crescent rolls and arrange them in your best circle.  Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfectly touching as they’ll bake together.

delicious seasonal fruit pizza- peachza recipe

Now arrange your peach slices on the pie sprinkling with blue cheese and rosemary as you go.  I also opted to drizzle some honey on top – can’t get enough of that.  Fold the edges up a little to create a crust.  You’re ready to bake your Peachza pie.

peachza recipe: delicious seasonal fruit peaches pizza

Follow the instructions on the crescent roll package.

Boom.  You have 8 servings of Peachza in about 20 minutes.

peachza recipe: delicious seasonal fruit pizza

Enjoy!  This is a perfect for a late summer soiree appetizer or lunch.

peachza recipe - delicious seasonal fruit pizza

Now if anyone has an alternative to crescent rolls, I am all ears!  I haven’t been able to find a pre-made whole grain crescent roll at the very least.  Maybe I will have to venture into dough making after all…

Linking to Home Stories A to Z

CSA carrot fries

A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about the CSA we joined this year. It is our first time participating in Community Supported Agriculture and we just love it!

Every week’s pick up is sort of like Christmas. You don’t know what you’re going to get.  There is a level of anticipation because you know you’ll love it either way. It’s so exciting.  Yes, I am still talking about vegetables…

carrots

We’ve picked up carrots from the farm a few times.  It is so adorable how they come with their green tops still attached much like in Bugs Bunny but nothing like in the grocery store.

I like carrots but I needed a new, fresh idea.  I didn’t want to just steam them again.  I racked my brain for something different.  We love sweet potato fries so why not try carrot fries?

easy carrot fries recipe

So we did!  I’ve found that just about any root vegetable is tasty sliced up and roasted in the oven producing healthy “fries”.  We did this with kohlrabi earlier in the growing season and loved it too.

To prep the carrots, you need to clean and lightly peel them.  Then slice them into 2-3 inch sections.

carrot fries

Brush on some olive oil, salt & a dash of cumin.

carrot fries

Pre-heat your oven at 425 degrees.  Then bake the carrots for about 25 minutes.

easy carrot fries recipe

That’s it!  We drizzled ours with a little bit of raw honey.  They were delicious and got rave reviews from my food connoisseur husband.

easy carrot fries recipe

farm to table

…sort of.

I love that phrase – farm to table.  It sounds like such a basic concept.  It is one that we’ve embraced recently in our house.  Well, I guess it has been more like farm to store to table.  But once the harvest season starts it will definitely be more farm to table.  Anyway…

First let me say thank you to so many of you who have consistently followed up with us on Ryan’s MS diagnosis last fall.  He is doing just wonderful.  In fact, much better than before.  And me too.  We have embraced new routines and ditched a few old ones.  Mostly we’ve been really cognizant of what we’re eating and how our meals are made and, most importantly, how those foods impact Ryan.

I’ve never been much of a chef and I’m no food blogger.  There are plenty of fantastic blogs out there for recipes and such but as I’ve been sharing some of my new recipes with friends, they encouraged me to post about it.  Perhaps you’ll have an interest too.

We haven’t become vegetarians or anything official but we’ve embraced a highly vegetable based diet and legume based for that matter.  The turning point was receiving my first ever food processor at my bridal shower.  We ate veggies before but usually in a raw or steamed state as a side. Nothing fancy.  The food processor has hands down changed my life.  And I actually like cooking and experimenting in the kitchen now.  I had no idea how versatile chick peas are!  Yes, I’m getting excited about chick peas.  That’s the new me.

Let me just share some of my latest concoctions.  Ryan laughs at me every time I take pictures of our meals.  I take pictures of our sofa, mantelscape and everything else.  So why stop at dinner?

Chick pea “meat”loaf with carrot soup – my soups need some work

chick pea loaf & carrot soup

Sweet potato stuffed pepper with a garlic cream sauce – hands down, my favorite so far although probably the least photogenic.  Can you believe I never ate a radish before now?

sweet potato stuffed pepper

Mediterranean loaf (with basil, pepper, tomato & mozzarella) – Ryan thinks we need to come up with a new word for “loaf”.  I agree.  Any suggestions?

Mediterranean loaf

Smoked salmon salad – an oldie but goodie.  I think we may be headed down the path of pescetarian but again, no official commitments here

smoked salmon salad

Mango vanilla smoothie – we still go for the ol’ classic strawberry smoothie on the reg too. Apparently I don’t have pictures of either.

I seriously shock myself with my new found kitchen prowess.  Ryan is feeling very healthy and active which is the goal when you have MS.  You want to keep a high energy level and remain active so the disease doesn’t creep up on you.  Certain foods, like kiwi, can increase your energy level.  He’s even lost weight.  Men, they lose it so easily!  Hmmph.

And we LOVE doing yoga.  It is so relaxing & strengthening.  I find it helps me a lot with stress.  I never thought I’d become an organic, yogi but I think that’s the path I’m on.  Ryan continues to do all of the things he loves like fishing & bike riding.

It’s funny how life has a way of throwing you curve balls.  You can either let it get you down or embrace it and make the best of it.  I’m pretty happy with how we’re tackling Multiple Sclerosis head on over here

So what healthy recipes should I try next?

august splendor

You know what I love about this time of year?

Seeing all of the hard work in the garden come to fruition.  I love cutting flowers from my yard and making little arrangements.  It just sums up the simplicity of summer.

I’m still working on my developing my cutting garden but this year I ended up with a great crop of Zinnias which are annuals.  In addition I have been snipping Black Eyed Susans (not pictured) for the arrangements which are perennials.  I like to round out the bouquets with Dusty Miller foliage, a biennial.  Huh?  Biennial?  That means it blooms on the second year but the foliage is a nice silver accent both years.  The perennial Astilbe adds height and feathery texture.  And finally, a few sprigs of the herb Rosemary give the arrangement a wonderful scent.

So simple yet makes such a big impact!

Other than arranging little wildflower bouquets this month, I’ve also been obsessively making refreshing fruit smoothies.  I’d love to say that I grew those ingredients as well but I’d be lying.  I stick primarily to ornamentals, not edibles.

So basically I’ve been throwing about 8-12 strawberries into a blender along with a banana and about 2 tablespoons or so of Greek yogurt topped off with ice.  The result is a fresh and amazing fruit smoothie!  Sorry for the loose goosey measurements but, hey, this isn’t a recipe blog!  There’s a baseline for you to start with.  Feel free to add rum too.  I won’t judge.  Just as long as you are not having the rum smoothie for breakfast.  Then I’ll start talking about ya.

I seriously can’t get enough of these flower arrangements and smoothies right now so I thought I’d share.  Indulge yourself too!

What are you loving about August?

P.S.  I stopped by local shop Phantastic Phinds’ blog this week and revealed what I did with an old dresser that lost its drawers.  Lost its drawers?  Hmm, not sure that came out right but anyway go check it out!