Tuesday, December 6

Winter is here!

But first a recap of my fall, in photos:
much time was spent, with the most beautiful people I know.
 
 
cooking with dear friends!  
and free food, saved from the trash!

And now, Omaha. A wonderful place, filled with new wonderful people! And finally, a chance to prepare food for myself again. Today, my project, inspired by my Milwaukee friends (who constantly inspire me!) and some milk that was about to go sour: homemade yogurt! A week or two back, I had purchased plain yogurt from the grocery store. Remembering Lauren and Bridget's resourceful use of remnant yogurt and milk, I thought to keep a small portion of the yogurt in order to make more in the future. It turns out, that the process is quite simple! And in the spirit of saving not wasting food, I tried my hand at some homemade yogurt today, with our milk on the edge. 

To make your own homemade yogurt, all you need is: 
A half gallon or so of milk (preferably 2% or whole) per every 3/4 cup of plain yogurt and a crock pot (or something to incubate the yogurt)

1. Pour the milk into the crock pot, and heat on low for 3 hours. The milk will become somewhat bubbly on top, but should not boil. This step helps to kill any unwanted bacteria! After 3 hours, turn off the crock pot, wrap it in a towel and allow to cool slightly. 

2. After 2 hours of cooling, add the yogurt and stir to incorporate. Wrap it back up with a towel and allow to set for another 8-12 hours, until the mix thickens. After it has set, stir and store in the refrigerator. 

*Save a cup at the end! And you can do it again!! 

Its easy as could be, and quite price efficient too. If you don't love plain yogurt, try adding honey or jam to add flavor! 

Happy cooking (and yogurt making!)

p.s. it is a winter wonderland in Omaha

Saturday, November 26

New Ground; an update from Omaha



Hello from the land of gateway to the west! 


Much has happened in the past couple weeks. I moved to Nebraska! Since I have arrived, I have settled myself and my things into a community house, where I live with three others; Francis, Alan and Farren. Francis, who owns the home, is a very active member of the community. Alan is also very active in the community, with a focus on trees and forest ecology. For the past week or two, he has been helping with prairie burns in the area. I am interested to take in as much of their knowledge of the community as I can. It is as though I couldn't have found a more perfect place to live, as I transition into this new city. My housemates are connected to all the people I would otherwise want to know, and have graciously welcomed me into their lives and introduced me to the people in their lives. Farren, who just moved in a couple of days ago, is here to work at a local non-profit. I am excited to know them all more! 

And me? I am working for the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, as the Urban Agriculture Specialist (woah!). What the heck does that mean? Good question. I am not quite sure yet. The position is mostly unwritten, so I have a tremendous amount of flexibility. At this point, I have been using my time to acclimate myself with the community. In doing so, I have attended the meetings of several organizations' meetings; which has been very rewarding on many fronts. To name a few, I have been connecting with: City Sprouts Omaha, Food Not Bombs, No More Empty Pots and Transition Omaha.

I have been cooking a lot lately, too. Perhaps you are wondering why I keep writing boring details of my life rather than recipes. But consider this post an explanation for my lack of recipe-writing. I have been busy as a bee, flitting from one state to another, with many adventures along the way! I have also been settling in my things so that I can live here and be healthy and full. Now that I am a bit more settled, however, it seems that I will again have time to share my recipes and food adventures, as I continue to forage, cook and preserve my own food.

Thanks for listening!
Happy Thanksgiving season.

Wednesday, November 23

Tuesday, November 1

Happy November!


 Me as a little smidge

Halloween is the ultimate nostalgic holiday. While other holidays seem to have a sense of nostalgia as well, Halloween has such a sensory connection, that it becomes nostalgic on many levels: what costume did you wear? what candy did you have? By Halloween, the leaves have usually fallen, and the air is crisp (and if you live in Wisconsin, it might be one of the first cold days of the year as well!).
 My dearest friend Liza and I, at our first Halloween we could be excited about!
This year, while I didn't have a costume or a Halloween party to attend, I spent my day creating a new and memorable concoction; one that would have even the spookiest of witches wishing their brew was as good as mine! For those of you who know my family personally, you may recall that fall is the season for the Clark's caramels. A tradition my Poppa started quite a while back, of making caramels for the fall and winter holidays. 
Little witch, age 2 1/2
To put a twist on a holiday classic, I tried my hand at gingerbread caramels! And I must say, they turned out quite delectable. 

Gingerbread Caramel Chews
3 cups of white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 quart of white corn syrup
1 pound of butter
1 quart of half and half cream; split into 1 cup and 3 cups
3 or 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of ground cloves
2 tablespoons of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of ground cardamom
1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Kosher salt

1. Place the sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1 cup of the cream in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. The pan should be at least 8 quarts or larger. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Then, gradually pour the remaining cream into the boiling mixture, in a fine stream, stirring constantly. Add spices and stir well, to incorporate.
2. Continue boiling while stirring until the mixture comes 247 degrees (medium-hard ball stage), approximately 1 hour. For softer chews, heat to 242 degrees.

3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a well buttered 9x13 inch cake pan and sprinkle with kosher salt, lightly. The salt helps to bring out flavor later, but too much and you will be grabbing for a glass of water!

4. When thoroughly cooled (a few hours; be patient!) invert the pan and remove the caramel onto a cutting surface. Cut the caramels into long 1 inch strips with a buttered pizza roller. Then cut the strips into 1 inch squares. Wrap them in waxed paper and share with your friends.
Tasty treats, no tricks necessary
Note: If you accidentally heat the caramels too hot, not to fear! Just allow them to cool. Then, reheat the caramel mixture with an additional 3-4 tablespoons of water and bring to 247 degrees. Add the vanilla again, and allow to reset. If the caramels aren't heated high enough, then not to worry, just reheat them again to 247 degrees and add the vanilla again and allow to reset.

Also, to taste test the caramels as you go, dip a spoon in the mix and allow to cool. I found myself adding more of some spices as time went on. It really is an experiment, so adjust as you go, to your liking! Now this is really a sweet treat to die for, especially at Halloween time.
Happy Halloween, from me and Liza last year:
Liza was "Cold" and I was Pippi Longstockings!

Happy treating!

Sunday, October 30

Falling in and out of love

My dear friend Alex, a wonderful musician and inspiring individual filled with wanderlust, sang a song once that has been stuck in my head since. It was a cover of the song "Cold and Blind" by Possessed by Paul James (who lately, I am in love with), and he sang it with the equally inspiring Caley Conway (who has a voice like none other!). Silly me, the only words I could remember were "... feel no consequences; falling in and out of love". So imagine me, like a broken record, singing this line over and over, till it was as natural as breathing. Though the actual lyrics depict a rather grim story (as Alex and I later discussed, after he shared the remaining lyrics), the line I first recalled has embodied another meaning for me, as of late.
An old, but favorite image of mine: hello, Fall!
This summer has been a continuous transition phase. As I have previously written, I have moved from place to place and fallen in and out of love with every place I have landed. This past month, Annie and I adventured across Wisconsin and Iowa, peddling our way on bicycles from Milwaukee to Omaha, Nebraska. Six-hundred miles later, and I have fallen in love and out of love with many things: I am in love with all of the people who shared their homes, families, shelter and food. I have fallen out of love with the notion that I can do things on my own; which surely I can, but I can guarantee it wouldn't be nearly as exciting! On the contrary, I am in love with the reality that while I can transport myself 600 miles, and I am equally in love with the reality of all the while being completely dependent on everyone else.
 Ready to ride, with a windsock made by Vanessa!
 Annie, packing her bike, about to head out
 600 miles later, we enter Nebraska: OMAHA! 
We made it! 

Before I move myself and belongings to Omaha for a more lengthy stay, I am home with my parents for the next couple weeks, and I plan to use this time to fall back in love with resting (which may also be called "being lazy as a bug"), and cooking. It has been a while since I have had a chance to do either of these things. In fact, rather than being as lazy as a bug, I spent most of the summer being as busy as a bee! It seems silly in retrospect that I was so busy, but I wouldn't change a minute of it, as I crafted till the wee hours of the night, and biked the streets of Milwaukee with my best friends. I am in love with Milwaukee and all those around me.

The other day, before Alex moved to Denver for the time being (recall, his great wanderlust; truly admirable), we spent the day casually exploring our favorite things in the city. We sampled cheese and shared a beer, we spent time with Michael at the Spice House, and then spent the afternoon exploring new parks and falling in love with a new side of Milwaukee. The evening ended with soup: filled with vegetables harvested from the garden Annie tended, and spices new and old, from the Spice House and from the spice shelf of my summer residence. A beautiful night, indeed.
Chili spices from the Spice House; The embodiment of fall
Clockwise from the top left: Turmeric (freshly ground!), Aleppo Chili Powder, Ground Ancho Chili Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Guajillo Chili Powder

Of the new spices that I found at the Spice House with Alex, there was one I was quite excited to use: powdered porcini mushrooms. As I have spent the summer falling in and out of love with people, places, and things, I decided I would make a recipe that many already love in a new way, equally lovable. When asked (numerous, numerous times by my parents) to use the bountiful supply of our last harvest of green beans, I new just what I would do: green bean casserole. Originally, green bean casserole was created by Campbell's Soup Company in the 50s as a "quick and easy recipe around two things most Americans always had on hand in the 1950s: green beans and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup" (Campbell's). Times have changed, and thank goodness for me, I don't have a bountiful supply of canned cream of mushroom soup (at least not since I stopped buying canned food, last August). As of last Thursday, however, I do have a supply of powdered porcini mushroom! Let the revamp begin.
Green Bean Casserole (new and improved)
For the sauce:
2 cups of milk, I used 2%
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of horseradish
1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried porcini mushroom powder 
   (available here, in case you aren't so lucky to live by a Spice House)
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Combine all the ingredients, save the cornstarch, in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat until the mix begins to steam, stirring to incorporate all ingredients. 


2. In a side dish, add water to the cornstarch and combine until it is completely dissolved (Don't just plop it into the other ingredients, or you will have a really lumpy sauce! yuck), and gradually pour into the sauce pan, stirring constantly. 


3. Increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil softly. Cook until the sauce thickens and drops off a spoon, rather than pours. Remove from heat. 


For the casserole:
1 pound of green beans, cleaned (homegrown!)
Homemade mushroom sauce (see above) 
1/4 cup of homemade bread crumbs
1 purple onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese


1. Place all the green beans in a small casserole dish. Pour the sauce on top of the green beans and spread the bread crumbs over the sauce. 


2. In a skillet, sauté the onion in the butter until they become translucent. Remove from heat and distribute evenly atop the bread crumbs. Top with the cheese.


3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until the green beans are cooked through. Bon appetite! 


I do hope that you too will love this new spin on green bean casserole. Some people may think I am crazy for not purchasing canned/packaged foods, but let me just say, I have fallen in love with food more since I have forgone store-bought alternatives. While there are moments when cooking an entire meal seems more daunting than biking 600 miles with hills and wind (aka across Iowa), but somehow, I am still in love. 


Happy eating!

Thursday, October 6

Final craft stand of the season this Saturday!

The craft stand has been a staple in our summer this year, as Annie, Jill and I crafted our little fingers off. We have had such a wonderful time sharing our creations with our fellow Milwaukeeans, and have appreciated all the support we have received from both our friends and family, and also from new friends and perfect strangers. We have fought the elements, but with much support from our friends as well (Thank you Kathy, from MKE Localicious, for so graciously lending us your tent!). All in all, it has been a delightful summer. We do hope you will join us for our final Saturday market, this Saturday, October 8th, between 10am and 2pm at the Beans and Barley parking lot. After the market is complete, we will be listing our crafted items online. I will share this web address with you when it comes, not to worry!

Incase you are on the fence about coming, I have recently made a batch of my grandpa's famous caramels, and they will be conveniently located at our stand (and they will be free!). We really hope to see you there, and thank you all again, for your support. We could never have done it with out you!

Here are some photos of our stand lately (at Made in Milwaukee):

Happy fall! Hope to see you Saturday

Fall returns

Goodness! How quickly time seems to go when you are as busy as a bee (like me, and most of those I know around me). I am delighted to be surrounded by trees that are shifting colors. This summer has been a summer of transition for me, as I have moved from the garden unit to reside temporarily with some of my friends and now back home (but only for a quick minute, as soon I will embark on a new adventure in  Omaha, Nebraska!). Not only have I watched friends move in and out of Milwaukee, I have transitioned from working full time to working only at the craft stand. I have traveled to visit friends and family, all of which has been wonderful. Needless to say, however, it has been a long period of transition, and I am getting increasingly excited/anxious to settle in my next home. It is comforting for the seasons to be in a state of transition as well, because it reminds me that I am not the only one transitioning. It reminds me that things are always transitioning!
happy fall! 
A brief recap of the past month or so:
It was prime season for sailing, which my dad was happy about. We explored lake Michigan, which I will miss when I move from Milwaukee. It really is a beautiful place.
Bridget and I, on Lake Michigan
My family was delighted to have our friend Mai visit us from Japan, for the month of September! She had lived with us for about 9 months a few years back and this was her first return visit. What a wonderful time we all had.

My mom and I canned pears from my grandpa's tree. This year, his single pear tree yielded 200 juicy fruits! Imagine a pear that is actually filled with juice. As soon as you take a bite, sweet juice is pouring out. Quite the special treat, indeed. He also had plenty of fresh and delicious apples, which were enjoyed thoroughly by Mai, my cousin Claire, myself, and the ponies!


I visited Omaha to watch John and several of his friends run an ultramarathon (50k!) in the countryside of Nebraska. Annie and I were their support team, as we leapfrogged with them via automobile, with water, gear and plenty of homemade granola bars (see below for the recipe!). They all finished and in great stride and Annie and I received many high-fives from other race runners, and were recognized by some as the best crew!

We celebrated harvest season, with a potluck at the community garden. It was quite a successful season, as all the beds were filled and our harvest was plentiful. My best friend from the garden Jamarion even came! 


This past weekend, I visited Jill at her new residence in Missouri. We then traveled South to visit my dear Mema and Poppa. Of course, we made caramels, which are always a treat. This time, we sprinkled the top with sea salt before the caramels had set. This added quite a tasty flavor to the delicious morsels. We enjoyed the fall weather of southern Missouri, and even tried our hand (unsuccessfully) at persimmon butter. There are several persimmon trees in their neighborhood that are fruiting now. What beautiful fruits they reap, unfortunately several unripe fruits spoiled our batch. A minor setback, compared to the rest of our lovely visit.
 Jill with our persimmon bounty
Game night, with Mema and Poppa
And what is next? Next week, Annie and I are embarking on a 600 mile bike ride. Perhaps we are a bit crazy, but what better time to go, then now. The trees are practically yelling at us to get biking! We will first finish up our craft stand season, but then the road is ours.

To prepare, we have been biking quite a bit, and have fixed up our little bikes so they are road-ready (thanks to our friends at Milwaukee Bicycle Company!) Today, I am preparing some food for the road. A hybrid from the ultramarathon bars I made a month back, we hope these treats keep us going, even when we are feeling a bit defeated. As you may know, we don't let traveling or even camping prevent us from enjoying a tasty treat. With a little planning, you can have great food no matter where you are!

Open-road Bars of Encouragement
1/4 cup of chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of sorghum
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups puffed wheat, rice or kamut (I used Kashi 7 grain cereal!) 
1/2 cup bran buds or Grape-Nuts cereal
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup of pecans
1/4 cup of almonds
1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds
cinnamon


1. In a medium sauce pan, warm up the peanut butter, honey, sorghum and the brown sugar until the sugar has melted and peanut butter has thinned out.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients in big bowl and dust with cinnamon. Pour liquid on top and mix it up so that everything is equally coated. 

3. Then, spread the mixture into a well greased pan. Press mixture down with a piece of greased wax paper (otherwise you will have granola-hands!). Bake for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees.

4. Allow the bars to cool down completely before cutting. When they are cooled and solid, cut the bars into individual sizes and wrap with wax paper or put in little baggies. Enjoy! They will last for about a week at room temperature, but you can also refrigerate or freeze them so they last even longer (this shouldn't be a problem, because they will likely be eaten before too long!) 

Maple-cinna-raisin Bars
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of puffed wheat, rice or kamut
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 cup of flour
3/4 cup of raisins (my mom made our raisins!)
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of real maple syrup
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1. In a large bowl mix together everything except the last three ingredients. Pour the remaining ingredients over the dry ingredients until everything is coated. Pat into a greased pan.

2. Bake at 350 for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the bars begin to turn golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and cut the bars while they are still warm. Be sure to cut them while they are warm, or it may be too hard to cut. Bon appetite!

Ultramarathon Power-packed Bars
1/4 cup of dried figs, chopped
1 cup of dried dates, chopped
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of sorghum syrup

1/8 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 cup of chopped almonds
1/8 cup of flax seeds
1 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup of coconut flakes
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1. Mix first set of ingredients together and heat over low heat on the stovetop until combined.

2. In a really large bowl, mix together the second set of ingredients. When the syrup is combined, pour over the dry ingredients. Using greased wax paper, press all of the ingredients into a pan so they are really packed in!

3. Bake at 250 degrees for about 25 minutes. Cool, cut into bars (they will be a bit crumbly, but this makes them delicious) and wrap. For these, we found it easiest to place them into zippie-bags. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for longer shelf life.
*For extra fun, Mai and I made labels for each of our marathon bars, with little inspirational messages for the runners. I think they appreciated that :)

Open road, here we come, with treats!

Wednesday, September 7

Kombucha

My latest excitement in the food world: kombucha. I have been wanting to try my hand at kombucha for quite some time now, but have either been limited by time or without a mother culture. For those of you unfamiliar with kombucha, let me just say that I think it is quite a treat! However, because it is quite pricey at the grocery store, it is not the top on my list of consumption. A while back (say, 2 years or so) my dear friend Garrett started making his own. He even shared with me a lovely illustrated guide on how to make your own batch. After talking to him, I realized how simple it is to make your own, and it is very, very, very affordable! In fact, all you need is some tea of your choice, a little sugar, water and a mother culture (also known as a scoby). More recently, my dearest friend Liza has been making her own too, which she then combines with fruit juice from overripe fruits she gets at the market. The end result: a super tasty treat, to be enjoyed by all!

A little while ago, my new friend David shared with me a mother culture from his home brewed kombucha. Since I am finally settled in at my new place, and have my very own scoobie, it is time to begin the kombucha adventure. Now, I am no expert but I am trying my hand at a batch, and thought it worth while to share with you, my new fermenting adventure!

Really, like I said before, it is simple. My prior notion that I needed time to make kombucha is practically irrelevant, because it really only takes 10 minutes and a little patience. I have included Garrett's illustrated instructions, for your viewing pleasure.

(Click the photo for a larger view!)
For my first batch, I definitely didn't let it sit long enough. However, it seems that my second batch was much more matured; after waiting one week.

Kombucha itself, is quite vinegar-y in taste. Personally, I love this aspect of it, but it is not for everyone. If you are not so keen on the taste of your first batch, try changing the type of tea you are brewing. While herbal teas that have more oils are not, such a great option, as they tend to lead to contamination; there are many varieties of teas that will work great. I urge you (once your scoby has multiplied!) to experiment, experiment, experiment! My current favorite is equal parts of green and black tea, with ginger added to taste. Simple, yet tasty!

Happy fermenting!

Saturday, August 13

Oh, the times they are a changing

Dear friends,

So many things are constantly shifting. Today, I am writing to you from a different room than normal, as Jill, Kelsey and I have moved out of the garden unit and are now living in new locations! A strange feeling, indeed. However, this does not mean that I will stop writing about food and adventures. In fact, I think it is quite nice to have this silly little blog as an outlet for my thoughts and recipes. I sure hope you enjoy reading!
The garden unit in its prime
An update:
While Jill and Kelsey are continuing graduate school, I have moved down the street for a while, to live with some of my dearest friends. Jill and Kelsey are both doing well, with wonderful new roommates, and I am loving living in community with six inspiring and energizing individuals.

Though the physical walls of the garden unit have remained stationary, and no longer shelter Kelsey, Jill and me, the spirit of the garden unit (corny, I know, but it's true!) will surely live on in all of us! Jill will be baking bread till the day she dies, no doubt in my mind. And Kelsey, who went from hating nearly all vegetables, will be enjoying green beans long into the future I am sure. I plan to continue eating homemade foods, and not eating packaged foods (August 22nd will be Jill and my one-year anniversary of not buying packaged foods!).
A bittersweet farewell, to the home we had created.
More soon (including recipes... which I haven't shared in quite some time now!),
Until then, happy eating, crafting and living,
Ali


Jill, Kelsey and I; the garden unit girls! 

Thursday, July 21

The art of gathering

Lately, Jill and I have been ravishing in the beauty that is Kinfolk magazine. Incase you haven't yet discovered this magazine, you can see all that it is, on the Kinfolk website!
Pages 138-139 of the Kinfolk magazine; beautiful!
Kinfolk shares similar values as Jill and I, and all of our dear friends, in the importance of small gatherings. I have nothing more to add at this point, because instead of reading me talk about it, I do hope that you just check it out yourself!

We hope you love these pages as much as we do.

Friday, July 15

Stoop kids

While I tend talk very highly of the garden unit (as there are many things to speak highly of), there also exists some limitations. For instance, while the alternative apartments in our building have balconies and sky view windows, we are balcony free and look out to the street. However, if you look at our unique situation from a slightly different angle, it becomes clear that such "limitations" are not limitations at all, but rather have lent us to situations that are great reward. For instance, our street view windows allow us to look out to lovely flowers and plants landscaped along our building. We can often see as friends and roommates approach, and thus can greet them with great joy! Similarly, our lack of balcony has lent us to another great reward; the discovery of our front stoop.

Lately, myself and the other current garden unit residents, Jill, Bridget and Alex, have been spending much time on the front stoop outside of our humble abode. Decorated with potted plants that we have added, the stoop has become our summer hangout.

Over the past couple of days, I have filled some of my free time reading Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac (for the third or fourth time, might I add!). In it, Leopold beautifully records his observations of the patterns of nature, that he observes from his farm in Wisconsin. Through many years of observing, Leopold and his family comes to expect the bloom of certain wild flowers and the arrival of various birds and animals throughout the year. As I read through the months of his record, I began again, to feel limited by my urban home. Though I love the city so much, I was feeling a bit sad that I was so removed from the natural cycles of nature.
As I sat on the stoop this afternoon, however, I realized how silly my longing for natural cycles were. While sitting on the stoop, I had several conversations with walker-bys, none of which I knew personally; and all of which would not have happened if I were in the country or even perched on a second story balcony. Then, as I sat longer, I watched as a pair of friends walked by. I realized that I see them every day, from the stoop, walking and talking together just as they had for the past who-knows-how-long. Alex came home and left, my neighbor Jordan came and left, a passerby asked me for directions. All the while, I sat on the stoop, enjoying the nice weather and the company of the cycles surrounding me!

It seems that the cycles of life, that Leopold writes about, exist all around us. How silly of me to be blind to them. I hope that you too have not been blinded by the hustle bustle of the city, to dismiss the beauty that exists within the urban cycles.

Thank goodness for stoops!

Tuesday, July 5

Happy National Culinary Month!

Who knew! My dear friend Alex just informed me that it is National Culinary Month, and what better way to celebrate than by cooking?! Alex also just shared with me a wonderful resource for historic recipes, that is filed at the Milwaukee Public Library. Stored in an online database, you can search and prepare many different recipes that are unique to the different cultures of Milwaukee from over the last 50 years. A neat compilation of recipes, I am quite excited to explore the database more, over the next month.
A picture from last year, with my dear friend Glynnis, 
at Strawberry Festival in Cedarburg
Going with strawberry season, which is quickly coming to a close, I have selected a few strawberry recipes that I hope to try within the near future: 
Recipes courtesy of Milwaukee Public LIbrary;
Click the photos to jump to the site! 
Happy National Culinary Month!

Monday, July 4

Happy Independence day (with mulberries)!

It has been a while since I last wrote about food and it is about time to share some tasty summer recipes! Lately, we have been enjoying our homemade lemonade, especially since it has been quite hot here in Milwaukee. Yesterday it was up to 96 degrees! Besides lemonade, we have been enjoying plenty of desserts, including frozen lemonade, homemade ice cream, and loads of fruit pies and cobblers!
fresh from the tree!
Since through the winter we survived primarily on canned fruits and citrus, fresh fruit and berries are quite a treat, to say the least. Last weekend, we enjoyed strawberry season with fresh strawberry pie. The strawberries were harvested by our dear friend Alicia, and prepared into a tasty pie by Jill, Alicia and myself. Then, today, Jill and I, and several friends that are visiting for the holiday weekend, went down to the garden where the mulberries are in full abundance. It is a beautiful sight, to say the least!
Strawberry Pie
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of honey
3 cups of fresh strawberries

1. Prepare a pie crust, bake it empty and let it cool. Meanwhile, mix together all of the ingredients for the filling and pour into baked crust. Sprinkle with homemade granola or a crumble of sorts, which could be made out of sugar, butter and cinnamon!

2. Bake for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Share with your friends!
Peach-mulberry Cobbler
4 fresh peaches (mine are straight from Georgia!)
2 cups of fresh mulberries (right from the tree!)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of flour
A sprinkle of cinnamon
Butter
Half and half

1. Slice the the peaches into thin wedges (about 10 wedges per peach) and line them in a casserole dish, and create one layer. Lay down a layer of mulberries and another layer of peaches and another of mulberries until all of the fruit is in the pan.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, adding just a smidgen of butter and a splash of half and half. Pour over the fruit evenly. Top with unbaked cookie dough (we used this sugar cookie recipe from last year, and blended in mulberries for some lovely colors!). Bake at 400 degrees until the fruit filling is bubbly and the cookies are baked.

Happy eating and happy fourth of July weekend!

Tuesday, June 21

balance

Things are beginning to regain balance, as I am now in my second week of my new job, our garden is fully planted and our craft stand has taken way. For those of you who were not able to visit our stand, here is a quick glimpse:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Happy Tuesday!