My Favorite Cookbook

About a year ago we started subscribing to a local farm. As CSA members, we receive a box of veggies and fruit every week. This has been great for our diets. We’ve begun to get a feel for what is in season and how good things taste when they are not shipped from another continent!

At first, though, I was at a loss as to how to cook all these vegetables. (The fruit is easy. The Boy eats fruit with almost every meal.) I shopped around and finally settled on From Asparagus to Zucchini; A Guide To Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce. This cookbook is amazing! It is organized by vegetable, with at least 4 recipes for each. Most of the recipes require other ingredients that are also currently in season. In addition to the recipes (we have yet to find one we really don’t like), each section has a brief history of that vegetable and cooking and storage tips.

Really, who knew there were so many delicious ways to prepare beets or how delicious a carrot almond cake could be? Pasta Pie with Fresh Greens anyone? How about Garlic Parsley Pesto or Penne alla Zucca (Roman Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce)?

f you are thinking of trying to cook more with seasonal produce or if you have a plethora of squash and need some ideas of how to use it, this is the book for you. If you want to introduce more vegetables (and not just the mainstream veggies you find at the supermarket) into your diet, this is the book for you. If you like to shop at Farmers’ Markets, but just don’t know how to fix that kohlrabi, this is the book for you. Happy Cooking and Happy Eating!

Watering the Rocks

Here’s a fun, cheap activity for a warm summer day. The Boy has his own small watering can (I think it was from the $1 bin at Target) and loves to use it to water anything and everything around the yard. Including the rocks. Every time we change out a 2.5 gallon water container from our emergency supplies, the old one goes out in the garden area on a shelf that he can easily reach. This way he can fill his watering can again and again without one of us having to turn on the hose or leave the water running.

Sunscreen

Parenthacks has a fun suggestion of how to use a make up brush to easily get sunscreen on your child’s face without too many tears. Summer is here in the northern hemisphere and sunscreen should become part of your daily routine. As us fair-skinned know, sunscreen can be necessary all year long, but on long days when kids are outside a lot, it is even more important. If you make putting the sunscreen on part of your routine throughout your day, then, just like brushing teeth or washing hands, it will become a natural thing for your child to do.

Here’s another reminder: Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to those ears and the back of the neck. Tops of feet are another easily forgotten, easily burned location, especially during sandal/barefoot season. Reapply when you are out in the sun for long periods of time and after swimming. If your child has fair skin and fair hair, consider sunscreen on the head too (or a cute hat!).

Waste Not, Want Not. Fruits and Veggies That is.

One big part of living on less is to make sure you use up everything you have. Everything that you buy and don’t use is wasting money. Keeping fruits and veggies in an edible state is always a hard one. Which fruits can go together and which ones make other ones spoil faster? Apple and banana? Grapes and carrots?

Luckily, there is a webpage that can help, imagine that? Here you can learn about how to keep fruits and vegetables fresh and prevent spoilage. It lists a bunch of common fruits and vegetables and where you can store them and for how long. For example, celery can go in the fridge but garlic should always be stored on the counter. A great resource for keeping your food fresh and not having to throw it in the compost pile.