In My Kitchen

Food, Faith and all things Family


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Noticing the Rainbow Around Us – GREEN {with apple dip recipe}

Creative Commons D Sharon Pruitt

Creative Commons – D Sharon Pruitt

Since we are in the middle of spring we are surrounded by wonderful growing greenery of all shades!  When I am asked what my favorite color is I usually settle on green.  It is nice by itself, but it also accentuates all the other colors nicely.

GREEN BOOKS – These seemed to be in short supply both on my own shelf and in the library.  In addition to the few listed below we checked out books on green frogs and green lizards.  Green sea turtles would be another option.

Verdi by Janell Cannon  Fun story of a young python’s growing pains.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss  A classic of course!  None of my kids are fans of eggs dyed to a green color, but a quiche stuffed with kale or spinach that’s been finely diced in the food processor and sautéed with onion, salt and pepper suits them just fine.

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger A beautiful book that illustrates numerous shades of green in the world; small cutouts on some pages incorporate a portion of one painting into another.

The Giving Tree  by Shel Silverstein  Has a lovely green cover!

GREEN FOODS are abundant.  I could begin naming them, but the list would quickly get overwhelmingly long.  Since we already eat green foods on a nearly daily basis I decided to make a treat out of this dip to eat with green, i.e. Granny Smith, apples.

Dip for ApplesDSC_0664

1 cup yogurt cheese**

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

honey to taste, I used 1-2 tablespoons

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Enjoy with apples of your choice.  Amount of honey used would probably vary depending on the sweetness of your apples.

DSC_0660**Greek yogurt will work if you don’t want to make yogurt cheese.  Cream cheese could also be used, but you may need to thin the dip with some milk.  If you do want to make yogurt cheese, line a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter and place over a bowl.  Fill strainer/filter with about 2 cups plain, unsweetened whole milk yogurt.  Allow to sit for a couple hours until a cup or more of whey has been strained off.  You will need to pour the whey out of the bowl periodically if it is not large enough to keep whey level below strainer.  Use the remaining thick yogurt “cheese” for your dip.  Don’t throw that whey out!  Use it as a base for a smoothie or in place of milk or water in any pancake or bread recipe.  My bread (either sourdough or yeast risen) always turns out best when I use equal portions whey and water for the liquid.

GREEN ART PROJECT

We used various greenery (and a few flowers) collected from the yard to create plant poundings.  The kids loved using the hammers!

DSC_0668 DSC_0667 DSC_0669 DSC_0670

We placed the plant pieces on sheets of corrugated cardboard, placed the fabric squares over the plant pieces and pounded away.  Everyone was happy with their creation regardless of wether the full impression of the leaf came through clearly or their efforts simply resulted in a lot of green circles!

Since Mother’s Day was approaching, we used the results to create cards (that I neglected to take pictures of).

For the older kids:

Aaron and the Green Mountain Boys by Patricia Lee Gauche

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

What state is known as The Green Mountain State and why?

The Green River What state(s) does it go through?


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Any Season Raw Vegetable Salads

In the summer we have plenty of fresh, local, in season produce readily available.  In the winter, however . . . until we set up a greenhouse of some kind, we have to rely on readily available grocery store fare.  Two of our favorite salads are easily made with vegetables widely available any where any time of the year.

Carrot Slaw

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1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (increase or decrease according to the heat of your cayenne and your family’s taste!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 medium to large carrots

1/2 cup fresh cilantro**, chopped and loosely packed

1/2 cup raisins

2-4 tablespoons diced red onion, optional

Combine first 7 ingredients in a measuring cup to create dressing.  Wash and/or peel and grate carrots into medium size serving bowl.  Add cilantro, raisins (I like the golden ones best for this recipe but any will work.)  and onion to carrot and mix briefly.  Pour dressing over all and mix thoroughly.  Can be served immediately but flavors will meld if allowed to rest for half an hour or so.

**Fresh cilantro is wonderful!  If you have extra you don’t know what to do with, add it to green salad, serve it with tacos or add to any mexican dish.

recipe adapted from Abundant Harvest Organics, a wonderful CSA type produce delivery in central and southern California

Celery Slaw

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1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons dijon mustard (we prefer smooth over grainy types in this dressing)

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 – 1 teaspoon sugar, optional but does help to balance the acidity of other ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sour cream

1/4-1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1 bunch celery, thinly sliced (somewhere between 4 and 6 cups)

Thoroughly combine first 8 ingredients in large measuring cup to create dressing.  (This does make a lot of dressing.  I often use 1/2 a recipe of dressing on about 4 cups celery.) Slice celery, including leaves, as thinly as possible and place in medium size bowl.  You want somewhere between 4 and 6 cups of sliced celery.  Fold dressing into sliced celery and mix thoroughly.   Can be served immediately but flavors will meld if allowed to rest for an hour or so.  The original recipe recommends marinating in the refrigerator for at least three hours.  If you remember to make it that far ahead of time, great!  Otherwise, it is still very good.

recipe adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook, a great resource for what to do with many vegetables