Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My obsession with garlic scape pesto


Garlic scape is something I had never heard of before my sister-in-law introduced me to her delicious garlic scape pesto last year. 

So...what exactly is garlic scape?

Garlic scapes have a delicate garlic flavor, a tender, pliable texture, and a fragrance that hints at green grass and garlic. They’re at once a vegetable, an herb, and an aromatic. 

“Scape” is a botanical term that refers to a flower-bearing stem. A garlic scape is the flower stem of the garlic plant (Allium sativum), which forms a pod near the top of the stem that’s full of bulbils, or tiny garlic cloves. Scapes sprout mostly from hard-neck garlic varieties like Rocambole and Purple Stripe; soft-neck types, like Artichoke, are bred not to grow stems at all.

For years, scapes were considered little more than a byproduct of the garlic plant. They were trimmed off in early summer simply to ensure that all of the plants’ energy went into forming plump bulbs underground. Today, scapes are harvested not only for that reason but also to meet growing demand for them as an ingredient.



how to choose:

Typically found at farmers’ markets, garlic scapes are making headway in supermarkets, too. Look for long, curved, or curly stalks that are firm, smooth, and a vibrant green.

how to prep:

Although the entire scape is edible, the pod and tip above it can be fibrous and are best discarded. Use garlic scapes as you would scallions or shallots, or in any dish that could use a garlicky note. Blend raw scapes into hummus, bean dips, salad dressing, or even softened butter to spread over grilled vegetables or baked potatoes. Purée them with pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan, salt, and pepper for pesto. You can also add them to scrambled eggs or use them as a garnish. 

Scapes are more delicately flavored and sweeter when cooked. Slice them into 1/2-inch pieces and sauté them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a spritz of lemon juice for an easy side dish, or grill whole scapes as you would scallions. Like green beans, they’re great steamed, added to stir-fries, or blanched and tossed into salads. 

With their mellow garlicky flavor, scapes pair well with summer produce like zucchini, chard, and spinach; herbs like cilantro and lemongrass; rich ingredients like bacon, cream, eggs, mayonnaise, butter, and cheese; and bold flavors like lemon juice, soy sauce, and mustard.

how to store:

You can refrigerate scapes in a paper bag for about a month. For longer storage, blanch and freeze them for up to a few months, though they’ll lose flavor over time.



Early summer next year, get your garlic scape from your fresh Farmers Market and follow the garlic scape pesto recipe below and let me know if you are not hooked on this deliciousness. Or perhaps, you can get started with this recipe now if you have some in the freezer?


GARLIC SCAPE AND ALMOND PESTO

Makes about 1 cup

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like)
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle).  Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese.  If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil.  Season with salt.

If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juiciest.


Enjoy!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Relaxing Foot Soak



This soak will soften your skin, remove toxins and add much needed minerals to your body.
The best 15 minutes at home that will feel like you are at the spa!

Make this soak for yourself or give it as a gift.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sea salt
1 cup of Epsom salt
2 cups of Baking Soda
12 – 15 drops of your favorite Essential Oil(s)

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix sea salt, baking soda and epson salt. Add drops of your choice of oil(s) all over the mixture and whisk using a spoon until well blended. Store in a tight glass container.
When ready to use, just add 1/4 cup onto hot water and soak your feet for 15 minutes before going to bed.

Tips: You can use any combination of oils. Add marbles at the bottom of your tub for a foot massage. 

Lavender has relaxing properties and is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also has antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifying, hypotensive and sedative effects

Peppermint gives a cooling sensation and has a calming effect on the body, which can relieve sore muscles when used topically. It also has antimicrobial properties and soothe digestive issues

Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, and other medicinal qualities

Lemon has stimulating, calming, carminative, anti-infection, astringent, detoxifying, antiseptic, disinfectant, sleep inducing, and anti fungal properties

Orange can be attributed to its properties as an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, tonic, sedative and cholagogue substance



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tiny guest room get away




browsing pinterest and fell in love with this beauty. 

Now... I just wish my husband would let me repurpose our shed and turn it into a jewel like this one! 

Do you have a fun shed?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Teriyaki Chicken and Noodle Bowl


I was looking for a quick asian noodle dish to whip up for my kids the other night and I came across this recipe over at damndelicious

This dish was very good so don't judge the look of the chicken on the photo. I burned it while leaving it unattended when answering the door! But hey, it did not affect its flavor whatsoever.

I only marinated the chicken for 45 minutes and the Teriyaki flavor was good and present. I had no garnish for my plate so pardon me for the lack of "gourmet look" but I promise you it is delicious and quick to make :-)



Ingredients:

2 (5.6-ounce) packs refrigerated Yaki-Soba, discard seasoning packets* or use other type of noodle
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or 1/4 tsp dried ginger)
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling water, add Yaki-Soba until loosened, about 1-2 minutes; drain well.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes; let cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/4 cup and set aside.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine soy sauce mixture and chicken; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes; set aside.

Stir in Yaki-Soba* and 1/4 cup reserved soy sauce mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.

*Yak-Soba is ramen-style noodles and can be found in the refrigerated aisle of your local grocery store.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Knitted pattern hand towels

These can be used to wash or dry dishes, wipe counters, mirrors and or windows... or wash cloths.

If you are a beginners knitter, I highly recommend starting with the simple wash cloths and use one color only.

Cast on 36 stitched (preferably long tail) and do a garter stitch for 60 rows or until your piece measures 9 inches x 9 inches.

For a more advanced knitter, and if you prefer a diagonal pattern, cast on 3 stitches and increase your work until you have 36 stitches on your needle. Than you can decrease until you have 3 stitches left and cast off.

For the beginner knitter who would like to experiment with color, this wash cloth is a great way to get started. These two wash cloths are my first attempt to using different colors in knitting.

The pattern is from Purl Soho (again!) I just love, love, love their patterns. So inspiring, so many projects. Take a look

Here are Purl Soho's towels

Here are mine










Have fun summer knitting!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

New Guest Room Look

This hot summer has made me dream of sailboat rides, cool breezes and...

make over our guest room

Well...it's not quiet a full make over just yet but the beginning of something new and fresh and nautical just like I imagined it should be for the summer.













Stay tuned for the walls Decor....NEXT

Comforter cover - snatched it on huge sale from Pottery Barn (named sailor Stripes)
Navy chevron coverlet - Overstock
Anchors Shams - West Elm
Flower Euro Shams - snatched them on sale from Pottery Barn (named Rae)
Lamps - Etsy (named Retro Edison Lamp by Ironcladindustrial)
Buoy - Home Goods 
Vintage Chair - Antique Store
Garden metal Stool - The World Market

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Shepherds Huts - My new obsession

Ok, I have been dreaming day and night about these cute tiny houses!

They make me want to pack and go to England just so I can go glamping in one of these.

Don't they look so cozy and comfy?

The Otters Holt Shepherds Hut
sleeps 4



My family could really enjoy the outdoors and still have a luxurious place to sleep in and wash up if we stayed in this adorable hut. Reserve your spot here

Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts
The Barrow - sleeps 2



The Beacon - sleeps 3



The Buster - sleeps 2


The Boundary - sleeps 4



The Old Winchester - sleeps 2


There are 6 huts in the heart of the south downs in England but 5 of them are advertised  here
for more info check out Wriggly Tin Huts

 Shepherds Hut at Argoed
sleeps 2



Looks like there may be a bathroom in this one! Book a night here

Shepherd's Delight
sleeps - 2


Unplug and relax at Hill View Farm. More info here

Fernhills Huts
sleeps 4




The fern hills grande roulotte is my favorite floor plan. It will fit my family of four with room to spare. Oh my oh my!  I might just need Mark and Rose to come over and build me one of these in my backyard. If you happen to be in Hassocks, West Sussex England, please, please please, check it out for me and send all your photos. For more locations on where you can find Fernhills Beauties, visit this page

The Salty Shepherd Hut
sleeps 2


Sleeps 2 with kitchenette and full bathroom. Reserve your stay here

Upland - The Gardner Hut
sleeps 2




Citing Scotland? This beauty has a full bath and wood stove for cozy glamping. Check it out here

Bluebell English Shepherd Hut
sleeps 2

I could only find one shepherds Hut B&B in the US and it is located in Dexter Michigan. I might have to leave my kids behind and check it out with the hubby! Want to see it before I do? click here

For more cuteness and coziness, visit these website's galleries:
http://www.fernhills.co.uk
http://www.roundhillshepherdhuts.co.uk/our-huts/
http://www.riversideshepherdhuts.co.uk/our-huts
http://www.plankbridge.com

Are you dreaming with me now?