RECIPE: SOBA WITH CILANTRO PESTO

This is a very simple, vitamin-rich, and delicious meal for the summer.  The pesto packs a flavor-punch while the feta is a salty treat on top of this cold noodle salad. Great for a quick meal with friends or to bring to a potluck.

Recipe Adapted from Health Magazine January 2012
I love to cook and I somehow the "home arts" have been swept up with Interior Design. When I worked for Michael Smith, he would plan parties, design letterhead, and select uniforms for staff.  So I understand why interior designers are turning into lifestyle designers.  What do you think?  Should design blogs have recipes?
PS- Read this funny take on this topic from Erica on Design Blagh
PSS- Is there anyone who hates cilantro?

You're Invited: To My House

I am not always able to throw the parties that I plan on You're Invited.  But this is a party that I hosted at my house in October for all our friends to celebrate our newly married status with us when we returned from our Hawaii wedding and California reception.

INVITATIONS

I created postcard invitations with a photo of our trip and mailed to guests.

MENU

pea & purple basil crostini (I had purple basil from my CSA)
mini grilled cheese (I used fontina & fig butter)
onion tart (this is DI-vine)
chocolate chip cookies (everyone likes ccc)
I also bought sweet potato chips, pickled okra, jalepeno stuffed olives and mixed up some toasted salty almonds.

LIBATIONS

Lemon & Pineapple infused vodkas with soda water and appropriate garnish for guests to help themselves.  The trick is to use pretty bottles and to put pineapple slices and lemon peel in the bottles for easy ID.  You could also use different flavors - lime, grapefruit, passionfruit, coconut, currant, mango, etc.

DECOR

custom runner in batik fabric
candles everywhere in mercury jar votives (here is a DIY)
mason jars filled with baby's breath

CSA Bounty

This is what I made from this week's Serenbe CSA share.  You don't need a CSA to make these recipes, I just want to show what is possible by buying what is in season and fresh and maybe get you thinking about your daily veg differently.  

Swiss chard gratin with mash potatoes Asian greens in garlic sauce (served with bean recipe below) sweet potato and black bean burritos with okra rellenos Vegetable & Rice Golabki beans in peanut sauce I also blanched and froze the collard greens from this week to use later. And made more fridge pickles (sliced cucumber, white vinegar, water, hot pepper, celery seed & sugar)

CSA BOUNTY: RECIPES

my share this week of the Serenbe CSA (community supported agriculture) included beans, kale, chinese cabbage, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, purple basil, lettuce, and sweet potatoes.

  • The first night, I needed something quick, easy, and almost clean-up free.  Hello slow-cooker. A fall soup with sweet potatoes and squash.  In went a box of veggie stock, two cubed sweet potatoes, a portion of a leftover onion, and two cubed yellow squash with some sage leftover from the acorn squash pasta recipe last week.  I let all the veggies get soft and blended it with a hand blender right in the pot - full disclosure - I don't like chunky soup with stock so I blend every soup I make into a pureed soup.  It looks prettier too with a drizzle of olive oil and a sage leaf on top. But before you garnish - be sure to add salt and pepper to taste, I do this after blending for a more accurate reading.  I also made grilled cheese to dunk in the soup.  Couldn't be easier.
  • Kale chips - I love kale and I make a mean kale salad, but wanted something a little easier (noticing a trend?) and different.  These chips are quick and delicious and can be tailored to your tastes - add garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, taco seasoning, etc to find your craving.  I don't think you could even feel guilty if you ate the whole batch, these are so darn good for you.
  • Chinese cabbage - nothing better to make than chinese chicken salad.  If you don't eat chicken like me, this salad is still delicious and filling and you could add shrimp or tofu for protein.
  • This week we still have some left over veggies and it may turn into a "kitchen sink" soup here soon since I am picking up this weeks share this afternoon.  I have a lot of beans.