Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our CSA box: Week 3

Our CSA officially began 3 weeks ago, and I always get so excited to see all the beautiful produce inside.  I know some people are unsure if they can use all their produce in the box, or unsure of what to do with produce they are unfamiliar with, but to me that's the fun of the forces me to think OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!

Here's what was in the box this week:
red mustard
mild mixed greens
garlic scapes

Recipes for this week's box:

  • Pasta with wilted arugula, red mustard, almonds, & goat cheese (adapted from The Kinfolk Table)
  • Turnips & carrots with green tahini sauce (adapted from Eating Well march/april 2015)
  • Zucchini bruschetta (from Martha Stewart Living July/August 2015)
  • Fresh basil salad (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens June 2015)

Over the next 3 days I will share the recipes and stories associated with the meals we made out of this week's box.

Let's start with the Fresh Basil Salad that I made for a 4th of July part with friends.  I was asked to bring a salad and when I saw this in the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens I knew instantly that it was the ONE!!!  Especially considering I had two beautiful head of lettuce to use up before it wilted in my fridge and figured it would feed a crowd and be different enough to look like I put a lot of effort into it.

Fresh Basil Salad
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens June 2015)

For Salad:
1 bunch of Basil (roughly chopped)
2 heads of Lettuce (roughly chopped or torn)
2 containers of Raspberries
3 small Red Onions (sliced thinly)
4 oz of Goat Cheese (crumbled)

For Dressing:
1/3 cup EVOO
1/3 cup Champagne Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey

Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl (or alternately layer the ingredients for a pretty presentation : lettuce on the bottom, then red onions, basil, raspberries, and on top the goat cheese)

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small mason jar, put the lid on, and shake until combined

Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving.

The salad was a huge hit at our little gathering of friends of friends, former neighbors, and soon to be former neighbors.  Everyone asked about what the dressing was.  I think champagne vinegar in dressing is the secret to a tangy and tasty dressing that almost everyone loves, and the honey sweetens and thickens it just enough.

We had a blast celebrating the 4th of July with friends!!!!  The kiddos swam in the kiddie pool, ran around spraying each other (and us) with water guns, the dogs chased each other around the yard, and I enjoyed sipping my Rose while chatting with friends and watch my son beam from ear to ear all night long.

And what would the 4th of July in Minnesota be, without some super lame safe fireworks/sparklers for the kids.  It was my son's first experience with sparklers and he LOVED it!!!  The next morning he asked if we could do fireworks again today.  Maybe we will have to hit the clearance section next time we are at Target.

I feel so blessed to have such wonderful neighbors, former neighbors, and soon the be former neighbors.  Our neighborhood has changed over the last 9 years we have been here, but we are glad that we have made such great friends and that we still get together, even though now we have to drive to each others houses (no more carefully walking home after a long fun night).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Trixie My Love

Dearest Trixie:

You were and still are the best dog a girl could ever ask for.  Thank you so much for allowing me to touch your life for almost 11 of your 15 years and for sharing our home with us for the last 6 1/2 years. You are one of a kind, there will never be another Trixie.

We were the best of friends from the beginning and I remember spending countless hours with you in the VonDeLinde garage before you came to live with us when we moved into our first house.  And boy did you LOVE being a house dog!!  You were and will always be the queen of this castle.

I remember the winter you moved in with us, and how you hogged the whole bed :)  I remember how you used to pull me along on our long walks and how you never seemed to get tired of them.  I remember the one spring you decided to have a little fun with some mallards in our backyard and we had to ask John and Sue to come over to help us dispose of them.  Or the spring when you got the little dove that fell out of the nest that was in our front step gutters.

But let's get this straight you were the sweetest dog, these little creatures just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you were just having a little fun.

I remember how we used to play tug in the backyard.  And oh how you used to talk; you had an opinion about everything (not to different from your mama) and you were not at all shy about it.  You would talk from sun up to sun down.

I remember how afraid you were of fireworks and thunderstorms and how you would cower in our closet trying to hide and how I would go in and sit with you and pet you and reassure you that everything was going to be okay and that I was there for you.

I remember one time when we walked around Lake Nokomis and we had to park in a different spot than we usually did and how you stopped by where we usually parked and refused to walk any further.  I tried to turn around and walk you the other way, but you went a few feet at stopped.  Finally I had to pick you up and carry you all the way back to the car (it was a long ways, at least 1/4 mile or maybe even 1/2 mile).  Only to realize when I got back to the car that I had dropped my cell phone along the way.  So I drove down to where I had to pick you up, leaving you in the car with the windows down, and thankfully there it was right in the spot where I had to pick you up.

Boy were you stubborn!!  When you didn't want to do something, you weren't going to do it, and there was no one in the world who could make you.  And when you wanted something, you found a way to get it.  You were such a smart dog, sometimes too smart for your own good.

I remember when we first got Morgan and how you played so nice and gentle with her and would even let her have things that you wanted, because she was just a little puppy, and you knew.  Oh how Morgan loved and looked up to you.  I'm sure she misses you as much as I do.  I think she is confused about where you are and is probably waiting for you to walk back through the door.

Every time I open the door I expect to find you lying on the the front rug waiting for me.  When I made breakfast this morning I was looking for you to walk into the kitchen and ask for a little taste.  When Eero was eating I kept thinking I would feel you brush up against my leg while you stole morseles of food off his highchair.  I only had to make up one bowl of Sojo's this morning (but don't worry I gave Morgan your bowl so she can now have the special bowl we bought for you way back when at Bone Adventure).

We went for a long morning walk this morning (our usual route), and even though you haven't been able to go on that walk for a long time, I missed you today more than ever.  I miss feeling you tug on the leash, stopping every few feet to tinkle, always trying to stay one step ahead of Miss Morgan.

I will never forget how you guarded the house right after Eero was born.  You sensed it and you took on the role of protector yourself without us having to ask.  For the first few days you stayed outside, even though it was February, and guarded the perimeter, letting anyone who came to close know that they should stay away.  Eero was your baby too!

There are so many great memories and even though you are not physically with us anymore you will live on forever in our hearts and our minds.  There will always be a special place for you Trixie.  And you will always be my first dog, the best dog a girl could ask for.

I love you and I miss you and I wish I could just snuggle in next to your soft fur one last time or kiss you on the top of you head while I stroke your ears.  But now all I can do is remember that, and remember all the special times we had together, and all the ordinary days we were able to share.  You were loved and in return you loved us with all that you had, right up to your very last breath.

I'm so thankful that you chose me to be your person, because you were without a doubt my dog.  And I'm thankful that you got to go for one last walk, one last car ride with your head hanging out the window, got one last delicious bowl of yogurt all to yourself, and said goodbye to the world with me right by your side, stroking the top of you head, rubbing you ears.  The last words you heard were "I Love you Trixie" as I bent down and kissed the top of your head one last time as my tears wet your soft fur.  You were loved so much, by so many people, and you will always be loved and I know that in return you will always love us and in our hearts you will always be here right where you are meant to be.

With all my LOVE,
your Mama Kat

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rhubarb Love

Oh, sweet, sweet Rhubarb!!

Our rhubarb plant has never done so well.  I guess this wet and cool weather is good for something at least.

So what do you do when you have rhubarb coming out of your ears?  You make this:

Rhubarb Bread
(recipe adapted from Amy Sippl's "Grandma Sippl's Rhubarb Bread" over at )

1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
2/3 C. Butter softened
1 Egg, beaten
1 C. Whole Milk
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. Chopped Walnuts
2 C. Chopped Rhubarb
Sprinkle of Brown sugar for topping

1. Heat oven to 325 and prepare 2 loaf pans (spray with cooking spray and line with parchment, leaving some parchment hanging over the side so you can just pull your loaf from the pan)

2. In a mixer on low mix brown sugar and butter until creamy, meanwhile add 1 T of apple cider vinegar to 1 C of whole milk (this is a quick way to substitute for buttermilk).

3. Add milk mixture, egg, and vanilla to the mixer and continue mixing.  Slowly ass the flour, baking soda, & salt until batter is smooth.

4. Fold in rhubarb and nuts and pour into your prepped loaf pans, sprinkle top of loafs with brown sugar

5. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and the top is browned.

Bring this bread to your next picnic or gathering and watch as every last crumb is devoured.  It is that good!! But, don't take my word for it, make a few loafs and see for yourself if this a recipe worth hanging onto.   

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Growth, Birth, and Renewal

My life changed forever on a beautiful sunny day in February.  That is when we welcomed our son into our family.  His birth amazing journey and one of the most transformational experiences of my life.  The transformations keep coming, each new day brings a new lesson, clarity, inspiration, and joy. 

I can't believe how much my son has taught me in the short time that he has been in my life;







unconditional love


He has taught me how to truly be present in each moment, to soak in each sensation, to be able to free myself from expectations and to do lists.  He has given me the ability to relish in our time together, to fully immerse myself into what it is we are doing at any given moment.  The greatest gift he has given me is time, time to be with him, to enjoy his presence, to experience life with the full awareness of all my senses.  It is amazing how simple life is when you look at the world through the lens of a child, the only thing that matters is what is in front of you in the present moment, there is no need to worry about the past or fret about the future.  The only thing you need to do is be present, live fully, experience each sensation, and give in to the moment, to the here and now.

There is so much joy in the simplicity of just living, and being one with my son!

I will be forever grateful to him for all that he has taught me, and I know that I will continue to grow with him as the world unfolds around him.  Our journey has just begun...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sleeping babes

Oh what we do for our little ones. Papa is just wrapping up a rehearsal and E fell asleep on the way over to pick him up. So here I sit in the car with the A/C running not wanting to take him out of the car seat once again and wake him.

Oh how I love my sweet little man!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Secret to a Happy Marriage and a Good Night's Sleep

How do you continue to have a happy marriage and also get a restful night sleep after having children?

My secret: A KING size Bed!!!!

Yesterday our new king size bed was delivered and we slept on it for the first time last night and let me tell you it was amazing.  To be able to sleep next to my husband and my adorable son while not clinging to the edge of the bed for dear life was pure bliss.  I don't think I have slept that well since before I got pregnant and it is amazing what a restful night's sleep can do for your mental state.

I woke up at 5am this morning beaming from ear to ear and soaking in the peaceful quiet of our house.  I just laid there and watched my son and husband sleeping peacefully next to me.  In that moment I realized that this is all I need, that I have everything I have ever wanted in life lying right next to me in our amazing king size bed.

In that moment my life was perfect.  Now back to reality and my perfect, not so perfect life, where there are dishes and diapers to wash!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Below is a link to a recent newsletter from Maureen Campion the "Marriage Geek", it is a great reminder about what marriage is and the commitment that we each make to each other before witnesses about our intentions for the future.  Marriage is not something that any of us should enter into or leave casually, and sometimes we need to step back and remember what it was that made us say "I do" all those years before.  If you haven't done so in awhile or even if you just did, take a moment to tell your spouse, significant other, partner, etc. why you love them and what made you fall in love with them.  The words can be just as powerful for ourselves as they can be for our partner.