Peanut Butter Freezer Grapes

IMG_4122I can't stop eating these. They are like little balls of crack and I am an addict.

Frozen peanut butter grapes… I mean, I just can't stop.

So you say you have never frozen your grapes? Well you should. It's the only way I like to eat them anymore.  I was never a huge grape fan, but one day long ago, I discovered the wonder that is the frozen grape and it is amazing, Now whenever grapes are on sale at the grocery store, I buy way to many and end up filling our tiny little freezer with jars and bowls of grapes.  Then whenever the mister goes to grab the bag of  frozen peas for his sore back or knees, there is almost always a frozen grape avalanche. Why I don't put a lid on those containers is even a mystery to me.  Oh, now I remember.. I want easy access.Oopen the freezer, grab a few grapes, and go on my way… not having a lid to take off makes the process a little easier.

Then one day, the frozen grape game turned into something else, something a little more decadent and even more addicting. Where it came from, I do not know. Maybe it's some subconscious throwback to a childhood full of peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches, or maybe it's just that fact that I think peanut butter can pretty much go with anything. But no matter why, I started dipping those frozen grapes into peanut butter and never looked back. And now when I have grapes, it's all I want to eat.

I am warning you now, once you start making these, watch out, because before you know it, you will develop a frozen grape addiction too. And littles.. they are as easily  addicted to these as well. I have seen kids that hate grapes go totally bonkers for these.  Just so you know.

IMG_4056The stuff  you will need. Washed and drained fresh grapes (green or red. I usually use red but the green were half the price and the red ones didn't taste very grapie*) Creamy peanut butter, skewers, and a little bit of cinnamon or cocoa powder (optional)

*Note. When you are the store, try  before you buy. You know what I mean, eat a few while shopping aground. I say this because not all grape are created equal. Some taste way better than others. I have bought grapes before that didn't taste like anything or that have really tough skins, and those just piss me off, so eating a few will guarantee that your money is being well spent and that the grapes won't disappoint you.

Ok, so now let's make these bad boys.

Simple simple. Two grapes per skewer (or toothpick) Lay on a wax paper covered dish or pan and stick them in the freezer until frozen. IMG_4108When the grapes are frozen, melt peanut butter. Take a big glob and stick in a tall skinny cup or bowl and stick in the microwave or heat in a sauce pan and then transfer to a tall skinny vessel.  Take frozen skewed grapes and, one skewer at a time, dip in the peanut butter. Cover with as much or as little of the peanut butter as you want and place on wax paper. If you are feeling feisty, add a sprinkle or cinnamon or even a dash of cocoa powder. Or, this may seem a little crazy, but garlic powder is so F*ing good.(it's worth at least giving it a try) When all grapes are dipped, place back into freezer for another 10 minutes or so to let the peanut butter set up a bit.

IMG_4146Whenever your ready… Eat. And be so happy. And always keep a back stock of frozen grapes in the freezer. They are the best.

Keep it realz.

-C


Peanut Butter Freezer Grapes

the quantity is up to you, but I recommend making a shit ton!

  • Creamy Peanut butter (I use organic creamy from Trader Joes, or natural skippy)
  • Green or Red Grapes
  • Cinnamon and or cocoa powder (Optional)
  • Toothpicks or skewers

Wash grapes and skewer 2 grapes onto a stick. Place on a flat surface and stick into the freezer until frozen, which usually takes about an hour.

Once grapes are frozen, stick a big glob of peanut butter into a tall skinny vessel (Like a juice cup or a 4 oz ball jar) and warm to a liquid constancy in the microwave (about 30-45 seconds) or if you don't have a microwave, stick in a sauce pan, warm on stove, and pour into a glass (what I do)

Remove frozen grapes from freezer and dip into melted peanut butter. Place on a wax paper line tray or pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and or cocoa powder, or not, or a few (whatever you want) and stick back into freezer for another 10 minutes.

Eat as many as you want… Make so many because you will become addicted!

Quinoa and Asparagus with Sumac Dressing

IMG_3892The bounty of spring is upon us. Asparagus is everywhere and I have been embracing it.. smelly pee and all.  And along with all my spring veggies and smells,  I have grabbing for more springy spices. I go through seasonal spice kicks, like cinnamon and ginger in the fall, curries and chills in the winter. And for spring, I am big on sumac. If you haven't heard of it or tasted it, it kind of taste like a tangy salty lemon..without actually having any salt. And its a really pretty, a bright red, almost purple color. I use it on a lot of things, especially veggies and bean dishes, sometimes as a lemon replacer, but mostly to add another level of tangy flavor. It's fantastic, really great for all those springy time dishes. Nice and bright!

 This dish is perfect made and eaten right away, but it's one of those dishes that tastes even better the day after. Also it's good and safe to serve room temperature. (think lunch box or a picnic!) And did I mention healthy? Protein packed quinoa and the lean green asparagus, I mean come on. You won't feel an ounce of guilt for eating a hugmongo bowl of this stuff because you should, so it's totally ok.

Eat away! 

IMG_3824The stuff of the stuff. Quinoa and asparagus for the base. Sumac, lemon, garlic, onion, salt and pepper and a little splash of oil for the dressing. 

Note. Sumac is not always the easiest spice to find. I know that its available online (what isn't) and that some health food store or herbal apothecaries carry it, but i have ye tot see it at a conventional supermarket. And once you find it, buy a good amount cause you will also fall in love with it and use it on everything. 

IMG_3836     IMG_3839Start by making the dressing. You want to have it sit for at least 10 minutes. It will be perfect by the time the quinoa is done. Mince the garlic, dice the onion and juice the lemon. Stick it all into a jar with the sumac, a pinch of salt and pepper and about a teaspoons worth of olive oil. Stick a lid on the jar and shake shake shake. and let it sit.

Now you should make the quinoa.. Water and quinoa go into pot, high heat until boiling,  topped with a lid and set to simmer for about 15 minutes. 

IMG_3866When the quinoa is simmering, cook up the asparagus. Add a drizzle of oil, to a pan and a few splashes of water. Place trimmed and chopped asparagus to pan and sprinkle with salt. Cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until cooked but still has a nice crunch to it. Take off heat and add the dressing to pan.  Let it sit and marinate for a few minutes.IMG_3869When the quinoa is tender, fluff with a fork and add to the skillet with the asparagus and dressing. Toss around to make sure all the quinoa gets dressed. Take a taste.. does it need a little salt and pepper? Add a pinch if it does.IMG_3871Pile into a bowl, add a bit of cracked pepper.. and eat.

Or… Idea! Make this dish and pack it into a jar. Maybe grab a baguette and some hummus os some other  tasty foods and take yourself and a friend out for a picnic. 

So much good .

Keep it real yo

-C


Quinoa and Asparagus with Sumac Dressing

serves 3-4  as a side dish or 2 as a main meal. 

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 8-10 asparagus 
  • olive oil

For the Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 jumbo lemon or 2 small lemons
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Start but making the dressing. Mince the garlic and finely dice the onion. Place in a  jar with the sumac, the juice of the lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a little splash of oil. Top the jar and shake the crap out of it for a minute. Let sit and meld. (This dressing can be made ahead of time and is fantastic on all sorts of everything)

In a large pot, add water, quinoa and a spindle of salt. Bring to a boil, cover , and reduce heat to simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes or until water has completely absorbed.  When the quinoa gets going, trim the woody parts of the asparagus and chop the remain asparagus into inch long pieces. Toss into a lightly oiled skillet with a few splashes of water, sprinkle with salt and put on medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until asparagus is cooked, but still crispy. Take off heat and add the sumac dressing. Once the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork and toss it with the sumac dressed asparagus. Scoop into a bowl, add some cracked pepper. Bring food to face and eat. 

Any leftover? This dish is fantastic serves cold or at room temperature.

Sunday Happy Bits

IMG_0982This has been the week of broken things. My immersion blender broke. 2 of the 4 new bowls I bought were smashed. The hand mixer broke while I was making frosting (F**CK). The steam mop is finally completely broken and the mister smashed the screen on his phone. All in a weeks time. Oh, and not broken, but the front end of my car got stuck in a muddy sink hole. It took five badass farmers to help me push it out. It was crazy, but thankfully the car and I survived. But's it cool. I can replace all that crap and my arms are getting a great workout now that I have to hand mix everything and hand wassh the floor on my hands and knees. ( I do it like a beast!) Because what I really am having a hard time with is that it is nearly April and still have most of my winter clothes out. I just want to but the boots away and get my chaco sandals out. It's getting a bit ridiculous if you ask me.

Things I tell myself to keep from losing my shit

  • 20 degrees.. That't tropical compared to the -30 we were having
  • I will be bitching about how hot it is in just a few short months so try to enjoy the cold now.
  • Hopefully most of the mosquito population all dies this winter  and only enough  survive to be eaten by things that eat them
  • Because it still so cold, its ok to spend an entire day at home in my pjs baking cookies and bread and  binge watching Kimmy Schmidt. 

See.. there is a bright side.

Here is some cool internet stuff form the week

-Love this house and will some someday have plants in every nook and crank of my homePEEK INSIDE WORLD’S END FARM + SAIPUA PLANT SALE

-I am ready to move into a tree, if only for a little while. This one would work for me

-I looked before I read. and didn't realize what I was seeing. Behold! The Cosmos Created From The Contents Of A Kitchen

-The Most Effective Alarm Clock Ever Brews Your Morning Joe If only it came in jumbo size.

-I love/ hate this story. I get so excited for the produce that is marked down because its not perfect. If people realize how silly it is to look for "perfection in food"  then I won't get awesome stuff for cheap. Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

And here are a few life pictures 

IMG_3191WHAT WHAT!!! The first sign of green that I have seen in the neighborhood. 

IMG_2778This little came over and hung out with me. I gave him a muffin and a bowl of "Carrot Chips" (really thinly sliced carrots) He at a few bites of the muffin but ate  all the carrots and wanted more…… I love him!

IMG_3186Oh the old man trash dog. His butt hair is finally starting to grow back after he chewed himself a big hot spot. IMG_3193I love this pattern for a driveway. 

IMG_2668March 29, 2011. Yeah sure we were in California, but still, we were camping outside.

COME ON SPRING!!!!IMG_3098And who doesn't love a pineapple, or 4? 

Have a fantastic Day!

We are looking at a high in the 30's here in VT.. WA HOO!

-C

Sunday Bits

IMG_1287Not much to say about the past week. We did some work, had a little fun, caught up with a few things and dragged behind on some other. I kind f feel like I am holding my breath until it is finally for real spring out and then maybe I can really feel like  a real functioning human being. One more week of cold.. that's about all I can handle before I completely lose it.  One more week!

Here is some stuff to share from the online world…...

-I always did get confused by thisWhat's the Difference Between Scallions, Green Onions, and Spring Onions?

-I am a seltzer water addict. This is  An interesting look at the last seltzer bottler in New York City I am getting some text time I am in the city!

-SCANDINAVIAN STYLING IN A SWEDISH HOMESTEAD

-I love a good  RV.. This one is good. BEFORE & AFTER: AN RV TO CALL HOME

-Watch Your Back, Kale. Kelp Is Gunning For The Veggie Du Jour Title

And a few from the real world…..

IMG_7959The Mister and I went to an art exhibit on Street art….Really cool stuff, but we both agreed that the artists in the show have much more of an impact when you see it outside. Still a great show.IMG_7953I have been looking at this heart all winter.IMG_2781Old man. He is in need of spring too…. and a bath.

IMG_6830We ordered another nucleus of bees this weekend… A few more weeks and these ladies will be buzz'n away. I can't wait!!!

IMG_1819Camp food is the greatest! I can't wait for CAMPING!

So hopefully everyone is hanging in there. Spring is coming and the world will be busting at the seams with lots of wonderful things. Until then, it's totally cool to hunker in and get another tv show binge under the belt before we are spending all of our time frolicking in the great outdoors. 

Have a great weekend and Happy Spring!

-C

Happy bits

IMG_7589I don't think I need to tell anyone about how weird the past few weeks of weather have been, so I will just leave it alone because we don't need to keep thinking about how stupid cold it is outside or that the next week is only suppose to get worse. Booooo, but oh well. More time for cooking, reading, and trolling the internet (I have spent a little more time then usual getting sucked into the world-wide web.) Beacause I have been spending a little more time interneting, I have added an addition to  my usual happy bits,  a few links that I have stumbled upon that I think are cool and of things that I want or want to make… Cool internet stuff…..a bit of internet happy. 

  • So I recently discovered that I can waste a good amount of time on pintrest, especially looking at interiors and architecture and clothes (which I found really weird, but with one pin, an open can of worms…Dangerous stuff). I have a long way to go before I have nearly as many pins as other folk, but I am getting a good a start. Check out my boards...
  • I smiled so much when I read   this article.    So sweet and are some of the coolest tattoos  ever.
  • The original nomad. I am not a hot tub person (it makes me feel like I am being cooked..) But I might be able to get into one of these when doing some camping.
  • I practically started salivating when I saw this falafel.  I am so going to make it for a special mister and me dinner!
  • I don't have any big kitchen utensils… like a kitchen aid or a panini grill, and for now, I am ok with that, but I really want this waffle iron. I could so use the crap out of it.

So that's some internet stuff and here are a few life moments…..

IMG_7604I got to hang out with my little sister for the first time in like a month… She is just so busy being busy. I guess high school,play practices and boys and friends can fill up ones time at 15… but I miss her so much! I was very excited that she was able to hang out with me this week.  What did we do? Well we spent most of out time together taking pictures of her in my glasses, making food and then taking pictures of her eating food.  (She is eating whipped carob moose… like one should eat it) A fantastic day of silliness. 

IMG_7599I have been feeling like I might be fighting off an illness so I have been eating this Turmeric Ginger Garlic Carrot soup which I have been adding cabbage and topping with these pickled heart beet, all week long. So tasty and full of so much good.

IMG_7642 Oh yeah. Me, the mister, my sister, and her lovely little little went to Ikea this week. (the littles first international trip!!! Over the border and into Montreal) And of course at the end of any good shopping trip there is some type of food…. She  was so excited for the hot dog and frozen yogurt cone at check out. Champion food eater this one is.

IMG_1376 2And what's not to love about pretty flowers (primrose)…..Sadly this is not a current picture. I need to get me some color today. 

Which leaves me with my goals for the day..

  • Get 2 new library books (and return the huge stack by the door)
  • Make something tasty good for dinner and prep food for the week
  • clean bathroom and change sheets
  • buy flowers
  • Take a nap

Hope you all have a great day and the most splendid week!

Stay warm!

-C

Turmeric Ginger Carrot Soup

IMG_8806There is a joke about Vermonters, that all we talk about is the weather. Well, it's kind of true. But to our defense, we get a lot of weather, and it's always changing and intense and both lovely and crazy and all over. So yeah, we talk. A lot, about the weather. And on that topic, I am trying so hard not to complain, but honestly, I am getting a little sick, both physically and mentally from all of these  super, to freaking cold temperatures. Yesterday the high was 0 ( which was at like 2 in the morning)  and factor in the windchill, the temp stayed at like 25 below. It f**king sucks. I can't  stay outside for too long or else I will probably die. The dog  is having a hard time making it around the block before he gets ice paws, and the mister, well he even started wearing gloves (he wears a sweater all winter and never gets cold…..he is officially cold)

 And not only is the cold keeping us all indoors, but its making us all borderline sick. We both have been fighting something for the past few week. The headaches, stuffy nose, chest congestions. The puppy is getting super dry skin and gave himself a hot spot. BLAh!! Ok, enough! No more complaining

Because  I do really love the winter and all the pretty snow!!!!

But we are feeling kind of sick so to make us feel oh so much better, a fantastic, super tasty, healing, good for me, good for you, soup. Turmeric ginger carrot… oh man. Made with lots of ginger, turmeric and garlic and finished with a drizzle of raw honey. This soup is exactly what we need. All ingredients scream.. FEEL GOOD, BE WARM AND COZY! Almost everything in it has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. The veggies are hearty and heathy and just eating soup helps to keep hydrated. And the best part..it tastes so freaking amazing. 

So whether  you are feeling a little mah, or just a little hungry.…this soup is where it's at!

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Lots of chopped up carrots, a small onion, a little bit of cauliflower I had left over and a small beet. If you don't have the cauliflower and or a beet, just use  ares pepper or another 2 carrots.. no biggy. 

Then we have the fresh ginger ( you can use powdered) turmeric and garlic.  All the good healthy spicy and yummy stuff. 

IMG_8747I accidentally spilled the turmeric on the counter..but it kind of looks like I might have done it on purpose… yeah, let's go with that.  Chop the garlic and he ginger into    chunksIMG_8761And toss into the pot to warm and activate. Just a little toasty toast. 

IMG_8765And the veggies are roasted and tender and smell so good.  It took a lot of will power to not eat the whole pan right there.

IMG_8798I added the roasted veggies and 3 cups water straight into my pot  with the spices because I used an emulsion blender. If you are using normal blender, add the veggies, the toasted spices and the water to the blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer to a pot.

IMG_8832Pretty much all blended together….(I left a few big chunks in there to snack on while I was waiting to eat serve…I was really hungry) and let to simmer for a little longer...

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And now ladle into a bowl and get ready for a fantastic finish… drizzle a spoonful of raw honey into soup…….so so good. You could add the honey before serving, but heating it kills all the good antibacterial stuff so that's why we wait. Then  I sprinkle some chopped kale and chives. (do it if you want, but not necessary)

Now enjoy. Let the warmth wash over you and feel all those good spices helping to fight the good fight to keep you well and all the yummy to satisfy your hunger.

And lets hope for some warm (above 0!!) weather!

-C

Turmeric Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 large carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small beet*
  • quarter head cabbage ( or a cup of frozen)*
  • 2-3 teaspoons  turmeric 
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh  ginger (1/2 teaspoon if using powdered)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • salt pepper
  • raw honey (omit if vegan)

* If you don't have or want to use beet and or the cauliflower, you can use a red pepper, a small sweet potato, or just use a few more carrots. 

Chop all veggies into similar sized chunks and toss into a lightly oiled pan or on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  Stick in oven at 425 for about 30 minutes or until all veggies are fork tender. 

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, toss chopped garlic, ginger and the turmeric and place on medium heat for a few minutes to activate the spices. Add the roasted veggies and 3 cups water to pot (if using emulsion blender) and blend until smooth. If using a blender, add the toasted spices, roasted veggie and 3 cups water and blend until smooth then transfer to a large pot or dutch oven. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat down to  simmer and let cook for an addition 10 minutes. 

When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowl and drizzle a spoonful of raw honey into soup. Garnish with fresh chopped kale, chives, cabbage or whatever you want. (or nothing is good too)

Oatmeal Fresh Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It hasn't stopped snowing, the temperature is dropping fast (it's getting to the point the dog doesn't even want to be outside) and the mister is busy hand shoveling three long driveways. So I figured that in between all the laundry folding, plant watering , and all around sitting on my butt  that I am doing  INSIDE, that  I would be so super nice and crank the stove up and make my love some cookies.I love making cookies, especially when I have chores to do. I think part of it is that cookies are baked in batches which breaks up the chores and gives a sort of rhythm to things. Plus everything is nice when the house smells like cookies.  I was going to make chocolate chocolate chocolate cookies, but realized that I didn't have cocoa powder, so I went with fresh cranberries (I just scored a pound of organic cranberries for 89 cents!) coconut flakes and chocolate chips. Plus I wanted to make them oatmeal because the mister likes oatmeal and oatmeal makes the cookies a little more hardy. (We need hardy when the temperature dips below zero)The verdict….. chewy, soft, slightly sweet oatmeal, bittersweet chocolate, nutty floral coconut, and the zing and pop of the fresh cranberries. He told me to hide them… hide so he will stop eating them….. because they be amazing!

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The base of this cookie….We are using regular old fashion oats and flour.  Salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Vanilla, chia seeds in hot water, coconut oil  white and brown sugar…. You know, all the cookie stuff.  Then all the goodness.. Chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and fresh cranberries. Goodness.Oh yeah, and they are vegan…if that matters to you.Warm the coconut oil and mix with the white and brown sugars. Then add the chia seeds soaked in hot water.  Stir until nice and silky smooth.In goes some more stuff.  I just dumped all the dry right on in that bowl and mixed it up nice and nice.Chopped the fresh cranberries into chunks… One at a time……Just kidding, I actually laid a cutting board on top of the cranberries, applied a little pressure and sliced through the cranberries.. Does that make sense? I hope so, because its is much easier and faster and the cranberries don't all roll away.The chopped cranberries, coconut flakes and the chocolate chips go in to be mix all up. I used my hands to form the balls and gave each mound a little smoosh, but not completely flat.  Then into a preheated 375 degree oven for about 13-15 minutes or until a nice golden brown.A cup of hot coffee and a plate of warm cookies… I am the nicest, right! (After his nice cookie rest I proceeded  to do a little nagging, so the day evened out)So today is probably a great day for everyone to make cookies. It's freezing out,  its saturday and well, just cause. You might even be looking for a great recipe to make for that big party your going to.You should make these cookies. Have a Fantastic Weekend!!!-C

Oatmeal Fresh Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Coookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon chia
  •  4-6 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 375To start, take the chia seed and soak them in the 4 tablespoon hot water for a few minutes. Then in a large bowl, mix together the white and brown sugar with warmed coconut oil. Add in the gelled chia seeds and vanilla and stir until silky and combined. (the warm chia seeds will help everything mix together nicely) Now mix in all the dry. I start with the oats, dump on flour, toss in the baking powder and soda and salt. Mix until fully combines. If the dough seems to dry, add in another tablespoon or two of hot water. Chop the fresh cranberries into halves or smaller and dump them, the coconut and chocolate chips into the bowl of dough and mix.Using a scoop, spoons, or your hands, make little balls and place on a cookie sheet, giving each ball a little smoosh. Into the oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.Remove and cool on rack.Eat a few and hide the rest for later.