Friday, June 1, 2012

The Still Life: Strawberries and Peonies

Here's a little glimpse at the past week in my quiet life as an artist and locavore.

This was the most perfect little berry in the basket.
Oranges smell like sunshine.
I like making waffles...a lot.
I wish I could make a dress out of this gorgeous blossom.

Ghosts of watercolors past.
Remembering those who are too often forgotten.
Stars and stripes forever.
New project in the works.

Too hot for clothes!
Prepping for "Triad."
Just getting started.

Storm clouds rolling in.
Our peonies are finally blooming...Spring has arrived!
Perfect precious pink petals.
The sun and the storm.

This week has been strange, but then again, all weeks that start with a 3-day weekend feel strange to me. I spent Memorial Day weekend surrounded by flags and family, fluffy peonies and sweet little strawberries. We drowned in a heat wave on Monday and Tuesday - the only redeeming part of the warmth was the joy of watching Dylan crawl around in just his darn adorable! A beautiful storm rolled in, painting the sky with deep violets and slate colors, and relieving us from the sticky heat. The watercolored skies and flowers of Springtime inspired me to play with my paints this week for the first time in years. I hope the past week has been full of beauty, joy and inspiration for all of you too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whole-Wheat Almond Waffles with Honey-Roasted Rhubarb

This recipe was inspired by two things...first, I wanted to experiment with some rhubarb recipes that didn't include strawberries. The farmer's market has had fresh rhubarb for a month now, but no strawberries until this past Saturday. I really wanted to make something with JUST rhubarb and luckily I found lots of good recipes on Two Peas and Their Pod.

My second source of inspiration came from a bag of almond meal sitting in my cupboard from when I experimented with going gluten-free a few months ago (to try to help with my totally didn't work, but I really fell in love with using almond meal in my cooking). Also, I like any excuse possible to incorporate almond extract into a meal.

These waffles are fluffy, yet hearty, and the topping is tart, yet sweet. Combined, they make an amazing lazy Saturday morning breakfast!

Chop your rhubarb. Eat a piece because you're curious about what raw rhubarb tastes like. Immediately regret your decision.

Zest your orange and then juice it. Lick the orange juice off your fingers in an attempt to get the raw rhubarb taste out of your mouth.

Whisk your sweet things...they'll smell heavenly.

Toss the tart rhubarb in the sweet orange honey...lick the spoon (removing all hints of rhubarb-mouth).

Roast your rhubarb till it's soft and tastes like honey and orange and Spring-time.

Make some waffles (you'll be glad you did). Mix your dry ingredients (and try not to spill flour everywhere for once in your life).

Mix your wet ingredients...marvel at the smell of almond extract.

Add your wet stuff to your dry stuff...mix it up and pour some on your waffle iron. Close the lid and BAM...a few minutes later you'll have a waffle that looks like it was made by a gosh-darn professional.

Make sure your first waffle is approved by your official taste-tester.

Make a whole stack of these golden beauties!

Pick out your favorite waffle. Top it with yogurt and honey and rhubarb and almonds and lots of sunshine. Dig in!

Honey-Roasted Rhubarb
Makes Topping for 8 Waffles
Recipe Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, orange juice and orange zest. Add the chopped rhubarb to the bowl and stir to coat evenly.

Pour the rhubarb mixture into a greased baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until soft.

Whole-Wheat Almond Waffles
Makes 8 Large Waffles
Original Recipe

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon almond extract
Plain Greek yogurt, honey and toasted almonds to garnish.

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, whole-wheat flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, butter, milk, honey and almond extract.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Lightly whisk together (the batter will look bumpy).

Spoon 1/2 cup batter onto your waffle iron, close lid, and bake until waffle is golden brown.

Serve immediate or keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

Top each waffle with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, 2 tablespoons of the roasted rhubarb, and some toasted almonds.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lori's Lovely Lists: 10 Recipes for Strawberry Season

It's officially strawberry season here in New York. I got my first berries of the season at the farmer's market on Saturday, and we ate them all already.

Little Dylan especially loved his first taste of Spring strawberries.

I wish we had more...I want to put strawberries in everything right now...salads and pastries and pretty pink Spring-time drinks. Here's a little list of strawberry recipes I look forward to making in the weeks ahead.
  1. Strawberry Balsamic Jam from Pastry Affair
  2. Strawberry Lemonade Scones from Munchkin Munchies
  3. Strawberry and Leek Quesadilllas from Sprouted Kitchen
  4. Fresh Strawberry and Coconut Margaritas from How Sweet it Is
  5. Strawberry Chocolate Nachos from Our Best Bites
  6. Strawberry, Quinoa and Chopped Spinach Salad from Cookie and Kate
  7. Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread from Joy the Baker
  8. Strawberry Dessert Pizza from theKitchn
  9. Strawberry Soup from Confections of a Foodie Bride
  10. Strawberries and Dumplings from Smitten Kitchen
For links to even more recipes for strawberry season take a look at my Pinterest board! And if you have any strawberry recipes you'd recommend, I'd LOVE to hear about them :)

I hope you're all having a wonderful Memorial Day! Enjoy your day off, and your parties with family and friends, and don't forget to take a moment to remember what this day is really about!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

At the Market: Strawberry Season!

It was a busy, warm spring morning at Gossett's Farmer's Market yesterday. Most of my favorite vendors were there, selling their goodies. I picked up my eggs and cheese from Gaia's Breath Farm, and some fresh mozzarella from The Farmer's Daughter, but my FAVORITE stop of the morning was Madura Farms where they were selling all sorts of new Spring produce including gorgeous little crimson ripe strawberries!

I can't possibly express how excited I was to get my first strawberries of the season...I ate a few of them right away, at the market, while standing on line waiting to pay for my produce.
Spring Strawberries
I love that there are all sorts of local delicacies available at the market, like these fiddleheads!
The first yellow summer squash I've seen this year...I definitely put a few of these golden beauties in my basket!
Zucchini and Summer Squash
This red vine spinach was getting a ton of attention...isn't it beautiful?
Red Vine Spinach
I had to buy a few of these multi-colored bell peppers. This picture is definitely being added to my collection of reference photos for future drawings.
Bell Peppers
These are the first sugar snap peas I've seen this year...they're one of my favorite veggies and I look forward to snacking on them all week.
Sugar Snap Peas
Madura was also selling dried corn on the cob and big jars of popcorn kernels...such a treat!
Dried Popcorn
This Week's Harvest:
Free-Range Organic Eggs - Gaia's Breath Farm
Triple Washed Spinach - Gaia's Breath Farm
Painted Goat Feta - Gaia's Breath Farm
Dutch Girl Cheese Cumin Cheese - Gaia's Breath Farm
Fresh Mozzarella - The Farmer's Daughter
Strawberries - Madura Farms
Summer Squash - Madura Farms
Tomatoes - Madura Farms
Red Leaf Lettuce - Madura Farms
Hot House Cucumbers - Madura Farms
Sweet Potatoes - Madura Farms
Sugar Snap Peas - Madura Farms
Carrots - Madura Farms
Bell Peppers - Madura Farms
Popcorn - Madura Farms

See other gifts available on Zazzle.