urban grains

I kind of like saying that I'm a shareholder, but really I'm just a regular ol' member of the CSA Urban Grains

Which means in July, I paid some local grain farmers. And in October, I went to pick up four 5kg bags of their organic whole wheat flour that had been milled just days before. 

Now I'm coming to terms with the fact that quality ingredients really do make a difference. First dairy, now flour... what's next, will I be springing for high-end table salt? 

But we enjoy a whole lot of bread around here. And since my weekly batch of bread has never tasted so good, or had such killer consistency, I'll be ponying up the cash again next summer.  


roses are red...

I'm not a big 'hearts and flowers' kind of gal, but I do love an excuse to craft in red.

A few ideas for this year, or next...

make fortune cookies the hard way... or the easy way (I've now tried both)
valentine's crackers (a la Christmas surprise crackers)
make soap you want to eat
insta-decorate with heart garland


knitting with noro

This was my first time in the colourful world of Noro. I'd never bought a yarn just to see what all the fuss and bother was about, but I'm glad I did.  The Kureyon knits up something pretty, don't you think? 

Folks on ravelry complain of knots and stuff in the skeins. I found one knot, and only a few little twiggies. The stuff is a bit scratchy off the ball but apparently softens up with washing. My only complaint is that it gets so thin in places.  It was so thin it broke as I was binding off, so that kind of sucked. But I suppose most of those rustic qualities can be overlooked when you're working with such cool colours. 

The pattern and all my notes on ravelry.


tabbouleh with chicken

It's been a long time since I posted a recipe, and that's mostly because we've been content to make our standby recipes over and over (and over) again. But last weekend I tried a recipe from my new Christmas cookbook, Barefoot Contessa's Family Style

Wow. Is this tabbouleh salad ever good. The chicken makes it a heartier than your average tabbouleh, and since the lemon dressing is just used for soaking the bulgar, the veggies don't get soggy. Delicious, I tell you. 

It's definitely more of a summer salad, but as long as you find a couple bunches of decent looking fresh herbs, a greenhouse cucumber, and those magic grape tomatoes, you're set for a summer preview. I served mine with pita bread and homemade hummus.  

tabbouleh with chicken
Ina Garten
serves 6-8

1 1/2 C boiling water
1 C bulgur wheat
1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
olive oil
kosher salt
1 whole (2 split) chicken breast, bone in, skin on
freshly ground black pepper
1 C minced scallions (1 bunch) -- I just used green parts, but if you want it 'onionier', use white parts too
1 C chopped fresh mint leaves
1 C chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and medium-diced
2 C (1 pint) halved cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium heat-proof bowl, pour boiling water over the bulgur wheat. Add lemon juice, 1/4 C olive oil and 1 teas salt. Stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temp for about an hour.

Place chicken breast on baking sheet and rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until cooked, 35-40 mins. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Remove chicken from the bones and dice into bite-size pieces. Add diced chicken to bulgur, along with the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber and tomatoes. Stir and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Either serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.