Saturday, February 28, 2009

CSA

We have been participating in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) the past couple of weeks and REALLY enjoy it. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CSA, it's a program where you buy fresh, local, produce (harvested by a local organic farm). It's often organic and tastes so great since it's what's in season, harvested locally, put in a box, and delivered right to you! We have a program in Pasadena where we can sign up each week to receive a box, but I know many programs in other parts of the country require you to sign up for an entire season at a time. We pay the same each week, but never know what's coming in our box. It is totally dependent on what is ready to be harvested that week. If there's a bad harvest or season, you won't get as much for your money. But, if there's a good harvest, you get A TON for your money so it does have a little risk factor. Our boxes have been so full lately that we need to split them with neighbors. We have been eating LOTS of fresh greens, beets, radishes, broccoli, kohlrabi, and more. It's very fun and satisfying knowing that what we're eating is what's in season and hasn't been shipped across the country.
I encourage all of you to check and see if there's a CSA in your area! http://www.localharvest.org/

I have been learning to cook with greens that I've never heard of before and have experimented adding them into many things. One week, I made "CSA soup", which ended up being DELICIOUS (Noel was crazy about it!). Last night I made a "CSA potpie" with onion, potatoes, beets, tons of chopped greens, and carrots. Again, it was delicious! I made a broccoli soup since we're starting to get lots of broccoli (it's just coming into season). We've thrown the greens into quiche. It's been so fun to experiment with new, fresh flavors.

I'll try and remember to post a picture of our box tomorrow. I think you'll be impressed and hope you'll consider trying it yourself!

Hummus

I have tried numerous hummus recipes and recently found one that I think beats them all! In case any of you are interested in making your own hummus, here's a great recipe for you"

1 can (15 oz) chickpea, drained (reserve 2 Tbsp of the water)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 Tbsp water (bean water if you've reserved it...otherwise just water)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp (or less) salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp hot sauce (optional

Throw it all in a food processor and process until smooth!
*Some friends of mine taught me a few other tricks: 1) throw in a chunk of peeled cucumber and process in for a different flavor (this is particularly good on sandwiches) 2) Add some fresh dill or 3) Add both cucumber and fresh dill! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Great Invention!

I eat a part of a banana nearly every day. It's usually sliced and put on toast with peanut butter and honey, but sometimes it's just plain. Since I generally don't eat the whole banana, I was always having to figure out how to preserve the uneaten half. Ususally I'd put it in a snack bag, put it in a tupperware, wrap it in saran wrap, etc. However, since I've become much more concerned about the environment, I found myself getting frustrating when I was constantly throwing away plastic wrap. Then, I stumbled across the greatest invention ever! THE NANA SAVER!!!! Who knew such a thing existed? This thing is awesome! I found it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it has revolutionized my partial banana environmental dillema. If there are any other partial banana eaters out there, you have got to get one of these.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A quick trip

As part of a scholarship Noel's receiving from Calvin College, he's required to attend the Calvin Worship Symposium at the end of January. I decided to tag along for the quick trip so I could work with my coworkers in the office and spend time catching up with friends I haven't seen in years. We were able to have dinner with Huw Lewis one evening, make a brief visit to Emily and Jason's (and also see Mom and Dad Snyder and Heidi and Brian), catch up with both high school and college friends, all in addition to attending the conference and working. It was such a joy to see high school friends I (Heidi) haven't seen in about 9 years and college friends whom I haven't seen since we move to Pasadena.
Getting a little niece time in during our quick visit to Emily and Jason's.
It was so fun to see how much more alert Madelyn is compared to just a month ago!
I had SO much fun eating at the Good Earth in Holland (one of my old favorite college places) and seeing friends I haven't seen in years. Sara and Mandy drove all the way from Chicago! Jessica shared her engagement story and Brooke announced that she's pregnant again. Congrats, Brooke! We all spent time catching up over good food. I am SO thankful that I had the chance to see these wonderful women after being away for so long. We missed you Corrie, Meredith, and Colleen! :(

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Noel and I were fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Mom's birthday this year in person! We were a couple weeks late, but it was still fun. She made her own cake (tisk, tisk), but we were very thankful since we LOVE coffee mocha torte! It was fun to spend the evening with the whole family (Kevin, Hillary, Josh, Heather, and Jett), eating lots of yummy takeout from a local Italian restaurant and just spending time together.