March 18 is National Sloppy Joe Day

March 18 is National Sloppy Joe Day.  I didn’t initially realize there is quite the variety in the etymology for the names of the sandwich!  It’s very regional.

I was trying to locate a map that combines region with the associated name, but no luck for now.  I guess we’ll just have to make some instead!

 

 

Recipe Rehab

We might have lost some Saturday morning cartoons, but one show not to miss on Saturday mornings is Recipe Rehab on CBS.  Above is the promotional clip from today’s Chicken Pot Pie episode.  The basic synopsis revolves around transforming an enjoyed but unhealthy family recipe (high amounts of fat, salt, using prepackaged goods, preservatives, and/or lack of fresh vegetables, etc.)  The half hour show pits two chefs against each other in a friendly, yet competitive game to create an improved version of the dish utilizing the essence of the original.  The new meals are prepared by the family, and rated in several categories like ease of preparation and taste.  A nutritionist also provides one of the scores.  Often, the chefs will re-imagine the presentation of the dish along with finding ways to impart flavor through additional ingredients, spices, and fresh vegetables.  If the show is not on your station, or you can’t otherwise watch, episodes and recipes are available online.  It’s difficult to not get hungry much too early in the morning, even after breakfast!  I’d highly recommend checking it out as a way to think about eating healthy.  Whether you are cooking for yourself or for your family, it exhibits some excellent ideas about swapping ingredients for the better and encouraging all members of the family to participate in meal making and cooking.

I Heart Food

Valentine's Day Meal (from Food and Wine)

Valentine’s Day Meal (from Food and Wine)

No matter your Valentine’s Day plans– with family, friends, a significant other, or yourself, there is plenty of love for delicious food to go around.  There are plenty of rich main courses (duck!) or decadent (self-made!) desserts.  Chocolate. Is. Essential.  (Calorie-counting is not allowed.)  Enjoy a February 14th full of flavor!!

All About the Wings…

Buffalo Wings (from Tasting Table)

Buffalo Wings (from Tasting Table)

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest venues for the home preparation (or takeout, I suppose) of chicken wings.  Learn the tips to make the best wings (and you can even make them healthier, if that’s your inclination).  There’s no limit to what you can do with recipes and sauces.  While there is conjecture about the best approach, sometimes nothing beats a classic.  Enjoy!!!

The Great Pumpkin!

Happy Thanksgiving! There is never a bad time to be thankful and enjoy food (even if you aren’t in the U.S. for this specific holiday)!  If you have not yet had your fill of Turkey Day delicacies, perhaps some pumpkin will tantalize… and not that stuff in the can, either:

(via http://www.marthastewart.com/1089860/diy-pumpkin-pur%C3%A9e#1089860)

Hmm… a pseudo-pumpkin is filling our store shelves?

I grew the sugar pumpkin variety this year to a fair level of success.  I may have to expand to the additional variety he mentions, as well!  I have used pumpkin as a base for a risotto- it can be so much more than dessert… the recipes abound (for slow cookers and more.)  And who can forget the not-quite-so-unexpected bonus of toasted pumpkin seeds- sweet or savory? (After saving some to plant for next year, of course.)  I enjoyed ours fresh from the oven with a little salt.  (Parchment paper was a good tip to keep them from sticking/burning and to cut the fat.)

Enjoy!

 

Flight of the Bumblebee?

flowers in field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just purchased a house with some additional outdoor space, and we are reaping lots of color in our first growing season here!  I plan to add plenty to this blog about some of our gardening projects around the new place as we dream them up.

As I have been maintaining our greatly increased lawn space, I have been fortunate to notice more than a few bumblebees in the area.  As a gardener, this is definitely a major positiveHoneybees and bumblebees have been facing some tough times.  Colony collapse disorder is very real, but not fully understood yet (though there are some possibilities).  I don’t know that we currently plan to have a hive nearby or take a beekeeping class yet, but at the least, some of our field will stay as it is.  A few more native wildflowers may make an appearance, as well.

(The honey is a bonus!)