Friday, October 18, 2013

TV Shows?

At book club the other night, we didn't discuss the book (ha), but we did have a long discussion about TV shows! It was fun! I don't watch much TV. Mostly because channels don't really play the kind of shows I like to watch. I can't do dramas. Especially not dramas about addicts, prison, mental illness, zombies, murder, or anything like that. Maybe it has something to do with my life being very dramatic between 1997 and 2007. Ask me one day why, and I'll tell you all about it. I think I get a bit of PTSD when I watch people making bad decisions and then watch their lives fall apart because of those bad decisions. It makes me nervous and unsettled, and then I want to cry because WHY IS LIFE SO HARD? So... I don't watch dramas.

What I really like are cooking and food shows, especially British people on food-themed shows. Here are some of my favorites.

Jamie at Home
Jamie Oliver's house is my dream home. Settled in the English countryside, he's got a beautiful kitchen garden, and another garden in the rolling hills. He cooks in five or six different locations around his home - his regular kitchen, his professional kitchen, his outdoor oven, fire pit, and spit, and sometimes inside or outside on a portable gas stove. Its ridiculous and lovely at the same time. I really like his passion for the food and for cooking, but I really watch the show for the beauty of the sets.

The F Word
The best thing about The F Word isn't Gordon Ramsay. Don't get me wrong, I do like him in this show. My favorite part of The F Word is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Janet Street-Porter. Their segments are so interesting. I also like how each season Gordon and his family (his children are adorable) raise an animal for food in the backyard - turkeys, pigs, and lambs.

The next two shows never even came on TV in the states. I had to find them on YouTube.

River Cottage
I started watching this because of Hugh. You've heard of food porn? River Cottage is garden porn.

Victorian Farm
Three academics move to a small farm in the English countryside and try to get by using only mid-19th century equipment, clothes, and technology. Fascinating!

So, if you like vegetable gardening, cooking, England, or all of the above, these shows are for you!

I haven't found anything on TV that comes close to matching how great these shows are. The Little Paris Kitchen with Rachel Khoo on the Cooking channel is okay. Anyone out there have any recommendations for me?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

How I Cooked It: Mustard Greens

My weekly CSA box from Yokna Bottoms Farms has contained mustard greens the past three weeks. At least I think they are mustard greens. They definitely aren't collards, but I guess they could be turnip greens. Point being, I really don't know what they are, which is why I had a hard time finding ways to use them.

As always, Susan Voisin over at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen had a good recipe for me to try: Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

Photo credit:

I made a few adjustments to the recipe, so here is my version.

Mustard Greens with Glazed White Beans

2 large bunches mustard greens
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 15 oz can of Great Northern beans
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce


  1. Remove stems from greens, tear leaves into bite-sized pieces, and soak leaves is a large bowl of cool water to remove grit. Agitate the leaves a bit, and the grit will settle to the bottom. Remove leaves from water by grabbing them and placing in a colander. Do not pour out the greens & water! The grit should stay in the bottom of the bowl. 
  2. In a deep saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onions. Saute the onion until translucent, then add garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for a minute more. Add mustard greens and 1/4 cup water and cover for 5 minutes to allow the greens to wilt to a bright green (do not overcook). 
  3. Remove greens and onions from the pan with a slotted spoon, allowing liquid to drain into the pan, and place greens in a bowl. 
  4. To the remaining liquid in the pan, add balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Add beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat until the liquid is almost gone and the beans have a nice glaze over them. 
  5. To serve, spoon the greens onto serving plates and top with glazed beans. Top with remaining glaze.
I had it for lunch today over brown basmati rice - it was really yummy! I'd say that 2 bunches of greens cooks down to about 2 servings. Not nearly as much as I thought it would be. Stemming and washing greens is a ton of work for not a lot of reward because you get so little food from a TON of greens. I will say though that the greens from the farm were really clean to begin with, so I didn't have to be super vigilant about soaking and rinsing them. 

Next up I need a recipe for all the green bell peppers I had in this week's box. I am not a fan of green bell peppers, so I may make up freezer mirepoix like I did with the last batch... perfect for quick weekday soup making.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Our Views

I don't think I'll ever get tired of these beautiful views we see from the park. The weekend just isn't a weekend without at least one stroll around the neighborhood and through the park. This weekend was no exception. We got in a long walk on Saturday and a short one on Sunday. Sunday's walk required a sweater since the weather turned cooler which made me very happy!

Sunday night as Chip and I ate dinner I glanced outside and saw the most beautiful sunset. I stood up, picked up Lydia from the pack-n-play, and scurried down the front walk to our front yard. Chip followed me, and I know he thought I was a little nutty. With Lydia in my arms I pointed at the view and said "sky", "sunset", "blue", "pink", "pretty", magnificent, lovely, amazing! She pointed and laughed, and we spun backwards and forwards in the cool autumn air.

Moments like that make life so full! It's October! My favorite month! And it is cool outside and leaves are slowly falling now (falling more quickly soon). I can sit with a cup of hot tea while it rains and wear sweaters when it is sunny. So happy.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Today's Project: V

Working on Alicia's Daisychain Sampler.

- Posted from my iPhone using BlogPress

Pillow Fort

I woke this morning to Chip, Lydia, and the stuffed toys playing in a pillow fort that dad made.

- Posted from my iPhone using BlogPress