Thursday, August 28, 2008

How 'bout them apples?

Aren't they gorgeous? We picked up these glorious locally grown apples from a farm stand a few miles away from our house. They were sweet, tart, and juicy and the flesh had a wash of pink close to the skin, as if the brilliant red skin had seeped into the fruit like water color paint. I would have taken a picture, but the kids and I inhaled them too quickly.
I think they are red delicious, but they might be something else. There were some stunning heirloom tomatoes at the stand as well, but I resisted the temptation to buy them because we have so many tomatoes from our garden.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cereal on the Go containers

I found these containers for cereal and milk at The Container Store the other day and I love them. I have seen them at other stores, such as Staples or Office Depot, with the back to school supplies as well, but only bought them recently.

The bottom container has a contained gel that will keep things cold when it is frozen and the lid has a folding spoon that snaps in place. Normally I shy away from unitaskers, Alton Brown's term for things that do only one thing. With this, however, I like that everything is self-contained when it is fully assembled.

My kids love cereal and although it can be very healthy and economical, it is rarely convenient or practical to have away from home. Lately we have been leaving the house very early, too early for breakfast, so these containers fit the bill nicely. I see a world of possibilities for these containers beyond cereal and milk. I'm thinking yogurt and granola, berries and cream, crackers and dip, veggies and dip. Just the other day a girl was having crackers and lobster spread and this apparatus would have been perfect. If I had something like this when my children were babies, I might have used it for formula and infant cereal when we were out of the house.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Munchkin Snack Bento

Apparently my obsession with selecting and artfully arranging meals and snacks is contagious. My little one made this snack bento all by herself while I was outside working in the garden the other day. Smiling from ear to ear, she brought it outside to show me.

Munchkin's snack bento contents: animal crackers, pretzels, sesame crackers, goldfish, honey roasted peanuts, Oatmeal Squares, and peanut butter filled Ritz Bits in the middle.

It's a little heavier on the sugar and salt than what I would make, but it's pretty good for a five year old! On a related note, she and my son were riding bikes and playing outside. They were complaining about being thirsty and my son ran inside and shouted, "I'll take care of it!" He emerged from the house a few moments later with their reusable juice boxes filled with ice and lemonade. They really get it; I am so proud.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Eating locally

While we and the rest of the world cheer on all of the athletes at the Olympics in Beijing this week, dinner tonight was made from ingredients much closer to home. In fact, it doesn't get much closer than this.

Tonight's dinner was eggplant and tomatoes sauteed in a little olive oil with a bit of garlic (from mom's garden last year) and some onion. Spaghetti with freshly made pesto made with basil, romano cheese, walnuts, and some of olive oil - I used the good stuff.

The eggplant, basil, and grape tomatoes are all from our garden. The olive oil is local too, although not from North America. It is a locally produced olive oil from a small town in Italy near Siena that one of my skating students brought back from her visit there earlier this summer. It's really good too - the kind worthy of dunking a nice slice of crusty artisanal bread. She knows me too well. I don't cook that often, but when I do, I appreciate wonderful locally crafted ingredients.