introducing...the celery root

I've seen celery root at farmers markets and on various food blogs, but I’d never actually purchased and tried to cook it…until now! We were at the Ballard Market a week ago and while chatting with the guy from Full Circle Farms about his super yummy carrots, a big basket of celery root caught my eye. Never one to shy away from a cooking challenge, I decided to buy a couple of these inexpensive root vegetables!

What in the world do you do with a knobby and ugly thing such as this? Well in our case, what I did was stick it in the fridge and forget about it for a week. :) But then on Sunday, armed with this recipe in hand, I tackled the not-so-daunting task of cooking with celery root and I made a gratin as an accompaniment to our veggie burgers.

The verdict? Peeling the suckers wasn't the easiest chore in the world, but that’s to be expected based on their shape. The first thing I was struck by was the overwhelming celery scent as I peeled them. I guess that’s to be expected, too, based on their name…but I was still kind of surprised by it! Once I got them peeled, they basically handled just like a potato or a turnip. The baked gratin had a sweet and slightly celery flavor to it, and we both quite enjoyed it. I like adding another vegetable to our repertoire!

And since I have half of a wedge of fontina cheese left over, I’m going to make my favorite calzones for dinner tonight. I use whole-wheat pizza dough from Trader Joes, and the dinner comes together very quickly. Couldn't be easier!


neglected garlic

I haven't been in much of a home cooking mood lately, so we've been either eating prepared meals (thank you, Costco!) and/or eating out way too much. This weekend though, I finally got back in the swing of things. Sadly, this head of garlic was tired of waiting for me to get my groove back...

Looks like something wants to be planted in the garden... :)

Coming up next, my adventures with a new (to me) vegetable!


trying to grow potatoes, part I

My approach to gardening is fairly simple - I think about the food I like to eat and I try to grow it! :) My dad always says that I have a green thumb (perhaps all of the "helicopter trees" that I planted throughout our yard as a kid had something to do with that...), so I'm hoping that he's right because I'm going to try and grow a whole bunch of potatoes this year!

My sister-in-law tells me that their potatoes ended up killing everything that was planted around them last year, so I'm going to take a different approach with my garden. Based on this example and this one, too, Karl is helping me with a few build-as-you-grow potato bins. Behold, the construction of the first bin...

We were able to salvage some 2x8s and 2x4s from our shed to use for the first layer of the first bin, but we had to buy a few 2x2s to create the 4-ft corner supports...

See all of those crazy squiggly lines on the patio in the background? That's why you should NEVER let me loose with a pressure washer when I'm bored... :)

Looks like I need to stop focusing so much on the garden and start focusing on mending one of Karl's favorite shirts...

After Karl constructed the first bin, we cut and stapled/nailed galvanized wire mesh to the bottom to prevent hungry moles from stealing my harvest (and also hopefully to keep weeds from growing up too much into the potato bin)...

And then Henry inspected and approved of our work, but it started raining before we could work on the other bins. I've got 3 types of potatoes to grow - yukon golds (which apparently don't grow too well in towers, so we're just going to build a small raised bed for these), red creamers and carola potatoes. Stay tuned to see how they turn out!


home away from home

My desk at work...a painting by Karl, lots of treasured photos and my favorite hand salve...

A farmer's friend...how appropriate! :)


here and there

Beware the ides of March…..I just looked it up and found out that ‘beware the ides of March’ was referring to March 15 when a warning was given by a soothsayer to Julius Caesar. Apparently I didn't beware the ides of March very well, since it snowed on March 15 (see my previous post)! Or...maybe I did beware the ides of March since I hadn't planted anything in the garden yet even though my booklet told me I should. The world will never know... :)

In other news, a friend from KC had her first baby over the weekend. Congratulations, Super Kate! I can't wait to meet little Evan in person!

Thanks for bearing with me as I try to get back in my blog groove....I'm almost there...I think...


I'll see your bet and raise you $3,500

I did our taxes this weekend, and it was not pretty. At all. If you know my 2007 tax story, let's just say that I seriously trumped myself with our 2008 return. You may be thinking "Umm, aren't you an accountant? How could you screw up your taxes so royally 2 years in a row??" Yeah, I've been wondering the same thing myself every since staring in shock at the amount we owe. It's embarrassing, and I've really (REALLY) been beating myself up about it. Karl, bless his sweet little heart, has been doing his best to talk me down off the ledge today, but really all I needed was some time to let it simmer before moving on.

But you know what? When life gives you lemons, cry about it for a little while and then make lemonade. Karl made the very good point that if we had taken the "right" amount of withholdings out of our checks last year then we wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to do a few of the things that we've recently done. Great point, hon!

The thing that really sucks though is that we're going to have to reschedule a trip that we were planning on taking this coming week. In order to be financially responsible and not go in to credit card debt to pay our tax bill, we're going to have to postpone the trip to MO for a few months (I'm soooooo sorry Mom, Susan, Rocky, Grandma, etc!).

Okay, enough about that. No need to worry about us, we're going to be a-okay. I just needed to get it all off my chest so I can move on from this debacle.

On another note, I woke up to this today:

Are you freaking kidding me? It's March 15, for goodness sake! According to my handy dandy Spring Garden Planner, Apr 20 is our frost free date and this marks 5 weeks before the last frost...and so by now I should have spinach, kale, onions, potatoes, beets, peas, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks and parsley out in the garden! But I'm not so sure that in 5 weeks we'll be frost free, so I'm waiting (and trying to remind myself that patience is a virtue).

So let's move on to some lemonade, shall we? We sold our table on Craigslist! (sorry Trina...) The first sale fell through, but the second one worked out swimmingly and our old table and chairs is now going to be taking up residence at the Federal Way Historical Society. :) And I've tentatively sold our futon as well....it's supposed to be picked up within the next week. Cheers to Craigslist!

Okay, thanks for listening to my rambling. Bring on the lemonade, I could certainly use it. (does red wine count as lemonade??) :)



This song makes me smile...

Her song, The Show, is another nice one. Happy little songs, I just love them! :)


I heart Jon Stewart

This is a long video, and you might have already seen it....but I just can't resist posting...


Sunshine Cleaning

I haven't been in much of a blog posting mood lately, but I'm happy to post links to things that make me smile! :) This movie looks very interesting, I really like Emily Blunt and Amy Adams, and I loooove Alan Arkin....so it seems like a surefire winner. Enjoy!


yummy new table

Remember when I mentioned that our favorite furniture store was closing? Well we went to check out the goods that weekend with two things in mind - a new kitchen table set and a fabric bookshelf. We weren't so successful in finding a new bookshelf to house my fabric collection, but we did find a good deal on a kitchen table set. Check it out!

It's a bar-height, aged maple drop-leaf table and chairs. We've got it set up for 'everyday use' right now in the square shape with just 4 chairs. But if we have some friends over, we can turn the table in to a circle and pull out the additional 2 chairs that we've stashed throughout the house. I love it! Love, love, love it!

Oh, and that faux-plate wall hanging behind the table is something that we picked up on sale at Pier 1. Love that, too! I'm really feeling the love with our dining room right now, and am wanting to spend lots of time in there enjoying the view. In fact, I was sitting there enjoying a cup of coffee today when I saw our giant woodpecker friend (actually, two of them) come up to check out our broken/rotting/hopefully salvageable plum tree. We typically see the somewhat smaller (and less I-could-poke-out-your-eyes scary) Northern Flicker in our yard, but today the pileated woodpeckers (or Woody the Woodpecker, as I like to call them) were out in full force!

So anyway, now we've got an extra futon and an extra table/chair set. I think I'm going to post them on Craigslist to see if we get any takers....but first, do any of you Seattlites want either one? If so, shoot me an email and we'll arrange for pick-up. :)