Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planting Season

I LOVE this time of year!  Everywhere you look everything is in full bloom!  As soon as the weather breaks I can't wait to get my hands dirty and get some planting done around my yard. 
 This year our back yard is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, and interfering with my normal garden growing.  Since a tree fell on our garage this past winter during a snow storm, we are in the middle of building a new garage right where our vegetable garden normally goes.  This also means that in a few weeks the old garage will come down leaving a MESS behind.   So for right now we are on hold with gardening the back yard…but that hasn’t stopped me!  I have done a lot of planters with flowers to spruce up the yard for the time being and even did a herb garden in small pots on my patio. 
A few weeks ago I had my son help me plant some seeds…which he thought was great…although he did think it was a good idea to plant rocks with the seeds.  Ignore the dark night time pictures…I’m a working mommy and sometimes this is when things get done! 
I used letter stickers I picked up at Joann’s on clearance to label my pots.  That way they can be peeled off and relabeled next year if necessary.
My son LOVES to help water the plants…and we are finally stating to get some spouts!
Planting any kind of garden is a great outdoor project for kids and getting dirty is so much fun!  What better way to get your kids to eat vegetables, then for them to EAT what they help GROW!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vegetable Quiche and Spring Strawberry Salad

Last minute (and I mean Saturday) we decided to host a small Mother's Day brunch.  Since my dad was in charge of dinner and it included surf and turf on the grill...I knew we didn't want to spoil that and I needed to create light brunch menu.  I decided on a vegetable quiche and spring mix strawberry salad with raspberry vinaigrette.  Here are the recipes I used to pull this brunch together quickly and easily:

Vegetable Quiche
  • 2 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 (10-ounce) container fresh baby spinach
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated Mild Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 12 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet and saute finely diced onion and pepper with 2 tbs olive oil about 5 mins.  Add spinach and saute until it is wilted.  Set aside to cool. 
Press pie crust into the bottom and up the sides of 2 9-inch pie pans.  Set aside.

In another bowl combine ricotta, sharp cheddar, 2 tbs grated Parmesan, milk, eggs, Dijon, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
Place 1/2 cooled spinach and vegetables on top of each uncooked crust.
Spoon egg mixture on top of vegetable mixture in prepared pie crusts and top both with remaining Parmesan and mild cheddar cheese.

Bake 40 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and crust is golden brown.

This serves 8, 2 slices each (and the leftovers are great!)

Spring Strawberry Salad
  • 1 large container organic spring mix lettuce
  • 1 large container fresh strawberries
  • 1 small red onion sliced very thin
  • Fresh pecans (I used praline candied ones we brought back from our recent trip to SC)
  • 1 Good Seasons Italian Dressing packet- prepared as directed
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry jam
Whisk 3 tablespoons raspberry jam into the prepared Italian dressing and refrigerate until needed.  Place spring mix in a large bowl.  Add strawberries and onion both thinly sliced .  Add fresh pecans just before serving.
This is so easy to throw together and looks like it came from a fancy restaurant!!
I served mine with some bakery bought croissants.  And of course what's a brunch without Mimosas!
My mom raved about the quiche and my grandmother had two helpings of I would say it was a success!!  Hope you enjoy these recipes too!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." - Washington Irving

I spent this Mother's Day, with two of my favorite mom and my grandmom!  Without them I would not be who I am today!
I had an amazing day that started off with church with my family...
 Then a little brunch at our house (I'll share my recipes tomorrow)...
And lots of time spent with my little man!!
There is nothing better in the world than being a mommy!  I am so lucky for the family and friends I have in my life...especially the wonderful mothers, including my own, that inspire me every day!