Showing posts from July, 2011

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

One of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh produce that is available.  Growing up, my grandparents had a large vegetable garden.  Every time we would visit them during the summer, Grandma would send us on our way with a trunk full of fresh veggies.  My mom would then hurry home to par-boil and freeze everything we couldn't possibly eat and then she would spend the rest of the week cooking and serving us lots and lots of vegetables!  OK, so I didn't fully appreciate all those veggies then, but the older and wiser me has come to truly savor this fresh-from-the-garden taste.
Today we were able to enjoy the fresh picked produce we bought during our trip to The Farmer's Market!  Ella's pick?  Sweet Corn!

In my opinion, a child's education just isn't complete without mastering the skill of shucking corn.  When I was growing up, weekends were spent at the family cabin.  Every Friday, our family would pack up for our drive "Up North".  If we left e…

The Benefits of Being the Weaker....

Men and women are different.  It's true.  What works for one - does not necessarily work for the other.

Men tend to use their strength.  They power through the board room, they muscle the ball across the field,  they intimidate so that no one will encroach.  That's fine for some.
I find, however, that there is no shame in being the weaker.  I loved the days when I had my own personal "expecting" parking spot at the grocery store.  I cherish the fact that I can quickly retrieve 40 bags of mulch at Home Depot because a helpful employee is loading my SUV.  And I unapologetically declare my latest feat: Pre-Boarding.
As a family of six, pre-boarding ended with the demise of the stroller.  I admit, I stretched that scenario as long as I could, finally leaving the beloved stroller behind when my youngest turned five.  But today I was traveling without my stronger half, without my man of muscles, without my stud of steel.  As I glanced around at the fully booked flight and s…

Days Like These......

Back when summers meant spending every weekend at our cabin up north, one thing was certain:  The best day of the weekend was Sunday afternoon.  Somehow it didn't matter if the previous days had been stormy or windy, hot or wavy, cloudy or muggy, we could count on, with certainty, that Sunday afternoon would be crystal clear.  The lake would glisten and the sun would beckon as we carried up the beach toys, fastened the straps on the boat cover and loaded up the car with what always seemed to be more bags than what had come up with us in the first place.
Sunday afternoon beckoned us to stay just a little while longer.  Sunday afternoon made us believe that days up there were always this good.  Sunday afternoon left in us a longing to return to that little spot of paradise.
As I pack our bags from our extended summer stay Up North, the calendar in my soul says it's Sunday.  We've had our share of cold.  We've had our share of steamy.  But today, as I prepare for our long t…

Perfect Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb, for me, is full of nostalgia.  Growing up in the north, we always had rhubarb in our back yard. Shortly after I got married, my aunt and uncle, who lived on a farm in Wisconsin, came for a visit and bestowed on me some lovely rhubarb plants.  They even showed me just where to plant them, sensing, perhaps, that my inexperienced planting thumbs had not yet reached a respectable shade of green.

The result of this gift permeates my memory.  Having planted that rhubarb in the exact spot which they had so carefully chosen, it flourished.  For the next few summers, I harvested bundles of stalks of rhubarb.  Each bundle made the same thing:  Rhubarb Crisp.  Fortunately, my husband (and hopefully all the guests that dropped in!) never tired of it.  The best part?  The ingredients were always on hand.  Fresh picked tart rhubarb with a sweet crumble topping.  Nothing says summer like it! 

Start with four cups (about 4 - 5 stalks) of diced rhubarb. We picked this bright red rhubarb up at t…

iheartfaces | Water

Our time visiting family is nearing an end.  It's hard to believe we've been gone almost five weeks!  I guess it's a good thing when one leaves, still wanting more.  Today we spent our last day with the cousins in their new pool.  My very talented 8-year old niece, Brita, snapped this photo of Anna with her new, underwater camera.  I loved it!  I did some minor editing with my very limited iPhoto software.  I loved how the black and white version showed so much more detail in the bubbles and water reflections.  What can I say, Brita, those photographic genes just run in the family! :-)

Betty's Pies

So I was paging through my Food Network Magazine (or, rather, scouring through every word since I've now been without access to cable TV and cooking shows for a good month), when I ran across an article about Betty's Pies.  In the fine print, it stated that there were two locations, both in Minnesota.  "Wait a minute," I thought, "I'm in Minnesota!"  So I Googled "Betty's Pies" and found that one location was in Two Harbors, Minnesota (a really long ways away) and one location was in Mahtomedi, Minnesota, (a really short ways away.)
I'm inserting this sign for good measure, just so you know how people feel around here.
Since Betty's Pies was actually featured in a national magazine, I decided that it was a worthy destination for a Mommy Camp Field Trip!

Betty's Pies is obviously known for it's pies, but it was was also featured for it's latest invention:

The Pie Milkshake.

That's right, a whole slice of pie, 8 ounc…

Heirloom Tomato Pie

After our fun trip to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, I couldn't wait to use my fresh basil and heirloom tomatoes.  Fortunately, I didn't have to look far to find this delicious recipe on the cover of Food Network Magazine.  If you're not a subscriber, you should be.  It's packed with delicious recipes, eye-popping photos and The Dish on your favorite Food Network Celebs.  I've been lugging my summer issue around with me during my travels.  It's been making up for the the fact that my parents don't have cable.  They really don't.  Seriously.

First, start with the crust.  If you have pie-crust-a-phobia (and I completely understand if you do), just buy a ready-made crust and pre-bake it.  If you're not afraid of a good pie-crust challenge, give this one a try.  Filled with cornmeal and salty, manchego cheese, it gives the pie a rustic charm.

The filling starts with a sweet, caramelized onion.

Place the onions in a bowl and add breadcrumbs, mayonaise…