Archive | February, 2010

The Root Of The Matter

26 Feb

Isaac has been protesting of late that we haven’t been eating enough winter vegetables.

In his perfect world, winter would mean an endless parade of dinners featuring cabbage, squash, hearty greens and root vegetables.  Apparently, I have been depriving him of these things this winter.  So last week when I had a craving for lasagna, I knew how to get him to agree to it.  I suggested we have squash lasagna.

I know squash lasagna sounds a little weird, but it’s not. In fact, it’s awesome.  A few years ago I made a vegetarian lasagna that featured a thick, fragrant layer of spaghetti squash mingled with ricotta cheese and herbs.  Sometimes, when Isaac is dreaming about it, he’ll walk up to someone on the street and just start telling them about it.  Sometimes I suspect he keeps me around solely in case I decide to make that again … Kidding! But honestly, it was very good and I have no idea why I never wrote about it before, maybe because it’s a little complicated, and well, a little weird.

So, squash lasagna was on.  A layer of garlicky, herby butternut would replace the thick layers of cheese and bechamel.  And there would be a spicy, aggressive layer of chard.  And a topping of caramelized mushrooms and lots of fresh mozarella.  And then, while I was thumbing through the latest Bon Appetit and saw Molly‘s recipe for clereiac salad, I knew we had  a complete meal. When I asked Isaac what he thought, I think he actually did a little jig.

Head below the fold and take a jump with us.

Wednesday

10 Feb

It’s snowing here today.

I’ll be heading out to work in just a minute.

I’m crossing my fingers for pizza.

Stay warm.

Head below the fold for a few additional photos and a salad that is worth making any day, not just on a snow day.

How Does Your Garden Snow?

3 Feb

It’s time to garden!

Well, kind of. At least it’s time to start dreaming about gardening if you live anywhere in the Northeast, Midwest or Mid Atlantic.  It’s time to pore through seed catalogs and to plot world domination over aphids and flea beetles.  It’s time to buy pots and soil, to take inventory of seeds, to cook from cans, to force bulbs and to aimlessly stalk birds. It’s also time to get your hands dirty.

Or at least that’s the theory behind winter sowing, a seed-starting movement¹ that Christina recently sent me a link to.  I was immediately hooked.  Winter sowing adheres pretty closely to a theory on seed-starting that Isaac and I have been scheming about since last summer.

Our idea is to start seedlings indoors on the windowsill (preferably in one of these gorgeous seed-starting trays).  We’re not willing to/don’t have the right space for setting up grow lights/heating pads, plus, we started a few things this way last year and they turned out brilliantly.  In the second step of our plan, once the seedlings have grown to a hefty state they will be moved to the back porch to toughen up in a makeshift, unheated ”greenhouse” cobbled together from a set of metro shelves, clear plastic sheeting, duct tape and Velcro.

But winter sowing makes even this level of sophistication unnecessary, and it also requires fewer shopping trips (which is both a plus and a minus in my book).  In winter sowing, you use recycled take out dishes, soda bottles, produce cartons or even Ziploc bags made rigid with scavenged cardboard (I really do think this guy is some kind of evil genius) as seed-starting containers.

Got a case of winter? Me too. Head below the jump to learn more about winter sowing and to leave a comment with your favorite way to beat the winter blues.