hi friends! we’re back from our east coast / midwest vacation, and i’m still working on getting back in the swing of things. so instead of a real post with a recipe, will you take a link to a ton of pictures from the vacation? and pictures of some of the fabulous food we ate below?  pretty please? thanks – i owe you one, and i’ll be back next week with new recipes for y’all!

delicious food in portsmouth, nh

raw yam springs rolls

lentil roulade in phyllo over carrot cream sauce and swiss chard

amazing desserts

delicious vegetarian indian food

my avo and meunster sandwich

raspberries at the farmer's market

peas and squash blossoms

blackberry pie

it’s the very end of august, and we’ve reached the time of year when everyone’s going back to school, and tomatoes, corn, zucchini, etc, etc, are all coming out of the garden like crazy. but it’s not just the garden that’s going crazy – our lives have also been a tad nuts over the past few weeks as we squeezed in as much time as possible with my sister (who just left for grad school waaaay across the country), and juggled parties and work events.

tomato pie

no matter how busy we are, every time we walk into the house we’re greeted by beautiful, overflowing bags of produce that our lovely friends and family keep gifting us, and are filling our moments of spare time trying to use all of this produce. so what did we come up with?

tomato pie

well, we’ve made at least four winning recipes – the first of which is pie. yes, pie. have you made one lately? this week, we made two – a gorgeous blackberry pie with smitten kitchen’s amazing crust, and a tomato pie. i know that the latter one sounds weird, but it’s really amazing. since i didn’t edit smitten kitchen’s recipe at all, i’m just going to link to it here, strongly suggest you go there to try it out, and i’ll get to work writing the next installments.

tagine!

amidst the spring time feasting that goes with easter (see the delicious tagine above!), i stumbled across the website and you tube videos of great depression cooking with clara.  clara is a 93 year old woman whose grandson decided to film her cooking recipes and offering tips she learned during the great depression. i was instantly drawn in by clara’s frank and no frills approach to both food and life, and watched almost all the videos in a row. while watching clara, i started to think about our current recession, and how the impact will last much longer than the recession itself – i think many of us have already changed our behaviors, thoughts, and ways we approach food as a direct result of the national financial crisis.  the videos also made me appreciate the abundance of beautiful foods in my life.

i hope you enjoy clara’s cooking videos as much as i did, and while you’re watching them, i’ll be cooking up some new recipes to post!

i’ve been thinking about food a lot this week.  as you might guess, this is not entirely unusual for me — as i am a major food lover and, obviously, blogger.  but this week, i’ve been thinking especially hard about food for a few reasons.  the first is that i began reading the book in defense of food, by michael pollan.  i labored my way through his first book, omnivore’s dilemma, perhaps because i am not an omnivore (there are long chapters about killing wild pigs and the beef industry that are slightly nauseating), or perhaps because it seemed too close to something i might have read in one of the many sociology classes i took in college – assigned but not thoroughly enjoyed reading.  the second book, however, is my first suggestion to you – i am tearing through it, and taking a lot of what he says to heart.  what’s really resonated for me is his discussion of the importance of real, whole foods (not the store) – avocado, bananas, carrots, etc – instead of eating filler foods chemically designed to taste good and supply nutrients deemed important by the fda (think most commercial breakfast cereals and packaged frozen dinners).  pollan questions whether food scientists have figured out what’s important for people to consume yet, and notes that food is about so much more than nutrients – it’s about the act of cooking with friends and family, interacting with them, savoring the taste of the food, and yes, there are nutrients in whole foods, but they are only part of the process. (thanks for hosting this “process” aka dinner this week, linn!)

fixings for green pizzazucchinispreading the pestolaying out the zucchini

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unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past several months, i’m sure you’re all quite aware of the economic crisis facing our country.  while mike and i are lucky enough to remain in our excellent places of employment, and the majority of our friends are still working and not impacted by the tough times, it has brought up a new awareness for me about finances.  now, mike and i are no financial gurus, but we’ve been using the website mint.com to set budgets and watch where we’re spending our hard earned money.  it’s been eye opening to see how much of our money goes directly to food.  and while this amount spent on food isn’t exorbitant, there are definitely a lot of take out sushi expenditures, and we often throw uneaten produce into the worm compost bin.

this is going to make some great soup

recently, a good friend sent me an article from cnn.com with ideas for $10 meals and challenged me to “better and more vegetarian friendly version.”  so i am responding to the challenge with my own twist on saving money in the food realm, because i got frustrated quantifying how much money i spent on a specific meal, mostly since i pull lots of ingredients from my stocked cupboard (spices, flours, bouillon cubes, canned beans, etc).  let’s just say this post was inspired by the article above, but does not direct speak to it…and i promise to hone my pricing skills and get back to you.

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