Pistachio Kale Pesto over Zucchini Noodles

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Yummy. One word. Creative. Another word. Never would have considered putting all these things together and having it turn out so good. A lot of words.

I knew once I saw the post on The Edible Perspective (a Fort Collins based blog about food and photography), for Kale Pesto with pistachios, zucchini noodles and cherries that I had to try it. Had to. I waited until our CSA delivered Kale and a second zucchini to our weekly pickup last Saturday, and made a quick trip to the store for cherries and pistachios.

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I, of course, made some modifications. I added grilled chicken breast marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes. I also crumbled chèvre over everything. I had the purple stemmed kale instead of dinosaur kale, like the recipe called for. I’m not sure I would have known the taste difference between the two anyway.

I was blown away by the entire dish! It was simple and nourishing. I mixed everything on the plate together, but plated things separately for the look of the dish.

Check out The Edible Perspectives blog for the full recipe. http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2014/7/16/pistachio-kale-pesto-with-zucchini-noodles-cherries-giveaway.html

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Magic

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This moment right here, whenever it happens, be it walking, sitting or sleeping, is magical. It’s like a reset on the entire day. My entire mood can shift like a crack in the earth and I can go from feeling ho-hum, frustrated, too busy, anxious or simply happy to feeling overjoyed, needed, adventurous and so in love. It’s almost an addiction in and of its self. The simple task of holding someone’s hand, of letting go of the past, even if it was two seconds ago and embracing the present is a feeling beyond words, it’s an unspoken communication between souls.

Lemon Dill Chicken

In an attempt to make something new, I sought out an herb I hardly ever utilize, dill. Its always seemed like a taste reserved for salads. Not last night though. Paired with lemon and arugula it was a hit!

What I used:
Spaghetti pasta cooked according to package directions.

Fresh, rinsed arugula (used to taste, I used about 2C.)
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium sized carrots, julienned
6 large mushrooms, quartered
1 lemon, juiced
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes
1 heaping tablespoon dried dill
Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Pecorino Romano/Parmesan for topping.

What I did:
Cooked enough spaghetti for 4 people.
In a large cast iron skillet, while pasta cooked, I: sautéed chicken breast, carrots and onion with canola oil (about 1/4C.). As chicken cooked, I added all spices. Once chicken was cooked and onions and carrots were soft I added the garlic, mushrooms and lemon juice to the mix. Stir, and allow mushrooms to cook down slightly. Check taste, the dill and lemon should really stand out.

To serve, 1:pasta, 2:arugula (to your liking), 3:chicken mixture. Top with cheese!

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Busy Minds

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I know I’m not alone when I say that my cupkeiki, like a lot of other kids, needs lots of activities. She isn’t settled by doing one thing and being satisfied, she’s curious and asks why, and how a lot. She could probably watch programs all day-if I were to let her- and recite everything she learned but then I wouldn’t feel satisfied as a parent.

We walk daily, sometimes two or three times. During our walks she asks questions like; what does a bee do? How does the raspberry grow? What do butterflies drink? I love her inquisitive mind, and love that she holds on to the information. Last week my dad came to visit and on our way up to Horsetooth Falls, a fly came into the truck. She places all flying insects into the bee category and said “bees collect pollen to make honey.” My dad looked at me a bit dumbfounded and asked if she actually said what she said. Yup she did. She loves that little fact, just like that butterflies drink nectar through a proboscis, or that a raspberry has to first flower and be pollenated by bees before there can be fruit.

That’s all great, and I’m grinning with a small sense of pride that I’ve contributed to this learning and repeating of information. However sometimes, I run out of ideas, of where the next lesson should come from or what it should be. I don’t like a structured routine, I’ve never practiced one with her, but sometimes information has to come from a different source. Last week I went to Barnes and Nobel and went crazy in the Early Learning section. As my partner and I start to discuss preschool (next year) and our educational goals for her I start to realize that I can say and show all that I know but she needs information from other sources too. So I bought 4 Kumon work books and 1 Flash Kids book with the goal of repetitive worksheets to help her develop some of the skills I may be missing introducing. I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes I need help from outside sources. I’ve also come to recognize, since having them, that my cupkeiki loves doing them and the independence she gets from figuring out a maze or connecting similar shapes on her own.

Hooray for busy, active minds; and having so many options and sources for learning.

Photo Booth Props

Along with putting together flower girl outfits for this weekends wedding, I also offered to make photo booth props…no big deal, especially with my Cricut Explore.

It actually was a lot of work, but it was fun work so there’s a balance.

I got the printable sheets from Craftzee (http://craftzee.blogspot.com/2010/12/free-photo-booth-printables.html?m=1).

I uploaded them into my Cricut workspace, removing excess white space around. Loaded up colored card stock paper and let my machine work it’s magic!

Once everything was weeded, I glued two exact pieces together, using mod podge. Once the gluing was finished I coated both sides of the props with mod podge to make it a bit more durable. Once the mod podge was dry I hot glued skewer sticks onto them and there you have it, photo booth props customized to your own liking!

Thanks to Craftzee for the free printables!!

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Lettuce and carrots!

We are really enjoying our CSA pickups. I learned that, what I thought were purple carrots from last week, are actually a variety of turnip! New food, fun food, tasty food!

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I donated my radishes for the week to my dad, who loves radishes.

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