Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Strawberry Lemonade



Here's a simple drink recipe for summer I made with my eight year old. We generally don't buy soda and homemade lemonade is so easy as a refreshing treat.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tarpon Springs, Florida



Next time you visit the gulf coast of Florida make a little trip to Tarpon Springs its about 30 min north of Clearwater and its fascinating. In the late 1800's folks from Greece settled here to dive for sponges and you can still buy them today it also has one of the largest Greek populations in America. 

Its a tiny place and as you drive into the downtown area you wonder if you have come to the right place as its so sleepy and almost run down. But once you get to the main street you will find Greek restaurants, gift shops and have a feel of being in Greece listening to Greek being spoken and the fishing boats. Almost like stepping back in time.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sweet potato and Chickpea Soup.




This is a really easy and seasonal soup the base is the chick peas and sweet potato but you can add any vegetables along with it, I also added edible flowers for garnish. I have been growing these at the farm and selling to local chefs, tea rooms and bakeries. This made my Day when Camino an amazing local bakery featured me as a farmer. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kayaking with Manatees



We recently went to the gulf coast of Florida for a few days and a highlight for me was a visit to Fort De Soto Park, a lovely state park south of Saint Petersburg. It featured bike rentals and trails great beaches and Kayak rentals, in the warmer months you will have the treat of seeing manatees in the mangroves. I was thrilled its something I had always wanted to do.

Here's a little clip to introduce you to these fascinating creatures.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Arizona Inspired Bean Soup



We visited Arizona this last December on the way back from seeing family in California. I had always wanted to visit Tuscon and love that its not hot in the winter months, however it was actually quite cold and wet when we were there, I suspect spring is the best time to visit.  When we landed in Phoenix our entry point to hire a car, we visited the Heard museum cafe to sample some Native American cuisine on the advice of my sweet twitter buddy and fellow dietitian Monika of Hip Veggies. I had a Tepary bean salsa with Indian fry bread. These beans are native to the South east and have a long history they are nutritious and grow well in dry conditions. On my return I couldn't find these beans locally in North Carolina so used Northern beans. 

But often you may find old bean varieties in your area that are often overlooked here we have cow peas, october beans and pinto beans. 

Ingredients:

  • one cup of Northern beans, or any small white bean. 
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk thinly chopped
  • 2 small sweet peppers diced
  • one small tomato diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • a pinch of cumin powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little chopped parsley 
  • 1/2 cup of corn
Method:

  1. saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil for 4-5 min.
  2. add the cumin, celery and peppers
  3. meanwhile pressure cook the beans for one whistle after an overnight soak.
  4. add the tomato and let it reduce down, then add 2 cups of water, cumin powder, sweetcorn and the beans, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15-20 min. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.



Tuscon was beautiful and I liked the feeling that folks there were more at peace with living in the desert than Phoenix I saw less green lawns and non native trees. There was more desert landscaping and buildings that seemed to suit the surroundings. 


We stayed at Hacienda del Sol, a wonderful historic property with great staff an amazing garden complete with citrus trees and a stables. Our girl really wanted to go horse riding on the trip and this was a big factor in choosing this hotel. It was a great experience and we even got to sample some barrel cactus along the way and see a bobcat cave.




Another great tip from Monika was the Arizona Sonora Desert museum this was a beautiful drive outside of Tuscon in the middle of the desert the museum featured trails, animals and wonderful facts about life in the desert a must visit. 





I highly recommend a visit to Tuscon, we hope to return and have more time a weekend was not enough but we got a good taste for more.



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