Tuesday, August 30, 2011

summer vegetable spaghetti

I got a bounty from the farmer's market this week, so I thought I'd adapt my usual spaghetti sauce recipe to incorporate some of my delicious fresh veggies.

Here's the recipe:

For the sauce:
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
3-15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 TBS dried oregano
2 TBS dried basil
1 tsp. fennel seed
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar

1 lb. of spaghetti

Heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or similar pan.  Add garlic, onion, carrot and zucchini and saute till tender and slightly browned.  Add remaining ingredients, including 2 more TBS of olive oil.  Heat till boiling then reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour.  Right before serving, put in a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Serve over whole wheat spaghetti with fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled on top.  Serve zucchini sauteed in olive oil with salt and fresh ground pepper on the side.

Monday, August 29, 2011

multitudes on monday (41-45)

Today I am thankful for:

41. Quality time with my daughter and husband.

42. The way God uses times of distress and trial to draw me deeper into faith.

43. Friends!  What joy to spend time talking and just doing life with friends.

44. So much sunshine this summer that a little bit of rain and clouds is welcome.

45. That God's mercies are new every morning and that every day is a new day!

What are YOU thankful for today?

Split Rock Cafe sandwich

I posted this weekend about winning a contest on Split Rock Cafe's Facebook page to come up with an idea for a special of the day.  I won a free lunch (who ever told you there's no such thing?) as a result.  Their contest is ongoing, so you might want to check out their Facebook page and give it a try too!

Here are a couple pics from a delightful cafe I had never visited before, which deserves to get a lot more attention.  I was impressed with the freshness of their ingredients, their friendly staff, and their bright decor:

Delicious fresh salad with a homemade cherry vinaigrette.

Tender, succulent pulled pork sandwich with Flathead cherry barbecue sauce.  Savory and delicious!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

the farmer's market is my happy place

Check out the colors on this beautiful farmer's market produce!
One of the best parts about living in the Flathead Valley is the Kalispell Farmer's Market, which takes place every Saturday morning at the mall parking lot.  Whereas many farmer's markets have very few vendors and high prices, this market has a wonderful variety of goods and vendors, along with pretty affordable prices.

When I lived overseas as a child, I used to love to go to the outdoor markets carrying our woven re-usable shopping bags to watch Mom bargain for vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat.  The smells, the bright colors, the warm sun, the sounds of many voices haggling together...I have many happy memories.  When I step into any outdoor market, I feel welcomed back into that special time in my childhood. 

Find of the day: zucchini bigger than my head for 50 cents!
On a typical day at the Kalispell Farmer's Market, you will find vendors selling artwork, wooden toys, handmade soap, local honey, local pork, fresh vegetables, fresh plants, fresh cut flowers, local cherries, sewn crafts, locally made organic spice mixes, clothing...you name it.  I love wandering down the aisles of vendors, a Pain au Chocolat in hand (baked that morning by a vendor), holding my daughter's hand, enjoying the warm sunshine, shopping bag over my arm.  It's my happy place.  Too bad summer will be over soon.

P.S. I plan to throw most of the veggies in the first photo (except the tomatoes) into a Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-fry for supper.  It's one of my favorite ways to prepare lots of fresh veggies, and believe me, there is no comparison between store-bought veggies and fresh-from-the-garden veggies.  None.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Split Rock Cafe contest

Split Rock Cafe in Kalispell had a super fun Facebook contest this week.  They asked people to "like" their page and then come up with an idea for a special to be served at the restaurant.  If you won, you would get a free meal that day and the special would be named after you.  Guess who just won?

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