Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a lovely wednesday outing

If you don't already hit up the Farmers' Market at Town and Country every wednesday, I highly recommend it. They have amazing fresh produce and flowers in addition to a variety of different venders. It is even lovely to just grab a coffee and walk through during this time of year, even if you don't have anything specific in mind to buy. I bet it's safe to say, you will spy something delicious you can't resist.

Stroll through the Farmers' Market, then swing through Trader Joe's and feed your family delicious meals for the rest of the week. I love peeking into other people's carts at Trader Joe's and finding out what different people come there to get. I was recently introduced to this fantastic chopped salad (kind of a twist on the Cowboy Ciao chopped salad - which is to die for). The idea of it being you do one loop around Trader Joe's and you have all the ingredients.

The Walk-around-Trader-Joe's chopped Salad
-Trader Joe's Parmesan Ranch (in the cooler section)
-bag of romaine
-bag of arugula
-bag of quattro formaggio cheese
-fresh corn (if they have it, I think this tastes better than canned) or can of white corn (don't cook)
-pre-cooked salmon or chicken
-dried cranberries
-box of baby pasta
Arrange all the ingredients in rows, toss and serve.

The presentation of this salad alone (and let's face it, its all about the presentation) is worth it, but it is ever so delicious as well. I like to serve it with the salmon or chicken on the salad or on the side. Try it this weekend, I promise it won't disappoint.
So, what do you get from Trader Joe's that you can't live without?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

a family garden

"To be happy for an hour, get drunk; to be happy for a year, fall in love; to be happy for life, take up gardening." ~Chinese proverb

We are very fortunate to have the space for a garden, so this year we decided to take full advantage of it and plant as much as we could so the whole family could come over and take whatever they like from it. The kids and grandkids can stop by, pick what's ready and what they like and take it home to enjoy. We've made soups, salads, roasted vegetables and more. It has been quite lovely and I think everyone has really loved having it.

Our grandson Finn had a great time with his Grandad (Brian) out there not too long ago cutting, picking and pulling vegetables. Uprooting the radishes seemed to be his very favorite.

I love bringing home fresh produce from the farmers' market, but there is something even more wonderful about bringing it in from your own yard (or your family's yard). There is something comforting in knowing where your food came from. And then you get to look at all you have and think, "Now, what the heck am I going to make with all of this?" And that's when I call my daughter, Christine, and she gives me some fabulous inspiration...

We've even come to love the idea of bringing the garden indoors. A head of lettuce actually makes a stunning centerpiece. And if you forget to pick the broccoli before it flowers, just pull it and stick it inside your home to enjoy a little piece of the garden in your living room.

What's blooming in your garden?

Monday, March 29, 2010

gnomes in the garden

Last week we decided to give the store, yet another little face lift. With new merchandise to display and Easter getting bought out by the minute (in addition to the fact that every time I walk in the store, I spend a good part of my time redesigning it in my mind... its kind of like a disease), we concluded it was time for some more change. That's what spring is for, right? For me spring is all about cleaning and rearranging, fresh flowers, skirts and sandals, Easter and family, new produce at the farmers' market and, perhaps, a little garden of one's own. So, if you are busy preparing a garden for spring or would at least like to have your own fresh herbs growing in your yard (I will be sharing a little about my own garden tomorrow), I do believe we have some fantastic little prizes to help you along. After all, who, upon seeing a garden gnome, can help but smile?

Of course, we didn't just stop there...

If you haven't been by in a while, we would love to see you!


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