Looking for new posts?

I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

It's like the call of that bird outside our window in the early morning hours, hearing the postman filling our box, hearing that special ringtone designated for my favorite person. It's a simple and almost expected occurrence, one that brings a settled feeling of contentment. Yes; the repeated appearance of these sandwiches are a sure sign of a perfect summer.

take a peek over at the zupas blog today.
i do hope you have some ripe tomatoes ready for this very occasion.

just a few visuals from the pizza dinner tonight, glad it didn't rain (while we were there). it was awesome seeing so many people there to support the Allred's, their vision is just, real, and most importantly, achievable, but not alone. i brought my phone so although the photos aren't crystal, it was a smart choice on my part. i can only juggle so much.

oh. and if you were trying to figure out the perfect gift to send me next christmas, i'd like a tailgate brick oven.

one - I am counting down the minutes for pizzeria 712's dinner club at jacob's cove farm tonight. The babe can't have cow's dairy, but sheep and goat seem to be alright so i am secretly hoping there will be at least one goat cheese pizza I can nosh, because I didn't call and request one. Not sure if it would have come across impolite, superior or just silly. I will just live vicariously through the husband. Regardless, I know there will be other incredible food to enjoy, no doubt.

two - I will indeed be teaching two classes at Jacob's Cove farm in the upcoming weeks, August 28th and September 25th. I am really quite excited about it. Melissa will be teaching the other classes and they are surely classes you will not want to miss. for more info and to sign up, go here.

three - i am looking to take some photography classes to increase my talents. I am thinking about taking nicole hill's online class (maybe i should wait for art weekend?) I like that it would be a bit of everything, not just food although I am also interesting in food styling classes; any suggestions?

four - the winners for the rubio's giveaway are up here. did you win?

and fifth - are you ready for some actual food on this blog? yeah. i know. some genuine recipes coming soon.

i made these for lindsey, whitney and susan.
i am making them next week for my neighbor (shh, it's a surprise!).
and i wish i could make them for you.
i'd even send them by mail if i knew they wouldn't melt all over the postman.
they're so good.

p.s. have you entered the rubio's giveaway yet? three more days!
p.p.s. have a beautiful weekend; and a happy pioneer day to all you utahrd's.

Read more »

update: How was your weekend?
Here are the winners for the Rubio's gift cards!

Portia, Sarah, Becks and A. Verzello!

email me your mailing address so I can send you your gift cards - hoiyinjohnson{at}gmail{dot}com. Remember: if I don't hear from you in a week your gift card will be given to someone else.

Thank you to everyone who entered, keep your eyes open for more giveaways. i have been conspiring to give things away via twitter.

happy monday.

and sunny backyards with the sprinkler running, picnics at parks, and summer birthdays.

Those are only a few places where my mind has been lately, so I have spent little time 'round these parts. Not to mention a certain collection of written word that keeps me up nights. I figured since I likely won't be around much the rest of the week (and possibly early next), why not have something to keep you goin'?

what better than a giveaway?

Read more »

When I make a commitment, I may not follow through immediately, but I do follow through. It's something that teaches the husband a lot of patience because he's the type of person who is direct, immediate, and the example of strength to my weaknesses. A long time ago, I don't dare tell you exactly how long for shame, I received a package from Marx foods, an online fine foods store, to try samples of various products. I spent the time between receiving that sample package and now trying the samples in every way possible; took me long enough.

Read more »

I woke up the other morning to a gagillion email messages from people saying I had sent them innuendous emails promoting a certain product; I doubt I really need to go into detail. Gratefully, my brother is a computer whiz kid and immediately knew I had a virus. Luckily I knew just what to do to fix it; I drove my computer up to him a few hours later. He has received many a call from me begging for computer, software and coding advice. This is the same brother who just announced his engagement to an incredible girl, one I am so excited to be related to. He is the same brother who always tweets me when I'm down, sends me pictures of awesome food he is eating without me, and my favorite first born brother ever. thanks broha.

So until I get my brain back, we will have to make do with what we have, an old laptop that I have no clue how to upload photos on. Which is alright because I was hoping for advice from you. What have you been eating for dinner lately? Isn't that the age old question? When the weather changes, my appetite follows suit, I seldom turn on the oven, and only saute when the ac is on. So I figured we could share ideas, because I know I would love some more cool, preferably vegan-esque options to nosh, wouldn't you?

Here's what we've been eating lately, and one i can't wait to make.

Melissa's apple corn lettuce wraps - I like adding seasonal ingredients, like last week I added peaches instead of apples. Sometimes we eat this with tortillas, add beans and/or nuts, make it asian-esque with hoisin sauce, and try different things every time.

spring (now summer) rolls - this is our throw together dinner because you can use anything; literally. I also love that I don't have to turn anything on, just use water and chop up some veg. It's a family favorite. p.s. i found another awesome peanut sauce recipe, here.

quinoa salad - love this stuff, especially scooped into a crunchy tortilla chip.

salads with varied greens, lots of beets, red cabbage and almonds with a drizzle of olive oil, squirt of lemon, and sprinkle of salt and pepper. or vinaigrette or pureed fruit.

a variation of this spicy collard green recipe, made with the greens from our csa served on thick cuts of baguette.

sammies that resemble this one with whatever we can roast grill or slice; zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, whatever.

Ratatouille - I have been day dreaming about making this since I signed the CSA waiting list and I have been figuring out ways to make it easier and faster. This is yet another reason my oven will get some lovin'.

so what's on your menu?

You would think that because we are a dairy and egg free family, our options for good food, specifically creamy and sweet frozen treats, are limited (dairy and/or egg are in almost every store/shop even some homemade frozen desserts).  But having spent the last nine months living without, I would suggest that just the opposite is true. When you eliminate something that has been the backbone of your diet for so long, eliminating it cold turkey is almost paralyzing. But once you take your first steps toward replacements and substitutes, talking to people with similar circumstances who have recovered and are thriving, you realize that there are really more options than you could have imagined. Eventually you realize that when you thought you were free to eat anything under the sun, you were actually quite bound by convenience, tradition, and the comforting guarantee of habit. I have never experimented more, failed more, and therefore learned more about cooking, taste, and my food ideals than I have in this past (almost) year. And I will keep experimenting, failing and learning as I go along, all the while accepting valuable advice from those wiser than me, especially when they tell me to eat dessert first.

click here for my ginger pineapple sorbet recipe at cafe zupas.

The weekend was filled with a number of wonderful things, can you tell i've been taking time to 'recover'?

we didn't make any plans for the holiday, but we live in the midst of our town's independence day celebrations so it was perfect for strolling over and joining the crowds. we didn't wake early enough to see the balloons off, but let's face it, even if the babe would have woken us up that early we would have spent the time dancing and playing in the big bed like every other morning. we did, however, make it to the parade.

living only a few streets away from the festival was ideal since the babe needed to come home for a refresher nap. afterward, i met my sister and we visited the husband at his booth, had a picnic, colored a few thank you letters to our troops, and met the talented justin hackworth before walking through his beautiful exhibit.

a few days before we picked up our first box of produce from jacob's cove, it was pretty exciting. The snap peas were so sweet, the squash small but beautiful, and the greens crisp and still covered with bits of earth. I stayed a little longer so the kids could play; me included. we played underdog on the swings and I simultaneously shooed the goats from munching on my purse. the kids showed me their house of stacked hay bales and we tried repairing a caved in roof due to over enthusiasm. we eventually gave up to the shade and empty swingset.

I brought the food home, rinsed it, and we have been eating most of it raw, in salads with homemade vinaigrette and anything mixed in, or wilted with a little sea salt and lemon over a toasted baguette. Tonight I braised some of the russian kale and chard with beet greens I got from the farmer's market. I added young onions, garlic, crushed red pepper and coriander, and served it with some lemon couscous, mashed carrots, and juicy cantaloupe. It wasn't documented because it's still a recovery day, and i don't work on recovery days. i try to enjoy every unintentional moment.

do you?

With a hint of blush and fresh blueberries on top, this is my color coordinated (and sweet) contribution to honor the gem of a nation we live in. I love history. This naturally red velvet cake is a homey fourth of july dessert, and a more natural spin on my mother's original; just be sure to keep the ac on while you bake. check out the recipe here.

happy independence day to those in the states! wear those colors proudly, say hello to your family for me, eat a second helping of dessert, and please don't blow yourself up with all that gunpowder. isn't freedom grand?

p.s. today is the first pick up day for our csa; i wonder if there will be beets?