end of summer


If you are wondering why I have been quiet here it is because we had our hands full last week. My sister Lauren and her husband Ben went to England for 6 days for a friend's wedding and left their 2 children with us. With 5 kids to entertain and tend to there was not a lot of time for blogging! One particularly fun afternoon was spent on the bay. We packed up as much as we could carry and went to our favorite little bay where there is an inlet to a pond that creates the perfect little flowing stream for all the kids to play in. The bay itself is so shallow and calm that even young Noah can wade out safely and he loves every minute of it. Every time we go to this beach we notice all the tiny fish. The kids love taking nets and trying to catch them. A few years ago we saw another family using this big net with great success and after talking with them we went and bought our own. The kids probably could have stayed at the beach from dawn until dusk, dragging the net through the water and then examining their haul. They must have caught 100 fish that day, including their prized catch: a tiny little puffer. It was a lovely afternoon, and the perfect end to summer.





braided cowl for kids


Today I have another guest post on The Purl Bee! Although it is hard to imagine, fall is right around the corner, and nothing beats a cozy hand knit cowl for keeping you warm. I particularly like cowls for kids; they look great and somehow seem easier to manage than a scarf.


This is a perfect project for a weekend only takes one skein of yarn and only a few hours to knit. The chunky yarn and simple braid add lots of texture, and I just love Blue Sky Worsted with its subtle hand dyed variations and super soft touch!


This is a very simple pattern even if you have never knit a cable before. The kids were all fascinated to see how to knit a braid! The instructions along with how to photos are all on the Purl Bee in the Project Journal for the can find that HERE.


P.S. Although I designed this pattern with the boys in mind the cowl fits every member of the family. Adam has already put in a request for his!


pumpkin pancakes


When my good friend Cheryl and her daughter Bete visited us this summer we learned a few tricks for getting a little nutrition into a picky eater. Bete has a limited number of foods that she likes but Cheryl manages to get extra vitamins into her by adding pumpkin puree to pancakes (she adds it to cheese sauce for pasta too).


Adam was making his famous pancakes for breakfast so we decided to try Cheryl's variation. We just stirred in 1/4 cup of the puree for every batch of pancakes - we were making a triple recipe so we used 3/4 cup of pumpkin. I think we could have added even more since the pumpkin flavor was quite subtle. 


summer salad


I love a big salad for lunch or dinner during summer. It is hard to go wrong with all of the plentiful produce at farm stands and farmer's markets right now. If you skip the pea shoots (or just add them to your plate) you can make this a couple hours before you plan to eat it. We ate ours with turkey burgers one night and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day.



1 zucchini, very thinly sliced (a mandoline makes this easy if you have one)

1 yellow summer squash, very thinly sliced

Juice of 2 lemons

1 japanese cucumber, sliced

2 -3 radishes, very thinly sliced

1 large heirloom tomato, chopped

2 small heirloom tomatoes, chopped

4 ears corn, boiled 2 miutes, cut from cob

1 large handful haricots vert, blanched, cut into bite size pieces 

1 handful pea shoots, roughly chopped

4 ounced feta (garlic and herb) broken into pieces

A handful of fresh herbs such a basil, oregano, mint

2 T olive oil

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Place sliced zucchini and squash in a salad bowl and toss with lemon juice to coat. Set aside to marinate for 5-10 minutes while preparing the remaining ingredients. Add all ingredients to zucchini and squash and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve.


pesto shrimp and quinoa tabbouleh


If you make a big batch of pesto and find yourself with a few tablespoons more than you need for pasta, etc. it makes a perfect marinade for grilled shrimp. Just drizzle a little olive oil over peeled and deveined shrimp and toss with the pesto right before grilling. I used about 2 or 3 tablespoons of pesto for a pound and a half of shrimp. We ate ours with quinoa and kale tabbouleh. To make the tabbouleh cook 1 cup of quinoa and set aside to cool. Chop half a vidalia onion and saute with a clove of minced garlic in olive oil and set aside. Finely chop a small bunch of kale and massage it with olive oil and sea salt with your fingers to soften it. Combine quinoa, sauteed onion and garlic, and kale in a large bowl. Add 4 diced plum tomatoes, 1-2 diced persian cucumbers, and the juice of a lemon. Season with sea salt and serve. 


juicy turkey burgers


I like the idea of different kinds of burgers, including turkey burgers, but in the past I have found that the leaness of the turkey results in dry burgers. Another pitfall of the lean meat is that it can be difficult to grill. Lauren recently was at a Lowry family gathering and the topic of turkey burgers came up. One cousin said she makes turkey burgers with fresh herbs and apples that are very moist. I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. I grated the apple on the largest holes of a box grater so it blended well with the ground turkey. I also sauteed onions in lots of olive oil thinking the extra fat from the oil would be another way to keep the turkey moist. I have to say they were really delicious. 



1 vidalia onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly chopped herbs (I used lemon thyme, lemon basil, and traditional basil)

1/2 cup coarsely grated green apple

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

freshly ground pepper to taste


Cook the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until translucent. Set aside to cool. Stir in the fresh herbs, the grated apple, ground turkey, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 patties. Coat patties with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and cook on a medium hot grill. It should not be too hot since the burgeres will char before the burger gets cooked through. Cook with the grill top closed, turning halfway through cooking.




chopped corn salad


When corn season is at it's peak this simple chopped salad is great. Just combine fresh corn cut from the cob, diced kirby cucumbers, diced avocado, freshly chopped cilantro, lime juice and sea salt. Delicious! 


Quinoa with aduki beans and coconut

I really like quinoa, and am always on the look out for healthy sides that do double duty if there is a vegetarian present, or if someone does not like the main dish. Aduki beans are delcious and sweet so a nice comliment to the nuty flavor of the quinoa. This dish is very simple but I like the sweet salty combination of coconut and my new favorite supermarket find: Gomasio. Gomasio is a combination of toasted unhulled sesame seeds and sea salt that is delicious sprinkled on salads. You can certainly make your own by toasting some unhulled sesame seeds and combining them with some good sea salt. The Gomasio I bought is made by Eden, an organic brand that I have often bought, but became even more interested in after reading an article recently that highlighted the differences in organic companies. FYI, the Aduki beans were also Eden.




1 1/2 cups quinoa

1 cup shredded coconut (not sweetened)

1/4 cup gomasio (sesame seeds with sea salt)

1 can adzuki beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Coarse sea salt to taste

Place coconut in a baking pan and toast in a 350° oven for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. When done drain into a colander and rinse under cold water to cool. Transfer to a bowl. Add toasted coconut, gomaseo, aduki beans, and cilantro and stir. Add sea salt to taste.

cindy's pea dip


Recently I visited my good friend Cindy and she made this delicious dip for us to snack on. It is basically a hummus variation using peas in place of chick peas...I loved it! It was a very hot day and she had barely thawed her peas at all -- we joked that it was like pea ice cream! I decided to give it a try with thawed peas but I think the goal is probably somewhere in between -- the coldness of the dip was particularly good but with completely frozen peas we ended up with an icy chunk that was hard to dip into. If I make it again I will partially thaw the peas but be sure to leave them quite cold. The dip is great with blue corn chips, baked potato chips, or pita chips. Cindy suggested trying it as a spread for an open faced sandwich topped with some sunflower sprouts as well...yum!





1 10 ounce bag frozen peas, mostly thawed but still very cold

1 tablespoon tahini

Juice of half a lemon

a few fresh mint leaves

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt to taste


Place peas, tahini, and mint in a food processor and pulse. Add lemon juice and a few pinches of sea salt and pulse again. With motor running slowly drizzle in olive oil until the desired consistency is reached. Taste and add more sea salt if needed.


miso cod

Nobu's recipe for Miso Cod has been widely published and replicated in restaurants everywhere and it is easy to see is absolutely wonderful. He calls for black cod in his recipe and that is not a fish that we get very often at any of our local fish markets, so when I do see it I buy it. It has a lovely silken texture and mild flavor. Nobu's recipe calls for marinating the fish for 24-48 hours but since I found it while shopping for dinner for that evening I knew I would not be able to follow the recipe exactly...still, I wanted that sweet miso flavor so decided to give it a whirl and hope for the best. When I got home I realized we did not have any sake so that was another strike against making the original recipe. Here is the very compromised version we did make and eat that was still delicious! 




3 tablespoons white miso paste

1/4 cup mirin

2 tablespoons sugar

2 pounds black cod


Combine miso, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan and whisk to combine over low heat, just until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool. Place marinade in a dish and coat fish with it. Place in refrigerator until ready to cook...I left mine for about an hour while I made the rest of our dinner.

Remove fish from marinade and place on a lightly oiled pan in a 425° oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flaky. If the marinade has not carmelized turn oven to broil and cook for another minute or two, watching carefully, until goden brown and caramelized. Serve immediately.