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Category Archives: Around The Table

Apple Galette ~ {Eat Seasonal}

apple galette

We made our inaugural trip to Apple Hill for the season this past weekend. The smoke was thick here in our hometown so we got online and looked for places within driving distance that were experiencing a little more relief from the several fires burning in the northern part of California. Camino {where Apple Hill is located} was in the green so we went in search of relief. Unfortunately, we found that it followed us a bit, but it was nowhere near as bad.

We indulged in apple treats — donuts, fritters, caramel apples — and even brought a bushel home. You just can’t resist stocking up when you visit.

I’m dreaming of my own creations now with these beloved orbs of juicy juice. These apple galettes are a wonderful, sweet treat for an autumn afternoon. Very simple to compose, even the kids can help.

Apple Galette

3-4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
3 T. brown sugar (or more, if you like)
1 t. cinnamon
half a lemon
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, and juice of the half lemon. Let it sit and mingle while you prepare your crust.
 
For crust:
1 1/2 c. flour (I used all-purpose, but whole wheat would be great too.)
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
8 T. cold, unsalted butter
1/2 c. or so of ice cold water
 
Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Cut butter into dough and mix together with your fingers until chunks are about pea size. Mix water in by the tablespoon, until there is just enough to hold dough together. Try not to overmix. 
 
Place some flour on your work surface, and roll your dough out to about 12 inches in diameter. Place dough onto a baking sheet by rolling it carefully onto your pin and unrolling it onto the sheet.
 
Arrange apple mixture onto the middle of the dough, allowing about one inch around the perimeter of the dough for folding. Once you’ve artistically arranged your apples ;), fold and pinch the dough around the apples. 
 
Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, until crust is a golden brown. (Check after 30 minutes and place foil on top if apples are beginning to brown.)
Recipe originally appeared at Chewy Morsels.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes ~ {Eat Seasonal}

pumpkin-spice-pancakes

We had a teaser of autumn last week so Evey and I instructed Steve to bring home cans of pumpkin so we could make pumpkin pancakes for dinner. We loved it so much we repeated the process a few days later.

If you are a #psl {code for: pumpkin spice latte} fan, you’re gonna love these too. Probably won’t get as bad of a sugar and caffeine high as well. They are rather hearty and last you until lunch if you eat them for breakfast. We eat them for just about every meal…and times in between.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
3 T butter, melted
1 c. pumpkin
2 t. vanilla
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1/8 t. cloves

Mix buttermilk, eggs, butter, pumpkin and vanilla together with a wire whisk until combined. 

In a separate bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add into wet mixture, stirring well with the wire whisk. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a bit of butter. Place 1/2 c. of batter into spots on pan and cook on both sides.

Enjoy with warm maple syrup.

Gathering My Thoughts ~ Extra Time with Daddy

{I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.}

we-be-rollin

Outside my window: We were so blessed last week with daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Today, summer comes back with a vengeance, soaring into the 100s by Thursday. Ugh. Is the splash pad still open?

Listening To: The ever-classic Ray Charles–Lucie’s choice. She very emphatically said no to the quieter hymns I started to play. Girl likes jazzy music.

Clothing Myself In: Workout clothes. I dressed in these out of my pjs when we went to the store earlier this morning with the intention that it would remind me to get my workout out done when I got home. It’s mid- afternoon and it still hasn’t happened.

Evey-and-her-easel

Talking With My Children About These Books: We are on letter “M” this week in our lessons. Our selection for the week is: First Pictures of Mary by Maite Roche, Madeline by Ludwig Behelmans, The Mitten by Jan Brett, The Town Mouse and the County Mouse by Helen Ward, and Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. This is the first week that our selection is entirely composed of books I’ve read before — all great ones too! We may add on some others before the week is out.

I can’t speak highly enough of Maite Roche’s books. {The first one listed.} They are published through Ignatius Press. We currently have the Easter one and My First Prayers for the Family, but hope to add her others over time. She is a French writer so they are all translated from the original language.

cousins-reading

 

evey-and-logan

In My Own Reading: I’m looking forward this week to starting Emily Freeman’s latest book, Simply Tuesday. I read A Million Little Ways about a year ago, and absolutely loved it. She has such a beautiful way of assisting her reader find depth and meaning to their life, even those who perform the simplest and most mundane of tasks.

Thinking and Thinking: With the way the polls are leaning currently, the upcoming presidential election has me feeling quite uneasy. What our country thinks is acceptable {even if they are not satisfied with the current governance} is scary to me. Even if they are not satisfied with the current governance–or the last few presidents’ terms–we can’t just elect somebody because they sway the opposite direction and oppose what we don’t like. We have to choose what is right and good.  A college professor of mine wrote a great little post titled ‘When Scoundrels are Honored‘ that reflects a bit on this.

practicing-g

Practicing the letter “G” {we’re working on it ;)}

glitter-paint

 

Glitter paints during “G” week

Pondering: “What is the goal of Catholic education in the midst of the flurry of screens and devices that bring the modern world to our fingertips? It is to keep the human person at the center of our enterprise. The world of information may be only a swipe away, but we should know better than to think it is the most important world. That honor goes to a world made of flesh and spirit, of encounter and conversation. That world must guide our schools, and everything else must follow from it.” from ‘Catholic Education in the Digital Age’

Carefully Cultivating Rhythm: This transition back and forth between summer and fall means a transition of schedules so we’re fluctuation between the two and suffering a bit of exhaustion from it. Looking forward to the full switch into cooler weather, warmer foods, a little more time relaxing indoors.

knitting-and-reading

Creating By Hand: I’m on my second of three sweaters using the fabulous In Threes Cardigan pattern. The current one is for Lucie. After finishing the first for my sweet niece {soon to be here next month!}, I took the girls to the knitting shop to pick out colors for ones of their own. Lucie fell asleep on the way, so Evelyn took over the duty of choosing colors. She picked a beautiful blue with flecks of green and purple for Lucie and a radiant red for herself. I’m about 3/4 done with Lucie’s, then I’ll get to work on Evey’s and hopefully be done before the cool weather hits. {Linking up with Ginny’s #yarnalong — be sure to check out more inspiring projects there!}

Learning Lessons In: Finding ways to make time for what is truly important and fulfilling for me and my family. I’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home but had forgotten about her idea of the Power Hour. Anne writes here about how she uses that hour weekly to dive deeper into things that enrich herself. I’ve been trying for several months now to delve deeper into my photography, but have been unsuccessful so far. I’m going to set an hour each week, starting this week, to make this happen. It is important to me so I need to make it actually so.

riding-the-car-waves

Encouraging Learning In: Not standing on furniture. My little daredevil is turning up the heat, standing on chairs, tables…rolling cars! She doesn’t seem to understand the consequences even when she tumbles, so I’m hoping something influences her in a positive way!

Crafting in the Kitchen: We’re enjoying the tomatoes from the market as my plants have been growing horribly this year. We really enjoy this stuffed chicken using tomatoes and feta that I shared last week. Thursday I will share a favorite pancake recipe that will get you inspired and excited for the autumn. We’ve made it twice already in the past week.

tomatoes-in-the-trunk

To Be Fit and Happy: I was doing well in this department but have been slacking off over the past week. I need to find an activity that I can interchange with the Barre3 classes. I’m hoping to go running once or twice a week once the evening temperatures have dropped a bit.

Loving the Moments: We enjoyed a three-day weekend with Steve home. It is such a joy for me to witness the moments he is able to spend bonding with the girls. They love their daddy so much. Both run, shouting with glee, to greet him when he walks in the door every evening from work. Many times, Lucie prefers his company to mine. They snuggle on the couch and sometimes watch funny animal scenes on his iPad. Evey always gets him to build the best forts and they read together inside. Such wonderful moments to witness. <3

sliding-with-daddy

blowing-bubbles

Living the Liturgy: Today is the feast of the Nativity of Mary. We will be enjoying vanilla ice cream {pure — in honor the Virgin Mary} to celebrate.

Planning for the Week Ahead: As mentioned earlier, it is going to be super hot this week so we’ll be spending the majority of time inside {unless we can find a good splash pad that’s still open}. We’ll send a meal to a friend who just had a baby late last week. We’ll probably make milkshakes and eat popsicles. And I’m hoping to get a bit of writing in. I’ve been a little “dry” these past few weeks….hoping for inspiration!

happy-birthday-to-mary

Taken after I wrote the post…Happy Birthday to Mary, she sang! 🙂 

Feta and Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts ~ {Eat Seasonal}

feta-tomato-stuffed-chicken-breasts

Our tomato plants have not had the best year. I don’t know if it is the drought, the soil they are in, or what but they have grown so slow and hardly produced a single tomato. The weather is already changing to autumn so we’ll be lucky to see the green ones turn red, as they like hot weather for maturing.

Despite our dearth of tomatoes, we’re still making seasonal recipes at home. I got my tomatoes from a can, but you can easily replace with fresh ones instead if you’re garden has been more cooperative this year. {And please tell me all about it so I can live vicariously through you!}

 

Feta and Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

3 large chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 can of diced tomatoes, 14 oz. -or- 2 c. of fresh diced tomatoes
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. basil
1/8 t. garlic powder
3/4 c. crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice chicken breasts lengthwise so there is a horizontal slit down the middle of the breast. Place them in a baking dish.

Mix tomatoes with the seasonings. Spoon some into the slit you’ve made in each chicken breast. If you have more leftover, drizzle it on top, especially the juices. Crumble the feta inside and on top as well.

Cook for 45 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Easily doubled!! {or tripled}

Stuffed Bell Peppers ~ {Eat Seasonal}

stuffed-bell-peppers

Our first crop of the season are these beautiful green bells. Last year when we grew them, they were small and misshapen but somehow the soil, fertilizer, water, and sunshine worked better in our favor this year.

For a long time I was using a recipe that incorporated cinnamon into the mix, much to the chagrin of my siblings and, somewhat, of my husband, I found out when I made these.

These stick with simple ingredients–nothing extravagant or pairing better with breakfast treats –and a bit of yummy cheese on top. Both of my girls gobbled these right up.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

6 bell peppers of any color
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
1 lb. ground beef
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
can of diced tomatoes, 14 oz.
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
shredded Mexican cheese blend for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and remove seeds and membrane.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add onions. Cook for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add in garlic and cook together for about a minute.

In a large bowl, place cooked onions and garlic, rice, and ground beef. Mix together. Add in tomatoes, reserving about 1/2 cup to pour on top later. Season with oregano, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, mixing in well.

Fill peppers with meat mixture. Pour a little of the reserved tomatoes and sauce on top of each pepper. Sprinkle with a little shredded cheese.

Cook for 45 minutes.

Serve and sprinkle with more cheese!

Moments ~ {Vol. 11}

girls-digging-in-dirt

Dirt, dirt, and lots of dirt. Most mornings are spent outside digging. Pre-lunch time is spent bathing.

little-diggers

Digging with spoons because we’re fancy like that.

evey-scootering

Evey’s becoming a scootering pro.

evey-finger-painting

Never one to paint her body before, Lucie’s encouragement pushed Evey outside her comfort zone.
evey-finger-painting

First finger painting for both girls.
lucie-finger-painting

Doesn’t mind getting messy one bit.

lucie-finger-painting

Who says paint is for paper?

dancing-with-daddy

Daddy-daughter dance to “Let it Go”.

frozen-with-daddy

Saturday morning Frozen viewing with Daddy.

sunday-morning-with-daddy

Sunday morning snuggles with Daddy. Sweetest.
Evey's-cow-drawing

Evey’s cow. 🙂

Evey's-cow-drawing

He got more legs and accessories than he bargained for.

dinner-under-the-lights

End-of-summer party at my parents’ complete with appropriate ambience lighting.

dinner-under-the-lights

Magical.

orange-sunflower

Our first sunflower of the season!

tomato-braised-chicken-and-red-wine

Enjoying a wonderful red from a friend’s family winery in Oregon alongside a delicious Sunday dinner.

anchor-steam-porter-tasting

#muffbrews continues. We’ve been on a porter and stout kick lately.

kitchen-flowers

Beautiful flowers from a #bissisterhood friend. Makes my kitchen so pretty.

post-water-snack

Snacktime post-splash pad fun. They enjoyed themselves. Really.

star-cookie-treat

Grocery day treat. Bribery or reward? You decide. 

free-ice-cream

Free ice cream at the library? Yes, please. {Although, every time we go to the library now she wants to know where the ice cream van is.}

evey-purple-popsicle

Matchy-matchy.

lucie-ice-cream-cone

She knew right what to do with that cone.
sticker-feet

Creative sticker sticking. {She likes to place them over her eyes too. Whatever floats your boat, Ev.}

Pumpkin Pecan Scones ~ {Eat Seasonal}

pumpkin-pecan-scones-mini-pumpkin

Are you thinking of autumnal flavors like I am?

Pumpkins. Apples. Pears. Warm Chai Lattes.

Don’t lie. I know you are.

With that hint of coolness I’ve been noticing in the air, perhaps it is safe to take that premature foray into Fall foods.  It might help to get some practice in, right?

Luckily, pumpkin comes conveniently pulverized in those small tin cans so, really, you could enjoy these all year round if you wanted.

Pumpkin Pecan Scones

This recipe originally appeared on Chewy Morsels
2 c. flour {I do a combo of all-purpose and whole wheat}
 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. candied pecans {or plain}, finely chopped
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
 
Place flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and mix with dry ingredients until butter is the size of small peas. 
 
Mix buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla in a separate cup or bowl. Add to large bowl and mix together by hand just until it comes together. Carefully, mix in pecan pieces.
Flour a clean surface. Pat ball of dough into a round about 1/2 in. thick. Cut into 8 triangles. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, until browned at edges.

Tortellini Salad with Avocado and Broccoli ~ {Eat Seasonal}

tortellini-salad

I love cooking from scratch. But sometimes ‘from scratch’ just isn’t going to happen.

Little cheating tools, like pre-made pastas, make it seem like it’s from scratch. But they help me keep my sanity during the evening witching hour that often preys upon us precisely when dinner is to be made.

This pasta dish is an easy way to get lots of veggies in your family. It is extremely versatile too. Feel free to use whatever fresh veggies you have on hand.

 

Tortellini Salad with Avocado and Broccoli

2 packages of pre-made tortellini
2 c. broccoli crowns {you can add the stumps in too if you’re feeling it}
juice of two lemons
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. sliced almonds
2 avocados, diced
{opt for extra protein: package of pre-cooked sausage, sliced — Trader Joe’s sun-dried tomato ones are great!}

Heat a large pot of boiling water. Cook tortellini according the package instructions. Add broccoli one minute before the pasta is finished to blanch it. Drain pasta and broccoli.

Place in a large bowl and mix in lemon juice and olive oil. Toss in avocados and meat, if you’re using it. Sprinkle the top with almonds and serve. 

Double to recipe for leftovers the next day. It makes a great cold pasta salad too!

Blueberry Banana Bread Muffins ~ {Eat Seasonal}

blueberry-banana-bread-muffins

We try to up our breakfast game on the weekend. That usually involves a breakfast meat, eggs of some variety, and a sweet breakfast treat. I don’t have much time to get something in the oven before the hungry wolves enter the kitchen, so I try to keep my baking time to a minimum — half hour or less is ideal.

These guys fit the bill and they are easy enough you just might feel inspired to create them for a special treat during the week too.

Blueberry Banana Bread Muffins

3 ripened bananas
juice of a lemon
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. blueberries {fresh or frozen}

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with muffin cups.

Smash the ripened bananas in a large bowl. Squeeze in lemon juice and pour in melted butter. Mix well. Add in brown sugar.

Mix together flours, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a separate bowl. Pour into banana mixture and begin mixing until just starting to incorporate. Add in blueberries. The flour will prevent them from breaking as you continue to mix. Mix slowly until well-incorporated. Mixture will be more firm than watery {but if its really dry, add a few tablespoons of water}.

Bake for 20 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

Makes one dozen.

Salmon Bread Salad ~ {Eat Seasonal}

In the summertime, I work really hard to avoid as many dishes as I can that require me to turn on the oven. This one is an exception. It’s fairly quick on-and-off. And you can get it done earlier in the day to avoid heating up the oven at the hottest part of the day. {But if you do, just high-tail it to your nearest watering hole for an after-dinner swim.}

Seasonal zucchini and tomatoes straight from the garden or farmers’ market. A healthy dose of Omega-3s from that tasty pink salmon. Delicious and nutritious–what’s not to love?

salmon-bread-salad

Salmon Bread Salad

Adapted from Food52

Dressing
1 T French dijon mustard
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and set aside. 

Salad
about 2 cups of rustic bread, pulled apart into bite-size pieces
1 lb of zucchini, quartered and cut into 2 inch slices
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
8 large green onions
olive oil
sea salt, to taste

1 lb of salmon
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat bread slices in olive oil and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Crisp in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Turn up the heat to 450 degrees. Spread zucchini on one sheet and douse with olive oil; spread tomatoes and green onions on another and also give a good glug of oil. Place zucchini in the lower part of the oven and tomatoes and green onions in the upper half. Push the tomatoes and onions around as they cook. Green onions should be removed once they are softened, about 7 minutes. Tomatoes come out once all the skins have broken open, about 12 minutes. And, finally, remove the zucchini once tender, at about 15 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and cook through turning once. It takes about 7-10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fish. {Fish is done once the pinkness lightens and becomes flaky.}

Once your veggies have cooled, toss them in a large bowl with the toasted bread. Drizzle about 3 T. of dressing on top. Cut up fish into bite-size pieces. Plate salad and place fish on top. Use additional dressing to add more flavor to your salad, if desired. 

Feeds 4.

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