The Fantastic Friday Five is a weekly series featuring odds and ends from my everyday life – food, running, gardening, home-ownership and more!
Life has intervened lately, so the FFF has taken a little break… But it’s baaa-aaaack! And chock-full of a couple weeks worth of fantasticness. Enjoy. :)
This comes a little late as fiddlehead season is pretty much done here in Maine, but I didn’t want to leave them out of a well-deserved spot on the FFF!
If you aren’t lucky enough to live where fiddleheads are an annual rite of spring, I am sorry. Really, I am. And if you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about right now, let me explain: fiddleheads are the furled fronds of ferns, harvested before they unfurl themselves into full ferns. They are not cultivated but rather gathered from the woods by enterprising individuals, and sold by the roadside, at farmers’ markets, and in local grocery stores (including Whole Foods in Portland, Maine), during a short window of time in late April and early May. I liken their cooked texture to barely-tender asparagus, and they are prepared much the same way. I sauteed this batch in a little olive oil with garlic, freshly ground salt and some lemon juice. Perfection. :) They can also be steamed and I’m sure they would be fantastic roasted. Don’t pass up an opportunity to try these beauties!
#2: Chocolate treats… Mother’s Day pie, Brownies, and Choco-cado pudding!
Apparently I’ve been on a chocolate kick lately, for both our own enjoyment and for gifting to others. One of those gifts was this chocolate pie from Chocolate Covered Katie. I brought it to Mother’s Day dinner for my future mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law at T’s parents’ house. I added a mashed banana to the recipe and served it in a packaged gluten-free crust with sliced strawberries. It. Was. Incredible. And so amazingly easy. Go make this… NOW! :)
I also brought chocolate-y yumminess to my chiropractor’s office for the very pregnant PR/office specialist. I decided on brownies, and I loved this gluten-free recipe from Oh She Glows. Delicious! No pics, because I ended up not leaving enough time for them to cool before I went to my appointment this week, so they cooled in the car and I cut them right on my front seat and brought them in after my appointment… Typical. :)
Finally, I tried some chocolate avocado pudding for me and Trav, with this recipe from Simple Veganista. I served it with coconut whipped cream and mini chocolate chips. We liked it, although I still could slightly taste the avocado – I’ll definitely be trying it again! My coconut cream was definitely not on top form that night, and I would love to add some different flavoring, possibly the orange that Simple Veganista suggests. Yum!
#3: Tasty avocado and bean spread – the perfect quick and healthy lunch
I’ve been a bit under the weather and the other day I was home from work and searching for an easy but healthy lunch for me and Travis. I was working with a time limit as Trav needed to get to a business meeting (he works mostly from home, but makes trips to the office and customer sites as needed), so my search for inspiration was getting a bit desperate. I had a can of northern white beans and I wanted to make some kind of sandwich spread with them… this avocado and white bean spread from Healthy. Happy. Life. came to the rescue! I made it with carrot, kale, onion, and fresh radishes. To make it a meal, I toasted us up a bagel I bought from a nice family at our town’s farmers’ market, and heated up leftover spiced roasted potatoes from a previous meal. Lunch solved!
#4: Blueberry scones with raspberry chia jam
I made these vegan blueberry scones from fellow blogger Move Eat Create a couple of weeks ago, and Travis and I both LOVED them! They were easy and delicious and perfect with some of my leftover raspberry chia jam – as seen in FFF #4. Heavenly. You must try them!
#5: Running with kids
On Mother’s Day, my sister Beth and I ran the Portland Sea Dogs’ Mother’s Day 5K race, a very popular race (sold out this year at 3000 runners) that ends on Hadlock Field. Beth has been running with her son (12) and her daughter (10), and she signed them up to race with us. We all started together (donning the mini-capes I made for us!), and then my nephew eventually ran ahead. Neither my niece nor my nephew had ever run/walked 3 miles together before that day, and they were absolute troopers. Although there was some early morning crankiness and maybe even some mid-race tears, it was a wonderful day, and I feel honored and blessed to have been a part of their first road race ever. I’m sure there are many more to come!