Fantastic Friday Five: Perfect popcorn, Vegan Alfredo sauce, and a New kitchen toy!

The Fantastic Friday Five is a weekly series featuring odds and ends from my everyday life – food, running, gardening, home-ownership and more!

CL:  A new post from Harvest Moon Kitchen??!?!  THE SKY IS FALLING.

JG:  No, Chicken Little.  It’s only me, and stop that before you make me feel bad about the fact that I’ve been absent… because guilt is the last reason I want to feel compelled to write on here.  Sheesh.

… I’m back!  Since you’ve seen me last I’ve finished up another successful teaching year, completed my Master’s in Education (woo!!) with an intensive last course, coaxed my garden into growing almost out of control, and nearly clean chopped off the tip of my thumb – (almost) all fun little distractions that shifted my priorities for a while there.  We’ll see what happens now that life has settled down at least a little bit!  And let’s get on to some fantasticness I’ve been enjoying lately…

#1:  Perfect stovetop popcorn

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I am a popcorn fiend.  Well, I’ve got Step 1 down…  :)  I used to make microwave popcorn, back in my pre-enlightened days (ha), and for a while since giving it up I was mostly just buying the AMAZING Little Lad’s brand of pre-popped popcorn from right here in Maine (check out their website here).  Well we have a lovely friend who is always ready with freshly popped stovetop popcorn when she entertains guests, and I naturally wanted to give it a try.  So I tried a few times on my own from her directions, but I seemed to always either burn the popcorn at the bottom of the pot or leave so many unpopped kernels that I nearly cried in mourning.   Continue reading

Pasta with lemony parsnip pesto (vegan/gf)

This post is brought to you by the letter P…

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Do you ever have a vision, but it’s teetering between genius and disaster in your head, so you’re wary of trying it?  Who am I kidding, we all have.  Well this dish is one of those visions, and I’m going to come right out and say that the scale tipped heavily towards genius.  The sweetness of the parsnips married with the sharpness of the lemon and garlic, tempered by buttery walnuts and fragrant basil, all tossed with pasta, olive oil, spinach, and onions…  YESSSSS! Continue reading

Kale pesto and sweet potato pasta (and my thoughts on canned chickpeas)

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I love kale.  And lucky for me, it’s a vegetable that enjoys Maine’s soil and seasons.  Unfortunately, it seems that many of my fellow farmers’ market go-ers also love kale and other greens, because there’s been an absolute dearth in recent weeks – even months.  So I’ve broken down (many times…) and bought kale from the grocery store, but at least it’s organic (important because kale is on the infamous dirty dozen list), it’s from a Massachusetts company (Olivia’s Organics), and it’s grown in the US.  I’ll save why I eat local for another post… Continue reading

For what ails me… (Cashew-sesame sauce)

I stayed home sick yesterday.  I was basically a slug – lunch was instant miso soup and piece of peanut butter toast (thanks, Travis!) – but I made myself get off the couch and make some real dinner when my stomach wouldn’t let me idle any longer.  I was feeling pretty uninspired, and I didn’t want anything that took too much effort, so my mind inevitably strayed to the comfort list.

You know, the foods that sound good in pretty much any situation.  Such a situation as, say, feeling like crap.

I immediately thought of a favorite cashew sauce that I make and I mentally ran down the list of necessaries:  cashews, garlic (ooh, an heirloom variety from the market – double check!), rice vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, curry paste… YES!  And I even had some good veggie options and some brown rice spaghetti.  It’s embarrassing how excited I got when I realized I could make the beloved dish that very night.

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Uh-oh, my mouth is watering again… I can get away with making it twice in a week, right??

Continue reading