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

The Fantastic Friday Five: Tofu scramble, Confident kitchen spontaneity, and Gifts

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

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#1:  Spring rolls… handheld, dip-loving salads!

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but I’ve been loving making spring rolls lately! I’m getting ahead of myself because these fresh, tasty, bundles of happy will have the opportunity to star in their very own post soon (keep your eyes peeled!), but I just couldn’t keep the spring roll love to myself. They really are easy, and they provide a handheld alternative to salads when you really want the taste and crunch and overall goodness of fresh veggies. And you are almost required to dip them in sauce.  WIN! Consider this a sneak preview… :) Continue reading

Basil-avocado sauce with lemon (vegan/gf/nut-free)

So I know I’ve been posting a lot of basil-y and lemon-y things lately, but I just love buying mounds of fresh basil from my local farmers’ market… you’ll just have to deal. The more specific reason for today’s recipe is for my cousin, Susanna, whose youngest son has many complicated allergies, including dairy and nuts. After my parsnip pesto post, she asked about nut-free pesto. Well, this is my first stab at it, and it definitely has that delightful basil flavor of pesto, without dairy or nuts!

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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??

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