Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Herbage. July 13, 2011

I know that’s not a real word, but it describes what I’ve been projecting lately.  On Sunday, Jonathan and I decided to explore the Pearl Street Farmers Market to see what it had to offer.  Let me just say, we will certainly be returning, since the variety and cutesy-ness of it all was almost too much to handle.  We started at the far end of the market for a quick brunch at the Pajama Baking Company, where the brunch was not only delectable, but surprisingly affordable {always a plus for me}. 

Inside Pajama Baking Company, a repurposed garage


We browsed the market, finding everything from handmade soaps and shampoos to your typical home-grown produce to homemade pestos and sauces.  One of the most unique things we saw at the market was the ‘truck garden,’ there to promote growing your own herbs, fruits, and veggies…even if you don’t have a backyard!  That got Jonathan and I thinking, we should start growing some herbs to use while cooking.  We have really deep windowsills in our apartment, and the bedrooms get an unreal amount of sunlight, so we knew we could make it work. 

We started by picking up some herbs we knew we wanted to grow…basil, garlic chives, and rosemary.  We thought we would want to add dill later {they didn’t have it at the market}, but I later found from my neighborhood greenhouse owner that most of Colorado doesn’t even try to grow {much less sell} dill because it’s too ‘delicate’ and herb to survive the lack of oxygen and water that most parts of Colorado experience.  So instead, a unique ‘hot and spicy oregano’ joined the mix. 

Our entire collection of goodies from the day

Then we got a plain wooden expandable planter {I was pulling for this particular planter to be our winner, since I knew it would be easily customizable to our space}, and took everything home.  I painted the planter a simple beige, adding some spice with white polka dots…we went with neutrals so we can move the planter when we feel it’s necessary so our herbs can get all the right sunlight,  but it won’t clash with the decor in any room.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Once we had purchased our final addition, the oregano plant, I went to getting my hands dirty and putting our little herb babies in the planter together.  I hope they grow, and I can’t wait to use them in many recipes!

Our complete mini herb garden!


Potatoes and Pie June 21, 2011

This past week was full of cooking for me.  First my sister and I attended a cooking class at Hinsdale’s Second Floor {a lovely store above the town’s hardware store}.  It was a beautiful kitchen and we learned how to take ‘Chicken from Drab to Fab.’  We had an awesome chef named Paul {and awesome assistant Caesar} who taught us all we would need to know and I even got to help out a bit!

I mentioned that a potato salad recipe by Smitten Kitchen inspired me to take a trip to the Farmer’s market last week and finally got around to making it for myself this weekend.  The best part about this recipe is you don’t have to make it all at once.  Since there are quite a few steps I split it up a bit.  I made the potatoes first, set them aside to cool and then pickled the green onions.

I took a break and went out with some friends to a concert in the nearby park and enjoyed some pie in a jar!  {Holy Cow So Good!}

I had seen something like it on the Unique Sweets show on the Food Network and that’s where this friend of mine got his idea.  And in case you were wondering the crust recipe is Martha.  After the concert I came home and cooked the asparagus and green beans {I used these instead of snap peas} and then gave them a nice ice bath.

I combined the vegetables, covered them and put them in the fridge along with the pickling green onions.  Last but not least I whisked the dressing together and also threw that in the fridge.  Yesterday Dave came over and combined them all together for the final product:

Oh and here is an update on my basil plants:

Note to self- Don’t leave the tray in the self made greenhouse {Ziplock bag} for too long or mold WILL grow!  I think they are doing okay despite that little hiccup and I can’t wait to use it in a dish!


Let’s Start at the Very Beginning June 7, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:10 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A very good place to start.  There’s something about starting something from the very beginning that intrigues me.  It makes me feel proper.  Baking a cake without the box, creating your own stationary, growing a plant from a seed…you get the idea.

So last week when Karla and I were out plant shopping {hear more about this tomorrow!} I couldn’t help myself when we passed by the packet of seeds.  My favorite herb is basil so I grabbed a pack {who knew Martha sold seeds!?} and as soon as we were home I started researching how to grow plants starting with a seed.  Turns out it isn’t too difficult and you can even be a bit eco-friendly while doing it.

Gather a bunch of empty toilet paper rolls {I actually had quite a few saved up for an electronic cord organizing project I saw on my sister’s Pinterest page} you could also use paper towel rolls.  Cut each roll in half or into thirds if it’s a paper towel roll.  See?

Place them in a tray of some sort {I used a cookie tin} and then tear up newspaper and scrunch a bit into the bottom of each recycled roll so that the dirt will stay put.
Cover the newspaper with a bit of slightly damp dirt {I tried to write soil, but I really don’t like that word, sounds nasty doesn’t it?}.  Put 3-4 seeds in each tube.  Because every seed won’t germinate, this gives you a better chance for at least one plant per tube.  You can’t really see the seeds, but they are there!
Fill the tubes to the top with more dirt and water each tube.  Then put the whole tray into a large ziplock bag and put it near a window that gets a lot of sun.

My tray spent 6 days  in the kitchen near a sunny windowsill and this is what they look like now:

I guess they are still small, but I’m just amazed I helped something grow.  It’s truly a miracle.  The cool thing is once the basil is a bit bigger, I can take the whole toilet paper roll and plant it in a pot.  It won’t be a hassle at all {famous last words, I’ll let you know how it goes}.  I’m so excited to cook with fresh ingredients.  Can’t get much fresher than this!


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