Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lemon tree, lemon tree

As usually, the garden likes the rain weather mess, especially the lemon tree. The green hard lemons  seem to absorb any rain drop and plump up. This is my first summer growing them in Maine in a container, and I am curios if they actually will turn yellow before I have to move them indoors again. Over the last weeks, I added some guano fertilizer and they responded with developing new clusters of huge flowers. Happy lemon tree.


It might be weekend but I am working. I’d rather go places right now, but the deadline looms. A few more days. Thanks weather, for not making me to have to stay close to the computer too much.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Mark Bittmann’s chickpea burgers

When I saw Mark Bittman with his own show on the Cooking Channel, I knew that I can trust his recipes – he tries it out and eats it himself. This is a go-to recipe for veggie burgers, make it with beans, lentils or chickpeas as base, and add the onion, chili powder and the oatmeal. I made the recipe and decided it needs more of a kick….. I added a middle eastern touch, with a tablespoon of sumac, a tablespoon of dukkah, and 3 tablespoons of Stonewall’s Ginger Teriyaki Grille Sauce (BBQ sauce would also work). Instead of frying them, I baked them in the oven. They are fabulous!

chickpea_ burgers

Middle eastern chickpea burgers

  • 2 cups of cooked white or black chickpeas (I used black ones, available in India stores)
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (I used Trader Joes hot cereal multigrain flakes)
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 TB sumac
  • 1 TB dukkah (Trader Joes!)
  • 2-3 TB Stonewall Kitchen Ginger Teriyaki Grille sauce (or Spicy BBQ sauce)
  • 1-2 ts salt
  • 1-4TB of chickpea cooking liquid or water

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix the chickpeas, onion, oatmeal, spices and salt in a food processor until well mixed. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray, and form patties with the mixture. Baked on 375F for 20min, flip and cook another 15min.

serve as a veggie burger.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The early bird gets the kale

When I made it to the farmers market yesterday morning, I had not much choice at my favorite farm stand: mixed lettuce, one bok choy and a few head of romaine. “Not much ready this season yet….?” “If you turn around, you see…..” I saw the handwritten chalk board with the list of produce and their prices…. “Oh, I guess I have to come earlier….” “We are here on Tuesdays, too. There is less competition.” Yes, the Saturday market is emptied at 10am. The early bird gets the worm. Or the kale.

So, I walked home with the last bok choy left, some scallops from the fish truck, and lunch was bok choy steamed in chicken stock, edamame and a Morning star chickpea burger, which I love.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A bunch a kale

It’s almost the weekend, and after some night showers the outlook is sunny. In hope of finally bikini-ready summer weather I moved a chaise on the deck, and got some sun today. In the grocery store I decided to do away with my questionable meal choices lately and put some kale back into the eats. A bunch of kale was only 1.99 and supersized. I felt like I got a half of a  raised bed of kale, like an armful, a huge bouquet. I chopped a few large leaves, heated pre-cooked brown basmati rice with chicken stock, and added the kale to it to barely wilt it down and heat it up. A few cherry tomatoes on top, salt, pepper and some goat cheese to round it out. Oh, kale, how come I got bored with you?


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cry me a river

It rains again. It is dark, dreary, rains with no end, and the rivers are dangerously swollen, flooding the running paths next to the river. After work I went to the mall yesterday to cash in on my 40% off coupon at GAP, and almost cried a river, too: all the stores had started “end of season” sales. “End of season?!” I cried “Summer has not even STARTED yet.” This is what you get when your life revolves around enduring the long months of winter in bravery to live for summer. And then summer never comes.

The rest of the world seems in a not much better state, flights to France are in jeopardy because of strike, Colorado is on fire (they probably wish to have some of our rain), and all of our data is automatically backed up to the CIA. Yesterday, when I tried on summer dresses at GAP I decided I need to start some form of summer shape up. Something like “bride’s arms in 20 days” or “bikini booty”, I guess these would be the appropriate google search terms. Oh well. Maybe, I should just skip it because…. there is no summer this year.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Swiss chard in the garden

Today I was rather grumpy. As if someone had stolen my favorite toy and I was 7 years old. I walked through Target and got even more grumpy passing through the garden and BBQ section. “The summer is withheld from me!”. “Everyone else is probably having a great summer time right now with fabulous weather.” Comparing your circumstances to others with a sweeping assumption of ‘It’s only me who has is it bad” is a particular effective way to oppress the mood even further.


Eventually I headed to Home Depot to buy a few plants since due to the messed up spring and early summer weather  this year my raised bed was still empty. Swiss chard was the plan. Then it was Swiss chard, and several eggplants and a husky cherry tomato plant. Some wood stain. My outlook improved. There will be food. Lots and lots of Swiss chard, just around the corner. After planting, watering and the sum coming out, life was ok again. Especially with the bright pink rhododendron in full bloom.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Salmon kebabs

The temperatures have chilled down to pleasant upper 70s, the sky is bright blue, the birds are chirping, the early morning lawn mowers in the background,  the cats sit in the open window and listen to the concert of the outside world probably daydreaming of exciting bird chases. The much slower start to summer.

My morning readings at the Sprouted Kitchen made my mouth water: salmon kebabs with lemon slices and zucchini? A perfect summer dish!

Find the recipe(and photographed instructions) here:


otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy the summer pace. With a beautiful hand-woven chair