April 26, 2013

Friday Five

1. Quick Asparagus Pasta

I love asparagus season and have already cooked three pounds this week.  One of my favorite ways to have it is with pasta and a creamy, cheesy sauce.  I bought three packs of RP's pasta at the Dane County Farmer's Market last weekend (RP's Pasta Company is in Madison), which is my favorite fresh pasta.

I made two variations this week and my favorite combination was peas, edamame and blanched asparagus.  I added the peas and edamame to the pasta water toward the end of the cook time and drained them all together.  I also cooked the pasta in the same water that I blanched the asparagus in...no sense in tossing that nutritious water nor dirtying another pot.

The sauce that I added was a mixture of melted butter, a little whipping cream (half and half also works), vegetable broth and shredded Parmesan cheese.  The sauce recipe I followed comes from Simply Recipes' pasta primavera recipe.

2. Raspberry Red Wine Parfaits

I was scrolling through my Pinterest dessert boards recently looking for a recipe that used fresh raspberries and decided on raspberry red wine parfaits, a recipe from The Fresh Fridge.

I love raspberries and Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt for breakfast and it turns out that the raspberry and red wine mixture turns it into a nice dessert. My only recipe complaint is that the red wine mixture ends up being nearly 4 cups, but only a 1/2 cup total is needed for the parfaits.

3.  Vermont Road Trip: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

It's almost time for our road trip to Vermont!  It'll be our first time visiting the state, so I've been reading up on what to see and do.  One frequently mentioned tourist attraction is the Ben & Jerry's factory tour, so I decided I needed to try their ice cream this week.

Pistachio is one of my favorite ice cream flavors and Ben & Jerry's does it oh so well, which makes me look forward to the tour even more.  If anyone has Vermont advice, please let me know.  We're also stopping at Niagara Falls on the way, so recommendations for there would also be appreciated!

4. Milwaukee: Apple Trees, Compost Bins & Rain Barrels

Chris thinks I've lost my mind because I bought two apple trees from Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast today.  Granted our 0.17 acre lot doesn't exactly scream "perfect for fruit trees," but I'm hopeful it'll work. 

On a side note, I submitted a Diggers Hotline request shortly after ordering the trees and was shocked when I got a same day confirmation with a phone call at 9pm tonight to confirm the location of my house.  That's great customer service!

A JSOnline article has more information about how the Milwaukee apple is making a comeback.  I ordered a Milwaukee tree and Pewaukee tree since two are needed for pollination. 

Did you see that Milwaukee Recycles is hosting a truckload sale for compost bins and rain barrels on May 4th?  Chris and I are buying a SYSTERN Rain Barrel and would like to get a compost bin too, but we figured one new thing at a time.

I'm curious how many blog readers are currently using compost bins and/or rain barrels.  Please leave a comment if you do, especially if you have any advice for me!

5. More Seeds: Fordhook Giant Chard

I planted another packet of seeds today, filling every spare container I could find.  This time, I'm trying chard that I was given at the Wellspring gardening class I attended.  The weather on both Monday and Friday this week felt like summer, and it was so nice to be outside planting both days after work.

1 comment:

  1. We compost. It makes you feel much less guilty if you don't eat something from your CSA box ;-). After last summers dry weather resulted in an extra $100 water charge, I thought about a rain barrel but some of the sources I read questioned the quality of water for vegetables after it runs off the roof. I ended up deciding I'll just be more careful when I water.

    If you can drive a route that brings you in on the far side of Lake Champlain, the ferry ride over to Burlington is fun. It was also a complete surprise for us. I was remarking how much ahead of schedule we were, turned the page on our directions and saw "drive three miles, take ferry" We were a bit afraid it was going to break the budget (like the ferry from Milwaukee to Michigan), but it was reasonable and quite delightful. Moral of the story though--read your full Triptik before leaving (even if you reviewed it online, cause ours came out different).