Summer Cooking and Community

This weekend was pretty hectic here in the Ozarks. I’ve begun my adventures in cooking and baking and been using everyone at the shop as guinea pigs. So far, they seem pretty happy about it. I’ve successfully cooked seasoned tilapia, vegetarian lasagna, banana bread, and lavender cookies. This week marks the beginning of kale week; at the local Farmer’s Market one of the vendors was selling large bags of kale,two for one, I couldn’t resist. My desire to try a simple recipe of kale chips overwhelmed the logic of one person buying three bags of fresh kale. Well, I hate wastefulness. I’m planning out several different recipes to try this week, all centered around kale.

I’ve already had two Kale adventures, the vegetarian lasagna consisted of a lot of green and I (badly) attempted kale chips.

Here’s the lasagna, it was pretty tasty and my dinner guest seemed to genuinely enjoy it. Though, the edges were a little…crunchy because I was trying to adapt a large recipe to a smaller serving and ran low on excess to soak everything. However it was only the edges on top that suffered, maybe 5% of the lasagna?

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I would be amiss if I didn’t include the amazing recipe guide here. And yes, I even roasted my own red peppers and pureed the ingredients up!

Now the kale chips…well, lets just say they weren’t dry enough when I put them in the oven and thus, they came out looking withered and were more hot than flaky crisps. I will admit, it made a yummy half baked salad for lunch, but was too ugly for me to want a large picture of my failure on the blog. You can however look at my Instagram and see them (along with all my other shenanigans).

I’m not exactly sure how I caught the cooking bug, but I have it with a passion. Hit the ground running sort of thing. I blame this lush summer air and all my new free time to visit my downtown square.

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This Sunday was the annual Block Street Bazaar where, to celebrate the beginning of summer, all the vendors comes out, the shops open, bands come to play, and there are games and give aways galore. It’s a great way to support and build up local business and keep up a strong community. It was like a beautiful fusion of our weekly Farmer’s Market and a carnival, (there was even a giant Spider Man inflatable slide!).

I didn’t buy much, I just enjoyed wandering around and taking photos. I found a lovely new book store where I stocked up, and visited with many of the shop owners. It’s a reminder of how great community is and I think the motivation for my cooking spree. I want to share goodies with everyone I know. More with baking than cooking am I finding this possible. I cook for my friends in my apartment, I bring my baking to friends.

So far I’ve made Lemon lavender cooks and banana walnut bread. Both where a hit at the shop and I’m excited to continue my adventures into the bread and pie world. Kale bread? Is that a thing?

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I made four trays of lavender cookies and they’re already gone, I did NOT eat them all. I only had a slice of banana bread to bring back with me after knit night. It makes me so happy and bubbly to know that I can mix up something warm and sweet and have everyone enjoy it. Community really makes a difference in your exploits.

Last but not least, finer crafts were not forgotten yesterday. Wherever I go, I seem to find yarn art!

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These peeps crocheted everything in this tent, even the tent is crocheted. I loved it! it serves as a great inspiration to continue ahead in my knitting exploits. I’m almost done with the Sabine by Coco Knits, knit up with Superior cashmere.

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I’ve been having a few gauge problems but on the whole this is an easy knit that I hope is done by this weekend. There are many knits to stitch, and to blog about for that matter. I have a pile to write on! 

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Tomorrow I’m hoping to whip up another meal with kale, I’m thinking soup. Wish me luck and enjoy the start of the week!

Also, batman and puppies.

 

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