Tag Archives: organic

{foto friday : cabbage guts}

24 Aug

you know i love this stuff, right?!

sorry if it’s redundant…

sorry, not sorry.

 

{happy (belated) asparagus season!}

18 Jun

i’ve been getting my fill of delicious organic asparagus!

it is a marvelous food to eat in spring because it is very cleansing to the body and blood. asparagus is also in season during the spring, which just further proves how awesome and intelligent nature is! 🙂

i like to enjoy asparagus raw or lightly sautéed in grass-fed butter with a dash of himalayan pink salt and black pepper. sometimes i like to add it to risotto with wild mushrooms. when i lived in the mountains years ago, i had a lot of fun foraging for asparagus because it grows wild on the western slope of colorado. pretty cool, huh?!

a tip for keeping asparagus : treat it like fresh-cut flowers. keep the ends trimmed and leave them in a little water in the fridge until ready to use. 

do you love asparagus? how do you like to prepare yours?

{foodie/foto/flashback friday – spring/garden fever}

9 Mar

seriously, though… is it time to garden, yet?! i am so eager to get out and play in the dirt!

i definitely want to grow some {organic} cabbage again this year!

here’s a little flashback friday for ya : to that ONE i grew last year and turned into delicious sauerkraut!


hope you have a great weekend!

{seriously obsessed with spices}

5 Feb

everyone knows i love to cook.

for the most part, i keep it super simple when making meals. and my philosophy is :

quality in = quality out.

in other words – if you start with good ingredients, you generally end with a good meal…

i have only recently begun experimenting with spices in my cooking. i have been collecting spice jars over the last few years, as i was gypsy-ing around the country… and when i settled in a place i feel at home in, i felt super excited to finally display my spice jars.

i received these cool 3-tiered bamboo spice racks as a christmas gift, and i was so eager to get my spice jars out of the cabinet and onto the counter.

it’s the little things, right?!

something about seeing this beautiful rainbow collection of spices just makes me feel so happy inside. and it’s really been fun to experiment with the different aromas/flavours.

of course, in true audrey michelle form, i alphabetized my spices.

here’s what is in my collection :

  • some kind of awesome spice my friend brought me from argentina 
  • all-spice
  • bay leaves
  • celery seed
  • chives
  • cilantro {homegrown and dried}
  • cinnamon
  • comfrey
  • coriander 
  • cumin
  • curry powder
  • dill {homegrown and dried}
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • herbs de province 
  • kelp 
  • lemon peel 
  • marjoram 
  • nutmeg
  • old bay seasoning (can’t live without it)
  • onion
  • oregano 
  • parsley
  • paprika
  • pickling spices
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • sesame seed (black)
  • salt (black)
  • tarragon (LOVE THIS STUFF!)
  • turmeric
  • saffron 
  • vanilla 

 

 

 

 

{homemade relish with my homegrown cucumbers!}

11 Jul

so, as i mentioned in my last blog – i have harvested well over 200 cucumbers this year from my garden! i wish i would’ve been weighing my harvests, to get more of an idea of yields. however, looking back through the fotos i snapped every time i harvest – it’s safe to say that number is pretty accurate. crazy, right?

anyway, on top of sharing my harvests with neighbors, and consuming a cucumber a day, i also enjoy making pickles and relish with my cucumbers! that’s why i specifically grow the pickling cucumbers. that, and i just think they taste better.

i will share my pickle recipe soon, but for now i want to share this super yummy relish recipe that a good friend of mine passed along to me last year. i love it because it’s very simple and does not have added sugar. the only sweetener is honey and i think it is so well-balanced in flavour. i love add my relish to egg salad or tuna salad. it’s also just good right out of the jar!

homemade pickle relish recipe : 

  • 1.5 pounds {pickling} cucumbers, finely diced {mine was homegrown}
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1.5 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill {mine was homegrown! 🙂}
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt {i used himalayan pink salt}
  • 1 tsp celery ceeds
  • 1.5 cornstarch

directions : 

  • in large saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch. simmer over medium-high head until vegetables are tender – about 8-10 minutes.
  • in small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of the cooking liquid until smooth. add to pan and let cook another 3-5 minutes. cool.
  • use canning method to preserve, or store in airtight container, chilled, up to 1 month. also freezes well.

i made a lot more than what is pictured – this jar i gave to my neighbours. 🙂

i also tasted mine before adding the cornstarch. if i needed to increase any of the ingredients, i did. i think i added a little extra honey and vinegar to mine because i had a little more than 1.5 pounds of cucumbers. the key is to start with small amounts… you can always add more. i love the colour it turns out – that’s largely due to the turmeric.

i hope you enjoy this recipe and please do let me know if you ever try it out!

thanks for reading! 🙂

 

{saturdays in the garden : volume seven}

8 Jul

just a little update on the garden… my posts are not in “real time,” as it were… i’m several weeks behind in keeping up with what’s going on, currently.

for example, most of what you see in the following fotos, has been pulled from my plot. we are straight up in the heat of summer here in NC, and my tomatoes are just about all that remain. i pulled up all my broccoli, because i didn’t get it in the ground soon enough and it never formed a head. i harvested one beautiful cabbage that i’m currently making sauerkraut with. my cilantro is done… as is my dill and basil, but i planted more of both. i pulled my kale and planted arugula in its place. and my cucumbers are on their last limb, but i must’ve harvested around 200 of them this season. i have pickles for days! 😉

july will be focused on tomatoes. then in mid august, i will plant more cabbage and cucumbers and perhaps try again for more peas later in the month or toward september. i really enjoy making {and eating} sauerkraut, so i intend to plant a lot more cabbage for fall.

meanwhile, here are some pics of what late may/june were like in my plot :

so pretty and ALIVE!

still fascinated by pea tendrils… and i made lots of pesto with my basil!

oh kale, yeah!

harvest!

my beautiful cabbage! Continue reading

{first asparagus of the season}

9 Mar

asparagus

fresh from the farmer’s market! 🙂

looking at the different shapes of this asparagus, had me thinking similar to when i looked at all those cool seashells

i love asparagus so much and i only eat it when it’s in season.

did you know that asparagus is loaded with fiber and actually aids in cleansing our gut and also offers awesome detoxifying benefits? i think that’s so cool, considering it is in season in spring and that is a perfect time to prep our bodies for cleansing and switching gears to lighter foods. furthermore, asparagus is a natural diuretic… which may be TMI, but hey, it’s just a fact.


on a different note – i’m so ready for the time change and gaining more evening light! i am so super excited to start a garden this year!!

 

{farmers market turmeric root}

6 Jan

 

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have you ever seen turmeric root like this before?

i was fascinated when i spotted this at my local farmer’s market. when i go to visit, there is one stand in particular that i like to frequent. the lady who owns it is so sweet and always has a ton of good information on her products and she is always willing to answer my and all of my questions. it seems that the prices for produce at farmers’ markets are sometimes half the price of grocery stores or health food markets, which is just another reason why i love to support the farmers!!!

a few other reasons i choose to put my money into farmers markets are as follows : accessibility, freshness, availability, integrity, seasonality, friendliness, knowledge, willingness, and as i mentioned, affordability.

i had never seen turmeric root in this form, and i couldn’t wait to pick some up to take fotos of. sometimes i’ve seen parts of it broken off into larger and smaller pieces, but not in a huge chunk like this. i have been wanting to incorporate turmeric into my diet more frequently, particularly because i have been experiencing some pain in my elbow lately. and as you may know, turmeric is known for having anti-inflammatory properties. i am hoping that by consuming turmeric regularly, the pain in my elbow will substantially subside.

i thought it would be fun to share these fotos of turmeric, since it is so intriguing to look at! check out all the ‘knobs’ and ‘nodules’ and the funny/fascinating shapes it takes on and how it forms that way. i love all root vegetables, and when i find something in its natural state, i get even more excited about it. did you catch that cool post about ginger-root? i just love going to the farmer’s market and i one day hope to have a nice big garden in my backyard, as to grow lots of wonderful food. i basically want to be a farmer.

one of the things i’ve been doing with turmeric lately is making tea, which i am just loving! have you ever tried turmeric tea? i have been wanting to try it for so long now, but as with anything “new,” i tend to get intimidated until i actually just go for it! and i’m so glad i finally did! i made some tea with this beautiful chunk of turmeric, and i loved it so much that i wanted to share the recipe.

you can usually find fresh turmeric at health food stores. or if you have access to one, check at your local farmers market, as well. some of my research has discovered that you can also use the ground spice to make turmeric tea, however i prefer the fresh stuff. it’s definitely more time-consuming, but for me, it’s so worth it. plus, i just love the creative process. having said that, to be even more economical, you could make it with a mix of fresh and dried root.


super simple health-boosting turmeric tea :

turmerictea Continue reading

{baby pineapple!}

30 Nov

check out this cute tiny little pineapple i dropped a whopping five bucks on! haha

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i have to say, i think i’ve decided that pineapple might be my favourite fruit.

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this one was so adorably cute, i just had to have it!

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i obviously ate the whole thing in one sitting 🙂


pineapple nutrition fun facts :

pineapples are totally loaded with vitamin c – tons of it! they are also high in manganese and fiber. furthermore, they help support a healthy digestive track. pineapples are, somewhat surprisingly, a good source of b-vitamins, as well. and don’t throw out that core! – it’s full of fiber and can be tossed into your blender to make an awesome smoothie!

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{it’s asparagus season!}

20 Apr

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{bloomin’ onion}

16 Apr

food is alive!!!

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{mmm… mushrooms!}

8 Dec

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for risotto… nom nom!

{mmm… mirepoix}

8 Dec

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with a twist… leeks!

{foto friday : “snake melon”}

17 Oct

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have you ever seen such a thing?  i sure hadn’t… but thanks to my awesome new job, i have been exploring all kinds of new produce.  this is called a “snake melon” but also formally known as an “armenian cucumber.”  the one i bought looks kind of like a question mark… yeah?

these interesting melons can grow up to 3-feet long!  and did you know that all cucumbers are melons?!  i sure didn’t.  something else new i learned, recently.  makes sense, though – right?!

😉

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this cucumber was more like a melon, for sure.  had a similar texture to an english cucumber, but with a little less “crispness” and a much sweeter flavour.  not too sweet, but noticeably different than a regular cucumber.  i totally chowed down on some!  i hope you all get the chance to, as well!  😉

{homemade sauerkraut}

13 Oct

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i’ve been wanting to try to make my own sauerkraut for a while now… as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’ll get on these kicks where i’m all like, “i can make that!” and i think that i can make TIME multiply and have more of it so i can actually MAKE all the stuff i say i can make… silly me.

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anyway, luckily this whole sauerkraut making process is super easy and not nearly as time consuming as one may think.  well, the actual “making” of it takes a little while, but preparing it does not.  it’s quite fun, too. you get your hands involved and you get to “play” with your food, which i always enjoy. 😉  plus, it’s oktoberfest!! and i’m part german, so it’s high time i learn how to make this amazing stuff so every october i can eat it. just kidding, that’s not my only motive.  sauerkraut is one of the oldest fermented foods out there.  and it’s one of those things that is actually pretty inexpensive to make on your own, but for whatever reason, can be kind of expensive to buy. this small batch didn’t cost me much. i had the salt at home, and this head of organic cabbage was $2. it’s loaded with probiotics and because it’s cabbage, it naturally contains a prebiotic as well. it’s just really awesome stuff. we should all eat more sauerkraut… in my humble opinion.

i digress.

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as i said, the process is very simple.  and so are the ingredients :

– one medium head of cabbage {organic, if possible}

– 1 1/2 tbsp salt {i chose himalayan pink salt}

– large glass container or fermenting crock {as clean as you can get it}

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begin by quartering cabbage and then chopping into “ribbons.”  add salt and begin to work in the salt using your hands.  this is the fun part.  you can literally {with clean hands, of course} squish and squeeze the cabbage all around. this will eventually cause the cabbage to wilt from working the salt in.

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it’s quite amazing how it works, and it’s just oh-so-fun. Continue reading

{foto friday : for the love of leeks}

10 Oct

i recently had a random and brief discussion with a stranger about leeks.  he mentioned that leeks are prominent in french cooking, which i found intriguing.  he also said something like, “they have a lot of some magic property that is super good for you…”  which made me giggle… and which i later discovered was polyphenol – the super antioxidant we all love so much.

i’ve always been attracted to leeks, though i never really cook with them much.  i want to start using leeks more often in the food and foto kitchen.

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i plan to add them in a frittata… yum!  which actually, i do believe i’ve done before…

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{beautiful and colourful cherry tomatoes}

13 Aug

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i can’t seem to get enough of these gorgeous locally-grown organic and adorable cherry tomatoes, lately…

i fotograph and write about these amazing little gems all the time… i just think they are so beautiful!  and they are so incredibly delicious! so flavourful and juicy! i just pop ’em in my mouth like candy… nature’s candy!

nom nom…

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and i put them in everything – my salads, my risotto, my frittatas, my sauces, my {awesome} zucchini strips

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these little red ones look kinda like strawberries… teehehe

FOOD IS SO COOL!!!!! 😀

 

{awesome artichokes}

9 Jul

i just find artichokes to be fascinating and beautiful…

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{farm-fresh, multi-coloured, organic speckled eggs}

26 Jun

i think it’s so amazing and interesting – how our bodies speak to us.

i find it so interesting how our dietary needs can shift and change over the years, also.  for example – i never liked eggs much when i was younger… and over the last 3-5 years i’ve just been love love loving them!  i can’t seem to get enough eggs.  luckily, i’m able to buy farm-fresh locally raised eggs which were fed a non-gmo organic diet – free of soy, too!  afterall, you eat what your food eats.  so i choose only organic dairy and meat products for this reason.

i’m so thankful i can purchase these {incredible, edible} eggs close to where i live!

——

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they are just beautiful… don’t you agree?!

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diversity is beautiful…

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uniqueness is beautiful…

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food is beautiful!!!

{meaty monday : farm-to-table mini sliders}

19 May

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i am so blessed. i need to keep myself in check whenever i feel that i am anything otherwise.  

i live in this amazing place where i have access to amazing locally grown and produced food – including quality, pasture-raised, grass-fed, fresh beef.  now – some of you may be shaking your head at that word, reading it here on this ol’ blog – food and foto.  you’re probably like, “wait a second -i thought she was like, vegan or something!?  doesn’t she usually do meatless mondays?!” well, yes – yes i do.  and yes, for about four months once – i was vegan.

but dude, i’m not anything – i’m everything. and right now i’m really enjoying eating lots of grass-fed beef, butter, cheese, and dairy.  i can’t seem to get enough of it. i feel very blessed to have regular access to grass-fed beef products. have you ever had the pleasure of enjoying grass-fed beef?!  it simply doesn’t compare… it is just amazing!

while at my personal favourite market, i picked up some grass-fed beef produced from a local ranch where i live and was inspired to create these adorable mini-sliders.  nothing special about them, really – other than the fact that this meal is basically farm-to-table!  i just wanted to share the pictures and rave about how happy and grateful i am that i live in a place that values the ethical treatment of animals and provides availability of these great quality products to an equally-compassionate and educated foodie like myself! 😀 Continue reading

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