How does your garden grow?

Unlike a lot of Southern California, we are fortunate to have some larger lots in our neighborhood. They aren’t huge, but they are pretty good sizes for an urban community. Many of our neighbors use their land to grow all kinds of fruits and veggies. We even have a neighbor that hosts bee colonies which help pollinate all that our gardens produce. I have a small herb garden just outside my kitchen that is always filled with Mint, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary and Basil, and we recently added a raised planter. They’re on the south facing side of the house and they do quite well with very little effort on my part. Alex may differ with me on that as he is the designated waterer. We also have a large avocado tree that produces small but creamy fruit. For anyone that gardens, you understand that a lot of what you produce goes to waste, because there are only so many (insert fruit or veg here) you can consume.

Enter Sue, gardener extraordinaire, and even better neighbor. She’s an avid gardener whose side yard produces some beautiful tomatoes and other gems that her partner Ashley whips up into divine cuisine. She had a brainstorm after meeting with several local home gardeners who all faced the same dilemma- an abundance of home grown goodies but a lack of diversity. So, she created the Garden Exchange.

How to be Neighborly: When life gives you (enter harvest here), trade them.

Depending on the season, home gardeners meet every 2-4 weeks at a designated host’s home and exchange their crop. You place your harvest on a table, and then you get to “shop” from the local “market.” BYOF (fruit). BYOV (veg). BYOS (snacks). BYOB (beverage). All free. Take as much as you brought. All honor system. Surprisingly there are always leftovers. The exchanges have offered products ranging from tomatoes, eggplant, kale, potatoes, rhubarb, lemongrass, peppers, persimmons, citrus, avocados, and herbs, to honey, eggs, baked goods, succulents, homemade beer and sangria. Since my garden has limited production, I usually bring something homemade to share. I’ve done pumpkin bread, mustard, rosemary cashews, and the persimmon bread using persimmons from the prior exchange.

Last night’s was hosted at my house, and we attached a theme to this one. The flowers are currently in full bloom, so we encouraged attendees to bring a floral arrangement from their clippings. Wow. Was it stunning. My BYOS was a contribution of simple carrot soup.

Fast & Easy Carrot SoupIMG_1820

  • 6 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ½ onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 14 oz can tomatoes

Put all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a pot and just cover the veggies with water. Bring the water to a boil and allow carrots to cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Put the carrot mixture into a blender with the tomatoes and blend until smooth. Adjust salt to your taste.

How to Host Your Own Garden ExchangeIMG_1822

  1. Location, Location, Location. Pick a host home and evening (we found 7pm works well as people will be home from work by then)
  2. Publicize. Start with neighbors you know garden, or can see their trees, and email them or place a flyer on their doorstep, or use nextdoor.com if you have an active neighborhood. Let non-gardeners know non-organic contributions are welcome (baked goods, crafts, succulents, homemade beer, etc.). The more the merrier.
  3. Set up:
    1. You’ll need at least two 6 foot long tables for the produce
    2. Sign in guests. First come, first served. We “shop” in order of arrival.
  4. Provide Instructions
    1. Let people know they can take as much as they brought. If they brought a lot, take a lot. If they brought a little, take a little.
    2. Invite “shoppers” in order of arrival to take produce.
    3. We usually have lots left over after one round, so cycle through again until you run out.
    4. The host keeps the remaining goods.

The whole thing take about an hour, but people always stay to chat and munch on all the goodies people bring. Good luck! Have fun! Be neighborly!

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Hipcooks

alex sum

Two of our friends were generous enough to put together a private cooking class at Hipcooks. These two are always supporting the local community. They live, eat, and thrive in DTSA. They have even been known to guerilla garden in the city. They wanted to introduce us to this new establishment, so they hosted a party. A group of neighbors headed downtown and were presented with chef hats and aprons before we began the class. Alex and I had actually brought our own aprons: me, my Wonder Woman, and he, his Darth Vader, naturally.

Hipcooks, which is perfectly described by it’s name, is an interactive cooking experience where there is no precise measuring, recipes, or rules. It’s cooking from the hip (that’s my kind of cooking). Tonight we were to make tapas of all kinds.

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We started off with Sangria, of course. Red wine, some liquor of your choosing, fruit, et voila… let the party begin. Next we made an arugula salad- tender baby greens, massaged with good olive oil, sprinkled with flaky sea salt and lemon juice. The tortilla was next, which is not the flat flour Mexican bread you are thinking of. This was an egg and potato mixture, first sautéed, and then baked in the oven until set. We concluded by making empanadas. This was a first for me. I never realized they could be so easy- particularly when I found out I could purchase frozen wrappers at the Argentinian grocery store & deli about 3 blocks from my house. #whatafind! (*)

How to be Neighborly: Support the local flavor.

At the end of the cooking, we all sat down at a long table for a community dinner to enjoy the food we had just made for each other. Gracias, D & D! Great friends. Great night. Great food. Great fun.

Here’s my cooking from the hip version of empanadas from my own kitchen (measurements are provided for support, not precision):

IMG_1698Cooking from the Hip Empanadas

Empanadas:

  • 2 sausage links (I get Argentinian chorizo from the above noted store, but any Italian pork sausage will work)
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • 8 mushrooms, diced
  • 8 sundried tomatoes (Chef Mila’s Oven Roasted Tomatoes, if you have them)
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • Empanada wrappers/dough (*)
  • Egg, mixed

IMG_1682Remove the sausage from the casing, and cook in a frying pan on medium high heat for about 3 minutes.  Add the onion, and cook until the onion is translucent but not brown. About 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes until they start to show a little color.  Add the tomatoes, oregano, clove, salt, pepper cumin, and paprika and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with the wine, and immediately remove from the heat.  Stir until the wine is soaked into the meat.

Place one large spoon full of the meat into a empanada shell and pinch the edges together.  To form the edge, bring the corner of the dough up, and pinch, then fold inward, and press down to seal.  Continue this motion until it forms a twist all around the edge.

Place on a baking sheet, brush some egg on the top, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes about 10-12 empanadas.

Garden Chimichuri Sauce:IMG_1701

  • 1 c fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in a mini food processor and combine until mint is minced.

(*) Help! I don’t live near an Argentinian grocery store Empanada Dough:

Reprinted From Gourmet 2004- I’ve made this and it’s amazing dough.  Very buttery and flakey.  It’s actually very easy, and you probably have all the ingredients lying around somewhere.  It’s worth a try, even if you do live close to frozen wrappers.

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.)

Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.

Form into balls, and then roll into 4 inch circles.

Sharable Moments: March 2016

It all started with a rainbow and some encouragement. Now, I’m finding inspiration at every turn! Not everything has made the blog, but it may someday. Here’s what kept me busy & inspired in March:

  • Sunday, March 13- Breakfast Clubfruit
    • Assignment: Fruit. Even if it’s simple, make it count
    • Made awesome technicolor sweet potatoes, a gift from my yoga instructor.
    • Blue Apron arrives for Chef Alex, now I’m competing for kitchen time! Some intriguing combinations in this box.
  • Tuesday, March 15- FPNA General MeetingIMG_1468
    • Wine & post-its. Jess, Julie and Sandy, among others, get the Legacy Award. Bravo ladies!  Well-deserved for your service!
  • Saturday, March 19- Girl’s Day Out with Alisha!IMG_1505
  • Sunday, March 20- Social Sunday
    • Impromptu Bloodies with Jess & Milo (for a little Dog Whisperer therapy)Untitled
    • St. Patrick’s Day Party, complete with bag piper!
  • Monday, March 21- Thursday, March 24- Chicago Training
    • Wine, and focaccia, and cheese, and charcuterie, and fish, oh my! Progressive dinner & shopping at Eataly with my work friends.
    • Bubbles & Vosges Chocolate at the airport as we wait out the snow storm
  • Friday, March 25- Crust Off
  • Sunday, March 27- EasterIMG_5862
    • Assignment: Fruit 2.0. Back to simplicity, my mom needed fruit, so I delivered this!
    • Check out my mom’s colorful Easter eggsIMG_1713

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the memories!

Month One…

fruitEncouraged by my neighbors at “The Breakfast Club,” just one month ago today, I launched Neighborly Life, #lifeworthsharing. I wanted to share how special it is to live in this historic and fun community. I am having so much fun with it, and THANK YOU to all of you who have liked, commented, and pinned my posts. I love the feedback…. keep it coming!

Here’s to being neighborly! In the words of a very famous and kind man: Won’t you be my neighbor?  Follow me by clicking on the bottom right button!

I’m not the only one intrigued by this unique place. I thought it might be fun to share some of the stats with my readers about who else is interested in our little community.

Top Stories (#storiesworthsharing):

Top Pin’s

Webpage Interest

  • 1,594 Page Views
  • 233 Visitors
  • Location of viewers
    • US
    • Canada (we’re huge in Canada)
    • UK
    • Germany

Those are the stats! Let me know what your favorite was!  And THANK YOU again for your support!

The Proper Care and Feeding of Trees

IMG_1611As I’ve previously mentioned, we have a giant pine tree in our front yard which is much older than our home.   We also have several mature trees in our backyard, which provide much needed shade during our very hot summers, but were very overgrown when we moved in. We also had one dead oak tree, which we thought “added character” to the backyard, but for which our neighbors teased us.   One day, I heard a tremendous POP, then CRACK, in the front yard, almost as loud as a gunshot. A little shaken, I went to the front door, opened it, and found a giant limb of that beautiful tree had fallen onto the yard. I glanced to the right, and saw a neighbor running toward my house screaming “are you ok?” She was shaken too. I’d never met her before, and to this day haven’t seen her again, but she was clearly very concerned about me at the time. I told her I was fine and went back to pondering how I was going to fix this.

IMG_0200Dave, who is married to Minion the French singer two doors up, came out about 5 minutes later to check in with me. “You know, these trees are very brittle. You have to keep them trimmed, or else…” and he glanced at the fallen limb as if to say… “You aren’t taking very good care of your trees.” So embarrassing. But I really wasn’t.  Then he handled me the card to his arborist (a.k.a. the “Tree Guy”).

So I called up the “Tree Guy,” who was in the Pacific Northwest consulting on northern tree issues. He informed me that little could be done until the Fall. He informed me that if you cut the tree now, the Bark Beetle will invade. Very bad. So we had our gardener haul away the limb and hoped that the remaining limbs held out until the fall when we could get them safely trimmed. Thankfully, they did.  As soon as fall set in, I called the “Tree Guy” back up, and he came out to give me a quote. He informed me of his illustrious career as an arborist, where he single handedly planted, raised, and pruned all of Disneyland’s trees (Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it was illustrious). And then he gave me the quote… the size of my mortgage payment (and that was before removal of the dead tree out back). Um… NO.

So back I went to find another Tree Guy that could be equally as competent, but maybe not so illustrious or expensive.   I consulted our Neighborhood referrals in the newsletter, and came upon a Tree Guy named Pedro. Pedro came out, I showed him the front and back yard issues, and he gave me a much more manageable quote.  The next week, Pedro and his guys had the entire front and back yards covered in tree limbs, trimmings, and leaves 3 feet high. He had to bring another truck and another couple guys to get the job done. Mid trim, Alex brought the guys a beer, they were working so hard. When Pedro and team were done, the limbs on the giant pine bounced upward and swayed proudly. The back yard was well groomed, and the dead tree was now gone. The garden was fresh and clean, and ready for the holidays. Pedro even saved all the wood for our fire pit, and brought some more the next week from another job.

Lesson learned. Maintain your trees: They will provide shade when warm, and warmth when cool.

How to be Neighborly: Vote for Pedro. Tell neighbors about people that do good work, for a reasonable price.

Here’s how you can use some of that wood:

Camp Fire S’mores

  • Graham crackers
  • Nutella
  • Peanut butter
  • Marshmallow

Assemble the bottom layer of the s’more with graham cracker, 1 tsp peanut butter, 1 tsp nutella, and then marshmallow.  If you have a fire going, roast the marshmallow on the fire before placing on the nutella.  You can also broil this in the toaster oven for about 2 minutes or until the marshmallow is brown. Leave the top cracker off until the bottom is cooked.

Supper Club

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Suzee, our former social director for the neighborhood, and her husband, Jeff, began an outstanding tradition to host a supper club at a local restaurant.  This was our first time attending.  This one was held at Luna Kutsi in DTSA.  Kutsi is housed in one of DTSA’s most beautiful buildings, the Santora.  It’s a Spanish Colonial revival building built in 1928.  Originally, it housed a Daninger’s Tea Room, a restaurant famous for its celebrity clientele including Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Billie Burke, Charles Ruggles, Connie Haines, Lucille Ball, Gracie Allen, George Burns, Joan Davis, Rosalind Russell, Robert Young, William Holden and Alan Ladd.  Now, it hosts several restaurants, retail spaces, and artists.

IMG_1799Brunch was on the menu for the Supper Club, and it featured a beet salad, green or red chilaquiles, and a creamy Mexican version of a tiramisu.

Seated next to us were KC and Helen, the suppliers of margaritas for our annual Chili Cook-off (more on this later).  Turns out, KC and Helen have a chicken coop that KC built.  It’s the cutest white cottage looking coop with cross hatches on all the doors.  These chickens have good taste… they must watch HGTV.

IMG_1800I was curious about the maintenance, clean up, and egg production.  I think it’d be fun to have chickens assuming the caretaker (Alex, remember?) would be into that kind of thing.  He seemed interested, too.  Given we were hosting a garden exchange at our house the next week, I asked if they might bring some eggs (oh, yes, and if they EVER had any extra, I mentioned I’d be happy to take them off their hands).  Not more than 30 minutes after we got home, our door bell rang and it was Helen and KC with a dozen eggs of our own.  Green, tan, brown.  Just beautiful.

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How to be Neighborly: Put your eggs in your neighbor’s basket.

What does one do with a dozen fresh eggs?  Well, head to the “Well Stocked Pantry.” Pull some cream out of the fridge and create a fast, easy, cozy dinner.

Here’s how you can make your own Supper Club Eggs (even if you don’t have KC, Helen, and their chickens, for neighbors, this still works):

Cozy Eggs in Cream

  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely minced
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Toast

In an oven proof dish, like cast iron or a ramekin, put 1/4 c of cream, and 1/2 a clove of garlic grated, and put it under the broiler to heat up the cream, about 1-2 minutes.  Once the cream is hot, pull the ramekins out and carefully crack two eggs into the hot cream.  Sprinkle with cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Put the ramekin back under the broiler for another 1-2 minutes.  Watch it closely, the top should turn brown but the yolks should stay runny.  Once cooked, sprinkle with more parmesan and serve with toast for dipping.

Makes 2 ramekins.

 

Meet the Maker

 

Alex and I volunteered to be our membership directors for our neighborhood association. That means that we prepare welcome bags for new neighbors moving into the neighborhood, and we put on three mixers a year for neighbors to get together and meet each other. The neighborhood association hosts the bar, and the neighbors bring the food- potluck style. We get some truly delicious food at these events.

Another director, Sandy, had some extra wine from another event and she offered that we could use the wine at our next mixer, I just had to coordinate with her husband, Ed, to pick it up. So, off Alex and I went to pick up the wine. Sandy and Ed live in an amazing French Chateaux like home. You enter through a manicured garden, pass a hidden courtyard, and then enter through beautiful wooden and glass doors. The entire back wall of their home literally unfolds and overlooks a peaceful pool and garden. Each bedroom has a theme based on their travels… the London room, Asian room, etc. It is the perfect home for entertaining. This is what my home wants to be when it grows up.

We were greeted by Ed who said he had the wine ready for us. But… if we had some time, would we like to meet one of our neighbors, a wine maker? Who could say no to that? So we joined Ed and Charles at the dining room table, surrounded by maps of wine regions of the world, and Charles told us the story of how he began to make his wine. They were tasting a Napa Chardonnay, bright with hints of vanilla. It was delicious. It was so surprising to learn that we had not one, but two, wine makers in our neighborhood (that we know about). Charles then brought a couple more bottles to the next mixer for everyone to try. A mini wine tasting in our own backyard. What a treat!

How to be Neighborly: The best wines are the ones we drink with friends.

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Image from conigliowines.com

 

Cheddar and Apple Tart

IMG_1381 (2)I made this for the mixer/impromptu wine tasting with some apples our neighbors Bev & Erwin had left for us on our front porch. Think of it like a sweet and savory pizza.  Yummy!

  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry, thawed
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 apple, sliced thin (if apples are small you may need 2 or more)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook onions in olive oil in a sauté pan until golden and translucent, about 5 minutes. If you add a pinch of sugar then they will brown better and be a little sweeter. Roll out the puff pastry to make it about ¼ larger, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Spread caramelized onions on the pastry sheet, then sliced apples in neat rows on top of the onions. Sprinkle with garlic powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Sprinkle apples with cheddar cheese so that you can still see the apples, but you get good coverage with the cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Using a pizza cutter, cut into little squares.

social.net

I’m not a techie. I’m not a follower of facebook. I’ve just learned how to use Instagram.   Thankfully, wordpress made it excruciatingly easy to create this blog. I’ll admit I am addicted to Pinterest. I’d like to think I have an eye for beauty, and I use that to add to my stories. That’s probably why I like Pinterest so much. Apparently others enjoy my photos, because I’m getting a lot of feedback on the look and feel of my blog. I’m glad my followers are liking it.

IMG_1751This resulted in my chef friend Mila asking if I could give her some tips on photos, and how to use them to post on Instagram.  She wanted to get the word out about her products. I told her we’d experiment together. So, after our neighborhood pancake breakfast, we headed to her home (Remember my favorite one? The Craftsman Masterpiece) to practice our social skills, and photography. She paints cookbooks, so those were to be the star of our shoot. Here were my tips for her:

  • Natural light
  • Interesting/natural background
  • Interesting angle
  • Interesting props
  • Shoot until you find one you like

I also use small plates if photographing food. So, shoot, and shoot, and shoot we did.  Here’s the results of our experiments:

How to be Neighborly: Experiment. Socialize. Learn.

This was our masterpiece. I love it. Don’t you?  All those colors, and the patina on her table.

Book 1

As a token of thanks, she gave me 3 jars filled with her AMAZING homemade pesto, roasted tomatoes, and chocolate sauce. All that just for socializing? What a treat!  I may not paint, but given the right ingredients, I can create something beautiful.  Here’s what I did with her gifts of gratitude:

Oven Roasted Tomato and Pesto Toast

Spread the pesto on the toast, top with tomatoes and drizzle more pesto on top. Bon Appetit is right!IMG_1752

Art Walk

IMG_1647On the first Saturday of every month, DTSA opens its arms, hearts and doors to artists. Well actually, the artists are always there. In fact, the artists open up their arms, hearts and doors to DTSA and others interested in viewing their offerings. A diverse group of people descend on one square block to enjoy art of all kinds: static, interactive, demonstrative, live. This night, a group of us biked downtown to enjoy the festivities.

Near the Bike Hut storage, there was a graffiti art demonstration which we watched in wonder at how spray cans were creating such a precise and colorful display. We then headed over to the center of the artist’s district.  It’s a courtyard of brick, with a fountain in the middle, surrounded by our most historic buildings. Where we entered, there was a live demonstration was being put on by High School students. They were painting their city, beautifully I might add, on an old convertible car. In the background, musicians played string instruments.

Hipcooks, a center that hosts cooking classes, had their doors open for visitors to look, learn and shop. A wedding reception was occurring in the restored electrical building in front of the central fountain where the art walk festivities were held. The couple and the party were visible behind large windows, a chance for all of us to peek into their lives.

IMG_1653Some of the art was temporary, some of it more permanent, some of it literally disappeared as time passed. One display was a continually updated work of words, which showed thought provoking political headlines and the time posted… like a human enabled Twitter feed, on a giant marquis. There one minute, gone the next. A cardboard Lady Liberty wept in the foreground of this display. Accident?

Another was a display of video and sound, as a musician carried his drums up to the summit of a snowy mountain in France, his boots crunching in the snow as he climbed. The paintings, drawings and etchings were done on various mediums, from canvas, to wood, to plastic, to small brown paper bags (which the artist informed me were used to hide 40’s (beer), vs. my intuition that they were lunch bags… perspective).

How to be Neighborly: Engage with the local culture. You will become part of it, and it will become part of you.

I’m not really an art aficionado, but I do appreciate having creative people near and around me. They encourage me to think differently, or just think period. Whether I come to a conclusion, or not, is not the point. The point is to exercise the mind, isn’t it?

Pomegranates

Alex and I were working in our front yard one afternoon.  Amy, who lives three doors down, and Erin a friend who lives in “the Castle” stopped by to ask if we wanted to join them for dinner. Amy was hosting, and her husband Tom was cooking.  Upon arrival at Amy & Tom’s Mediterranean/Spanish Revival home, we were treated to a grand tour complete with historic details. Tom is Greek, and they recently replaced the awnings with bold, bright blue canvas, so if you remove the homes on either side, and imagine the home dangling on a cliff, you might think you are in Santorini, or maybe the south of Spain.  You decide.  The blue theme continues inside the home where the remodeled kitchen has stunning blue marble countertops with Grecian inspired curtains.  Their home is filled with family antiques and unique finds from their travels.  Out back, they have the oldest pool in Santa Ana on record.  Don’t think that means it’s run down though, it’s not.  Hearst would be proud to have this lap pool at his own Castle.  It’s surrounded by fruit trees, and flowers.  Perfect for relaxing in the sun.

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Amy’s husband Tom loves to cook themed dinners. Apparently, their pomegranate tree was producing an abundance of fruit and Tom had devised a pomegranate themed dinner party to use it all up. Erin and Pete, Trish and Las, Rich and Tammy all joined in the pomegranate fun and every course featured a new use for the beautiful tiny red seeds. Amy’s pride in Tom’s cooking and creativity made the dinner even more satisfying. We left with some new friends, and new ideas on how to use the fruits of our garden’s labor.

 

How to be Neighborly: When life gives you pomegranates… share them.

Here’s how I use the fruits of other people’s gardens:

Wild Rice with Kale & Pomegranates

  • 1 c wild riceIMG_1737
  • 2 1/2 c chicken broth (or veggie broth if you are vegetarian)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 c kale, chopped
  • 1/4 c pomegranate seeds (*)

In a sauce pan, combine rice, broth, salt, pepper, and onion.  Bring to a boil.  Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked.  Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat, and add the kale and mix until it wilts slightly.  Add pomegranate seeds, mix and serve.

(*) If you don’t have pomegranates, dried cranberries work well too.

Serves 4