Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Spring Things.

I love the change springtime brings.  Longer days mean after dinner walks to the park have replaced card games in the living room. Dinner is eaten outside which means clean up is easier because the ants will get the crumbs.  Fresh air and baseball in the yard means the girls crash when we put them to bed without protest.  The time to get ready in the morning is cut in half because only a sweatshirt is needed instead of snow pants, jacket, boots, hats and gloves.  It is all good.  

It also means my early morning runs are no longer in the dark so I can venture further from my usual street-lit route and find hidden treasures...

I literally turned a corner on a new trail and stumbled upon this bridge.  It has lights on it as well so we'll have to take a late night stroll this summer and see it in it's evening glory.  

A sure sign that spring is here and summer is quickly approaching is the return of the farmers market to our town.  We only get about four months of them so we didn't want to miss even one and braved the storm to make our way to see what was new this year.  We missed the storm but still got to enjoy the ominous skies.  And ice cream.



Freshly inspired from seeing local produce I'm ready to change up to summer eating.  Put away the crock-pot and comfort food and bring on the bright and colorful foods.  Our garden is only in its baby stage but seeing things popping up gets me dreaming of fresh tomatoes from the vine and an over abundance of zucchini and kale.  I've already gotten started with some colorful meals this week.
  
Quinoa Veggie Salad with Lemon Dressing-
I diced a bunch of bright veggies...peppers, broccoli, zucchini and tomatoes and tossed it with quinoa, feta cheese and torn basil.  The dressing is a traditional Lebanese dressing...fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil, garlic, sea salt and a touch of pepper.  Tastes like summer.  

And homemade pizza with fresh basil, artichoke hearts, garlic stuffed olives and bright peppers...



Our pizzas will continue to get more colorful as the season goes on.  They become Montana Garden Pizzas.  Translation-anything we pick out of the garden gets diced and thrown on.  We've had some interesting combinations by doing this, but always good. I was getting bored with winter cooking.  I'm looking forward to what's to come. Matt must feel the same inspiration with food because the meal he cooked for at home date night this week was fantastic...
It was a spinach couscous salad and spicy corn fritters.  I was responsible for making a dipping sauce for the spicy corn fritters.  I mixed some rice vinegar, honey, a splash of lemon and a small amount of red pepper flakes in a sauce pan and cooked for around 10-15 minutes until it thickened into a syrup consistency.  Yum.  The whole meal was probably one of my favorites that Matt has cooked.  He has been experimenting with Indian and Moroccan recipes...things I've never really cooked or eaten.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.  

Mixed in with all our sunshine has been thunderstorms and rain.  It has been a perfect mix.  Enough sun to get outside and enough rain to keep everything smelling oh so good.  And I love a good thunderstorm.  They are a reminder of how small we are when lighting lights up the sky and thunder rattles the house.  This weekend we took a stroll during a rainstorm.  It was a lazy Sunday morning and we wanted to walk to breakfast.  It was only a drizzle so the girls put on rain boots and sweaters over their pj's and we had one of those awesome family mornings that consisted of puddle jumping, coffee and muffins.  

Also this weekend was Layla's dance recital.  It was adorable.  She was in a tap piece and a jazz and I'm not just saying this because I'm her mama (well, maybe partly because of that) but they were really good.  I haven't had the opportunity to watch them during class so I had no idea how much they've learned throughout the year.  She seemed quite grown up and I foresee more dance in her future.
I volunteered to help with the class backstage.  Please don't confuse this with being an annoying stage mom.  It's more being a control freak mom...I know backstage can get chaotic and they don't let parents back there for the entire performance.  Teachers are preoccupied with all the other dancers so I like to be the one keeping an eye on my kiddo and the others in her class.  And, I cannot tell a lie...after dancing in my own childhood I love the behind the scenes part of a dance recital more than sitting in the audience.

This weekend brings Matt's birthday so celebrating will be going on.  We are also on the final countdown of school being out and are ready to welcome summer vacation with big open arms.  Homework and after school activities have already wrapped up.  I have four more days of packing lunches and then done.  Hallelujah.  

Oh yea, I have another article up on Distinctly Montana...it's a love letter to our beloved state.  You can read it here.  

Happy Day to ya!

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