I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for May, 2011

May 5, 2011

how to trim and prepare delicious baby artichokes

I’ll admit, up until last week I was scared to tackle baby artichokes. They seemed so time consuming and complicated and I was certain I’d never get them to taste good. See, we have 4 or 5 massive artichoke plants that pop up every spring and have been largely decorative for the last few years for just this reason. That and also because they’re always full of earwigs and aphids and it seems like such a pain to clean them.

But I’ve been converted. And now I’m kicking myself for watching hundreds of baby artichokes sprout and flower and die on the plants over the last few years. WHAT WAS I THINKING????

Hopefully I can save the rest of you from making the same mistake. I’m telling you, these are divine.

Sauteed baby artichokes
from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, obviously

1 dozen smallish artichokes
olive oil
1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme
sea salt and pepper

The only time consuming part of this recipe is the artichoke prep. But really, it’s not that bad. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll breeze right through. Before you start, fill a bowl with filtered water and juice from a few lemons. You’ll drop the prepped artichokes in the lemon water as you finish trimming them, in order to avoid browning before you cook them.

Step 1: cut the top third off of the artichoke.

Step 2: remove the tough outer leaves, until only the softer, pale yellow-green leaves are left. (You can reverse the first two steps, if you prefer). Then trim the stem and bottom of the artichoke.

Step 3: Cut the trimmed artichoke in half and then quarters.

Step 4: remove the fuzzy inner leaves, if there are any.

Repeat with all of your artichokes, dropping them into the lemon water as you go. When you finish trimming, you’re ready to cook them.

Heat 1/4 c of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Add artichokes, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for ten minutes, stirring often until the artichokes are nicely browned and cooked through. And then, behold: a true spring delicacy. The first time I made them, I had to hide them in order to keep myself from eating every last one within 5 minutes.

You can eat these alone, in salad, with cheese, on crusty bread, in pasta, on a sandwich, in an antipasti platter, etc etc etc. They are good no matter what. My mom actually makes them using a simple marinade from Annie Sommerville’s Fields of Greens (also a fantastic vegetarian cookbook), and hers are delicious too.

Don’t be scared. It’s easy, I promise.

May 4, 2011

Hank + Lucy guest post

Hi hi! Totally forgot to post a link to my guest post on Hank + Lucy last Thursday. I was traveling that day so wasn’t able to do it then, and am just remembering this morning. It’s a little ramble on one of the many unexpected and very delicious surprises that come with being a mother for the first time. Enjoy!

Photograph by Deb Schwedhelm

May 3, 2011

a short video break

We’re in major recovery mode at the moment and I haven’t had time to go through photos yet, or finish unpacking, or respond to emails. Maybe you would like to see an iPhone video of Dashiell rocking out to Tuba Skinny while I get myself in order?

This is uncharted territory, the video thing. But this particular one is short and has good tunes, so maybe you will enjoy. Plus there’s bloomers. Brock is not convinced that it’s okay for his son to be wearing bloomers, but I think they are the cutest things ever so until Dashiell outgrows them, he is wearing them every chance I get.

We have a new rule: 5 days is the MINIMUM we will stay when we travel across the country and multiple time zones with the baby. 3 days is just enough to completely exhaust all three of us and require an entire week for recovery. Of course Dashiell woke up at 4 am yesterday morning, right on schedule for Florida time. But he is cute, so I usually forgive him.