Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sharing the Bounty

This coming Sunday is Abigail's 6th birthday. And today kind of kicked off birthday week for us. Today the kids and I had planned to go to the zoo with my SIL Jenn and my neice Kara. Well, that turned into an invite for Grandma, which turned into an invite to Rachel and then another invite to the newlyweds. So it was a real party traipsing around the zoo. It was really fun! Zander and Abigail just loved feeding the giraffes and the goats. And they got to pet a zebu, and see the brand new zoo train in action. We took a break for some picnicing, and then it was back to work exploring the animals and making sure every piece of playground equipment got its turn. And I am exhausted. Running all over the zoo is exercise anyway, but somehow I ended up spending a good deal of time carrying Zander after he lost his pep. So I got a good workout today.

Food wise I also did very well today. Part of that was in thanks to Jenn, who showed up with a huge tote full of fresh vegetables from her garden. I made a comment later that I didn't need to go to the farmer's market today because the farmer's market came to me. Indeed it did! I got a pair of zucchini- one for eating, one for baking, a couple of ready to eat tomatoes, some sweet banana peppers, a pair of acorn squash, and a very special bowl of yellow cherry tomatoes. I put every single one of those vegetables to work for dinner tonight. I had planned beef kabobs, but had no plan for side dishes. Turned out the side dishes starred.

Here I made a salad with some bocconcini I had in the fridge that were getting close to their expiration date. I quartered a large red tomato that was exceptionally sweet, added a good cup or so of the yellow cherry tomatoes- halved, and then sliced up 3 of the sweet banana peppers. I tossed the veggies and the cheese with a quick red wine and dill vinaigrette, and had a fantastic salad. The acorn squash were baked and smashed with some butter, and the zucchini took a turn on the grill next to the beef kabobs. So thank you Jenn! That was a fantastic dinner, and I certainly got a great dose of my vegetables for today.

And speaking of the beef kabobs- they didn't turn out the best. I used a sirloin tip roast that I cubed up, and I didn't realize that was a tough cut of meat. So next time the roast gets a slow cook in the oven. But I did take the opportunity to take some different looking skewers for a serious trial on the grill. They are circular, and they are metal skewers. The benefit of the metal is that it is conductive, so the meat cooks internally as well. The benefit of the round is that the meat or veggies aren't falling off the ends. The drawback is that only about 8 of them will fit on our grill at once- so they may not be ideal for a large crowd, but they are fun to use. I picked them up at Target last year on clearance- and they were definitely a good bargain buy.

Up for tomorrow... another week of grocery shopping. How will I do this week? Come back and find out tomorrow.


Jenn said...

I am very pleased you used all of the veggies. If you ever need any more just ask. However the s. banana peps are all done. They were all in the tote.

Erika said...

Jenn, do you know what variety of tomato you planted? Those tomatoes are really sweet- and so good! The plain ones- not the yellow cherries