Thursday, October 25, 2012

There are more responsible bloggers than I

So many of the garden bloggers I love to read do "blooms day" every month. And every month I visit their blogs, take in the gorgeous photos of their gardens and what's blooming, yet I never participate myself. I don't know why. What's the date? How's it done? What is this group thing?  It's lovely. And I just take, take, take.

Here's my half assed attempt, without a link to others nor am I doing it on the right date. Nor does it include my entire garden. Only the back and side garden, because I'm lazy. (I don't know what's going on out front. I think it's all weeds and invasives.)

But here's what I found today but steps from my back door....
Today in the garden
More garden color today.
Blooms and berries in the late October garden. So much color. Grateful.
These were taken on October 25, 2012. That's late October. So grateful for the wonderful summer and fall we have had. (And why haven't you added beauty berry to your garden yet?)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My friend farro

Farro, Farrah same same. Not really. But I love them both. How can anyone not love this iconic poster of Farrah? Sigh.

But on to farro.

I'm lovin' my whole grains. Lots of experimentation with barley, brown rice, wild rice, and farro. Farro is similar to barley, and has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. Filled with fiber and even protein, it's been fun to experiment with.

I've made two dishes with farro, both based on recipes from two popular recipe writers and bloggers, whose work I adore. 101 Cookbooks and her Baked Farro Risotto, and Smitten Kitchen's Butternut Squash and Farro salad. Both have hit it out of the park, and on both, I've changed them up a bit based on what ingredients I had handy.

First, the Baked Farro Risotto. Had this recently for dinner alongside steamed brussel sprouts, lightly dressed with lemon juice and butter. I added chopped fresh rosemary to the farro, instead of oregano, because it's what I had on hand. I suggest going with the rosemary for the win. It was definitely a winner. This will be made plenty this winter, always alongside a nice big pile of vegetables, either roasted or steamed.

Second up? Smitten Kitchen's Butternut Squash and Farro Salad. I skipped the pepitas, substituted feta for the ricotta, and mixed in some fresh spinach greens and thyme to the warm salad, allowing the spinach to soften up but not lose it's texture. I also added some chopped fresh sage to the squash as it roasted. I think the herbs added more depth to the flavors of the salad, and it was healthy, filling and warm on a cold fall day. That's a triple win.

Here's my version of the butternut squash and farro salad:
Roasted butternut squash + farro + spinach + feta + pickled red onion + thyme. Thank you smitten for the inspiration!

I think Farrah would approve of my farro making.