We spent part of Sunday afternoon – a gloriously sunny, warm day – touring around Wild Hare Organic Farm, a local gem of a farm, which, just a few miles off the 5, and east of the city, feels a world away.
The 20-acre farm originally focused mainly on berries – raspberries as well as blueberries and strawberries – but has expanded into many diverse plantings. Tomatoes, fava beans, kale, summer and winter squash, salad greens, and dozens of different herbs were all thriving in the fields.
Our tour guides – the husband and wife owner duo, Mark and Katie – led us through the farm, explaining their organic and salmon-safe farming methods, introduced us to their egg chickens and goats, and even let us nibble a few berries right off the vines.
I walked away with a renewed appreciation for just how hard farming is – particularly the organic, sustainable, mostly by hand kind. Dealing with yearly changes in growing seasons, the weather, the potential for pests and blight, the seemingly endless task of weeding, the unpredictability of it all… small family farmers are pretty amazing.
Watermelon feta salad with lime – simple as can be, and perfect for Summer.
Sweet, juicy watermelon and salty sheep’s milk feta – a match made in heaven. And just the sort of salty-sweet, fruit and cheese combo I’ve been going crazy over lately.
Zesty strawberry and goat cheese salads. Uncomplicated plates of melon and buffalo mozzarella, draped with prosciutto and drizzled with syrupy balsamic. And this classic watermelon feta salad, which makes for the simplest of Summer dishes. It’s a lovely, refreshing accompaniment to so many seasonal meals, and makes good friends with a glass or two of rosé…
I wrote the original draft of this post, a fluttery collection of thoughts about chocolate and Summer baking and these glorious blackberry chocolate cupcakes, shortly before we flew down to Santa Barbara last week, and a few days before the horrific violence in Orlando during the early hours of Sunday morning.
I’d planned to post it on Monday, but the morning of, I couldn’t hit publish. I felt lost, and promptly deleted the whole thing. It seemed utterly trivial and insensitive to share a cupcake recipe of all things, complete with fluffy, pink buttercream frosting, and a blackberry on top, after such a painful, maddening event.
But it also feels inappropriate not to acknowledge this unspeakable attack on the gay community – and against all of us as Americans. While I still don’t quite have the words, I do firmly believe that everyone deserves to be who they are, and love whomever they love, without fear.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but being in the kitchen, cooking and baking for loved ones, is the most wonderfully nurturing and comforting thing I know, and these homemade cupcakes – frivolous as they may be in the moment – are my small way of sending some extra love out into the universe today.
This post is in partnership with Frito-Lay. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!
I’ve got a splurge for your weekend!
Now that grilling season is upon us, I’m spending lots of time dreaming up all kinds of goodies for our Summer barbecues, and these flavorful, Lay’s potato chip-crusted baked onion rings are the first up.
With a crunchy, well-seasoned, potato chip battered crust, and juicy, tender onions at their centers, these onion rings are crispy, oven-fried perfection. Continue Reading…
Healthy chocolate almond milk popsicles studded with raspberries – an easy and delicious way to cool off this Summer!
…or the easiest 2-ingredient popsicles you’ll ever make.
This past weekend, it was, empirically, too hot to think, let alone cook, or dare turn on an oven. When the inside house temperature creeps into the 90s (we are sans air-conditioning here in the PNW), I become ill-equipped to function like an adult.
So the weekly laundry and housecleaning was neglected in favor of an escape down to the Sound to splash around in the cool water with the pup, and – the most important work I managed all weekend – making a quick batch of these healthy ice pops.
If I could only make – and eat – one dessert for the rest of my life, something along the lines of this no bake cheesecake tart would certainly be a contender (let’s hope it never comes to that!).
Crumbly crust. Light, creamy cheesecake filling. A vibrant topping of fresh mixed berries – you know my berry obsession goes deep – there’s really nothing better.
I got it in my head yesterday to make something red, white, and blue for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, and this crowd-pleasing beauty seemed like a perfect fit.
This post is in partnership with Bounty Advanced Paper Towels. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!
One thing we really love about our house is the backyard, which drops off steeply at the edge of our deck to a creek below. There’s an incredible amount of borrowed landscape, and combined with our unusually-shaped corner lot, it feels, especially in the Summer, when greenery is most abundant, like we’re surrounded by nothing but stoic pines, leafy maples, sloping, overgrown hillside and more than our fair share of blackberry brambles.
In the warmer months we try to spend as much time as possible back there, eating, gardening, relaxing, simply living outside. The blackberries are just now starting to bloom, a signal that it’s not long before those balmy, languid, wonderful days are upon us, and I’m giddy with anticipation.
I think of our truly perfect Pacific Northwest summers as a reward – for making it through our notoriously long and rainy winters – and I liiiiiive for the pervasive sunshine that ushers in plenty of opportunity for al fresco cooking and dining.