Vote for me on Minted.com!

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Hi Y’all! I am heading out to Minda’s school for Meet the Teacher!  She starts Kindergarten in only a few days!  I don’t know whether to grab a box of tissues or jump for joy.

In other news:  I do not really talk much about my artwork here.  I usually try to keep this blog separate from my professional life because otherwise it might get too spammy and you guys would lose interest in reading it pretty fast.  HOWEVER, I am breaking the rules today because I am participating in a contest on Minted.com. Minted sells invitations and stationary as well as limited and open edition art prints. Seeing my art among the work there would be AMAZING!  I have added a couple of recent photography works, and I may add a couple of my paintings to my submissions this week too.  Hop on over and check them out!

Vote for my
design on minted.

The Hollywood Bubble

see more from Jenny Garvin

vote for me!

Check out my competition in Christmas cards and birth announcements at Minted.

XO_Jenny

Elotes aka Mexican Grilled Corn with Cilantro Lime Crema

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Grilled corn with cilantro lime creamMinda is starting school next week and I am pretty bummed about the end of summer.  I think it is funny how each year it seems like everyone spends the winter and spring pining for the summer months.  We romanticize about summer all year, and make lists of things to do to make THIS summer the most awesome ever, but once August is here, everyone is over it.  Sick of the heat, long sunny days, and frolicking around in cutoffs and flip flops!  The stores are selling their summer duds for 80% off because everyone is ready for cognac colored boots and cozy cable knits.

Have we all gone insane?! Why do we rush through our precious lives instead of embracing the present.  We still have a full month to embrace the warm summer sun kissing our skin, trips to the pool, and barbeques on the weekends with our family and friends.

Right now summer  corn is still in season.  Grilled sweet corn is one of those things that epitomizes summer for me.  Especially grilled on the cob and drizzled with this bright and vibrant Greek yogurt “crema”, I can’t resist making it my go to side for every grill meal these days!

Shucked

Mexican Style Grilled Corn with Cilantro Lime Crema

  • 4 corn cobs, husks peeled back and silks removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 limes, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Heat your grill up to about 400°.  Brush the corn with olive oil and place on the grill.  Cook on each side for 5-7 minutes until spots are starting to char.

grilled corn

Place the remaing ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Remove the corn from the grill and garnish with the crema.

Mexican Style Street Corn

Try it and I know you will love it.  It may even restore your love for these late summer days!

XO-Jenny

Peach Pizza with Arugula, Gorgonzola, and Balsamic

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Peach and Arugula Pizza

Hi y’all! I realize that my posts have been few and far between. I hate when people go on about how busy they are because let’s be honest, who isn’t busy! I will say I also believe that we all have time for the things we make time for, and I just haven’t made blogging my priority lately. With little miss Georgia hitting new milestones every day, I would hate to miss a single toothless grin or coo.

The thing is though, I love blogging. I love the journal aspect of it. I can look back on my posts and know what was going on in my life at any given time through what I have written here. It’s my little family history book, and I want to keep that up so that the girls can look at it one day and see the evolution of our family too. I also hope that they may even one day be ambitious enough to cook one of the recipes!

This recipe is one of my favorites! I love pizza of all sorts, just look at the evidence here, here, and here. This one just happens to include one of my summer favorites, peaches. Nothing spells summer like a ripe juicy peach! I especially love them cooked so that the juices begin to caramelize, they are like natures perfect candy. The peaches sweetness plays so nicely with the peppery arugula, tangy blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar here too, It is a simply amazing flavor combo. I always make my own pizza crust, it is really east to throw together if you have a stand mixer, but it you find the whole yeast dough thing a bit intimidating, feel free to use a pre-made crust.  It would also be amazing on a tart pastry similar to this pear tart.

Peach Pizza

For the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:

  • 2 ½  teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour, plus extra if needed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for greasing the bowl
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine the yeast, honey, and hot water.  Stir for a couple of seconds to combine and let sit until frothy (about 5 minutes).  Add the olive oil, flour, and salt.  Turn the mixer on to speed 2 and let mix for 2 minutes.  The dough should come together and clean the sides of the bowl, but if it is too wet at this time, slowly add flour until this happens.  Let the mixer knead the dough on speed 2 for 3 more minutes.  Alternatively, if you do not have a stand mixer, follow the instructions above stirring until the dough begins to come together, and then hand knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 7 minutes.  Lightly grease the bowl and a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to cover the bowl.  Return the dough to the bowl and cover with the plastic wrap.  Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

For the Peach Pizza:

  • Whole Wheat Dough (above)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1 peach, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1/2 cup good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful arugula

Preheat oven to 450°.  Lightly grease a pizza pan or cookie sheet with about a teaspoon of the olive oil.  Roll out your pizza dough to fit your pan or until the dough is stretched thin.  Brush the dough with the tablespoon of olive oil.  Next layer on the cheese, then peach slices, and top it off with the Gorgonzola.  Pop it in the oven to cook for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble in the middle(keep an eye on it).  While the pizza is cooking, bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small sauce pan over medium low heat stirring frequently to reduce.  Remove to pizza from the oven, sprinkle around the arugula, and to top it off, drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar.

Peach Pizza  with Arugula, Gorgonzola, and Balsamic Drizzle

and as a foot note, I have to include a photo of the sweetest Georgia peach of them all!

Georgia 2 months

XO-Jenny

 

 

 

Linguini with Beets, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

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Beet Pasta

Howdy folks! I have to admit that there are so many vegetables that I have only discovered since getting into cooking. I guess my parents weren’t on a mission to expand my palette by introducing some of the more strongly flavored veggies as a child. I, however, being such a wild and free spirit have ventured to try just about anything I can find in the produce section. Some foods have been added to my dislikes list (parsnips, I’m talking bout you!) while I have totally fallen for others (Arugula, where have you been all my life?). Beets fall into this latter category. I find their earthy flavor simply unbeatable (cheesy pun intended). Goat cheese is also one of my “grown up discoveries” and I love how the tang can liven up a dish.

This recipe involves both beets (greens included) and goat cheese with the comforting familiarity of pasta, a childhood favorite. This dish is incredibly easy to throw together as well. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner to make for your kids in order to expand their palette!

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Linguine with Beets, Goat Cheese and Walnuts-makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 bunch of beets with greens, separated and beets diced.
  • 1 lemon, zest removed and juiced
  • 12 oz whole wheat linguine
  • 12 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Heat a large (12+ inch) skillet over medium heat.  Add the walnuts and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.  Set the walnuts aside in a bowl.

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Add the olive oil the the skillet and add the beets.  Cook, stirring occasionally for eight minutes.

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Add the garlic and onion to the pan and continue cooking for 6 minutes, stirring often.

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In the meantime start the pasta and remove the beet greens from the stems and coarsely chop the greens.

Add the greens, lemon zest and juice to the skillet, give it a good stir and reduce heat to low while the pasta finishes up.  Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining.  Add the pasta and 1/2 a cup of the pasta water to the beet mixture and stir until well combined.  Add more of the pasta water if it is too dry.  Plate it up and top with goat cheese and walnuts.

Linguine with Beets and Goat Cheese

So delish!

XO-Jenny

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinco de Minda!

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Hola amigos! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that Minda turned 5! To celebrate we had a Mexican style fiesta we dubbed “Cinco de Minda.”

I would say that we haven’t always been the type to make a huge deal out of birthdays. With so much attention going toward the baby these days I thought Minda deserved an awesome celebration to remind her how much she is loved.

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I am so grateful that all of her family were able to celebrate this special day with us. It just gives me another reason to love being home in Dallas. I know that Minda had a great day, and I hope five is the best year yet!

XO Jenny

Simple Summer Pasta with Basil Pistachio Pesto and Blistered Tomatoes

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Simple Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

Hi Y’all!  Tomorrow our baby, Georgia, will be five weeks old.  I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful and stressful the past month has been.  Taking care of a four year old, two year old, and a newborn is a challenging adventure everyday.  Some days the house gets cleaned, a healthy dinner is on the table at night, and everyone is serenely happy.  Then there are the days when we order pizza and I don’t even manage to make time to brush my teeth.  And I never know which one of these scenarios is going to play out from day to day.  We are just winging it at this point.  And that’s okay.

On the nights where I am able to throw together a quick meal, I usually just have to work with whatever is on hand.  Trips to the grocery store can be painful, so they have become few and far between.  I always keep some staples in my pantry like rice, beans, and pasta to get me through in a pinch.  This is one of those meals I can make when I have little time to prepare or cook, and as a bonus, it uses up some of my garden bssil.  This particular night I just happened to have pistachios on hand which I threw in the pesto.  You MUST try this, it’s completely mind blowing!  You will be putting this pesto on everything for the rest of the summer.

Garden Basil Pistachio Pesto

For the pesto:

  • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 handful of pistachios
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

For the pasta:

  • 12 oz whole wheat pasta (I used spaghetti, but whatever you like will work)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (see above)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Cook you pasta according to the package directions.  While it is boiling away, heat your olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium high heat.  Add the tomatoes and roll them around ever couple of minutes until they are blistered looking like this

Blistered Tomatoes

Add the pasta and pesto to the pan and gently toss it all together.  Top with the Parmesan.  Serve it with some crusty bread because we all know that is the best part of pasta night!

Pasta with basil pesto and blistered tomatoes

XO-Jenny

 

Our Courtyard Container Garden

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Cherry Tomatoes

I haven’t done a gardening post in so long.  I really did not even plan on having a garden this year.  Our backyard is not huge and the dogs have run of the place, so it just didn’t seem worth the effort, especially since I was really pregnant at the time.  Around Mother’s Day, Matt decided that he was going to plant some type of garden for me in spite of my resistance to the idea.  He said I NEEDED this, and reminded me how much joy I got out of our raised bed garden back in Calgary.

He was right.  I did love our garden and all of the amazing food we were able to grow in such a small space.  Our space here is even smaller though, and I really was not even sure that I would be able to maintain a lot of plants.  With a newborn, two other little kids, and three dogs, my time is stretched pretty thin.  I finally gave in though to having just a few plants in a container garden tucked back in the far end of our front courtyard.

Vine Covered Brick Wall

Our Courtyard Dining Area

We use this space mostly for dining outside when the weather is nice.  It is on the east side of our house and shaded from the hot afternoon sun.  When we first placed the pots here the crepe myrtle was not in bloom yet, so the sunlight was able to stream through to the pots, but now it taking over the courtyard.  I suppose I should cut back some of the lower limbs on the crepe myrtle tree, but I hate to steal its beauty!

Container Gardening

The garden itself consists of two sets of three pots.  We have planted a variety of small container friendly tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers,  basil, chives, eggplant, and summer squash.

Growing Cherry Tomatoes in Containers

The tomatoes are doing pretty good.  The girls love picking them off the vine and popping them directly into their mouths, so I haven’t exactly gotten to use them in the kitchen.

Daily Tomato Harvest

The basil is also thriving.

Garden Basil

We haven’t had much luck with the other stuff yet.  The squash plants have had huge blossoms at times, but no fruit has grown from them.  The peppers and tomatillos also have yet to produce fruit.  I am afraid that it might be due to the lack of sunlight and I need to just get to work on trimming back the crepe myrtle.  If we don’t get much out of it, I still think it will have been worth the effort.  The girls love to help with the watering and picking the tomatoes, and I always think that attempting to grow food beats out growing flowers and ornamentals any day!Beau

Beau agrees too!

Does anyone else have a container garden?  What are you growing?

XO-Jenny

 

 

Newborn Baby Georgia

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sisterly love

georgia kates first week newborn

It has been almost two weeks since our baby Georgia came into our lives, and I have no idea how I ever lived without this sweet girl.  Since she has been home our lives have been full of cuddles, some sleepless nights, and we even made our first road trip to the farmhouse as a family of five.

Central Market

a moveable feast

The one thing I haven’t done is cook.  Not one single meal!  Thankfully we received a moveable feast from Central Market (best gift ever!) that kept us well fed for the first week.  I am considering getting a Crockpot, or some other easy make ahead dinner solution because evenings are the toughest.  I’m sure we will get into a better routine soon, but for now I am just enjoying these precious first weeks, chaos and all.

Georgia Kate Crying

XO-Jenny

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adobo Lime Grilled Portabello Tacos and Pineapple Habenero Salsa

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Grilled Mushroom Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Hi Y’all!  I am overjoyed to announce that our baby is here!  Georgia Kate was born last Thursday morning.  We are healthy and resting at home.  I can’t wait to share all the pics with you, but first up are these awesome Portabella tacos.

I made these bad boys for Taco Tuesday last week.  Taco Tuesday is one of those movements that we embrace at our house, right along with Meatless Monday and Sunday Funday.  These tacos ironically would fit the bill for any of these awesome days or any other day of the week (unless you do some kind of pizza Friday, in that case this may not work).  You really don’t need an excuse to enjoy good food anyway!

Portabellos for Tacos

Portabello Mushrooms are coated with smokey and spicy adobo sauce and then grilled to perfection.

Grilled Adobo Lime Portabellos

Served up with some outstanding accompaniments.

Vegetarian Tacos

Like Lime marinated purple cabbage for crunch,

Cabbage and limes

and some pineapple habenero salsa for a sweet and spicy flavor explosion

Pineapple Habenero Salsa

All served up on a tortilla with sliced avocado, guaranteed to make your taste buds sing!

Adobo Lime Portabello Tacos with Avocado and Pineapple Salsa

 

For the Pineapple Habenero Salsa

  • 1 fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 large handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 habenero, seeded and very finely diced (you can also use a jalapeno or Serrano pepper if you wish)
  • juice from 1 fresh lime
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well to combine.

For the Adobo Lime Grilled Portabello Tacos:

  • 3 medium sized Portabello Mushrooms, wiped clean and stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo)
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Pineapple Habenero Salsa (above)
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 corn tortillas

In a large bowl, whisk together the adobo, juice of one lime, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and a little salt and pepper.  Add the mushrooms and toss to coat.  Set aside for an hour to marinate.  While the mushrooms are marinating, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the juice of one lime the other tablespoon of olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Add the cabbage and toss to coat, let sit while the mushrooms finish marinating and cooking.  Preheat a grill (or a grill pan) to medium heat.  Toss the mushrooms on and let cook for about 5 minutes per side.  Remove from the grill and cut into slices.  Serve on warm corn tortillas with the cabbage, pineapple salsa, and avocado slices.

Grilled Portabello Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Veggie Tacos with Adobo Lime Portabellos

XO-Jenny

 

Pineapple, Aloe and Kale Smoothie

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40 weeks pregnant

Hi Y’all!  I am officially a member of the overdue pregnant ladies club!   Yesterday was my due date, and instead of being cuddled up with a new little bundle of joy, I spent the day hanging out poolside with my girls.  This past week I have been trying just about all of the tricks that are supposed to cause you to go into labor.  Walking, swimming, and eating pineapple.  Lots and lots of pineapple!   I wouldn’t say all of these efforts have done nothing at all for me though.  I am quite a bit tanner, and feeling pretty fit considering my current condition.  And to make things sweeter, I have come up with my new go to green monster for the summer: Let me introduce you to the Pineapple, Aloe and Kale Smoothie.

Pineapple and Aloe Green smoothie

So refreshing, tropical, and absolutely nourishing!  I feel more exotic just thinking about drinking it.

Did you know that pineapples contain an enzyme, Bromelian, that has numerous health benefits, including the side effect of possibly jump-starting labor. I didn’t either, and I am doubting it’s effectiveness, but pineapple is delicious regardless.  Now I know you might be thinking “Aloe? like the stuff you put on a sunburn?”  Yes!  Aloe isn’t just for topical application, but it has a wide array of holistic medicinal uses; everything from aiding in digestion to balancing the immune system.  Do I really need to go on about the kale because we all know that kale is pretty much the healthiest thing on the planet, and the banana is for extra potassium and of course for sweetness.

Refreshing Pineapple and Aloe Smoothie

 Pinapple, Aloe, and Kale Smoothie-makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup fresh diced pineapple
  • 1 banana (the riper the better)
  • 1 big handful baby kale
  • 1 cup aloe vera juice

Pineapple Kale and Aloe in the Blender

Place all of the ingredients in a blender.

Smoothie with Pineapple Kale and Aloe

Blend until smooth,

Pineapple and aloe green monster

Drink it up!

I am hoping that I will be sharing all those obnoxious newborn photos with you soon, or I could just stay pregnant forever…

XO-Jenny