MarthaAndMe Is Moving

June 12, 2012

This week was my 1000th post on MarthaAndMe. Which is fitting because I’m making some changes. All of my content (and all of your comments) from this blog is being moved to a new domain, called Putting It All on the Table. This is my new blogging home which will combine all of my food blogging, as well posts about crafts, decorating, travel, books, gardening, holidays, and more.

We’re still doing Martha Mondays (and the MM blogroll is on the new site. You can also find MM posts by using the categories selections to the left). It was time, though, for me to create a new blogging identity. As my loyal readers know, this site began as a one-year project to remake my life with Martha’s help. I blogged every single day for a full year (whew!), doing one Martha project per day. It was an incredible learning experience for me. As the years have moved on though, I’ve added much more to the site, including travels, many of my own recipes, recipes I’ve tried from elsewhere, as well as talk about my own home, family, and life. It’s not really about Martha as much as it used to be. It’s time to rename what I’m doing to fit what I’m actually blogging about.

It will still be me blogging, and I’ll still be trying out Martha’s recipes, sharing my own, and talking about many of the same things. It’s mainly just a new header and some new navigation to make things easier to find.

If you are an email subscriber to MarthaAndMe, you will now get notifications from the new site. If you get the MarthaAndMe RSS feed, you will need to sign up for the Putting It All on the Table RSS feed(right hand side of the new site). I hope you will come with me and join me as I move forward in my blogging adventures! I’ve got lots of fun things planned and I’m looking forward to spreading my wings a bit on the new blog!


Martha Mondays: 6/18

June 11, 2012

Martha MondaysIt’s my turn to pick this week and I’m going with Strawberry Lemonade from June Everyday Food. The recipe isn’t online, so I’m sharing it here:

In a large pot, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 10 ounces strawberries, and 6 lemons and 1 lime, both thinly sliced. Mash with a potato masher, 5 minutes. Stir in 6 cups of water and let sit 30 minutes.  Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Serve over ice. Makes about 6 cups.


Martha Mondays: Tuna and White Bean Salad

June 11, 2012

Ana at Sweet Almond Tree chose this salad (which really was a salade nicoise) for today’s project. I used greens from the CSA instead of spinach. I added some cucumber and did not use olives since no one here likes them. I added some herbs and a pinch of sugar to the dressing to give it more flavor. I thought it was very tasty and I’ll be finishing the rest up for lunch today! I eat a lot of salads for lunch and this was a nice change.


Opa!

June 8, 2012

The Greek Orthodox Church in Buffalo holds a Greek festival every year in the beginning of June. I started going when I was a junior in high school and my Latin teacher took us on a field trip (we also learned Greek that year, so it made sense). My husband and I went when we were dating. We missed a few years when our children were little but have been going pretty religiously since they got big enough to handle it.

This is, hands down, my favorite festival of the year. It’s held in and around the church. They put up giant tents so it is rain or shine. I admit I am nostalgic for when they called it the Hellenic Festival, but the new name probably draws more visitors in. The festival begins with parking, which is normally a hassle downtown, but Children’s Hospital owns an empty parking lot down the street and they sell parking for $4, all of which is donated to the hospital. So I walk into the festival already feeling good about that and happy to have parked conveniently!

They always have live music and Greek dancing: children, teens, and adults at different times in beautiful costumes. The dancing is always well done and very rousing. It makes me long to have a solid ethnic heritage like that. We always go inside the building because the Sunday school rooms are transformed into little shops. This year my friend and yoga teacher Kim Gionis had a shop where she sold her beautiful jewelry. After browsing the shops, we head upstairs where we inspect the incredible pastries for sale, all made by hand by church members. We walk by the traditional Greek costumes on display and then go into the church itself. I love to look at the ornate altar and beautiful artwork in the building. I always find this church very peaceful for some reason.

Then of course, there is the food. The food at this festival is to DIE for. We’ve settled on a combination of dishes that we get almost every year now and every year I still can’t believe how good they are. We always get a combo plate of savory dishes: spanokopita (spinach and cheese in phyllo), tiopita (cheese in phyllo), and pastisto (beef, bechamel, noodles and spices). The platter is supposed to come with moussaka but we don’t care for that, so we get a double order of spanokopita.

Next up are the meat dishes. We always get chicken souvlaki, which is marinated and full of flavor. The Greek salad with it is always crisp and refreshing and there is just enough dressing.

Then there is the beef gyro which has super thin beef, tomato, onion and a yogurt sauce. To die for. The best thing of all however, is the saganaki. Cheese is fried on a very, very hot griddle in front of your eyes and doused with lemon

beef gyro

juice and brandy – when it’s poured on and flames up, they yell “Opa!” It’s served on a pita and I could eat this every single day of the year with no problem. The outside of the cheese is brown and crisp. The inside is melted. It has a wonderful lemon flavor. Just heaven.

Someday we will find a way to be able eat some lamb too – but usually we’re just too full! After this wonderful spread we walk around a bit to make room for dessert.

Saganaki

Dessert is rice pudding and loukoumades, balls of light fluffy dough that are deep fried and doused with honey and cinnamon. We usually have to roll ourselves to the car after all of this indulging.

We look forward to it every single year and it has yet to

Loukoumades and rice pudding

disappoint.


Martha Mondays

June 7, 2012

Ana at Sweet Almond Tree has chosen Tuna and White Bean Salad for Monday’s project.


Chicken Share

June 6, 2012

I’ve posted that we joined a CSA this year. I also signed up for a chicken share. A small local shop that carries only local foods instituted this. You sign up for 6 months and every month you come and pick up the amount of chicken you ordered.  I signed up for 1 whole chicken and several packages of boneless breasts each month (there was a mix up though and I ended up with leg quarters instead for the first month). The chicken is pasture raised on a local farm, without antibiotics or hormones. If supplemental feed is used, it is organic.

I picked up our first share recently and we enjoyed a roast chicken from it. I’ve been buying organic chicken for a long time, but this is my first experience with local chicken, as well as pasture raised chicken. We all immediately noticed two things. First, the chicken had a different flavor than we were used to. It just had a stronger flavor. Secondly, the chicken was a little chewier than chicken we are used to. I think both of those things are due to the fact that these chickens lived like real animals, moving around a pasture, eating real food and I liked it.  We’ll be trying the leg quarters next and I’ll report back on how we enjoyed those.

Eating locally comes with some compromises. They don’t have an exact date when the chicken will be ready to pick up and will be emailing and calling a day or two in advance, which makes it a little hard to plan for, but I do know it will be near the end of the month.

The shop also offers a beef share, but we eat very little beef, so it didn’t make sense to buy it. They also have a milk and egg share, but since it is farther than my grocery store and I already buy organic milk and organic pasture eggs there, that doesn’t make sense for us.



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