Foodie Friday: Spicy Fridge Chard Stem Pickles

 My pickling mentor, Betsy Wharton says that it is NEVER too early in the season for pickling! So, though I love chard stems chopped up in stir fries and salad, here’s a simple and fun way to use up those stems and get your pickle on!

Spicy Fridge Chard Stem Pickles
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes two 8-ounce jars or one 16-ounce jar

• Cleaned stems from one large bunch of rainbow chard stems, cut to fit into mason jar, about 3/4 inch from the lip
• 1 cup distilled white vinegar
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1-1/2 tablespoons sriracha
• 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided
• 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, divided

Add each half of the celery seed, peppercorns, onions, and garlic to each jar. (If just making one jar, this can all go together.) Pack chard stems tightly into jars. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and siracha to a boil, in a small saucepan until sugar and salt is dissolved. Then pour over chard stems. Let sit until cool, then put lids on and refrigerate. Wait a few days before opening for the flavors to mingle. Will last about a month in refrigerator. You can keep adding stems to the brine too! Yum.

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Foodie Friday:: Bok Choi Slaw

Alrighty, it’s time to get serious about eating up all of these delicious greens! We likely won’t get cabbage for a few more weeks (or even a month), but since we’re having a weenie roast at our house this weekend, a slaw to slap on the dogs is in order. Bok Choi is a great crunchy substitute for green cabbage here, but don’t be afraid to mix and match your greens.
Bok Choi Slaw on Hot Dog

Bok Choi Slaw
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
 cups thinly sliced bok choi
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
handful of radishes, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
½ cup smoked almonds, chopped

Combine bok choi, carrot, cabbage, mango, radish, jalapeño, and cilantro in large bowl. Add lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and tamari; toss to combine. Garnish with smoked almonds.
Serve on top of your dogs, or on the side of a big ‘ol batch of ribs, or grilled tofu. Whatever your pleasure, treasure!

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Foodie Friday:: Fritattas and First Farm Share 2015

Seems that first farm shares and frittatas go hand in hand for me. I’ve done a frittata recipe with the first CSA share for several years running! But, this is a GREAT one.

Potato & Greens Frittata
adapted from Eggs on Sunday’s recipe.  I mix and match greens, cheese and veggies I have on hand.


extra-virgin olive oil
about 5 small or 4 medium potatoes,  cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, cut into julienne strips or several large leeks (cleaned carefully) and whites sliced
2 cups of greens torn into 1 inch pieces (kale or chard, stalks removed, spinach works great too)
8 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (feta or blue cheese is lovely too)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Pour enough olive oil into a cast-iron skillet so that it generously coats the bottom. Heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers, then add the sliced onions, garlic and potato chunks. Cook over medium heat until the onions are golden brown and the potatoes are just cooked through when you pierce them with a fork. Add the chopped greens and cook just until they are wilted and bright green.

Turn off the heat and season the skillet generously with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with Parmesan. Pour them directly into the skillet, and shake it a bit to distribute the eggs and fillings evenly.

Turn the heat back on to medium, and cook the frittata until the edges are set but the middle is still somewhat runny. Place the pan under the broiler to finish cooking, just until the top is starting to brown a little and the eggs are set.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Soul on Fire

the most powerful
I think my soul has been on fire as of late, or at least in a fever.
I know soul-fever is running rampant in my child’s body.
Her heart is brimming with the FEELS and she can barely contain all of the ways her soul is being spun.
Emotions, hormones, challenge, fatigue, friends.
I get it.
She needs a pause from the break-neck end of school year pace.
WE need one.
And so, though my instinct is often to push on and soldier through our commitments and tasks, assignments and work,
I know I need to lean into her aches, give space to pause when we need to, open toward the emotions and physically embrace the child.

We’re steadily marching toward teen-hood.
With each step, we get MORE.
More fun, more jokes, more anger, more sad, more competence, more zits, more convictions, more body changes, more confidence, more uncertainty, more intelligence, more fight, more grit, more insight, more card games and movies we all like. . . just. . . BIGGER and . . . more.
When I think about the soul on fire, I see that it can be dangerous. . . the weapon referenced in that quote.
I see that the soul on fire needs guidance, needs to lead with kindness, needs to be balanced with love.
Fire can burn, of course, but can also warm and feed and light the way.
I’m aiming for the latter fire in this soul I birthed but do not own.

I trip and tumble behind, trying to keep up and guide a little as she forges ahead:
Her chin jutted, a fierce look in her eye, but with a very vulnerable heart and a sensitive way of walking through the world.
The power that is brewing in her stuns me.
It is brilliant and terrifying and beautiful.
She is a human soul on fire.

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A Prayer for Parents at the Beginning of Daylight Savings Time

1331403014588_4800616On this, the first night with a Sprung Forward clock:
May you find solace in a glass of red, white, whiskey or beer.
May your child ask “Why is it still light out?!” only one time. . . maybe two.
May your partner field the “jack in the box” toddler who “isn’t sleepy yet, nuh uh.”
May you breathe deeply and know that “this too shall pass.”
May you find patience in your heart when it is 9pm and you are 5 minutes from the end of the last episode of season three of The House of Cards and your child calls downstairs for “just one more cuddle and glass of water!!”
And again at 10pm and 11pm. “Just have to pee!”
But, most of all. . . may you have a protein pill and helmet available when you need to forcibly shake your child awake in the dark at 6:45am lest they miss the god forsaken bus. Godspeed, colleagues! Until October!

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Spring Rolls

I’m uncertain how it is that I’ve NEVER shared our list of fun Fresh Spring Roll fillings with y’all. A friend of Abby’s was over while I was making a batch of these and her eyes bugged out. “What IS that?!” Her mom texted me later for the recipe and I SWORE I’d put it here on the blog before now. Anyhow, here it is. A spring roll is simply a rice wrapper stuffed full of goodness. I’ll list some of our favorite filling ideas below. I started with this basic recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, but every time we make them, they have some different sort of filling. We skip the work of making this sauce and just use Sweet Chili Sauce from our beloved McPhee’s grocery that is our go-to Asian Ingredients shop in town.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Fresh spring rolls are packed with shrimp and crisp colorful vegetables such as carrot, bell pepper and cucumber. Fresh ginger and lime juice contribute to the flavor of the dipping sauce.

Cooking Light APRIL 2004

  • Yield: 6 appetizer servings (serving size: 2 rolls and 2 teaspoons sauce)


  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Spring Rolls:
  • 12 (8-inch) round sheets rice paper
  • 3 green leaf lettuce leaves, quartered
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli sprouts or alfalfa sprouts
  • 36 (2-inch) julienne-cut carrot strips
  • 36 (2-inch) julienne-cut cucumber strips
  • 36 (2-inch) julienne-cut yellow bell pepper strips
  • 24 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, and halved lengthwise
  • 36 fresh mint leaves


To prepare sauce, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves; set aside.

To prepare spring rolls, add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish; let stand 30 seconds or just until soft. Place rice paper sheet on a flat surface. Arrange 1 lettuce piece in center of sheet. Top with 1/4 cup sprouts, 3 carrot strips, 3 cucumber strips, 3 bell pepper strips, 4 shrimp halves, and 3 mint leaves. Fold sides of sheet over filling; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Gently press seam to seal. Place spring roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to prevent drying).

Repeat procedure with remaining rice paper, lettuce, sprouts, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, shrimp, and mint. Serve with dipping sauce.

Favorite Fillings at Chez Sanford
Green Onions

Sprouts (bean sprouts are awesome, but alfalfa would be great too)
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Beets
Bell Pepper (esp sweet red or orange)
Snow Peas

Squeeze Lime Juice

Bean Thread Noodles

Baked Tofu
Faux Crab Meat
Cooked/shredded Chicken
Chopped peanuts (or cashews!)

Beet/Daikon slaw

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Twelve 15ths:: June, July, August and September

So, uh. . . it’s been a while. What can I say? The summer of YES took over and I did not write here. I am not sorry. Not really even a tiny bit because we sucked every last frigging OUNCE out of this summer and then we kept going to the lake after school and on weekends because it is glorious here and we can. So there.
That said, I’m now going to attempt a tiny bit of catch up because this blog is our family scrapbook and some day I’ll be sad that I let months pass without a picture or a few words.

Here then. . . a summer of 15ths.

June 15th: Tom and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. Abby finished 3rd grade and her last year at her beloved Jefferson Elementary. This picture was taken by a 3rd grade buddy of Abby’s at her spring music concert. It was a great day. We hosted another EPIC Weenie Roast out at Salt Creek, Jr. Oceanographer Day Camp, sleepovers, strawberry picking, lake days and more.

July 15th: We hit the 4th of July parade in our home town with GUSTO and closed out the night at a dear friend’s home with a spectacular view. Bunky and Gran came for a visit, we went to beaches, relaxed, ate good food.
IMG_2512IMG_2250August 15th: We got busy! We went to Astoria (GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!!!) Abby went to Grange Camp, we all went to visit our second family The Murdocks in LaConnor, Abby went to Camp Orkila for the first time, Tom and I got some alone time and we had a VERY long dry stretch at home making it possible for me to grow 16 HUGE chili peppers in the back yard!
September 15th:
Phew! Mariners Game, Blueberry Picking, Pies, Lake Days, Marymere Falls. . .  We worked on the house and got *most* of the work done, Bunky visited and helped Tom re-roof the garage, we went backpacking out at the Ozette with the Oakes family, Abby REPRESENTED at the Clallam County Fair with an amazing array of ribbons and premiums. School started with a new “gifted” program at a new school and I started subbing at the school district. We’ve been eeking out as much “summer” as we can while the sun is here. We’ve had an amazing few months and I’m *almost* ready for fall.
IMG_3530Can’t wait to see what the NEXT few months bring. ♥

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