If you're looking for Olson family updates, then visit our family blog, I Love You Same.

The rants and recipes found here are solely mine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Five


I've been reading up a storm lately. Not during the day, but in the cool summer evenings. I'm getting a couple of hours in every night, so I've been reading a lot. Let me catch you up.

The Girls by Lori Lansens

This was another of my hold it to my chest when it's finished while deep sighing books. I loved loved loved this book. Oh, how can I even sum it up with a few lines here? You just have to read it. Rose and Ruby Darlen are born conjoined twins, linked at the head. The story of their lives is told from both of their unique perspectives. I'm not going to say much more here except to say, again, you must read it. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster

I thought there was no way I would enjoy this book. By cover appearance alone, it just looked like a fluff novel and I was in the mood for something meatier. But, this book got to me. The title sums up this author's humor: sarcastic and with a great twist. I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It's predictable, lesson filled ending was still savored.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

This book was devoured (pun intended) just like the other two. I'm on a roll here with great books. This book was really life changing for me. Take a family, a year, and the quest to eat only locally available foods and you've got one interesting story. Add to that a great deal of information about how seasonal eating can help save our environment and you've got a great read. Knowing and being more conscious about food choices started being more of a priority last fall. Taking this to the next level is a new goal of mine.


The Best of Arlo Guthrie

I remember seeing Arlo and Pete Seeger at the Minnesota State Fair when I was young. I can still see Pete lounging on an Oriental rug and literally kicking up his heels as Arlo played. We had this CD on vinyl and it was played frequently. I just had to expose Young One to The Pickle Song!


You know that incredible smell that only happens in the summer when a sprinkler hits hot pavement? Well, it can happen with rain too, but we've been without rain for a while, so we're improvising here! Well, that's the scent I'm appreciating today. It's warm and just a bit humid, but with a great breeze. It's not our day to water, but it's the neighbor's and their sprinkler splashed on pavement scent was a nice catch on the way to the mailbox.


Grill roasted cauliflower with fresh Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. It's really nothing more than a head of cleaned cauliflower, chopped and placed on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Roast on your outdoor grill until tender, about 40 minutes. I enjoyed leftovers from last night's dinner with lunch today.


My Minnesota Grown catalog. It's strawberry picking time and I've been perusing the pages for a farm close by.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Salmon Kyoto

I can't take credit for this recipe, although I have tweaked it a bit because I didn't have all the ingredients. I updated the ingredients to reflect what was in the house last night! It's a delicious way to prepare salmon. Young One loves it. I hope you do too!

Salmon Kyoto

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon green onion, sliced--- I use 1-2 single green onions
1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste (in the Asian foods section) or use 1/2 tsp each garlic and ginger, minced
4 salmon steaks (1 inch thick) It makes lots of marinade, so add more if you need them.


In a zip bag, add all ingredients, except salmon. Seal bag, double check bag, and shake to combine. Place salmon in marinade, and turn to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour or longer. I like to make the marinade ahead and freeze it, add the salmon as it's thawing in the fridge. Or you can freeze it with the salmon. You're going to love this, so trust me, make at least 2 (freeze one).

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Remove salmon from marinade. Pour marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Set aside. You cannot skip this step or you will get food poisoning! You can just toss the marinade and not use it too.

Lightly oil the grill grate or if you're like me and don't want to risk having the salmon moosh through the grates--use a piece of heavy duty foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook on grill, covered for 5 to 10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush with boiled marinade halfway through cooking time.

In Gratitude

~for bright, partly cloudy days with no humidity

~for semi-unscheduled summer days

~for ten year old boys playing together in water and sand

~for iced Kona coffee, the best afternoon pick-me-up

~for grilling season

~for sextuplets

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In Gratitude

~for the mute button when Leslie Sansone gets on my nerves

~for yoga pants

~for Stonyfield Farms fat free lemon yogurt

~for surviving another school year

~for ten year old boys excitement over his end of the year party!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Cute Fluffy Rabbit Demon from Hell

Who doesn't love a baby rabbit? I mean, even their name is cute: bunny. We have one of the little critters roaming our yard. He's cute, fluffy, and adorable with his twitching nose and perky ears. He's about 6 inches long, just old enough to be on his own. And, no worries mother rabbit, he's doing well.

As I watched him hop near the edge of our fence, I enjoyed his little travels. Baby animals seem to cause even the sturdiest of characters to melt in their presence. I was right in the middle of one of these melting moments when I came slamming back into focus. This little guy could probably get through the rabbit obstacles (picket fence, chicken wire) we've put around the veggie patch. CHECK THE GARDEN!

And so, with trepidation and suspenseful, Psycho shower scene music playing in my mind, I approached our vegetable garden. I froze in my tracks. Yep, he ate my broccoli, chard, kohlrabi, and a few bean and pea sprouts and I think he's working his way towards the radishes and lettuce. This. Means. War.

Now, I know, I can't write a celebration of our Wild Kingdom (see below) and then plan to blast this rascally character into oblivion, right? Although, initially, that was my thought. Since I don't own or know how to operate a gun, and the fact that in the suburbs, gunshots might not be very welcome, I let this go. I'm really a peaceable person. After the steam stopped shooting out of my ears, I sat in front of my laptop and started looking at better solutions.

Many websites waxed poetic on the use of human hair scattered throughout your garden. Apparently the human scent drives them away. They suggested asking at your salon for bags of hair. After gagging several times and envisioning other people's hair on my precious veggies, I took a pass on this one.

Others mentioned scattering cut up garden hose or fake snakes throughout your garden. I nixed this one as I didn't have any garden hose to cut up or any fake snakes and thought that perhaps my own surprise when coming upon said "snakes" in my own garden might freak me out too much.

Next was soap. Shred or shave strong smelling soap and scatter it through your garden. This option appealed to me. Soap? Check. Shredded? Done in a snap. Scattered? Yep. And I looked upon my ravaged veggie patch with new optimism.

And then it rained. And the soap melted. Some of the scent still remained, but I'm not sure it's going to last for long. I haven't seen any noticeable bunny damage, although I did see him last night frolicking in the yard. I think I may try hanging a few whole bars around as the shredding just seems to need more replacing than I want to do.

I'll keep you updated on my battle. And despite all of this, I still do like the little critter, just not in my garden.

Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!