There’s just something about spring. Maybe it’s ditching the heavy winter sweaters or maybe it’s the longer, warmer days (it’s definitely not the allergies!) but whatever the reason I find it impossible to not to have a bit more bounce in my step. With all the newness in the air I’m doing an homage to spring for your five senses today. Enjoy!
It’s not quite time to garden around here yet but you can get your fix of flowers this weekend at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Art in Bloom event. With amazing floral arrangements tucked among the museum’s galleries and a lecture series with topics ranging from gardening to floral photography, Art in Bloom should give you plenty of new ideas before you plan your plots this year.
Not in Milwaukee to hit up Art in Bloom? Slatkin & Co’s Fresh Bamboo Candle is like a bouquet in a jar…and not a sickly sweet faux floral smell but that smell that rushes out when you walk into a florist’s shop. If blogs had scratch-n-sniff, ours would smell like this right now. Swoon.
I’ve been obsessively stalking my flower beds for signs of life, dragging my dog on walks to make mental notes of landscaping and in desperate need of appropriate footwear to do it in. I’ll agree that Crocs aren’t exactly couture but let’s be practical here. When your runway involves garden hoes and dog leashs, these slimmed-down, dirt-is-my-friend Crocs Malindi Flats will look perfect.
Whether your pulling weeds or throwing open the windows for some spring cleaning new tunes will definitely be in order. These tracks are on constant rotation for me this spring:
1. “Solitary Gun” Rogue Wave
2. “Don’t Look Back” She & Him
3. “Used to Be” Beach House
4. “Blow Away” A Fine Frenzy
5. “October” Broken Bells
6. “Moth’s Wings” Passion Pit
7. “Dark Halls” Au Revoir Simone
8. “Sea Change” Turin Brakes
9. “Movie Loves a Screen” April Smith and the Great Picture Show
10. “To Be Young” Ryan Adams
An easy goat cheese and spring vegetable salad makes a perfect spring side dish but can easily become an entree by simply adding a protein. I like it with a red-wine marinated flank steak.
Goat Cheese & Spring Vegetable Salad
1C orzo or quinoa
1 C green beans
1 C asparagus
1 zucchini & 1 yellow squash
fresh herbs (basil, parsley, mint, chives)
3 oz goat cheese
1/4 C pine nuts
coarse ground black pepper
* Options: Peas, mushrooms and kale would all be great substitutes so go with whatever looks good that day. Same with the herbs, although be sure to at least get the basil.
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook orzo or quinoa until al dente. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water until cooled. Let sit while you work with the vegetables. Trim ends off the green beans. Chop beans, asparagus, and squash into bite sized pieces and transfer to a hot saute pan, lightly coated in olive oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes and season with salt, pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Cook vegetable until they are cooked through but still firm. Finely chop scallions and herbs.
Transfer cooled orzo or quinoa to a medium bowl and add vegetables, scallions and herbs. Toss well. Drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil and balsamic vinegar until lightly coated. Season with additional salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese into small pieces and stir in.