orange you glad?

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manicure and pedicure with my ma was just what the dr. ordered.

attracted to the color orange at the moment, which matches my walls, owl painting, and pillows you can’t see on the couch.

ate brunch at the dixie kitchen in e-town. had a delicious meal of poached eggs with artichoke and spinach hollandaise sauce, over fried green tomatoes and corn bread circles… included roasted potatoes and some cheesy grits. delicious.

my wallet got stolen on thursday, and my mom was so generous, i am so thankful.

off to bbqs and biking around tonight.

OH, and if you’re in chicago on the 4th and don’t have plans, come to this:
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it’s for the performance collective, happydog, of which i am a proud member.

i am still rocking to mariah. what else is to be expected? her sweet voice with bone thugs’ crazy harmonies? i mean, COME ON!

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savory swiss chard tart

summer is the season of farmers’ markets in chicagoland, and i am volunteering at my neighborhood market in the heart of logan square, two sundays a month for its’ duration until the end of october. you can check out the link on your right.

volunteering at the farmers’ market has thus far been a very worthwhile experience. i’m starting to recognize more personalities around the neighborhood and i’m feeling really connected with the community.

the market this year is well organized with farmers and vendors who focus on sustainable and or organic food/ products. yesterday, i bought swiss chard, radishes, baby onions, lemon balm, dill, and six fresh eggs.

when i got home at 1, i was pretty warm, but i knew i wanted to make something delicious with my fresh purchases.

i did some research and found a recipe for a swiss chard tart. the only problem was, i didn’t have any ricotta cheese, pre made pastry crust, or even a pound of swiss chard. in fact, i only had about half of the necessary ingredients. so, i did what any young fiscally bound woman would do and improvised.

the crust? i made it- and although time intensive it was worth it.
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the recipe can be found here

for the ricotta-like mixture, i took a brick of queso fresco (which you can find at most corner markets) and blended it with 5 eggs, some chevre, and a cup of parmesan. i also put some thyme and lemon pepper in the mix, and beat it with my very nice one mixer arm blender.
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i made sure that mix was creamy and well blended, and then i put it in the fridge to cool for a bit with the pastry crust.

next up was the swiss chard.
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i separated the stems and ribs from the chard, and boiled about two cups of it for two minutes.
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then, i put the chard on a paper towel to dry it, and drained the artichokes (i know it’s basically a crime to use canned veggies during the summer, but i really didn’t want to ride to the big grocery.)
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next, i cut up some spring onions and sauteed them for about 5 minutes, then i added some garlic, which i sauteed with the onions for about a minute- you want to be careful because the garlic can get burnt easily. next, i added the swiss chard and artichoke mix, and let it sautee for between five and ten minutes.
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i let the mixture cool for a few minutes, and then i added it to the “ricotta” that was chilling in the fridge. i kept it in the fridge while i was preparing the pastry crust. this is also when i began preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

i took the pastry crust out of the fridge and rolled it into a sheet to put into the pie pan.
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i didn’t have a rolling pin, so i used an old triple sec bottle that was hanging around… classy!

i then filled the crust with the ricotta-chard-artichoke filling.
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i decided to make a lattice top for the tart, mostly because the triple sec bottle was not REALLY doing the trick for big sheets of pastry dough.
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then i put the whole thing in the oven and cooked it for 45 minutes
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when i took it out, i had to let it cool for a moment.
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it turned out really well, better than i had hoped. the crust was flaky and delicious, and the filling was savory and just rich enough to taste special, but not overwhelming.
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it would be a fine meal on its own, but i felt the need for a little extra.
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chris brought steaks over and broiled them to perfection.

i also made a salad with turnips, baby spinach, mandarin oranges, and a mustard vinegar dressing. to drink we had sun tea, which i made with black tea and fresh mint and lemon balm. it was a great meal!