I have been working on this post for the past couple of weeks. The longest time ever in the history of TalesofaKitchen. Or my history as a matter of fact. It took me this much time to get my head (and photos) around it because I bottled so many things into this one single post! I’m excited to introduce you to Liz. A dashing, dynamic, limitless red…Ford Territory Titanium that I won! Or better said, that won me over. And over. And over again, every day, with every drive. Also, this time, I’m in front of the camera more than behind the lens. I’m quite nervous about it but it’s all in the name of getting to know each other? To boot, I finally got B. in front of the camera too! Well, sort of, he’s way in the background, really tiny and blurry, so tiny you can hardly tell anything, but hey it’s a start. Then, there’s a gazillion of photos included. And last but most important, a gorgeous green smoothie recipe with post farmer market finds!
First things first. Liz. We spent the past 3 weeks getting to know each other, what we like, what we don’t like, what we can do, how we work best together, how to communicate and provide comfort to each other. I won the use of Liz as part of the Voices of 2014 bloggers comp. I still find it hard to believe that TalesofaKitchen is currently in Top5! What?? YAY!! Stay tuned for the food blog-off, I need your help to nail the no 1 spot! As part of the same Voices of 2014, TalesofaKitchen was selected to take part in Paint the Town Ford sponsor challenge. That means driving around in this beauty for a while and sharing our thoughts about it. Gawd, my life is too difficult at times!
I was prompted to write about living local. Errrmm hard? Nope. That’s what I do best. Live local, shop local (and seasonal) and trying to keep it all healthy and local. With a wee bit of far away travel here and there.
Early Saturday mornings are our favorite mornings by far! We wake up without an alarm, thought still super early, and we begin the day by packing our bags. We pack B’s bicycle, we get our cycle/running gear on, jump in the car and drive to our fav spot by the river, where we unpack, warm up and get going! Although we like to keep active in different ways, we greatly enjoy doing a quick warm up together before we each go our separate ways. It’s the little things we share that bring us most joy.
[Check out Liz’s booty! And how comfy the bike is. Plenty of space for a dozen more.]
After we get the adrenaline pumping, a quick shower and a piece of fruit later, we head on over to the farmers market. Our favorite place in the whole wide world! No kidding. All the colors, the freshness, the beauty, the seasonal flavors, all the possibilities with that organic and healthy produce! If only I could take them all home and love them ‘til the end of time. Yes, I am a farmers market shopaholic.
A good farmers market trip begins with greens! Must be first in line. Always.
Among the regular finds in our market basket (or humongous box) in addition to greens of all sorts (kale, chard, spinach) are carrots, celery and tomatoes, apples and bananas, broccoli and/or cauliflower, onions, potatoes, herbs and few favorites we get on and off like celeriac or fennel or eggplant. Then whatever seasonals catch our eyes and make our mouths water.
Perfectly imperfect organic carrots.
A sea of fresh, crisp apples. Heaven.
On top of that, there’s special market finds like baby purple carrots (!), maybe some special white asparagus, a raw fig pistachio slice and gorgeous locally grown garlic.
If only I could give them all a home. My home.
Hot and tired after an exhausting run and farmer market hunt? Liz sure knows how to keep me cool and shady.
As you can notice, I hardly ever wait to get home before starting to plan what to make with all the wonderful produce. In my mind, a refreshing, hydrating green smoothie was already happening.
And here it is, minutes later.
Now if you’ve never tried fennel in smoothies, I feel I must convince you to do so! It’s so incredibly refreshing and flavorsome, in a licorice way, you’ll love me. Add a tart apple and some lemon too, and you’ll get a real zing out of it. And did you know fennels helps relieve bloating and settle a stomach? Just sayin’, if you need it to.
Licorice green smoothie
- 1 medium thick slice of fennel (about 2-3cm)
- 1 granny smith apple, cored
- 1 lebanese cucumber
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 big banana
- juice of 1 lemon
- a 1cm piece of ginger
How to: Chuck it all in your blender and whiz until it gets super smooth. Top with banana slices (or a mini banana!), fennel fronds and cacao nibs and enjoy fresh.
The recipe makes two. His & hers.
Now I must tell you about Liz, the best car (by far) that I’ve ever had the chance to drive. Or better said, the pleasure to drive. Every little feature, extras, plug ins, add ons, add ins, every little detail has a wow or omg factor about it. To be able to make crystal clear phone calls from the car’s steering wheel? Wow. Having my phone connected to the car at all times, from the moment I climb in? Omg. I never fully understood the power of Bluetooth before today. Touch screen nav system? Omg again! But ‘nough about gizmos. The feature that brought me most driving comfort was the driver’s seat that pretty much does anything I want it to. Any direction I want it to move, it moves. Think beyond up down, forward backward, that baby goes in angles and inclines as well! Which for someone with back problems is a damn good dream come true! Combine that with how incredibly smooth shifting and easy cruising she is, and Liz suddenly becomes sophisticated, and incredible, and addictive. And now I fully get what pleasure of driving feels like. Nothing compares.
Comfort also comes from how incredibly silent she is! The most silent car I’ve driven by far. I bow to Ford engineers and the stunning job at eliminating noise from the car. With Liz, busy evenings become quiet sunsets. No outside noise, only thoughts and colors and soft music.