Monthly Archives: July 2009

summer bean salad

Mariss recently put out a call for inspiring summer recipes. My desire to cook plummets in hot weather, so I was pleased to discover her quick and easy chicken salad recipe.

I thought I’d share this recipe for a green bean salad that I have been making frequently this summer. It’s really tasty, and lasts for days in the fridge, so saves you having to cook for a few days if you don’t want to!

The recipe comes from Molly Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

Swiss Green Been Salad

  • 1 1/2 lbs trimmed green beans
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 lb Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives
  • 2 peppers; 1 red and 1 yellow or green
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
  1. Steam the green beans until just tender. Remove from heat and rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine everything else except the lemon juice, vinegar and almonds in a large bowl.
  3. Add the drained beans to the bowl. Toss until ingredients thoroughly mixed. Cover and marinate for at least 2 hours (overnight is good too).
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and vinegar within 10 minutes of serving. Top with almonds.

What do you make when you’re feeling uninspired in the kitchen? Even better, what about when you’re inspired but just don’t want to go to much effort?

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finished object: hedera socks

Pattern: Hedera, by Cookie A

Yarn: Sundara Sock Yarn, in the colourway Night Blossom

Needles: 2.25 mm

Modifications: I followed Lickety Knit’s suggestion about how to even up the yarn over holes in the pattern.

Notes: These socks took me quite a long time to knit, mainly because summer hit in the middle of making them, and all of a sudden they felt more wintery than I did. But I love them! They are incredibly comfortable, and I am really happy with how the pattern holds its own against the slightly multi-coloured yarn.

I signed up for Sundara’s Seasons Club last year, as I was curious to find out what her yarn was like. It is very lovely, but I won’t be signing up again. It makes me feel uncomfortable having skeins of yarn shipped half way across the world; I would rather support some of the great dyers nearer home. Still, it was interesting to get a taster of this popular dyer’s work.

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A little update on my running progress, for those of you who are interested.

I started running in January this year, following the brilliant Couch to 5k plan. I can’t recommend this plan highly enough if you are a non-runner who wants to start. In May I took part in the the Race for Life 5k, and since then I have been gradually increasing how much running I do each week.

I am currently running 3-4 times a week:

  1. Once a week I do a long, slow run, that I have made a bit longer each time. Last week, for the first time, I ran a full 10K, a feat that I am proud to say I repeated yesterday. My aim is to keep this distance but try and increase the speed.
  2. One run a week is faster, but shorter (about 3k, in about 20 minutes). This is the one I find hardest to do!
  3. Once a week I do interval training in the gym, which consists of sprinting for 60-90 seconds and then walking for 90 seconds. I repeat this 8 times.
  4. The fourth run, when we can, is with my new running buddy, and is definitely the most fun – chatting makes the time go so much more quickly!

And the little group of beanie babies in the photo? I came across them yesterday morning running in a deserted park at 6.30 in the morning. They looked so cute that I just had to stop and photograph them!

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