Warm Weather Wonder

Leaves! Green leaves!
How's the weather in your neck of the woods? It has been gorgeous here, and I am so thankful! 

I thought I would share a couple of photos and recipes before heading back out to my garden.

We have definitely taken advantage of the lovely weather here. We've been getting the garden ready for planting, I raked up the lawn to let the new grass spring up, and we are all excited about greeting the new baby animals that always show up at this time of year. 

There are calves and chicks on the family farm, and last Saturday we went to a friend's place and enjoyed their sweet little week-old goats.
Baby goats are cuddly. =)

More baby goat snuggles.

A friendly fellow hangs about.
Nature Walk view. The world waits for new life!
We're also getting close to wrapping up much of our formal book-work for the school year. Over the past couple of weeks we have been taking Nature Walks (really just taking lovely long walks and observing the glory of creation), sketching what we find. We're also taking bookwork out to the picnic table, which makes everyone more cheerful about sticking with the required math etc... remember those days of gazing longingly out the classroom window? When I see that happening, we just go outside with the books. You still have to finish what's asked, but at least you can do it in the sunshine.

One of the myriad things I love about warm weather is the opportunity to indulge in some cool treats, and cook meals that excite my senses with their fresh flavour and spring-inspired ingredients. Of course, we do grill year round, but grilling in weather you can enjoy standing out in just sweetens the experience. I've been making salads and sandwiches for most of our lunches, so that we can take them right outside to eat. 

Here are a couple of recently-enjoyed recipes to inspire you!

Coconut Milk Ice "Cream"

This is non-dairy, creamy and tasty, and not too sweet. 

2 large whole eggs or 4 yolks
1/2 c (or less) maple syrup or honey
2 cans full fat coconut milk

Whisk the eggs for a couple of minutes, until light and fluffy. Whisk in the maple syrup or honey until well blended. Pour in coconut milk and whisk some more to blend well. 

Freeze according to ice cream machine instructions or place in a shallow dish in the freezer for several hours, stirring once an hour until frozen. (The hand-stirring method doesn't require an ice cream maker but may create an icier texture.)

Store in an airtight container in the freezer - shallow, wide containers are easiest to scoop from. Serve any way you wish! We love fresh or frozen/thawed berries stirred in.

Summery Shrimp Salad

When the tempertures rise, two things happen! We don't want to cook indoors and heat up the house, and we want to eat cool and crunchy foods. This salad is awesome served on a bed of greens, by itself, or on rolls as a perfect picnic sandwich filling. Try adding celery, avocado, and cucumbers, too! Serves 4 as a main course - I double it. 

1lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped and cooked
3/4 c fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears), raw or lightly blanched
1/4 c mayonnaise or veganaise
1/4 c basil pesto
2 T fresh lemon juice or more to taste
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper and any other seasoning you desire

Stir together the mayo, pesto and lemon juice with salt and pepper. Toss into all the other ingredients and chill until ready to serve.