I hear a rumor that most of this beautiful country is under a blanket of sleet, snow and rain? Every morning this week while sipping coffee from my favorite purple Disney mug, I watch as Sam Champion from Good Morning America displays maps with strange symbols and pictures of places like Michigan covered knee deep in slush. I then look out our large living room window only to see sunshine and spring in full bloom. Now I’m not trying to rub it in or anything, but growing up in the Bay Area has given me a false sense of what spring is to most people. I can’t even imagine April not being full of 70 degree days, 50 degree nights, and flowers popping up everywhere you look. I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I get to enjoy this season while sporting my capris and sandals!
One of my most favorite things about spring in California is all the wonderful flowers opening up to greet the sun! This year I have made it my mission to live more locally and this includes bringing local flowers into our home to display and to add a little bit of loveliness to the decor. Here on our property we are lucky to have some very established rose bushes, vines, and one awesome lilac tree! I have started to get a little obsessed with having some sort of flower in every room, which is a tad challenging when you are also trying to chase two fat cats away from drinking the water out of the vases!
While I am super excited to plant edibles out in the garden (more on that later this season), I also want to add as many blooming plants as I can! I love the look of mixing edible plants and ornamental plants to create a really unique space to enjoy. Plus, just having even the simplest of flower arrangements centered on the dining room table somehow make a meal even more enjoyable!
This season, my garden inspiration is a book called The Beautiful Edible Garden. It is full of great tips and gorgeous pictures and although my yard is pitiful compared to those featured, I have high hopes that someday we will have a lush and productive place of our own!
Spring usually also means the restart of local farmers markets which in the Petruno house, LOTS and LOTS of veggies! Now don’t get me wrong…I love a good salad along with the rest of you but sometimes, you need to kick it up a notch and get a little heated.
So enters The WOK!
No…not The WOZ (although he does hang around these parts) The WOK!
The wok woks wonders (hehe, see what I did there?) on a simple vegetable stir fry. Add a little citrus, some golden raisins and a splash of lime juice and you’ve got yourself a bowl of veggie sunshine! Just what the doctor ordered to beat those dreary weather blues away America!!
Carrot and Orange Stir-Fry
2 Tbsp sesame oil
4 cups grated carrots
2 leeks shredded
2 oranges peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh ginger minced, or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
splash of lime juice
handful of fresh cilantro chopped
*If you like a little spice, I suggest adding a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce…Sriracha anyone???
Start by heating the oil in the wok and all the carrots and leeks frying for about 3 minutes just until the vegetables are soft.
Add the segmented oranges and the raisins, gently heating through.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, honey, soy sauce and ginger then mix into wok. Cook for another couple minutes. Dish into serving bowl, and top with peanuts, a squeeze of a lime and top it all off with some bright green cilantro!
Voila…springy sunshine in a dish!