Thursday, June 26, 2014

Playing catch up: three Madison things I meant to blog about, but didn't.

Alright, I'm trying something new.
I always take pictures of the awesome things I do in Madison, but sometimes they don't make it to the blog. Here's my way of catching up: a collection of mini blog posts that cover brunch at Manna Cafe, Lake Monona rollerblading, and my Harmony Valley CSA. Here goes:

Brunch at Manna Cafe
I had heard many people rave about the brunch at Manna Cafe, and I finally made it there with the Jones crew (Scott, Elysha, Abby, and Clementine). It's located in an old school strip mall in Maple Bluff, and though it's only a 5 minute drive from my place, I feel like I never would have noticed it if it hadn't been so highly talked up.

Manna Cafe lived up to the hype, and our brunch was fabulous: 

Awesome eggs!
Abby modeled her scarf while she enjoyed "The Weekend Nosher" from the kids' menu.
She also made it very clear that she was wearing a tunic, not a dress.
Lake Monona Rollerblading
As I have mentioned before, Madison is an isthmus surrounded by two lakes: Mendota and Monona. When the weather got nice, Cherie and I took her dog Obie on a nice rollerblading trip by Monona Terrace. We took to the bike path and rolled past bikers, fishers, and walkers. It was windy that day, but totally worth it for the awesome lake view (bonus: I didn't fall!).

Meet Obie, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (roughly 95 pounds). This is his Aviva in Dairyland debut.

Obie pulled his mama along the bike path.
Loving the view!
Harmony Valley CSA
For the first time, I got a CSA. It stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it means that I'm part of a direct relationship between the farm and the community. My friends Caitlin, Cherie, and I are sharing a CSA through Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, WI. We just had our first week, and it was pretty awesome. They drop off boxes at pickup sites around the city, and we choose where we'd like to pick ours up. Then, we divvy up the veggies and go nuts. It's good encouragement for me to try more veggies and cook more in general (I don't really cook… I'm more of a stir-things-around kinda girl). Here are my CSA creations thus far:

Stir fry!
CSA ingredients: radishes, turnips, zucchini, asparagus, purple scallions
Trader Joe's additions: tofu and peanut sauce
I made pesto for the first time! But instead of basil, I used pea vines from the CSA.
Wrap it up
There, we're all caught up. So, how have you been?

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