Broccoli and Cheese Soup

One thing I had multiple times in Florida was Broccoli Cheese soup. I know, it’s 105 degrees and I’m eating hot soup – but it was very delicious. So the day after we came home, I needed to make my own.  This soup is amazing.  We’re talking “oh my, lets make servings for 6 even though there’s only 2 people”.  No, wait, “oh my, lets make servings for 12 even though there’s only 2 people”.  It’s that good and really easy to make.

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Recipe behind the cut.

*Note: This recipe was updated on 9.9: I found that using more milk and broccoli makes it more creamy*

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CatCam Disney 2011

So while on vacation we set up a camera to watch our cats.  This was great as we miss our cats alot and while waiting in line we could just watch them on our phone.  Here is a time lapse video of the 160 hours.  Note: Our friend Melody is the best cat sitter in the world.

One Week
One Earthquake
One Hurricane
All while Pamela + Matthew are at Disney World

Hello, I’m Alive

I know you’ve been asking – where is Pamela? How is the garden? Where are new recipes?  Well.. Matthew and I were on vacation for the last week.  We were living it up with Mickey and his crew at Disney World.  Sounds fun, right? Well it was.  Except back in NYC we had a Earthquake and Hurricane, both that we weren’t expecting when we left.  We got home tonight and looked at the garden, GAH.  I will make another post about that, after I’m done crying.

For now though:

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Pumpkins (again) + Storm

The life of trying to grow pumpkins..

This week we spotted early signs of powdery mildew (we bought some Serande and it’s been working great).

Last night we had a crazy storm.  We usually get 2-3 of these a summer.  They are the types of storms that make you fear for your garden completely, as well as wish you had a basement.  Maybe I’m being overly dramatic but we’re talking 60mph winds on a roof.. let’s stay inside, ok?  We knew the storm was coming so we quickly got to the roof to raise the wind blockers, then we waited for the storm to roll in.  We stood in the stairwell once it started and man was my heart racing. The wind was crazy, the first thing we saw was our tree blow over, then the support of the beans looked like it was just going to collapse.  But let’s get to the heart: the pumpkins.  The pumpkins are just on the roof, there’s nothing we can do for them.  Man was I a nervous wreck.  Matthew made me go downstairs to our room because he said he didn’t want me to get hurt, but really I think he was just trying to prevent me from having a pumpkin breakdown and crying on the stairs.  This was good though because I raced down to our room and remembered our windows were open! So as I got in the room, the cats came running to me and the wind was blowing hard through the screens.  Maybe I’m overly emotional, I’m told I’m naturally maternal, but I picked up my cats, closed those windows and broke into tears.  Then I cleaned like a crazy person to wait for Matthew to come down.  This is my Friday night.  Anyways, eventually Matthew came back downstairs but he said he couldn’t do much as it was still storming and he didn’t want to die. Eventually the storm eased up and he threw on a poncho to go investigate.  He said everything looked ok, a few cracks in some of the stems, but not horrible (like last years storm which killed our pumpkin and caused more water works).  I just realized the garden makes me cry alot.  Is this normal?

ANYWAYS.

Like I posted earlier this week we saw some female flowers beginning on the pumpkin and we knew one was going to bloom this morning.  So I set the alarm for 6:30AM and we went up to the roof to assist and hand pollinate.  Girl meet boy.  Also, we saw the garden from the storm last night.  The tree was completely knocked over, the entire wind fabric was torn off the peas and berries, the pumpkins were pushed to one side.. but all is ok.  PHEW.  Close call.

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More early morning goodies behind the cut.

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Neon Socks

Cause I just saw them and bought these yellow ones….  Target has bright neon socks, for $1.50 a pair.  Kinda amazing considering many other stores have them for $10-$15.  Go buy some.  They have pink, yellow, green, orange.  I love socks!

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Pumpkins

We basically are dealing with a mini pumpkin patch in our garden right now.  The pumpkins have taken off for the races and they want to grow big.  They want to expand.  They want to take over Brooklyn.

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This was July 23.  And not even a month later…

This is today, August 17. Note how they said “see ya” to their boxes. 

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Let’s look at the pumpkins a little more..

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Scrambled Eggs

I’ve been craving diner food lately.  French toast, pancakes, toast, but today all I wanted was scrambled eggs.  So for lunch, scrambled eggs it was!  Fluffy, delicious scrambled eggs. NOMs.

These eggs will be ready within 10 minutes and in your belly within 12.   They’re real good.  How good? Well when I was back in Pennsylvania earlier this year my nephew told his mom “Auntie Pamela’s scrambled eggs are better than yours”.  Yeah, that good.  Sorry Tammy… :)

Ingredients (for 1 serving):

3 eggs

3 teaspoons of milk

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of butter

Directions: Crack open eggs.  Add milk and salt.  Beat together.  Melt butter on medium heat.  Add egg mixture.  Stir and flip with spatula.  Serve.  Enjoy!

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Step by step under the cut.

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Alice

I can’t believe I never made a post about Alice.com.

I’ve been a member on Alice.com since October and have made 28 orders in that time.  That’s quite alot.  It’s one of the best services online in my opinion.

Alice is named after “Alice” of the Brady Bunch.  From their About page:  “Let’s face it; you can probably think of a thousand things you’d rather do than drive to the store again and again for toilet paper, toothpaste, trash bags and the dozens of other home essentials that keep your home running. We can too. That’s why we started Alice.  The Internet has changed the way we shop for things like books, clothing, shoes and electronics. We buy online for the convenience and the power we have to get product reviews, choose brands, see price comparisons, and make better choices.  But when it comes to home essentials, we still trudge off to the store, load up the cart, and haul a trunk-load of stuff out the parking lot. Why? Because no one has come up with an efficient, cost-effective way to buy these goods online. Until now.”

So what is it in my own words? Alice is a online grocery store.  Think less milk and more household/drug store items.    So you can buy cat litter, paper towels, laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.  Have a item that you don’t want to lug home from the store? Well Alice is here for you.  Here’s the kicker: FREE SHIPPING.  That’s right.  I’m not lying.  It’s always  been that way.    You can buy a small amount of items (minimum 6 which isn’t alot at all) or a ton, it doesn’t matter, shipping will be free.  It gets sent UPS and I usually get it in 2 days.  I love the box too, it always makes my package easy to find in the mailroom.

Bonus points for Alice:  They are cheap, they easily defeat Duane Reade/Walgreens/Supermarket prices here.  They ship everything super  nice, it always comes packaged like a pro.  All bottles that could leak are sealed shut and often in bags.  Their customer service is awesome, once I had a cat food can leak and they sent me a whole container of cat food, for free.  I love that they save your items in “My Products”  as I often buy the same products and now I don’t have to search, all my items are on the same page.  Also they let you automatically reorder items if you’d like to – need cat food every 3 weeks, ok well check that box, and here it comes, happy kitties!  Lastly, free samples! This is very random, sometimes you get free samples and sometimes you dont, but I’ve gotten everything from drink bottles to pita chips to rust removal powder.  Who doesn’t like a free sample (which is usually a full size item).

Try Alice next time you don’t want to run out.  I think you’ll be obsessed.  :)

Here’s a package I got today:

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Let’s look inside.

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Sheriffs

Xanadu is a Sheriff of Meowza County, New York.  She has a friend Blackie who is Sheriff of Black Clowder County.   Blackie’s Mom, Melody, surprised us with a official Sheriff’s badge for Xanadu.  Now when Xanadu patrols the loft to make sure the other cats are behaving (they often aren’t so Xanadu “steps in”) she has official documentation of her position. 

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Here’s Blackie on duty.

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Left Overs

The last week was all about leftovers.  Not in the negative sense either, more in the “I’m excited for dinner because we get to have roast beef sandwiches again!”. 

The roast beef sandwiches were such a big hit.  We had them for dinner 2.5 nights.  .5? Well the last night there was only enough for 1 person so I gave it to Matthew and settled on a grilled cheese.  The sandwiches were so good everytime Matthew talks about them he raises his hands to his mouth and kisses it.  They’re that good.

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As you can see from this picture I’m making pinto bean soup again as well.  It was basically my lunch last week (besides dinner too!).  Instead of diced ham I did a ham hock.  It’s currently simmering for the next 2 hours and then we’ll have a late dinner.  But I’m more excited for the afternoon soup this week….

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And lastly, the parsley pesto is delicious with some egg noodles for lunch.  I’m going to make a big batch of it soon and freeze it with our garden herbs.

Envirocycle

We got a new composter, it arrived this morning via Fedex.  It was very early, but we were very excited to get it.  This afternoon we brought it up to the roof and started it.

In the past we used worms, but this is a tumbler instead (no worms).

We added in our browns (cardboard, leaves, etc) and greens (food scraps), and then you latch it shut and spin it.  We’ll turn it daily but you can 3 times a week.  That’s it.  After about 6 weeks, you’ll have beautiful fertilizer for your garden.  The best part of this composter is the base will collect the liquids – the compost tea – a super fertilizer that plants love to drink.

You can buy one here if you want.

If it works out we will probably buy another, so we can always have one active and one collecting.

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Here is the amazing experience of seeing it during it’s first spin!

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