Garden Update

Last day of the year… went up and took some pics of progress of the garden.

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Here’s the lettuce. They are larger than my entire hand with my fingers out.

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Here’s the brussels sprouts.

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The pak choi is very strong right now.  I’m excited to see their progress…

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Remember when I told you the broccoli plants died? Well, I lied.  A few days later (after we cut the heads off!!) they magically bounced back and are healthy with all these side shoots growing..

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More broccoli.

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The monster broccoli plants looking over their little brothers and sisters.

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And then covering everything up as it’s going to start getting cold this week (17 degrees!).

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Don’t worry, ghost is in the green house to protect them. <3

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So much planning already for the spring.. have to start plotting everything out soon.

Compost Day

As you can imagine with the amount of juicing I’ve been doing, the compost buckets in the refrigerator fill up quickly.  So today, because it wasn’t freezing out like usual, we took to the roof and filled up the compost bin..

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Lots of fruit/veggie scraps waiting to turn itself into lovely soil…

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Oh,  isn’t that enticing?

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The sugar snap peas which grew to about 9 feet this year (amazing guys!) are finally done so they went into the compost too…

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Always bittersweet to see some plants come to a end..

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All that is left of the peas now is it’s velcro that was supporting it..

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Spin that composter… see you in the spring lovely soil. :)

Orange + Kumquats Juice

My grocery store got some kumquats in so I thought “They would be fun to juice!”.  So juicing we go.. (I’m hooked!).

6 oranges
3/4 pint of kumquats

Peel the oranges.  I don’t peel the kumquats or it would take me forever.  Juice all.  How simple is this?

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This was my breakfast.. mmm, turkey bacon is always a favorite.

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This is my newest favorite pitcher in the world too.  Our friends William and Lia brought this up for Thanksgiving dinner and I fell in love with it so decided to buy it last week.  It’s actually a iced tea maker but the infuser can be easily removed to just use it as a pitcher.   Takeya makes lots of kitchen things that I want…

Sweets

This is the time of the year when it’s non stop sweets – isn’t it amazing?
Every year we wait in anticipation for that moment.. when a mother makes cookies and sends them our way.  Matthew’s mama (hi Kimberly!) is one amazing cookie maker.  She always sends us a big ol box of peanut blossoms, m&m cookies, oatmeal and snowballs… we wait for this box, and when it arrives we can smell the heavens through the box.  Then we surround the box and attack it with a swiss army knife to open (she’s a good shipper too), and as soon as the box is opened – AHHHHHHHHHHH – magic.  There’s something always better about a mama’s cookies.

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Also a few days ago we stopped by Dekalb Market for the first time – it’s an amazing place! Sadly it’s closing tomorrow, but will be back open in Spring time.  When we first arrived there was a sign for “Fresh, Hot Donuts”.  OK YES PLEASE.  So before we left we stopped and got some.  It was $5 for 24 mini donuts! I almost only bought 6 but I was like whatever, 24 it is!  These are powdered cinnamon donuts, deep fried when you order them, so when you open that box up the steam will escape and the smell will make you giggle.  So so so so so good.  I even went back to the place and was like “OMG, SO GOOD, OMG, I LOVE YOU”.  The man was nice, but I probably frightened him a little bit.  Cuzin’s Duzin = EPIC.  Would it be acceptable for us to cater our shoots, just with donuts?

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Apple/Spinach Juice

I know, the title sounds frightening, especially for those less adventurous (me!). But take it from a girl who eats cinnamon rolls for dinner, this is real good.  The apples are so tart the spinach is just a added nutrient bonus.

Recipe:
2 granny smith apples
4 large leaves of spinach

Take stem out of apple and cut apples in half.  I put 1 apple through juicer, spinach, and then the last apple.  This will make 1 serving.

 

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This is me taking the first sip, I’m worried, but then I am happy!

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The Family

My goal for the new year is to create a website devoted to every single member of our stuffed family.  It will take a long time as it is a very big family, but it would be amazing, no?
Please welcome the newest member to the family, Mr. Cloud! He came home with us today and is now floating high.

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Cilantro + Lime Basmati Rice

This is going to knock your socks off.  You can have it on burritos, as a side dish, or if you’re like me and obsessed.. just for lunch. 

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup basmati rice (white)
2 cups water

1. Sautee rice in vegetable oil for 2 minutes.  Add water, bring to a boil.
2.  When water begins to boil, turn the heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes.
3. Turn heat off completely, leave lid on, let sit on burner for 30 minutes.
4. Mix together salt and lime juice, you want the salt to dissolve.
5. Pour salt/lime over rice, mix around.  Add cilantro and toss.
6. Enjoy!

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Even cats love it!

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Christmas Dinner

What did you have for dinner on Christmas this year?  We decided to mix it up and not do the regular ham that we have every year.  Boy, am I glad we did this as we got a new favorite  meal out of it! What we made:

Cilantro/Lime Basmati rice
Pinto Beans
Salsa
Slow Cooked Chipotle Chicken
Corn Tomalito

All wrapped up in delicious burritos, with the corn on the side.  And boy was that corn heavenly! Seriously, I can’t believe this was created in our kitchen.  This is something I have been trying to perfect for years but on Christmas it happened – I did it.  We slow cooked the chicken for 6 hours, but marinated it the night  before  in dried ancho chiles, chipotle peppers in adobe sauce.  Just thinking about has me wanting more, which is totally possible as this chicken easily created 4 meals for us!  All recipes will follow in the next few weeks.. I will be making it again and again and again.  In fact I’m making a new batch of cilantro rice right now (recipe coming later today!).

 

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Juicing

I got a Juicer for Christmas.. how exciting! It was #1 on my list so I must have been a good gal this year. :)   I already  juiced oranges to  make some orange juice, and last night I juiced pineapple + blackberries. SUPER YUM.  Today I’m going for something more vegetable based as I’m obsessed with V-8……. Any suggestions? Lots more juicing recipes to come soon.

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Herbs All Done

Well after having a complete entrance way of hanging herbs (that smelled beautiful and had people complimenting how they looked) for the past month +, now we have jars full of dried herbs, waiting to season any meal.  I found some colorful jars at a local store, and I hope to find them in other colors.. love how they look.  I simply put the herbs into jars and just wrote the name in marker on the front.  Marker works great as it comes off easily with nail polish remover so they can be reused per season.  Herbs make a lovely gift too, I gave some herbs out this year for Christmas and wrapped them up in tin baking cups. 

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Watermelon Sorbet

I have alot of extra watermelon from my failed fruit/vegetable/soup diet.  So today I decided to let’s make some watermelon sorbet.. without a ice cream maker.

4 cups chopped up watermelon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Boil water and sugar until sugar dissolves.  Take off burner and let cool completely.
Put your watermelon in a food processor and puree until smooth.  This smells so good.
Put your watermelon in a bowl and mix in lemon juice.  Then put your syrup sugar/water mixture in the bowl too.
Put in 9×13 pan and put in freezer for a few hours.  Then break up watermelon and mix around.  Repeat this every few hours. 
Puree again, this time put the frozen chunks in the food processor.
Eventually transfer this into a freezer safe container to enjoy for the next week.

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