Instagram + Pinterest Me

Anyone have Instagram or Pinterest? Feel free to add me! I have some days where I’m a bit crazy on Instagram and post food left and right, so apologies for the amount of cheese fries or pizza you might see.  Plus lots of cat photos… LOTS of those.  So only add me if you like cheese and cats. And gardens. I just joined Pinterest today so we’ll see how it goes.  Ok, hope to see you there!

My username is: pamelaz on Instagram
My username is: pamelazzzzz on Pinterest  

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Update: I’m obsessed with Pinterest.  I just spent an hour with “crockpot” as my search.

Surprise Tomato Plant Pt 2

In July I posted about a few surprise tomato plants that showed up.   These tomato plants came from tomato seeds that were in the compost which we eventually added to the soil.  It turns out these are cherry tomato plants but we didn’t grow any cherry tomatoes last year, so they’re actually from 2010!  When we saw them sprout we decided to let them grow because they wouldn’t hurt anything, maybe they would even produce some tomatoes (like we need more).  Well, the surprise tomato plants did produce, and very well I must say!
Not bad for some plants that we didn’t intentionally grow.… nature.. it’s magic!
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Peppers, You Are So Pretty

Pretty Peppers! Pretty Peppers! I love 2 things: peppers and alliteration.  Pretty Peppers!
While there’s stuffed pepper soup in the crockpot for dinner tonight, I wanted to show you our beautiful pepper plants.  I know I did a post not too  long ago dedicated to these beauties, but when Fall hits, the pepper plants always start producing wildly.  Hands down the pepper plants are the least stressful plants in the garden, they just do their thing.  Plant a seed, water them, that’s it.  They don’t turn brown, they don’t get pests, they don’t call me bad names (I’m looking at you kale).  If you’re thinking of starting a garden, I would highly recommend green peppers as one of the plants you start with.
We only have 2 pepper plants but it’s really all we need.  When they start growing, you’ll soon realize you have been outnumbered.
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There’s peppers everywhere you look, down bottom, up top, inside, outside.  Love the mixture of picking some when they’re green..
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And letting some turn red.  Check out how big this fellow is by the way..
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Peppers make your home come alive too.  Throw some on your windowsill  or counter, they’re gorgeous.  Cats love to put their tail on them too.
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We love you peppers.  We love you a ton.
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Life of FiFi Bofinkles

FiFi Bofinkles lets you know when she’s arrived.   Right now I  know she’s here because she’s sprawled out in my lap, paws pressed into my leg, tail wrapped around my waist, occasionally batting her eyelashes at me when I need to rub her belly harder.  When Bofinks arrived we quickly learned she doesn’t just lay in a area, she exists in that area, she becomes that area.  She’s not one to curl up into a ball, instead she likes to stretch it all out.  If you’re in the way, oh well, you’re going to have a Bofinks legs on top of you then.
This is her life:
When I wake up in the morning, either there’s a Bofinks on my  head, or she’s sharing (that means I get 20%, she gets 80%) my pillow.  I see her bright green eyes just staring at me. She’s slightly in a daze, wondering if she really wants to wake up or should go back to sleep for a few more hours. 
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I slip out of bed very slowly, bending my legs in ways that I didn’t think were possible just so I don’t make Bofinks uncomfortable and angry.  When I finally somersault onto the floor, I get up and look at her.  She’s made herself more comfortable and has slipped under the comforter.  Is this a person or a cat? 
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When she finally wakes up, I kiss her, I hug her. I wrap my arms around Bofinks and Xanadu at the same time and make them both angry.  I am very happy though.
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The sun hits, the cats move themselves every hour to catch the sun directly.  Bofinks has this down to a science.  She’s laying on paint brushes, her bright pink belly is out, she doesn’t have a care in the world. I give her belly a rub, she flexes her paws at me to thank me but doesn’t open a eye.
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It’s bed time.  I come back into the bedroom.  It appears Bofinks decided to crash early this evening.  Somehow she’s slipped under a blanket and needs an entire bed for all 8 pounds of her. I try to lay in the area above her head, all 10 inches of it but I’m bigger than that.  Bofinks doesn’t care.  I try to push her over, but she glares at me.  Finally she rumbles a bit, rolls her eyes, and gives me another few inches that she thinks is acceptable to sleep in.
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Are you comfortable Baby Bofinks? I hope so. She’s all tucked in, goodnight girl.
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Front Door Chalk Board

I have been in the mood to change things around our loft space.  I will soon be painting the walls around my desk area, but before I get to that I wanted to change the back of our front door.  Lately I have seen great ideas involving chalk board paint, but I wasn’t sure where to do this.  Then one day after coming home once again after forgetting to send out the mail (4 days in a row) I thought to myself “I need a reminder right by the door”.  There the idea of a chalk board on the back of the front door was born.   We can use the door for lists, reminders and more importantly we can leave happy messages to each other. 

Chalk board paint is a pretty easy process.
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Prepare where you’re painting.  For the door I just cleaned and wiped it down.
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Then I used some painters tape to tape the edges.  I eventually did the entire thing.  Xanadu helped.
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She really helped.
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This is the chalk board paint.  You can also get colors but they are sold in smaller cans. You can find this at Home Depot by the spray paints.
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I had to apply 2 coats to the door for it to take evenly.  Let it dry a few hours in between each coat.
Now here’s the hard part.. let it dry completely.  It needs to sit for 72 hours before you do anything.
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72 hours later:  Then you take a piece of chalk and use the side of it to completely cover the paint.  This creates a coat on the paint to protect the paint and seal it in.  Then you erase it completely with a chalk board eraser. Do not clean it with water until 10 days after painting.
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Now comes the fun part! Get the chalk out!
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Halloween is soon, let’s be festive and decorate the door too!
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The door is finished, and ready for any loving notes you want to leave.  One thing has been added to the door: Send mail out!
Have fun.. the ideas are endless!

Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center Open House Event

I’m not sure if you know this, but Brooklyn has it’s own basketball team now, the Brooklyn Nets.  Being big basketball fans, we had to get season tickets for their first season here, so that’s what we did. On Monday night the Nets had a open house for season ticket holders to see the new arena, the Barclays Center, for the first time.  If you live in Brooklyn you probably have biked/walked/drove by this arena as it’s being built.  It’s big.  It’s beautiful.  It looks like a space ship that just landed. I love it.

So on Monday, I lined up and waited in line with other season ticket holders to see the arena, to see the court, to sit in my seat for the first time (possibly the first person ever to sit in the seat?), to touch the court with my sneaker (gently).   Arena food is always expensive, so a highlight was that the majority of the vendors were open serving food – all completely for free (and by free I mean I just spent my life savings to buy a season ticket)!  It was really dangerous. I had a piece of carrot cheese cake that basically changed my life.  I’m slightly concerned about this cake as there is alot of games this season I will be attending.. please keep me away from that cheese cake (and by keep me away I mean don’t look at me sadly as I keep coming back to my seat with a piece).

You can see the entire set of pictures here.  I will just post a few below.

The first game is Nov 1 against the New York  Knicks (*insert dramatic music*).  We can’t wait!  I’m sure I will post about it here. :)

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This is pretty  much exactly what you see when walk in.  You’re almost on eye level with the jumbotron because the court is actually under ground.
Brooklyn Nets season ticket holder open house! Yes!
I’m kinda in love with the floor.
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Brooklyn court... very excited!
I was very excited.
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I was very excited for the experience of eating carrot cheese cake on the court as well.
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Really, it was amazing.
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Here’s the view from our seats. Pretty good!
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Here’s how it looks at night outside, very spacey.

Go Nets!

Good Bye Kale

Kale, let me tell you something.  You were beautiful this year.  You win the award for most surprising.  You were the under dog, but boy did you show all your brothers and sisters how good you were.  We thought you would be done growing by May, but instead you stayed strong in 100 degree days and kept getting taller by the foot.  You made it to the end of September!

Sadly, today the kale was cut down.  There was white flies lingering on the under leaves so I put a bag on top to contain them when cutting them down.
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You will always be remembered as the beautiful all stars you guys were.
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Weep Weep. I will love you always.
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We’ll see you again next year kale.  We’ll keep your spot.  <3

Fresh & Creamy Tomato Sauce

This tomato sauce is so creamy, but there’s no milk or cream in it! How is that possible? Magic I tell you!  So with this recipe you will receive 2 things: one delicious creamy tomato sauce, one delicious smelling kitchen.  It’s like Christmas with all the presents you’ll receive!

Look at this sauce!  Besides the roasting time, this is quick to make.
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Ingredients:
4 cups of tomatoes (grape, cherry, roma – any is fine!)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons olive oil + olive oil to drizzle over
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spread tomatoes in a pan.  Sprinkle with your onion powder.  Drizzle with some olive oil.
Bake for 35 minutes, your tomatoes should be wrinkly.
Let cool for a few minutes, then put tomatoes in food processor.
Add olive oil, fresh basil, garlic powder and salt + pepper to taste in food processor.
Blend to smooth and creamy.
Use it right away, or throw it in the fridge to use tomorrow, or freeze it for next month.
Just be sure to throw it over some pasta and enjoy!

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Full step by step pictures behind the cut.

Continue reading

Glazed Meatloaf

Last night we had meatloaf for dinner with steamed vegetables (broccoli and carrots).  It was a super dinner. 
Meatloaf is pretty quick to make, the majority of the time is spent in the oven.
The recipe I used comes from here but I made some tweaks so see below.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1.75-2 pounds ground beef
3 slices of whole wheat bread, break it up into pieces
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 egg
1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled up
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and dry mustard in small bowl.
3. Combine ground beef, bread, onion powder, egg, beef bouillon, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the  ketchup mixture in a large bowl.  Mix it up well. 
4. Form your beef mixture into a loaf and stick it in a loaf pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour.  After that, take out and pour the fat out. 
6. Glaze the top of your loaf with the left over ketchup mixture.  Bake for 10 minutes more.
7. Enjoy!

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Corn Round 2: Update

The first day of Fall is tomorrow!  We love Fall, so we welcome it.  Our corn is currently growing the 2nd time this year (first round is here), so it will be a battle to see if the weather permits it to reach it’s full capacity.  The majority of the corn has it’s tassels now.  Time will tell..
2 beds of corn, all pretty tall already..
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One day they were baby tassels, and then one day they were full. It happened quick.
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We’ll give these guys a shake and hope for the  best!
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Harvest Today

The tomatoes continue.  I’m beginning to think the rest of my life will just revolve around tomatoes.
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Which is totally ok because look at how gorgeous these big beef tomatoes are? Perfect!
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And peppers! Now our dual tone green/red peppers as we let them sit a bit…. Look at them, I almost can’t eat them because they’re so pretty.  And the size! Larger than my hand.
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The cucumbers are massive, there’s no way I can wrap my hand around one of them. 
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Carrots! What do you do with your carrots?
Carrots to me are one of the prettiest inhabitants of the garden.  The bright orange and their bushy green tops….
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These guys were sitting in the box waiting to be picked for a while.  Bonus of carrots, they last quite some time. 
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I’m in love with them.
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Carrots are fun too!
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Thanks to compost tea for making the vegetables big and strong! Plants love their tea (like I do, but I like another type of tea). Doesn’t it look delicious (for the plants)?
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Broccoli Update

Here’s a update on our pride and joy, the broccoli and cauliflower plants.  This was how they looked like 1 month ago.
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These here were planted first so they’re a little bigger, broccoli leaves are one of my favorites.
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This is one plant.   One gorgeous boy!
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Here’s the rest of the boxes, here’s how they looked just 3 weeks ago.  Hopefully winter won’t hit that early and we’ll be able to have some broccoli and cauliflower by November..

Grow Grow Grow!