July 21, 2014

New Things Monday

It's time for another New Things Monday!  This is where I try something new and then talk about it.

(Picture taken from google images)

Every time when I go to Wegmans I see other people's carts with at least 2 bags of the boom chika popcorn.  I needed to know what the hype was.  So on a recent trip at Wegmans doing my usual weekly shopping I cut through the organic section and passed by the popcorn display.  I saw 'lightly salted' and 'sea salt'.  I grabbed just one bag of the sea salt.  But you know what.....my gut told me to grab two bags and I didn't.  Once my husband and I tried it we were hooked.  I even asked my BFF, Kristen if she'd ever had it and she said YES!  She loves it too.  The best part about this popcorn is that each cup is just 35 calories!  Guilt free!!  :)  So a serving size is 4 cups, only being 140 calories total.  How awesome?  The next time, I went to Wegmans I got 2 bags.  :)  They are 2 for $4!  What a deal!!  This stuff is awesome.  I see on the website that there's kettle corn too.  I NEED to try it.  :)

July 20, 2014

Homemade Ratatouille

I made Homemade Ratatouille tonight for dinner.  It was DELICIOUS!!  My husband, really liked it and I liked that I was making him eat vegetables!  :)  I even used my homegrown eggplants in this dish.  All the veggies I used were either homegrown from my garden or from a local farmers market.  :)

Here's what my finished Ratatouille looked like.

Have you ever seen the movie Ratatouille?  It's such a cute little movie about a rat named "Remy" who just wants to be a chef and cook in Paris.
(picture taken from google images)

I decided to make my own Ratatouille my way using this blog as a guide.

Just like Remy does in the movie I began assembling the Ratatouille dish.
(picture taken from google images)

I used a 9x13 baking dish because I didn't have a circular pan deep enough.

I added some sliced tomatoes on top.

I made the sauce with onions, peppers, tomato sauce and andouille sausage.  
I baked on 350 degrees for about 45 to 50 minutes.

I then sprinkled some cheese on top and baked until cheese was melted.  (10-15 min)

Then it was time to plate.

Here's Remy plating the Ratatouille for the food critic.
(picture taken from google images)

Here's me plating to EAT.  :)

You will need:
(picture taken from google images)

andouille sausage (optional)
onion (chopped)
bell peppers (2 or 3, chopped)
minced garlic
tomato sauce
eggplant (sliced)
zucchini (sliced)
squash (sliced)
tomatoes (sliced)
salt
black pepper
red pepper flakes
parsley flakes
reduced fat cheese (optional)

Let's cook shall we?
(picture taken from google images)

To make:

In a skillet, cook up some minced garlic and chopped onion.  While that's cooking heat up some andouille sausage in the microwave.  Slice up the sausage when it's done.  Add chopped bell pepper and sliced andouille sausage to skillet.  Then add 1 big can of tomato sauce.  Sprinkle some black pepper, salt, and parsley flakes.  Mix and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
(picture taken from google images)

Spray baking dish with some pam.  Put some sauce mixture into the bottom of the dish.
Slice up your eggplant, squash, zucchini and tomatoes.  Try to keep them the same size.
Then layer your veggies how you'd like.  I kept it simple...nothing fancy.  Once done pour the rest of the sauce mix on top, making sure everything is covered.  Cover with foil and bake on 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.  Once done, remove foil and sprinkle on some cheese.  Add a little more black pepper and parsley flakes on top of cheese.  Let bake until cheese is melted.  About 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve hot!  :)

Enjoy!  :)
(Gif taken from google images)

Garden Update: Week 22

Week 22 already on my garden update.  It's crazy that it's already been 22 weeks.

Looking good.....it's really humid today so things seem a little dry.  I need to give them another drink.

One of my hot as hell peppers turned orange.  I gave these to my traffic girl at work.  She said they are chili peppers.  She loves them.  I told her she'll be getting all of them because they are just too hot for me.

I picked 2 sweet bell peppers.  They weren't that big but I still cut them up for dinner.

I also picked these 3 peppers.  All rotted.  :(  You can't always win.

This day I got a good harvest.

I successfully grew 2 eggplants!  :)  YAY!!  Look how beautiful they are.

I also got some chili peppers, my first red cherry tomato for the day and 3 yellow toms.

Here's my first red cherry tomato of the season.  It was so perfect.  No imperfections and it was so sweet.

Here's the squash and oddly shaped zucchini I picked.

A few days later....here's some more toms that I picked.

This afternoon, while watering I checked my spaghetti squash.  I have 2 growing.

This guy was ready to be picked.  It's my first spaghetti squash I've ever grown.

So perfectly yellow.  :)

My beef stake toms seem okay but the leaves and stems are brown.  :(  I hope the tomatoes at least finish growing.  I've only gotten 1 big ripe one so far.

I have another sunflower opening.  I've had 4 or 5 total that have bloomed and since died.  They are so nice and they attract a lot of bees.  :)

I have some more cucumbers growing.

Here's another one.

I picked 3 pea pods this morning.

Here's the peas from the pods.  Yummy.  :)

Some more yellow toms ready to be picked.  This plant has produced so many delicious tomatoes for me.  :)

Here's the 2 I picked today and already gobbled up.  :)

Happy Gardening!  :)

Farmers Market- 7/17

I went to the farmers market two times this week before work.  It's nice because the market is at a park right by my work.  I could even walk there if I wanted.  But I was driving past so I pulled in real quick.  First visit of the week was on 7/16.  I noticed the next morning that one of my peppers was bad.  It even smelled horribly.  BLECH!  I threw it out and I figured I'd stop and get some more plus a few other goodies.

Here's some bins of squash.

Bonita Squash

Farm fresh peaches.  They smelled sooooo good.  They were hard to resist.

Lots of fruits, okra and tomatoes.

Here's what I got.  2 squash, 2 zucchini, 2 peaches and 6 peppers.  Spent $8.10.

July 16, 2014

2nd Work Food Swap

I organized a work food swap and we had it today during the lunch hour.  This was our 2nd food swap.  The first one was last year.  We had 9 co-workers total that participated.

I made a cute sign for the door.

Here's the whole spread of goodies on the radio conference table.


I packaged them in cute clear bags with purple ribbon.  Believe it or not each bag has 42 cookies.

Here's the cookies on the table.  I made cute tags at each place where everyone could write their name and what the item was.  We did an even trade so everyone got to take home each item.  :)  This way you don't hurt anyone's feelings by not trading with them.  Everyone agreed that this was the better way so you don't feel left out or too slow to make an exchange.

I did make the mistake by telling everyone to make 9 items and then 1 sample.  It should have been 8 to trade and 1 for sampling.  But it worked out for the better. There was 1 person who really wanted to participate but something came up and she wasn't going to be able to join us.  She was really bummed out.  I asked everyone if they would be okay with giving her the extra one we all brought and everybody agreed.   She was so happy and we made her crazy swamped work day better!  :)

We had terrific items and everyone had a good time.

Jane made homemade chipotle ketchup.  It was yummy!  She served the sample with hot fries!!!  The chiptole wasn't overpowering.  It was just enough kick.  Perfect!

Hilary made fresh pasta.  This was delicious!!!  It's the best homemade pasta I've ever had.

Sharon made slutty brownies.  These were to die for.  It's one of those desserts that will make any woman who's PMSing love you.  haha  They.are.that.good!  :)

Sue made corn relish.  I didn't know if I would like this and I loved it.  Very tasty and not spicy at all.

Deirdre made spinach dip and gave everyone a bag of pita bread to eat with the dip.  MMMMM

Allie (my traffic girl) made awesome cupcakes.  She iced them blue which was the 'water' and she also made some chocolate sea shells that topped each cupcake.  YUM!!!!!!

Sam made little zucchini loafs.  These were fantastic.  I love zucchini and zucchini bread is terrific!

Last but not least.....Gayle made homemade chocolate peanut butter!  OMG!  Peanut butter.....YES PLEASE!!!  :)  We sampled peanut butter with graham crackers.  We all got to take a jar and a package of animal crackers to go with it.  :)

Everything was fantastic!!!  We all have a great time and we're already thinking about when to have another food swap.  :)

I also surprised everyone with a little giveaway.  I made slips to sign-up to win a bottle of my homemade vanilla extract and a small jar of homemade taco seasoning.  Sharon won and she was more than happy.  :)

Here's my stash.  :)

Oh yes, Allie loves hot peppers so I packaged my peppers from my garden and gave them to her to enjoy.  She told me they are chili peppers.  She loves them.  :)