August 25, 2014

New Things Monday

New Things Monday, is where I try something new and then I tell you how I liked or disliked it.  It's been a couple weeks since I posted anything new.  Sorry about that.  

Today, I'm talking about Dannon Oikos Greek Frozen Yogurt.

I tried the strawberry.  It was good and refreshing.  It has little chunks of strawberries.  MMMMM  I liked that half the container is only 140 calories.  So much less than ice cream.  It's sorta like ice cream but without the guilt.  And if you eat the whole pint in one sitting it's still less calories or fat than most ice creams.  I didn't do that.  I had half one night and then Friday night I had the other half which helped my sore throat.  :)

I want to try the chocolate one.  :)

Oh and there's a coupon on their website!  Get the coupon and try some for yourself.

Homemade Chicken Soup

When you're sick there's nothing better than homemade chicken soup!  Right?.....right!  When I went to the farmers market this past weekend I had it in my head that I would make some chicken soup so I made sure I picked up everything I wanted to throw in the soup.  I know it will help me feel better.

I stayed home today b/c I'm sick.  I've pretty much vegged all weekend (after my work event on Saturday) and watched Netflix.  I finished the Tudors series and I watched a few movies and started a new series "Call the Midwife".  It's an interesting surely has some sad and very emotional scenes.  I had to get off the couch and do something.  I figured the soup wasn't going to make itself so I got to it.

I washed and chopped all the veggies.  I also baked the chicken in the oven while I was prepping veggies.

I used:

1 Broccoli head
2 green bell peppers
2 squash
2 zucchini
1 carrot
potatoes (from my garden)
reduced sodium chicken broth
chicken bouillon
red pepper flakes
parsley flakes

I peeled and chopped the carrot for the freezer, the extra broccoli head, green beans and the leftover celery.  Nothing goes to waste.  I figured since I wouldn't use up the leftover veggies right away that the freezer was the best place for them before they spoiled.  I put everything in freezer bags and sucked the air out of the bags with a straw.  BEST TRICK EVER!!!

 I put everything in the crock pot and cooked on high for several hours.

The soup was delicious and it did indeed make me feel a little better.

Garden Update: Week 27 (LATE)

Here's my garden update for week 27.  (late b/c I'm sick)

Here's my garden.  It's not as big as it was at the start of summer.  Things are dwindling down.

I have a new sunflower that popped.

How pretty?  It's funny how each of the sunflowers I've grown have all looked different.

I have an eggplant growing in nicely.  I also have a small one coming in.  :)

Here's the bigger eggplant.  It seems to be almost done.  I want to see if it grows anymore before I pick it.  It's a little darker purple than the others I've already harvested.

If you look closely you will see many peppers.  Chili and sweet bells.

I checked my oops garden.  The tomatoes are not doing hot.

They all have what I believe is tomato rot.  I'm going to dig this up and dispose of them.

My spaghetti squash are not doing swell either.  There is a powder like bacteria on the leaves and the little guy I had last week is gone.  I'm not sure if something ate it or if it just shriveled up.  I'm probably going to dig this up too.  I really need to tackle this area soon and get it all cleaned up to get my greenhouse built.

I have these cute little flowers growing at the bottom of my deck steps.  :)

The ivy growing at my back window produced some cute little orange flowers.

It's trumphet vines.  They can destroy house siding so we need to get rid of this ASAP.  The flowers do look pretty though. much work to do and such little time.  BLECH!!   I'm off all next week so I think I might need to start tackling the list of things that need to get done.

Farmers Market- 8/23

Saturday morning, I woke up with a sore throat, headache, slight fever, and just feeling blah.  :(  I believe it's a head cold.  I got up and got ready to go because I had to meet some coworkers at the mall for an event we had to do.  I left a little early so I could hit up the downtown farmers market to get some farm fresh veggies.  It was a cloudy, rain any minute kinda morning so it wasn't busy at all at the time I got there.  I haven't been to this market in some time.  The layout is a little different b/c they closed off a section of the main street which lets the vendors spread out.  I love the new look.  So much better to walk around and not trample upon anyone or trample upon strollers. 

I walked to my favorite vendor first and loaded up my tote bag with a ton of farm fresh goodies.  I spent a total of $12.15 on my debit card.  :)

I then walked around to each vendor to see what they had.  This farmer had some really cute packaging and lots of beautiful colors!  I like that this farm is all organically grown.  It's Blenheim Organic Farms.

I loved this.  It's a salsa kit.  Everything you need to make some fresh homemade salsa.  I was temped to buy a kit but decided not to.

These sunflowers made me smile.  :)

I walked back towards my car and found a vendor that had celery and broccoli.  I had $5 cash in my wallet.  The celery was $2 for the whole stalk and the broccoli was $2 per pound.  My total for the celery and broccoli came to $4!  My total produce amount came to $16.15 for all my farm fresh veggies for the week!

I then went to the mall and took my veggies inside with me.  I didn't want to leave them in the hot car.

Here's everything I got.

1 butternut squash (my new obsession)
3 huge green peppers
2 huge carrots
green beans
1 white onion
2 yellow onions
2 large zucchini
2 small zucchini
2 small squash
celery stalk
2 broccoli bundles

$16.15 well spent!  :)

Chicken pesto with zucchini and squash noodles

I used my veggetti to make noodles out of my squash and zucchini.  The tool is so handy.

I decided to the 'noodles' for dinner the other night with chicken and pesto.

I quickly sauteed the noodles in my pan with some olive oil and pepper.  In a pot, I made some pesto.  I heated up some chicken (I pre-baked it in advance) and cut it up into bite size chunks.  Once the 'noodles' were done I then added in the chicken and the pesto.  I mixed it up so everything was coated and I let simmer together for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Everything was delicious.

You can sprinkle on some cheese if you'd like.

August 19, 2014

Potato Philly Cheese steaks and Butternut Squash Fries

Dinner tonight was superb if I may say so.  I was inspired by these Philly Cheese Steak Potato Skins.  I did my own take on them and they turned out great.  I even made a healthy side to go with them.

Here they are......Potato Philly Cheese steaks and butternut squash fries.

You will need:

Shaved Steak or Deli Roast beef (I bought a shaved steak in the meat department)
onion (chopped)
steak seasoning (I used monreal streak seasoning)
black pepper
mushrooms (optional)
green onions (optional)
bell peppers (optional)
sea salt
olive oil
potatoes (I used 5 medium farm fresh potatoes)
cheez wiz (or which ever cheese you prefer)

I cooked up the meat 2 days ago so I wouldn't need to do it tonight.  I just added the meat into my pan and cooked up with some onion, steak seasoning, parsley and black pepper.   You can add to your meat as it's cooking any other ingredients you may want, like mushrooms, or bell peppers.

When I got home tonight, I heated up the beef and baked the potatoes.  I cleaned the potatoes and put them in my pampered chef baker with some sea salt and olive oil and cooked them in the microwave.  Once the potatoes are done, cut them in half.  Scoop out some of the potato flesh from the middle.  Put the flesh in a bowl and save for a future dish.  You don't want it to go to waste.  Back to the potatoes......Add a little wiz or regular cheese in the bottom of the potato, then meat, then some wiz/cheese on top.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees until cheese in melted.  5 to 10 minutes.  Once you take out sprinkle on top parsley flakes or green onions.

Now moving on to the healthy side.......

On Sunday, I did a bunch of food prep and cooking so I wouldn't have to do much this week after work.  One of the foods I prepped was my farm fresh butternut squash.  I cut some up in cubes (for later use) and others in long strips to make fries.  I wanted to make Butternut Fries which was inspired by these Baked Sriracha Butternut Squash Fries.  Talk about delicious!  My husband even liked them.  Here's how I made my healthy fries.

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and cut into long strips)
olive oil
black pepper
red pepper flakes
parsley flakes

In a bowl, mix everything until coated.  Add your 'fries' onto a pam sprayed cookie sheet.  Pop them in the oven and let them bake up.  I had them baking while I was fixing the potato cheese steaks.  Turn them over after about 10 to 15 minutes.  Then let them continue baking.  I kept them in the oven when I added the potato philly's and then took everything out at the same time so it would all be hot.

August 17, 2014

Garden Update: Week 26

Time for another weekly garden update.  My sister mentioned to me this morning that I should get a shot of my garden from the guest bathroom.  So I did.  This is what my back deck looks like.  The copper pot in the corner looks so small from the window.   As you can see, I started moving some containers that are done. 

 This evening after dinner I went outside and started cleaning up a bit.  I took the plants off my deck that I didn't need anymore and put them with the other pots that are done.  
I need to clean this up this week.  I'll probably put the dead plants in a trash bag and take them to the dump.  Then I'll wash out the containers and put them in the shed.

Oh yes, I also emptied my white potato plant to discover I had 7 potatoes that were ready to be harvested.  These were grown from one farmers market white potato that sprouted, that I had saved for this purpose.  :)

I have several tomatoes growing in my oops garden.  These should be beef stakes.

I noticed this evening while I was digging for potatoes that I have a little baby spaghetti squash.  :)  YAY

I have a purple pepper growing.  Exciting.  I still have a bunch of sweet bells and chili peppers coming in too. This is the biggest one so far.  :)

I had a visitor to my garden.  This wasp drank from my bee water station and flew up on my pepper plant.  I didn't get a shot of him on the bee water station but he does like this pepper plant.  I figured as long as he leaves me and my good bees alone then he can visit.  :)

I picked a red cherry tomato.  This was the most perfect little cherry tomato ever and it was oh so sweet.  I did put it in my kitchen window to ripen a little more.  I ate it earlier today.  :)

I have a few cucumbers still growing.  This guy might be done growing this week sometime.

I have more eggplants.  This will be the next one.  There's 2 others coming in too.

I cut off the dead sunflower heads to pull out the seeds for the yellow finches.  The smaller head already had some seeds removed by the birds pecking at it.

I picked off the petals and wiped off the pollen till the seeds were all clean.

Then I picked out the seeds and put them on the rail for the birds for the morning.  They ate the others so I know they'll eat these too.  :)

So here's what my container garden looks like now.  :)

My greenhouse came so now my husband and I need to get the area cleaned up, make a concrete floor and assemble the greenhouse.  It's going to be a lot of work but it will be worth it.

Mini BBQ Pork Sliders

For dinner tonight, I made Mini BBQ Pork Sliders.  They were inspired from this blog.  The original blogger used soda.  I didn't want to use soda so I figured beef broth would be fine.  The soda is to tenderize the pork, but I felt the broth would do just the same.

Here's the little slider.  :)

These are very good.  

You will need:

Pork Tenderloin
1 onion  (chopped)
BBQ sauce
Beef Broth (reduced sodium)
W sauce
soy sauce
parsley flakes

To make:

Spray your crock pot with some pam spray.

Take the pork tenderloin and cut it in half.  I poked holes in it with a fork so that all the juices would soak through the pork while it was cooking.  I put the chopped onion in the crock pot and then the pork loin on top.  I added everything (eyeballed it all) and mixed well.  I set the crock pot on high and let it cook for 6 hours.  After 6 hours turn off the crock and shred the pork.  It will be very tender and will shred very easily.

I served the pork sliders on mini slider wheat buns.  For the sides, I served some leftover maple-roasted butternut squash and carrots, and farm fresh green beans.

YUM!  :)  Another dish to keep for the future.

Babysitting my favorite little girl

I babysat my beautiful niece yesterday while my sister and her husband had a date night.  She is so well behaved and just so sweet.  I love her so much.  She's 15 months old and is a smartypants.

We played with toys, read some books and then we went outside for a little bit.  I showed Ellie my container garden.  She touched the purple bell pepper I have growing and she laughed.  :)  We then walked around the backyard.  I figured she'd want to walk around.  

This is one of my favorite pics I took.

Then she wanted my sunglasses because it was so bright and sunny.  I put them on her.  Looking cool.  :)

I showed her my tomatoes that are growing in my oops garden.  She had to touch them.

So cute!  I will teach her how to garden one day if she wants.  :)

Here's E walking around.

If she fell on her bum she made sure to not touch the grass.  haha

Nate came out and took some good photos with his new camera.  (bottom of post)  E was getting hungry for dinner so we came inside and I put her in her high chair.  She pretty much had a smorgasbord of food.

She had blueberries, watermelon, grapes, mac n cheese, white beans, peas, and cheese.

Here she is caught in the act.  She was putting blueberry covered fingers on my door frame.  haha

I let her try using her spoon.  She doesn't even know that she's got a pea hanging on her shirt.  :)

After dinner, I cleaned her up and cleaned up the food.  Nate played with her in the living room.  She showed him her books and toys.  And she wanted to sit on the couch like a big girl.

It took a little bit for her to fall asleep but she finally dozed off.  I think she had a fun day.  :)

Here's my favorite pictures my husband took of E.