Showing posts from August, 2011

On Our Menu: August 29 - September 5

Going back to work on Monday after a nice weekend is never fun. But when your husband sends a beautiful arrangement of summer flowers to your office, everything seems that much better.

Our one year anniversary was yesterday but Christian worked most of the day so we're celebrating today instead. Although, we did go out for ice cream last night at the same place we visited after we said our vows... I was kicking myself for not bringing the camera. I think we may have just started a tradition. It would be fun to take an anniversary photo there every year. Maybe we'll have to go back this weekend and fake it. 

After work today we're heading to my favorite Asian restaurant, Gingerootz. Mmmmmm... 

LAST WEEK'S MENU IN REVIEW (View the original post here)
Monday: The grilled zucchini spears were like fat french fries (Christian's words)... just not as tasty. I should have doubled the spices. I have a Wisconsin seasonal cookbook that's been handy in coming up with differen…

One Year Wedding Anniversary

One year ago today I married my best friend. The past 12 months have made me realize that marriage is hard – it takes patience, dedication, honesty, trust and a lot of work. But in the end, there's nothing that I would work harder for than to spend the rest of my life laughing and living next to the man that's still my best friend. This is just the beginning a long and fulfilling life ahead. I can't wait to see what's around the next bend.

From Garden to Table

Last night I went out to the garden and harvested a small basketful of cherry tomatoes, basil, sweet corn and a red onion.

I had come across a recipe from Relish called Corn & Tortellini Toss that works perfectly with what we're growing in our garden. A few chops and dices later along with a quick saute and a batch of tortellini boiled and drained, we enjoyed yet another delicious meal straight from our backyard.

I love harvest season!

Extreme Shepherding

For those of you that don't know, I have 2 border collies and I spin wool and knit. Someday I hope to have some fiber animals of my own - sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, who knows! So when I saw this video posted on French Press Knits, I just had to share. Prepare to be amazed.

On Our Menu: August 22 - 28

4 out of the 6 meals I'm cooking this week include zucchini. LOL. Oh golly. Those plants sure are prolific!

LAST WEEK'S MENU IN REVIEW (View the original post here)
Monday: I had a planning meeting at a friend's house and he served Greek food from Niko's Gyros in Appleton. So good! 
Tuesday: The fish tacos turned out really good. I just used a taco seasoning packet on a couple of fillets of tilapia.
Wednesday: Our sweet corn is ripe so we've been enjoying it a few times a week. 
Thursday: The Grilled Scallion Wraps were really tough to chew. We had to cut the wraps into little tiny pieces with a steak knife. The flavor was pretty good but 1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce per wrap was way too much.
Friday: The shish-ka-bobs turned into more of a stir-fry on the grill. Much easier that way!
Saturday:Hawaiian-Style Sweet & Sour Roasted Pineapple - still one of my all-time favorite Vegetarian Times recipes.
Sunday: I was going to grill out but some scattered showers changed my plans. …

Our Bead Soup

Now that my Bead Soup partner, Sally, has received the beads that I sent, I can show the real photo:

Not knowing Sally or what she likes, I had a hard time coming up with a collection of beads for her. I tried a few different approaches but wasn't happy with the outcome. In the end I put together beads that I would have been happy receiving. Sally and I both got a chuckle out of what we sent each other because some of the elements were so similar. Here's what I got from Sally:

Leaves, wood, stone.... sound familiar? I love what she put together for me! I've been brainstorming a necklace design and pulling inspiration from a lot of different sources. These three images will have an influence on my final piece:

I like the long, multiple strands of the necklace on the Eddie Bauer model. I will be using a color palette similar to the Real Simple magazine cover - just not as bright. And my necklace will interpret a waterfall, trees and leaves. I'm excited to get started!

The BSBP Wild Road

I love trying new things and my latest is participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party. The lovely Lori Anderson started a bead swap of sorts to challenge jewelry makers and encourage them to think outside the box. When you sign up to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party, Lori personally pairs you up with another artist somewhere in the world. Once you have your partner, you put together a collection of beads that must include a pretty toggle (not a lobster claw), a focal bead and coordinating beads. Then you mail your beads to your partner and they mail you a collection that they put together. Next you make either a necklace or bracelet out of the beads and post the results on your blog. On the big reveal day, you can blog hop around to see everyone's creations. Over 362 people have signed up for this round of the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Lori paired me up with Sally of Wild Sally Road in Houston, Texas. One of the reasons Sally started her blog was so she can participate in the Bead…

On Our Menu: August 15 - 21

Last night I made homemade pizza. 80% of the toppings came straight from our garden. That makes me so very happy. I love knowing where my food comes from and things taste better when you grow them yourself. My grocery bill has been smaller these past few weeks which is another benefit of having a garden.

LAST WEEK'S MENU IN REVIEW (View the original post here)
Monday: The Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna was SO good! I made it just like the recipe except I used regular (dairy) cheese. Also, I had to make 4 layers of zucchini instead of 3. My "large" zucchini must have been extra-large. I love lasagna but I never make it because it is so high in fat. Did you read the nutritional info for this recipe? 4g of fat! I don't feel guilty about eating this!
Tuesday: The Grilled Corn with Lime & Basil was delicious but I would never eat in the company of someone other than my husband. All of the little slivers of basil get stuck in your teeth! 
Wednesday: Grab a bunch of veggies from t…

Garden Update: August 10, 2011

The last time I took photos of the garden was over 2 months ago. My, how things have grown!

The photo makes it look like a total mess but there is some order to the chaos. This is the time of year that gardening is really fun. The weeds aren't growing as fast and the harvests are coming in. The pole beans have climbed up the corn stalks and are reaching for the sky. Our yummy heirloom sweet corn is ripe. See the brown silk on the cob? That's how you can tell it's ready!

The zinnias, marigolds and cosmos are helping to repel deer and attract beneficial insects. Our Cocozelle Bush Zucchini is under attack by squash bugs but a little toad that lives in the stone house has been helping us out by feasting on the terrible pests.

Peppers, peppers, and more peppers! Oh, how happy those loaded little plants make me. The pea trellis has turned into a trellis for the Hale's Best Melon. A few little juicy orbs are hiding among the leaves.

The dill was knocked over in a storm but still…

The War Has Begun

Over the weekend I was poking around in my Cocozelle Bush Zucchini (geez, that sounds dirty) when my stomach dropped. These little bastards are back:

This photo trio is from 3 years ago. Luckily, so far this year I haven't seen any large adults like in the right photo. If you've ever had squash bugs in your garden, you know how devastating they can be to zucchini, melons, squash, pumpkins and the like. We garden organically and don't use any sprays whatsoever which makes eradication of these pests all the harder. I've been inspecting the undersides of my zucchini leaves and squashing any eggs or babies that I find. 

Last night I found a toad hopping around in the shade of the bushy plant. I'm hoping that he's feasting on squash bugs because the Lord knows I need all the help I can get. I built the toad a little house out of rocks in hopes that he hangs around and becomes an ally in this war against squash bugs.

On Our Menu: August 8 - 14

The end of last week's menu plan got a little messed up due to an unexpected doctor appointment on Thursday which resulted in working late and bringing home pizza for dinner. So, the start of this week will include recipes that I was going to make last week. Hey, it's a lot less planning that way! 

On Thursday we're going to the FVSG's annual picnic. It's a potluck and the dish you bring should include some local foods. I'm bringing Rosemary-Honey shortbread cookies. The rosemary is from my garden and the honey is from a local beekeeper. I always enjoy seeing what yummy foods people come up with.

Vegetables in our garden are finally turning ripe so we'll be eating quite a few meals this week fresh from our backyard.

LAST WEEK'S MENU IN REVIEW (View the original post here)
Monday: The Open-Face Egg Sandwich recipe came out of the Super Natural Every Day cookbook. The egg salad is very healthy in that it uses yogurt instead of mayo. The flavor was kind of mil…

On Our Menu: August 1 - 7

I have to go to the dentist on Tuesday to have two cavities drilled out. Yuck. A few weeks ago I had two other cavities drilled and I couldn't chew or open my mouth for days. I felt like I had my wisdom teeth pulled out all over again. Hopefully I won't be hurting as much this time around because I really do like to eat and I have some great new recipes to try this week.

LAST WEEK'S MENU IN REVIEW (View the original post here)
Monday: The Grilled and Marinated Zucchini was a big disappointment. The flavor was bland and the texture was weird. The tilapia, however, turned out great. I simply coated the fillets with Penzey's Lemon Pepper seasoning and grilled them atop foil. 
Tuesday: Mmmmmmm. Beer Brats. It's a Wisconsin thing. The Whole Grain Rice Salad from the Super Natural Every Day cookbook was really different from anything that I've ever made before. The base of the dish was rice and it was infused by a homemade cherry vinaigrette dressing. Cherry halves, to…